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Zohar: The Book of Splendor: Basic Readings from the Kabbalah (Classics of Western Spirituality)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  330 ratings  ·  14 reviews
One of the great masterpieces of Western religious thought, the Zohar represents an attempt to uncover hidden meanings behind the world of appearances. It's the central work in the literature of the Kabbalah, the Jewish mystical tradition. This volume of selected passages from the Zohar, culled by the greatest authority on Jewish mysticism, offers a sampling of its unique ...more
Paperback, 125 pages
Published February 7th 1995 by Schocken Books (NYC) (first published 1963)
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Jeffrey Cohan
No book in Judaism is subject to more misperception than The Zohar, the central text of Kabbalah,

Contrary to popular perception, The Zohar is not a coherent explanation of Kabbalistic thought.

Rather, The Zohar is simply a commentary on the Torah, albeit a mystical one.

Today, even your neighborhood Barnes and Nobles stocks several books with Kabbalistic themes. But for a peek at the real Zohar, it’s hard to beat scholar Gershom Scholem’s slender “Zohar: The Book of Splendor.”

While Scholem wrote a
I forgot that I went through this last summer. I didn't read it, exactly, but I did what I could. Very interesting the way the scholars carve up syntax, turning relative pronouns into questions and prepositional phrases into nouns. Suffice it to say I'm not a mystic, so I found the method more interesting than the matter. . . mad reading, creative reading.
This is a good book to use for an introductory class on Zohar. The selections of the Zohar presented are well translated and it includes a helpful commentary.

Zohar itself is a mystical and philosophical text presented in the form of Midrash. Each midrash on a given verse or verses of the Bible can be read at multiple levels. As Daniel Matt suggests in the Introduction of this book. Perhaps the best way to read the Zohar is just to read it, let it blow your mind, and get out of it what you get ou
Very interesting. I'm sure I'll never understand the Kabbalah (I'm probably too old to even start trying) but there were several interesting bits in here giving me a different perspective on religion as a whole and Judaism in general. Once again I find myself thinking that if I did have to pick a "culturally acceptable religion," I'd probably be a Jew.
Mr. Matt is, of course, the translator; he is not, so far as I know, identical to the thirteenth-century Spanish Rabbi Moses de Leon, the Zohar's soi-disant editor and likely author.

Marcus Matossian
I read this book out of curiosity from the university Library and found it quite amusing to read and make connections between it and other beliefs.
The translation seems good, but the commentary seems to fall short of higher truth signified by the text in parts.
Terra Bosart
A more simple introduction to the Zohar and Kabbalah, good for beginners or people looking to learn what the Zohar is.
Samuel Holcombe
hey 'christians,' check out yr history. for proverbs fans
I loved the introduction by Andrew Harvey.
Brian Bulfer
major inspiration for my new body of work
Arthur Gershman
Worth the price for the cover illustration.
dated but still a good introduction.
Good introduction but skimpy
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