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Jewish authors adopted preferably the three following names for the grand monument of the Kabbalah:

1. ‏מדרשו‎ (Midroshau)--his Midrash, or, ‏מדרש של ר׳ שמעון בן יוחאי‎ (Midrosh shel R. Simeon ben Yohai)--the Midrash of Simeon ben Yohai. Under this name the Zohar appears with the following authors: Behai (died 1340), 1 Commentary to the Pentateuch, section Mishpatim; R. Simeon ben Zemach Duran (died 1444), Responsa, vol. III, questions 56 and 57; R. Meier ben Gabbai (born 1481), Abodath ha-Kodesh; 2 R. Judah Moscato (died 1580), Nefuzat Yehudah (fol. 1166, 211a). This name guarantees the genuineness of the work.

2. ‏מדרש יהי אור‎ (Midrash Y’hi Or)--Midrash Let There be Light. So named by Abraham ben Samuel Zacuto (flourished 1502) in his "Sefer ha-Yuhasin" under ‏רשב״י‎, and by Hayim Joseph David Azulai (died 1807) in his "Shem ha-G’dolim,"

p. 309

vol. II, fol. 49b. The probable reason for adopting this title by these authors is to be found in the fact that a few manuscripts of the Zohar begin with the commentary to the verse ‏יהי אור‎--Let there be Light (Gen. 1, 3); or, what is more probable, to point out the illumination that is bound to accrue to the reader of this work.

3. ‏זהר‎ (Zohar), Splendor, Brightness. So called according to Daniel XII, 3. ‏והמשכילים יזהירו בזהר הרקיע‎--And the Wise shall shine as the Brightness of the firmament. Compare ‏זעיא מהימנא‎ Zohar, vol. III, fol. 64a in the Sulzbach edition. 3 This last name has become the predominating one since the author of "Yuhasin" in 1502.



1. The first edition of the Zohar was published by R. Meier ben Ephraim and Jacob ben Naftali at Mantua in 1560. 3 vol. 4°.

2. In the same year it was again published in folio at Cremona. The preface to this edition, written by Yitzhak de Lattes, dates from 1558 to which the ‏פרט‎, ‏יריעאף יצריח‎ points.

3. According to R. Yisahar Beer (‏אמדי בינה‎, end of preface. Compare also Bartolocci, Magna Bibliotheca Rabbinica, vol. IV, p. 446) an edition of the Zohar appeared also at Venice.

4. Levi ben Kalonymos published a folio edition of the Zohar at Lublin in 1623. In this edition the numbering of the pages is the same as in that of the Cremona edition. Von Rosenroth considers this edition very faulty.

5. The last named scholar had a Zohar printed, also folio, at Sulzbach in 1684.

6. Another edition, patterned after the Mantua edition, appeared at Amsterdam in 1714.

p. 310

7. An edition printed at Constantinople in 1736 (Molitor, vol. I, p. 76).

8. Another edition at Amsterdam in 1805.

9. Milsahagi, author of ‏ספר דאב״יה‎ quotes also a Salonica edition.

Editions 2, 4 and 5, because printed in folio, are usually called ‏זהר גדול‎ (Zohar Godaul--Large Zohar); the others, because printed in quarto, are designated ‏זהר קטן‎ (Zohar Kotaun--Small Zohar).



Besides the

1. Zohar (‏זהר‎) proper which serves as commentary to the Pentateuch, this work contains also:

2. Sifra d-Zeniuta (Book of Mystery),

3. Idra Rabba (Great Assembly),

4. Idra Zutah (Small Assembly),

5. Saba (The old man),

6. Midrash Ruth 4 (fragments only),

7. Sefer ha-Bahir (Book of Brightness),

8: Tosefta (Addendum),

9. Raya Mehemna (The Faithful Shepherd),

10. Hekalot (Palaces),

11. Sitra Torah (The mysteries of the Law),

12. Midrash ha Ne’elam (The hidden Midrash),

13. Razi di Razin (Mystery of Mysteries),

14. Midrash Hassid (Midrash to Song of Songs),

15. Maamar Ta-Hazee (Treatise which begins with "come and see."),

16. Yanuka (Boy),

17. Pakuda (Explanation of the Law),

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18. Hibbura Kadma-ah (Previous Work),

19. Mathnithin (Doctrines).

All these elements are to be found in the Sulzbach edition; the Mantua edition contains only Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11 and 12. 5



1. A Hebrew translation of the Zohar (manuscript), written in 1506, from section ‏אחרי מות‎ to the end of the work and bearing the title ‏מראות העבאות‎ is in possession of S. D. Luzatto, professor at the Rabbinic College at Padua. Compare the Hebrew Year Book ‏ברם חמד‎ (Prague, Landau 8.) VII, 79.

2. Zevi Hirsch ben Yerachmiel of Krakau in his book ‏נחלת עבי‎ (Frankfort O. M. 1711), translated into Jargon some fragments of the Zohar. Wolf, B. H. I. 999.

3. The "Book of Mysteries," the Idra Rabba and the Idra Zutah were translated into Latin by Rosenroth in the second volume of his "Kabbalah denudata."

4. Several fragments of the Zohar have been translated into French by the author of this book, and by the translator into

5. German. 6

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1 Kabbala denudata. The Kabbalah unveiled. Containing the following books of the Zohar:. 1. The Book of Concealed Mystery. 2. The Greater Holy Assembly. Translated into English from the Latin version of Knorr von Rosenroth by S. L. M. Mathers. London 1887, 359 p. 8°.

2 Qabbalah. Quotations from the Zohar and other writings. Treating of the Qabbalistic or Divine Philosophy. By Isaac Myer, LL.B. Reprinted from Oriental Review 1893. 7 p.

3 Scattered passages may be found in the Theosophical literature, as in Isis Unveiled by Blavatsky and in the "Word" a theosophical publication.

4 The Sepher Ha-Zohar; or the Book of Light. By Nurko de Manhar. An English translation of the Zohar from Section Genesis to Section Lekh Lekah. In "the Word," a theosophical publication; vols. 5 to 17; 1907-1913.


1 Sepher ha-Zohar. (Le livre de la splendeur.) Doctrine Esoterique Des Israelites. Traduit pour la première fois sur le texte chaldaique et accompagné de notes par Jean De Pauly. Oeuvre posthume entièrement revue corrigée et completée. Publiée par . . . Emile Lafuma-Giraud. 8°. v. 6. Paris 1906-1912.

2 Le Zohar; traduction française de Henri Chateau, avec lettre-préface de Papus. Paris 1895. 210 p. 8°.

3 Paul Vulliaud. La Kabbala Juive Histoire et Doctrine. Tome Second.

Chapitre XVII. Comment il faut lire le "Sepher ha-Zohar. p. 111-136.

4 Albert Jounet. La Clef Du Zohar, 231 p. Paris 1909.


1 Selected passages from the Zohar in the yearbook "Vom Judentum" (Bergman, Mueller) as well as in the periodicals "Der Jude" 1916-1920 (Mueller, Seidman) and "Freie Lebensstimme," 1919 (Fiebig).

2 Seidman, Jankew. Aus dem heiligen Buche Sohar. Eine Auswahl. Berlin 1920.

3 Tholuck, Wichtige Stellen des rabbinischen Buches Sohar. Berlin 1824.

p. 313

4 Die juedische Mystik und Kabbala. Von Dr. Philipp Bloch. Der Sohar, der Abschluss der Kabbala, p. 270-282 (In "Die Juedische Literatur" edited by Winter and Wunsche. Vol. III.)

5 Stern, Ignatz. Versuch einer umstaendlichen Analyse des Sohar. "Ben Chananya" Monthly for Jewish Theology. p. 1-111. Years 1858-1860.


Rosenberg, Yudel. ‏ספר הזוהר‎.

Zeitlin, Hillel. ‏מפתח נספר הזוהר‎ In the "Hat’kufa" pgs. 314-334.


Setzer, S. In the "Wort" 1921-1925.


1 S. Karppe. Etude sur les Origines et la Nature du Zohar. Paris 1901. p. 604, 8°.

2 Levi, E. Le Livre des Splendeurs. Paris 1894, p. 333. 8°.

3 Bischoff, Erich, Die Elemente der Kabbalah; Uebersetzungen, Erlaeuterungen und Abhandlungen. (Geheime Wissenschaften) 1. Theoretische Kabbalah. 2. Praktische Kabbalah. Berlin 1913. 8°.

4 Gewurz, Elias. The hidden treasures of the Ancient Kabbalah. Chicago, 1918. IV. 16°.

5 Ginsburg, Christian David. The Kabbalah. Its doctrines, development and literature. London 1865. 163p. 8°.

6 Langer, George. Die Erotik der Kabbala. Prag 1923. 167p. 8°.

7 Misses, Isaac. Darstellung und kritische Beleuchtung der juedischen Geheimlehee. Heft 1-2. Krakau 1862-63--2 pts. in IV. 8°.

8 Pick, Bernard. The Zohar and its influence on the Cabala. Open Court. 24 (1910). 233-243.

9 Waite, Arthur Edmund. The doctrine and literature of the Kabbalah. London 1902. 508p. 8°.

10 Waite, A. E. The secret doctrine in Israel; a study of the Zohar and its connections. London 1913. 329 p. 8°.

11 Westcott, Lynn. Introduction to the Kabbalah.

12 Burazla, S. ‏ס׳מקדש מלךּ פּי׳ על מ׳ הזוהר‎ Przemysl, 1871-80. 3 pt. in IV. 8°

13 Lurie, D. ‏ס׳ נפש דוד כולל באורים והגהות על הזוהר‎ Wilna 1882, 28p. 4°.

14 Mueller, Ernst. Der Sohar und seine Lehre. Einleitung in die Gedankenwelt der Kabbalah. Wien 1920, 79p. 8°. (See "Textproben" p. 63-79.)

15 Bergman, Hugo. Die Heiligung des Namens. In the Year Book "Vom Judentum," Leipzig, 1913, and in "Jawne and Jerusalem." Berlin 1919.

16 Landauer M. H. "Vorlaeufiger Bericht ueber meine Entdeckungen in Ansehung des Sohar" and appendix thereto. "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1845.

17 Sellin. Die Geisteswissenschaftliche Bedeutung des Sohar. Berlin 1913.

18 Siener, Meir. Die Lyrik der Kabbalah. Eine Antalogie. Wien 1920.

p. 314

19 Bloch, Geschichte und Entwickelung der Kabbala. Trier 1894.

20 Azulai, ‏ס׳ זהרי חמח, זהוא פירוש על הזוהר (בראשית) בקיצור‎

21 Luzzato, Samuel David, ‏שיחה ע״ד הזוהר‎

22 Kunitz, Moses. ‏בן יוחאי‎. Wien 1815.

23 Langer, M, D. George. Die Erotik der Kabbala. p. 167. Prag 1923.



1 Castelli. Il Commento di Sabbatai Donnolo, Florence 1880.

2 Postell. Abraham Patriarchae Liber Iezirah, Paris 1552.

3 Pistor. Liber Iezirah, in Ars Cabalistica, Basel 1557.

4 Rittangel in the Amsterdam edition of 1642.

5 ‏מ׳יצירה . . . ערוד ומסודר מחדש בנוסחא נכונה . . . מאת פינחם . . . הכהן מארדעל.‎ Philadelphia 1895.

6 ‏פירוש ספר יצירה להרב הנשיא ר׳ יהודה בר׳ ברזילו הברצלוני, יוצא לאור ראשונה מתוךּ ס״ו עם מבוא והגהות והערות מאת שלמה זלמן היים האלבערשמאם עם

הערות נוספית מאת דוד קויפמאנן.‎ Berlin 1885. 354p.

7 Benjacob, ‏אוער הספרים‎, pp. 228-229.

8 Rosenthal in ‏כנסת ישראל‎ v. 2 pp. 29-68.

9 ‏ס׳ יצירה, בעברית ואננלית, דר׳ איזידאר קאליש‎. New York 1877. This is the Hebrew title page of the book by the same author mentioned later on.

10 S. Bernfeld, ‏דעת אלהים‎, pp. 106-110, Warsaw 1897.

11 ‏ספר יצירה עם פי׳ מספק. קארעץ, תקל׳ט‎

12 ‏ספר יצירה, עם חמשה פירושים, פי׳ הראב״ר, רב סערי׳ נאון, ר׳ אליעזר מנרמיזא, ר׳ משה בוטדיל, והנאון אליהן מווילנא, לעמבערג תר׳ב.‎

13 ‏  ספר יצירה עם פי׳ מספיק. קארעץ, הקל׳ט‎

14 ‏ספר יצירה. לך׳ מנחם מענדיל עקשטיין מארמאראשיסונעט. תר״ע.‎

15 ‏ספר יצירה להערביאים אן אבן החכמים (היא אמונת האלכימיאה) בשבעה פרקים מאת ד׳ר שלמה ראבין (השחר שנת ששית) וויען תרל״ה.‎

16 Sepher Ietzirah (‏ספר יצירה‎), traduction du livre cabalistique de la creation. Calomira de Cimara, Paris 1913.

17 Epstein, A. Recherches sur le Sefer Yecira. Versailles 1894. 35p.

18 Commentaire sur le Sefer Yesira du Livre de la Création par Le Gaon Saadya De Fayyoum. Publié et traduit par Mayer Lambert, Paris 1891. 128p.

19 S. Karppe, Etude sur les Origines et la Nature du Zohar. (Le Sefer Yezirah, pp. 139-168).

20 Ad. Franck, La Kabbale, pp. 103-119. Paris 1892. (See also German translation by Jellinek pp. 57-65.)

21 Paul Vulliand, La Kabbale Juive, Le Sepher Ietzirah, V. I Chap. 6, pp. 195-220.

22 Papus, La Cabbale. Troisième Partie. Le Sefer Ietzirah, pp. 175-235. Paris 1903.

23 Charles-M. Limousin, La Kabbale Litterale Occidentale. Les 32 Voiés de la Sagesse du "Sefer Ietzirah." Paris.

24 ‏ספר יצירה‎ Sepher Yetzira, the book of Formation and the Thirty-two paths of wisdom. Translated from the Hebrew . . . by W. W. Westcott. Bath 1887, 29p.

25 ‏ספר יצירה‎, The Book of Formation (Sepher Yetzirah) by Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph, translated by Kunt Stenring; with an introduction

p. 315

by Arthur Edward Waite. London 1923, 66p.

26 J. Abelson. Jewish Mysticism. Chap. V. The Book Yetzirah. pp. 98-116. London 1913.

27 Kalish, I. A Sketch of the Talmud. New York 1887.

28 Maurice Fluegel, Philosophy, Qabbala and Vedanta. Chap. V, Yetzirah. Book of Creation, pp. 136-152. Baltimore 1902.

29 H. Sperling, Jewish Mysticism, in Simon's "Aspects of the Hebrew Genius", pp. 145-176.

30 Mordell, Phineas, Origin of the Letters and Numerals in Sefer Yetzirah. In Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 2 New Series pp. 557-583; Vol. 3 N. S. pp. 517-544.

31 Ginsburg, C. D. The Kabbalah: Its Doctrines, Development and Literature, pp. 65-75.

32 Der Buch Yezira . . . Nebst den zweyunddreyssig Wegen der Weisheit. Hebraeisch und Deutsch, mit Einleitung, Anmerkungen und einem Glossarium. Hersg. von J. V. Meyer, Leipzig 1830, 36.

33 ‏ס׳ יצירה‎, Das Buch der Schoepfung. Kritisch redigirter Text, nebst Uebersetzung, Varianten, Amerkungen, Erklaerungen und einer Einleitung von L. Goldschmidt. Frankfurt, 1894. 92p.

34 Greatz, H. Gnosticismua und Judentum, Breslau 1846. pp. 102-132.

35 Dr. Philip Bloch, Die Juedische Mystik und Kabbala. In the "Juedische Litteratur" edited by Sinter and Wuensche, Vol. 3, pp. 240-248.

36 Z. Epstein. Studien zum Yezira-Buche und seinen Erklaeren. I. Die beiden Versionen des Jezira-Buches. pp. 266-269; II. Der Text Donnolo's und II Mantua, pp. 458-462. In Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judenthums, vol. 37, p. 186.

37 A. Epstein, Pseudo-Saadja's und Elasar Rokeah's Commentare zum Jezira-Buche. Die Recension Saadja's pp. 75-78, 117-120. In Monats. fuer G. u. W. d. J. v. 37. 1893.

38 Erich Bischoff, Die Elemente der Kabbalah. Das Buch Jezirah, pp. 63-80. Berlin 1913.

39 Jellinek, Adolph, Beitraege zur Geschichte der Kabbalah. Jezirah pp. 3-18. Leipzig 1913.

40 D. H. Joel, ‏מדרש הזוהר‎, Die Religionsphilosophie des Sohar. Analyse des Sefer Jezirah, pp. 75-77.

41 A. Epstein, Besprechung, ‏ספר יצירה‎, Das Buch der Schoepfung von Lazarus Goldschmidt. In Monatsschrift fuer Gesch. u. Wiss. d. Jud. v. 39, pp. 46-48, 134-136.

42 Fuerst, Bibl. Jud. I, 27-28.

43 Bacher, Die Anfaenge der Hebraeischen Grammatik, pp. 20-23. Leipzig 1895.

44 Zedner, Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus. p. 13.

45 M. Steinschneider, Pseudo-Saadia's Commentar zum Buche Jezira. In Berliner's Magazin, v. 19, pp. 79-85.

46 M. Steinschneider, in Cat. Bodl. cols. 552-554.

47 Neumark, David, Geschichte der Juedischen Philosophie des Mittelalters. Kabbala, 170-236.


308:1 Behai (Bahya) ben Asher ben Halevi. Not to be confounded with the well known philosopher Behai ben Joseph ibn Pakuda of the eleventh century, author of "Hoboth Halvovoth (‏חובות הלבבות‎).--Transl.

308:2 Omitted in the Jewish Encyclopedia. Listed in "Seder Hadoreth."--Transl.

309:3 The passage quoted from ‏רעיא מהימנא‎ refutes also Milsahagis ‏ראבי״ה‎, fol. 20b) contention about the genesis of this name, and justifies Zunz's (Sermons, p. 406) explanation,--Jellinek

310:4 I know of no reason why this Midrash was named after the Book of Ruth. Jellinek

311:5 Wolf (Bibliotheca hebraea I, 1141) is mistaken when he adds, after counting the ‏ספרא דעניעותא‎, among the elements of the Cremona edition, the following: Mantuana vero quatuor tantum ex his exhibet, nempe; Tosaphta, Medrash Neelam, Raja Mahemena, et Sitre Tora.--Jellinek

311:6 And into English by the present translator.

For those wishing to go deeper into the study of the Kabbalah or of the Zohar in particular I append here a list of translations of the whole or part of the Zohar, literature on the Zohar and commentaries on the Zohar.--Transl.

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