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Zohar: The Book of Splendor: Basic Readings from the Kabbalah

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  446 Ratings  ·  20 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 is 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
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 7th 1995 by Schocken
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Jeffrey Cohan
Dec 13, 2010 Jeffrey Cohan rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality, judaism
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
Gabriel Clarke
Oct 06, 2016 Gabriel Clarke rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
This has been on my shelf for a while. The star rating is, of course, wholly meaningless when applied to this kind of text. Baffling, frustrating, but occasionally illuminating. One to come back to when I'm better informed.
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.
Jun 15, 2007 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaism, mysticism
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
Jan 14, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Terra Bosart
A more simple introduction to the Zohar and Kabbalah, good for beginners or people looking to learn what the Zohar is.
Mar 04, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it
This slender volume has deepened my appreciation of the hidden wisdom contained in the Old Testament. I want to read more on the subject of the Kabbalah.
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
Dec 28, 2009 Marcus Matossian rated it really liked it
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.
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