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The Wisdom of the Zohar : An Anthology of Texts (three volumes) Paperback – 1 Sep 1991


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For over thirty years, Isaiah Tishby s study of the Zohar has been hailed as a classic, a landmark in modern Hebrew letters. Beautifully written and deeply learned, it has opened the recondite world of the Zohar to more than a generation of Hebrew readers. Thus, the appearance of the long-awaited English translation is a cause for celebration . . . its mysterious power remains largely intact . . . The Zohar . . . is the richest, most imaginative work in the annals of Jewish mysticism . . . Tishby s selection of primary sources is exemplary, and the commentaries to them, lucid . . . the unusually fine, exacting translation . . . the English reader remains in Goldstein s debt. Excellent indices have been provided, as well as an updated bibliography. . . . essential reading for anyone seeking to plumb critically the depths of the Jewish mystical tradition . . . this is a classic about a classic. --Elliott Ginsburg, Journal of Religion

We thought we had understood the Zohar but Tishby showed us the mystical level, and we never read the Zohar the same way again. . . . Now the splendour of the Book of Splendour is available for all to see. The masterful work of Tishby has been complemented by a masterful translation by Goldstein. . . . This work is a solid step into a substantial and new view of what religion is about; it should be a part of every scholarly library, in religion as well as in Jewish studies. --David R. Blumenthal, Journal of the American Academy of Religion

An indispensable guide . . . stylishly and accurately translated . . . The bewildering diversity of the Zoharic literature is made manageable by the arrangement of the most important passages as an anthology under subject headings, while the lucid notes and introductions to each section by Isaiah Tishby throw light on even the most obscure passages. --Hyam Maccoby, European Judaism

About the Author

Isaiah Tishby was Emeritus Professor of Philosophical, Mythical, and Ethical Hebrew at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem until his death in 1992. He was awarded the Bialik Prize 1972, the Israel Prize 1979, and the Rothschild Prize 1982, mainly for his work on The Wisdom of the Zohar.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
A Trustworthy Translation of the Zohar 7 Dec. 2001
By Tan Kwan Seng - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In getting any stuff translated into English, one question that arises is "Is this a good translation of the original?" and this is especially important when we intend to read "holy stuff".
"The Wisdom of the Zohar" is a set of 3 books (Volumes I, II and III), totalling more than 1500 pages. Isaiah Tishby was awarded the Bialik Prize (1972), the Israel Prize (1979) and the Rothschild Prize (1982) mainly for this work on "The Wisdom of the Zohar". David Goldstein was awarded the Webber Prize (1987) for the translation into English.
Numerous footnotes appear corresponding to various verses to clarify the meanings which are not obvious. These I find particularly useful and make things understandable and avoiding misinterpretation on the part of the reader.
Volume I covers the historical and literary background of the Zohar (half of the book) and Part I - The Godhead (about En-Sof and the World of Emanation, Sefirot, and Shekkinah).
The second book, Volume II comprises Parts II, III, and IV. Part II is about the forces of Uncleanness, and activity of such, and also about demons and spirits eg. Lilith, Naamah, etc. Part III is about creation of Worlds and also about Angels and our natural world. Part IV is about the doctrine of Man (the three souls, body and soul connection, sleep & dreams, and Death).
Volume III is the thickest book and comprise Parts V (Sacred Worship) and VI (Practical Life - Morality, Conjugal Life, the Righteous & the Wicked, Repentence).
If you are interested in reading the Zohar in English, this is a good translation, and as demystified as it can be...
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding 23 Aug. 2004
By L. Meissner Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A "must" for any English speaking serious student of the Zohar.

While scholarly, plainly written and easy to read, and free from jargon. The introductory chapters that introduce the Kabbalah and the Zohar are plainly written for those without a background in Hebrew history and linguistics. Captivating and interesting. Hard to put down while reading. Lots of footnotes for the scholars as well. Well worth the purchase price. While it is three volumes, don't be intimidated by the size (nearly 1600 pages). It is a faster read if one skims over the footnotes, indices and appendices. Hint: shop around before buying.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Wisdom of the Zohar 1 Nov. 2009
By B. Strear-Dubin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just what we wanted...an exploratory reference for our study and understanding of Kabbalah. So happy our teacher recommended this Anthology.
i wish this was available through the Kindle 29 Jan. 2015
By galutia.family - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i have bought this Zohar set twice. i lost the first one in a divorce lol. this set is a topological index of the zohar. otherwise known as a "Otzer Ha-Zohar". for those wanting an easy to look up reference index to the zohar this is a great start. for those looking for a pristine critical text i would recomend Daniel Matt's Zohar. i have volume 1 - 5 of that and it is the best hands down for a full volume set.

the one thing i really wish for this book set is that they would release a digital copy for the Kindle. this would make it a bit easier to search through when i am trying to dig up some information.
19 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Peerless in its field --- wisdom literature. 2 May 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
There is no higher wisdom. If you're lucky enough to find this book, get it
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