Zohar or The Zohar, literally "Splendor or Radiance"

Zohar or The Zohar, literally "Splendor or Radiance"
13th Century

Jewish Mystical Writings known in the literature as Kabbalah

Author Quotes

Anyone who walks into that world without knowing the secrets of the Torah will be sent out of all the gates of that world, even if he has acquired many good deeds.

He made this world of below to correspond with the world of above. Everything which is above has its pattern here below and all constitutes a unity.

Miracles are not about extraordinary happenings. They are about the connection to the Light that makes the extraordinary possible, and the (seemingly) ordinary as well. In this sense, the Zohar tells us, raising children is a miracle. So is just staying alive.

The entire lower world was created in the likeness of the higher world. All that exists in the higher world appears like an image in this lower world; yet all this is but One.

This distinguishes the Holy side from the ?Other Side?. Thus are they marked, to distinguish the holiness of Israel [ie. the people of Israel: the Jews] from the impure idol worshipping nations that originate from the ?Other Side,? as we have learned. Just as He marked Yisrael, so did He mark their cattle and their fowl ? to distinguish them from the cattle and fowl of the idol worshipping nations. How happy is the role of Israel!

Woe to the [people of the] world who hide the heart and cover the eyes, not gazing into the secrets of the Torah!

Awe of the Creator is the gateway to everything.

He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face, He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

Now I can understand why so many famous and talented people, who have influenced this world, like Madonna, are attracted to these high teachings of the Kabbalah.

The entire project of existence, even the creation of the universe itself, consists in resolving this duality through the unification of "getting" and "giving" into a single desire to "receive in order to share." When this is accomplished, Kabbalah teaches, the Vessel will at last be prepared to receive the Light of the Creator in full force.

To know and to observe the secret of the soul. What is the soul within him? Where does it come from and why does it come into this body, which is a foul drop that is here today and in the grave tomorrow? To know the world one is in, and for what the world will be corrected, to gaze upon the sublime secrets of the Upper World, and to know one?s Master. And one observes all that from within the secrets of the Torah.

Before God manifested Himself, when all things were still hidden in Him... He began by forming an imperceptible point that was His own thought. With this thought He then began to construct a mysterious and holy form...the Universe.

Hillel used to say, ?If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when??

Once we have internalized the reality of the Creator's love and have learned to recognize His Light in the workings of our everyday lives, we are well on the way toward the unity with God that is our true purpose.

The fundamental interconnection of consciousness and creation is the very essence of the zoharic worldview. To perceive and embrace this unity is to experience the true spirit of Kabbalah.

To understand a holy unity, examine the flame rising from a candle. We see at first two kinds of light, one glistening white and one blue or black. The white light is above and rises in a straight line, the blue or black light is beneath and appears to be the source of the white; yet the two lights are so closely united they form one single flame. But the source formed by the blue or black light is, in turn, attached to the wick under it. The white light never changes, it always remains white; but several shades are distinguishable in the lower light. Moreover, the lower light moves in two opposite directions; above, it is connected to the white light, and below, it is attached to the burning matter; this matter continually consumes itself and rises toward the upper light. It is thus that all that is, reunites with the one unity.

Believe not that man consists solely of flesh, skin, bones, and veins. The real part of man is his soul, and the things just mentioned, the skin, flesh, bones, and veins, are only an outward covering, a veil, but are not the man. When man departs he divests himself of all the veils which cover him. And these different parts of our body correspond to the secrets of the Divine wisdom. The skin typifies the heavens which extend everywhere and cover everything like a garment. The flesh puts us in mind of the evil side of the universe. The bones and the veins symbolize the Divine chariot, the inner powers of man which are the servants of God. But they are all but an outer covering. For, inside man, there is the secret of the Heavenly Man. . . . Everything below takes place in the same manner as everything above. This is the meaning of the remark that God created man in His own image. But just as in the heavens, which cover the whole universe, we behold different shapes brought about by the stars and the planets to teach us concerning hidden things and deep secrets, so upon the skin which covers our body there are shapes and forms which are like planets and stars to our bodies. All these shapes have a hidden meaning, and are observed by the sages who are able to read the face of man.

His eye is ever open and sleepeth not, for it continually keepeth watch. And the appearance of the lower is according to the aspect of the higher light.... His two nostrils like mighty galleries, whence His spirit rushes forth over.

One day Rabbi Yosi was ill. Rabbi Aba and Rabbi Yehuda visited him. They saw him prostrated on his face, sleeping. When he awoke, they saw his face smiling. Rabbi Aba said to him, You have seen something new. He said to them, Indeed, for my soul rose and saw the glory of those who suffered martyrdom for the sanctity of their Master going into thirteen rivers of pure balsam and the Holy One, blessed be He, taking delight in them. I saw what I was given no permission to relate. I asked them saying, Whose glory is this, and they told me it is that of those who loved their Master in that world. From what my soul has seen, my heart is illuminated. Hence my face is smiling.

The incident of the golden calf offers a dramatic case in point. After escaping slavery in Egypt and miraculously crossing the Red Sea, the Israelites arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai. But as we have pointed out, in the Zohar, "Egypt" does not refer to a political or geographical entity. "Egypt" is a coded representation of a spiritual condition. It denotes slavery to the physical world, bondage to the degenerate attractions of material reality, and estrangement from the real treasure and fulfillment, which is the Light of the Creator.

Ultimately, according to Kabbalah, every soul is destined for peace, joy, and the fulfillment that accompanies oneness with the Creator.

Ben Zoma said, ?Who is wise? The one who learns from all people? ?Who is mighty? The one who subdues the evil inclination? ?Who is rich? The who who rejoices in his portion?. ?Who is honored? The one who honors other human beings.?

How hard-hearted are people, for they do not watch over the words of that world at all. The evil in the heart, which clings to all organs of the body, does that to them. ?There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is heavy upon men.? This evil is the force of the evil in the heart that wishes to dominate the worldly matters and does not watch over the matters of that world at all.

One of Kabbalah's most important teachings states that negative thoughts are the origin of chaos in our lives. And of all negative thoughts, doubt may be the deadliest.

The Most Ancient One is at the same time the most Hidden of the hidden. He is separated from all things, and is at the same time not separated from all things. For all things are united in Him, and He unites Himself with all things. There is nothing which is not in Him. He has a shape, and one can say that He has not one. In assuming a shape, He has given existence to all things. He made ten lights spring forth from His midst, lights which shine with the form which they have borrowed from Him, and which shed everywhere the light of a brilliant day. The Ancient One, the most Hidden of the hidden, is a high beacon, and we know Him only by His lights, which illuminate our eyes so abundantly. His Holy Name is no other thing than these lights.

Author Picture
First Name
Zohar or The Zohar, literally "Splendor or Radiance"
Birth Date
13th Century

Jewish Mystical Writings known in the literature as Kabbalah