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Temple Portals Studies in Aggadah and Midrash in The Zohar by Oded Yisraeli Pap

This gave rise to a cluster of well-established, even stereotypical, gestures that could be interpreted by the audience from afar. Barasch develops the argument that Giotto is representative of dominant sociocultural views, around the year , regarding the potent meaning of gestures in several intersecting realms of social relations, ritual performance, and literary imagination. Gestures in the Zohar frequently signify and dramatize interior emotional states; the authors of the Zohar utilize physical expression in their characters to communicate or reveal some inner thought or feeling that the narrators typically will not articulate in an omniscient fashion.

Elazar came forth, placed his head between the knees of his father and told the story. Shimon became afraid and wept. Hamnuna Sava, Light of the Torah, face to face, and yet I have not merited it! Hamnuna] uprooting mountains and lighting candles in the palace of the King Messiah. Like other literary dramatists the authors of the Zohar use the rhetorical device of dramatic monologue or soliloquy to convey the interiority of thought and emotion without inserting omniscient narration. The theatrics of disclosure, relations among the disciples, as well as the rhetoric of reverence for the master—all of these are realized by the narrator through a cluster of compositional techniques, each of which is effected through the use of dramatic monologue and dialogue.

As the disciples encounter one another on their pedestrian journeys through the Galilean roads, and even more so, when they come before the master R. Shimon to receive the disclosure of kabbalistic wisdom, they exclaim about the overwhelming character of these secrets, the elevating and terrifying power involved in hearing their revelation.

Through the representation of dramatic speech, the zoharic narrators construct character intent; the modalities of monologue and dialogue serve as indirect methods for the authors to convey subtext and the interiority of emotion to the reader. Along this path, Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai and his disciples will often encounter a person whom they hastily judge to be a simpleton and devoid of any mystical wisdom that they might receive.

This expectation is generally turned on its head in a narrative process that I refer to as the poetics of recognition. This dramatic uncovering of true character locates the Zohar in the literary landscape of its time and place, where non-mystical storytellers also frequently utilize this literary motif. Hiyya and R. Yosi were walking in the desert. After a while, they saw a man who was approaching with a load in front of him. Perhaps this man is a Gentile or an ignoramus, and it is forbidden to join with him on the way.

I must tell you so that I am not guilty before you, so that I do not violate what is written Lev. In this instance, R. As the text continues in the voice of R. He opened and said Prov. Happy is the person who finds wisdom—like me, who found you and came to know a word of wisdom from you.

The person who attains understanding— like me, who waited for you, to join with you.

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This is the person for whom the Holy One blessed be He prepares, on the road, the face of Shekhinah. About this it is written Prov. How does that compare to medieval literature? The rose in the Zohar typically symbolizes Shekhinah , the tenth of the divine sefirot. In the Zohar characters encounter roses in their travels, leading to theological reflections. In the book, I discuss evocative comparative correlations to the symbolism of the rose in broader medieval literature, including in the class work, Roman de la Rose. One textual case from the Zohar is particularly instructive Art of Mystical Narrative , p.

He who wanders among the roses. Song 2:!

Eitan Fishbane on The Art of Mystical Narrative: A Poetics of the Zohar

And it is written Is. Abba was walking along the road, and with him was R. As they were walking, they happened upon some roses. Abba took one in his hands and walked on. For I know that R. Abba did not take this [rose] but for to show wisdom. And this [is the reason for the inhalation of the aroma of ] the myrtle [leaves] at the departure of Shabbat. It is because He conducts His world through roses. Just as the rose has a scent—it is red, and when it is distilled it turns to white, and still its scent never alters—so too does the Holy One blessed be He conduct His world in this way.

For was this not the case, the sinner could not endure. The characters who are presented in this passage serve to dramatize the process of metaphysical discovery within the structures and forms of the physical realm—through their interaction and speech they theatricalize the hermeneutical claims made in a homiletical voice on either side of the narrative piece.


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In this respect, the con- tents of the fiction and the exegesis are clearly integrated; R. Supernatural happenings in the world are represented as though they are perfectly normal and even realistic phenomena.

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At the very least, however, the authors of the Zohar believed that the world inhabited by R. Shimon and his disciples was an enchanted one — where, for example, a character wandering in the desert happens upon a gargantuan tree with a cave opening at its base. This opening reveals steps leading into a mysterious underworld overseen by a magical guardian, leading into a pathway of countless trees where souls fly on their way to the Garden of Eden. The Zohar is indeed populated with such supernatural realia- magic, magic birds, especially eagles, spirit guides, magic herbs, creating an ambience of enchanted and mysterious spirituality and otherworldly sensation.

Encounters with nature play a key role in the literary and mystical imagination of the zoharic authors. For the Zohar, the natural elements of the earthly realm refract higher mysteries about Divinity, and the wandering movement of the text is situated in the outdoor setting of the natural world. For example, R. Shimon and his disciples are located beneath the shade of a tree on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and through a series of associations this mundane experience leads to rumination upon the supernal tree of life in the Divine Garden of Eden, to a sefirah represented by the royal pavilion Apiryon built by King Solomon from the cedars of Lebanon.

Nature functions as a symbolic allusion to the supernatural; the physical points the mystic to the metaphysical. The narratives of the Zohar are marked by the ongoing quest of the road, by the recurrent motif of mobility. This is interspersed with moments of pause and stillness, whether sitting in a field to pray or study, or entering a cave only to discover a hidden mystical manuscript therein.

With dustjacket. Libraro S. MacGregor transl. The Kabbalah unveiled. The astonishing story of Sabbatai Sevi, whose messianic movement emerged from the mysticism of the Kabbalah. London, Viking [Penguin Group]. The Mystery of the Aleph - Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the Search for Infinity Washington Square Press , pp, paperback, geen inschriften, lichte leessporen, maar netjes. The mystery of the aleph. Mathematics, the Kabbalah, and the search for infinity. Washington Square Press, With ills. Geen schade, de rug is nog mooi, nog strak gebonden Jewish Pseudepigrapha.


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