By Nathan Wolski
An advent to the Zohar, the crowning paintings of medieval Kabbalah. contains unique translations and research.
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Additional resources for A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of Radiance
While the verses In the Mountains of Kurdistan 35 are cited in shorthand only, when read in their complete form, they reveal many of the Zohar’s fundamental assumptions about the nature of Torah and her relationship with her lovers: The Torah of YHVH is perfect, renewing life; The decrees of YHVH are enduring, making the simple wise (mahkimat peti). The precepts of YHVH are just, rejoicing the heart; The instruction of YHVH is lucid, enlightening the eyes . . sweeter than honey, than drippings of the comb.
Rabbi El’azar said: How precious is Your loving-kindness O God—that I found you. The Blessed Holy One has shown us loving-kindness in this place. Now light the lamps! As happens frequently in the Zohar, the Companions find their way to a cave. As we shall observe repeatedly, caves occupy an important place in zoharic narratives, their mysterious ambience providing a wondrous backdrop for the Companions’ expositions. Their cavernous or womb-like quality also recalls Malkhut, the divine female, and in entering the cave, the Companions, as it were, enter Malkhut whom they will now array and illuminate with their Torah innovations.
Rabbi Yose opened, saying: Be-ha’alotekha, When you light the lamps—be-ha’alotekha, when you elevate, literally, [that is] when you light. For behold the priest performs two services as one, a single bond. And what are they? Oil and incense, as it is written, Oil and incense rejoice the heart (Prov. 27:9). It is written, Aaron shall burn upon it aromatic incense, morning after morning, when he dresses (be-heitivo) the lamps he shall burn it (Exod. 30:7) and it is written, And when Aaron lights (be-ha’alot) the lamps at twilight he shall burn it (ibid.
A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of Radiance by Nathan Wolski