Zohar (The Book of Radiance)

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The Zohar is an important source for Kabbalistic study

While written in Aramaic (the colloquial language of Israel during the Second Temple period 539 BCE – 70 CE), the Zohar or Book of Radiance, also known as the Book of Splendour, first appeared in Spain during the 13th century.

This masterwork, which is central to the The Kabbalah and the Jewish Grimoire Tradition, appears to have been authored by someone whose native language was not actually Aramaic and the vocabulary reflects speech type commonly used in medieval Spanish and Portuguese. It was published by Moses de León who ascribed the work to a 2nd century CE rabbi named Shimon bar Yochai or “Rashbi." Rashbi supposedly hid in a cave for thirteen years during the Roman occupation and, while inspired by the Prophet Elijah, wrote the Zohar.

The Zohar reveals the complex concept of the sefirot — ten divine, understandable forces or attributes of the ultimate state of God.


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