July 16, 2007

by Reb Yudel
Ronit Meroz teases out multiple authors in the Zohar

The inaugural issue of the Journal for the Study of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jewry Israeli features an article by Ronit Meroz entitled "The Middle Eastern Origins of Kabbalah" in which the Kabbalah scholar unearths old texts buried within the Zohar. The whole article is recommended reading. Here's the conclusion:

In conclusion, in this article we have identified the characteristics of a period of transition situated between the era of Heikhalot literature and the era of Kabbalah. We have defined two texts that belong to this transitional era – The Midrash of R. Isaac and the Babylonian stratum of the Book Bahir, both of which were probably written in the Moslem Middle East. We discovered no new texts, but we were able to identify existing texts as belonging to an era preceding the Kabbalah that were then assimilated into later works such as the Zohar and the Book Bahir. Consequently, if as we have claimed a bilingual unit of the Zohar was written in the 11th century, whereas most of the Zohar was written in the 13th, the thesis of multiple-authorship would be significantly strengthened. Moreover, by paying attention to the characteristics of these two texts – angelology, intense interest in the Shekhinah, special interest in the World to Come and a Gnostic view of Wisdom's fall (an idea found only in the
Babylonian branch) – we may identify the connection between these two eras and understand how Kabbalah, starting in the 12th century, grew out of this infrastructure. The 'subterranean levels' that constitute the origins of Kabbalah now seem to shine through from within the famous and known texts--like apples of gold in a filigree of silver.
Read the whole 18-page PDF here

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Comments
#1

Her thesis that a part of the Zohar was written in Hebrew and later translated to Arameic was anitcipated by R. Chizkiah Medini, Sde Chemed , see http://www.avakesh.com/2007/05/in_honor_of_lag.html

Posted by: osoavakesh at July 24, 2007 10:59 AM
#2

BS"D

>> we have identified ...
>> We have defined ...
>> We discovered ...
>> we have claimed ...
>> we may identify ...

How interesting to see people so full of themselves to think that they are perfectly right about anything they say and that generations and generations of Sages and Rabbinical knowdledge are worthless, Chass Veshalom.
That would be a Kabbalah scholar?

Posted by: zohar at March 16, 2009 7:18 AM
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