By Nathan Wolski
An advent to the Zohar, the crowning paintings of medieval Kabbalah. comprises unique translations and research.
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Extra info for A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of Radiance
When they entered they saw two people plying Torah. Rabbi El’azar said: How precious is your loving-kindness O God, human beings shelter in the shadow of Your wings (Ps. 36:8). They [the two people] arose and they all sat down and rejoiced. Rabbi El’azar said: How precious is Your loving-kindness O God—that I found you. The Blessed Holy One has shown us loving-kindness in this place. Now light the lamps! As happens frequently in the Zohar, the Companions find their way to a cave. As we shall observe repeatedly, caves occupy an important place in zoharic narratives, their mysterious ambience providing a wondrous backdrop for the Companions’ expositions.
21 The difficulties in translating the Zohar are made all the more acute in light of the wonderful English translation that is now emerging, volume by volume, by Daniel C. 22 Matt’s poetic translations, about which we can only say, “the voice of the turtledove is now heard in our land” (Song of Songs 2:12), are unparalleled, and will surely become canonical in the English-speaking world. However, the completion of Matt’s project is still some ten or more years off and at present only the first third of the Zohar has been translated.
Rabbi Benaya said: This refers to the demons, for He created their souls, and as He was creating their bodies, the Sabbath day was hallowed. He left them and they remained soul without body. —Tanhuma (Buber), Genesis 1715 The rabbis thus find in the “dangling” and incomplete la-asot a reference to the incompleteness of creation—creation is a task to be completed by us—as well as more specifically a reference to demons, who are themselves understood as a kind of incomplete creation, souls without bodies.
A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of Radiance by Nathan Wolski