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ZOHAR (Heb. זֹהַר; "[The Book of] Splendor"), the central work in the literature of the *Kabbalah.


In some parts of the book the name "Zohar" is mentioned as the title of the work. It is also cited by the Spanish kabbalists under other names, such as the Mekhilta de-R. Simeon b. Yoḥai, in imitation of the title of one of the halakhic Midrashim, in Sefer ha-Gevul of David b. Judah he-Ḥasid; the Midrash de-R. Simeon b. Yoḥai, in several books dating from the period of the pupils of Solomon b. Abraham *Adret, in the Livnat ha-Sappir of Joseph Angelino, the homilies of Joshua *Ibn Shu'ayb, and the books of Meir ibn *Gabbai; Midrash ha-Zohar, according to Isaac b. Joseph ibn Munir (see He-Ḥalutz, 4 (1859), 85); Midrash Yehi Or in the Menorat ha-Ma'or of Israel *al-Nakawa, apparently because he had a manuscript of the Zohar which began with a commentary on the verse "Let there be light" (Gen. 1:3). Several statements from the Zohar were quoted in the first generation after its appearance, under the general title of Yerushalmi, in the writings of, for example, Isaac b. *Sahula, *Moses de Leon, and David b. Judah he-Ḥasid, and in the (fictitious) responsa of Rav Hai in the collection Sha'arei Teshuvah.


G. Scholem, Bibliographia Kabbalistica (1933), 66–210; M. Kunitz, Ben Yoḥai (1815); S.J. Rapoport, Naḥalat Yehudah (1873); S.Z. Anushinski, Maẓẓav ha-Yashar (1881–87); D. Luria, Kadmut Sefer ha-Zohar (1887); H. Zeitlin, Be-Fardes ha-Ḥasidut ve-ha-Kabbalah (1960), 55–279; D. Neumark, Toledot ha-Filosofyah be-Yisrael, 1 (1921), 204–45, 326–54; H.S. Neuhausen, Zohorei Zohar (1929); idem, in: Oẓar ha-Ḥayyim, 13 (1937), 51–59; J.A.Z. Margaliot, Middot Rashbi (1937); idem, Kokho de-Rashbi (1948); J.L. Zlotnik, Midrash ha Meliẓah ha-Ivrit (1938); Y. Baer, in: Zion, 5 (1940), 1–44; I. Tishby, Mishnat ha-Zohar (1957–61); idem, in: Perakim (1967–68), 131–82; Scholem, Mysticism, 156–243, 385–407; idem, in: Zion (Me'assef), 1 (1926), 40–56; idem, in: MGWJ, 75 (1931), 347–62, 444–48; idem, in: Tarbiz, 19 (1948), 160–75; 24 (1955), 290–306; idem, in: Sefer Assaf (1953), 459–95; idem, in: Le-Agnon Shai (1959), 289–305; idem, On the Kabbalah and its Symbolism (1965), 32–86; E. Gottlieb, Ha-Kabbalah be-Khitvei Rabbenu Baḥya ben Asher (1970), 167–93; R. Margulies, Malakhei Elyon (19642); idem, Sha'arei Zohar (1956); S.A. Horodezky, Ha-Mistorin be-Yisrael, 2 (1952), 266–339; P. Sandler, in: Sefer Urbach (1955), 222–35; M.Z. Kadari, Dikduk ha-Lashon ha-Aramit shel ha-Zohar (1970); idem, in: Tarbiz, 27 (1958), 265–77; M. Kasher, in: Sinai Jubilee Volume (1958), 40–56; S. Belkin, in: Sura, 3 (1958), 25–92; A. Franck, The Kabbalah: The Religious Philosophy of the Hebrews (19672); E. Waite, The Secret Doctrine in Israel (1913); A. Bension, The Zohar in Moslem and Christian Spain (1932); R.J.Z. Werblowsky, in: JJS, 10 (1959), 25–44, 113–35; D.H. Joel, Midrash haZohar: Die Religionsphilosophie des Sohar und ihr Verhaeltnis zur allgemeinen juedischen Theologie (19233); A. Jellinek, Moses b. Schem-Tob de Leon und sein Verhaeltnis zum Sohar (1851); Graetz, Gesch, 7, 430–48; I. Stern, in: Ben Chananja, 1–4 (1858–62); W. Bacher, in: REJ, 22 (1891), 33–46, 219–9; S. Karppe, Etude sur les origines et la nature du Zohar (1901); E. Mueller, Der Sohar und seine Lehre (19593); M. Preis, in: MGWJ, 72 (1928), 167–84; Etudes et Correspondance de Jean de Pauly relatives au Sepher ha-Zohar (1933); H. Sérouya, La Kabbale (19572), 198–395; F. Secret, in: Etudes Juives, 10 (1964); M. Benayahu, Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Cremona (1971), 206–9. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, tr. and commentary by D.C. Matt, vols. 1–3 (2004–6); D. Abrams, "When the 'Introduction' to the Zohar was Written, and Changes Within Differing Copies of the Mantua Printing," in: Asufot, 8 (1994), 211–26 (Heb.); idem, "The Zohar as a Book: On the Assumptions and Expectations of the Kabbalists and Modern Scholarship," in: Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts, 12 (2004), 201–32; M. Hellner-Eshed, "Ve-Nahar Yoẓe me-Eden": Al Sefat ha-Havayah ha-Mistit ba-Zohar (Heb., 2005); B. Huss, "Sefer ha-Zohar as a Canonical, Sacred and Holy Text," in: Journal of Jewish Studies, 7 (1998), 275–307; idem, "The Anthological Interpretation: The Emergence of Anthologies of Zohar Commentaries in the Seventeenth Century," in: Prooftexts, 19 (1999); idem, "Ḥakham adif mi-Navi: Rabbi Shim'on Bar Yohai u-Moshe Rabbeinu ba-Zohar," in: Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts, 4 (1998), 103–39; idem, "Hofaato shel Sefer ha-Zohar," in: Tarbiz, 70 (2001), 507–42 (Heb.); P. Giller, The Enlightened Will Shine, Symbolization and Theurgy in the Later Strata of the Zohar (1993); idem, Reading the Zohar: The Sacred Text of the Kabbalah (2000); A. Goldreich, "Beirurim bi-Re'iato ha-Aẓmit shel Ba'al Tikkunei Zohar," in: M. Oron and A. Goldreich, Masuot (1994), 459–96; A. Green, A Guide to the Zohar (2004); M. Idel, Kabbalah: New Perspectives (1998); idem, Absorbing Perfections (2002); Y. Liebes, Studies in the Zohar, tr. by A. Schwartz, S. Nakache, and P. Peli (1993); idem, Perakim be-Millon Sefer ha-Zohar (Heb., 1983); idem, "Zohar ve-Eros," in: Alpayim, 9 (1994), 67–119 (Heb.); idem, "Ha-Zohar ke-Renesans," in: Da'at, 46 (2001), 5–11 (Heb.); idem, Torat ha-Yeẓirah shel Sefer Yeẓirah (2000); D.C. Matt, "'New-Ancient Words': The Aura of Secrecy in the Zohar," in: P. Schäfer and J. Dan (eds.), Gershom Scholem's "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism": 50 Years After (1994), 181–207; R. Meroz, "Zoharic Narratives and Their Adaptations," in: Hispania Judaica, 3 (2001), 3–63; idem, Yuvalei Zohar: Li-She'elat Mekorotav shel ha-Zohar ve-Ofen Ḥibburo (Heb., 2006); idem, "Va-Ani lo Hayiti Sham?" in: Tarbiz, 71 (2002), 163–94 (Heb.); I.M. Ta-Shma, Ha-Nigleh she-ba-Nistar (Heb., 20012); I. Tishby (Heb. trans. and ed.), The Wisdom of the Zohar: An Anthology of Texts, tr. David Goldstein (1989); C. Mopsik, Le Zohar, vol. 1 (1981); vol. 2 (1984); vol. 3 (1991); vol. 4 (1996); Le Zohar: Le Livre de Ruth (1987); Lamentations, traduction annotation et introduction (2000); idem, "The Body of Engenderment in the Hebrew Bible, the Rabbinic tradition and the Kabbalah," in: Fragments for a History of the Human Body (1989), 48–73; H. Pedaya, Ha-Mareh ve-ha-Dibbur, Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism, 8 (Heb., 2002); E. Wolfson, Through a Speculum That ShinesVision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (1994); idem, The Book of the Pomegranate, Moses De Leon's Sefer ha-Rimmon (1988); idem, "Beautiful Maiden Without Eyes – Peshat and Sod in Zoharic Hermeneutics," in: M. Fishbane (ed.), The Midrashic Imagination: Jewish Exegesis, Thought and History (1993), 155–203; idem, "Hai Gaon's Letter and Commentary on Aleynu: Further Evidence of Moses de Leon's Pseudepigraphic Activity," in: JQR, 81 (1991), 365–410; idem, "Left Contained in Right: A Study in Zoharic Hermeneutics," in: AJS Review, 11 (1986), 27–52; idem, "Letter Symbolism and Merkavah Imagery in the Zohar," in: M. Hallamish (ed.), Alei Shefer: Studies in the Literature of Jewish Thought Presented to Rabbi Dr. Alexandre Safran (1990), 195–236 (English section); idem, "Forms of Visionary Ascent as Ecstatic Experience in the Zoharic Literature," in: P. Schäfer and J. Dan (eds.), Gershom Scholem's "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism", 50 Years After (1993), 209–35; O. Israeli, Parshanut ha-Sod ve-Sod ha-Parshanut: Megamot Midrashiyyot ve-Hermanoitiyot be-'Saba de-Mishpatim' she-ba-Zohar, Sources and Studies in the Literature of Jewish Mysticism, 17 (Heb., 2005).