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| First-Ever Zohar English Translation Published by Stanford University

Chaya V    
Sunday, 16 September 8:20 AM
In one of the dramatic passages of the Zohar, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the work’s protagonist author, declares that the secrets now being uttered are worthy of being revealed only between the “Companions, who are in this holy ring” – that is, the group of those who possess the secret, namely, Rabbi Shimon’s pupils (Zohar 3: 132b; Vol. 8, p. 359). 

This is the well-known pseudepigraphic setting that the Zohar, which was written in 13th-century Spain, chose to assume: a circle of cognoscenti gathered around Rabbi Shimon in the Land of Israel of the first centuries of the Common Era. The use of the term “holy ring” allows a glimpse into the consciousness of the authors, who are bent on creating a text that is fraught with a deep element of the “secret.” Indeed, the tension between the revealed and the concealed is a theme that runs through the Zohar, and the Zoharic dialectic around it is one of the most beautiful and gentle dances of Hebrew mysticism.


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