Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 375
Publication Date: 1914
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This is the only extensive translation of a portion of the Zohar, the longest and one of the most important texts of the Kabbalah, in the public domain. The Zohar is a Kabbalistic commentary on the Hebrew Bible. Long before the 'Bible Code,' Jewish scholars were attempting to wring deep meaning out of every syllable of the text of the Hebrew Bible, using numerology, gematria, and other techniques. Dozens of pages in this book are devoted to analyses of the hidden meaning behind first few letters of Genesis. Seemingly unimportant details and turns of phrase, which you may have read long ago and forgotten, lead to immense vistas of a mysterious world inside the world. This is not a critical edition; written by a pseudonymous Theosophist, probably British, it is laced with out-of-place terminology such as 'Karma' and 'Planes.' It nevertheless gives us a glimpse of one of the most magical of the world's sacred texts.
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Rabbi Eliezar spoke, and said: "Lift up your eyes on high and behold who hath created these." [Isa. 40:26] Lift up your eyes on high. Where? To the place whither all eyes are turned. There is the pathakh azeen, or opening of eyes. There you will recognize the mysterious Ancient One who created these and is the object of research. And who is he? It is Mi (who) that is called the summit of the heavens above, for all things exist by his will. Because he is the object concealed and invisible after which all seek. Therefore is this mysterious being called Who (Mi), and beyond him search in vain. Rut at the other extremity is another being known as What! (Mah). What distinguishes the one from the other? Mi (who), the concealed and hidden One, is he whom all created beings are seeking to know, but after all their efforts and endeavors, by the gaining of knowledge, they only come at last to Mah (the what). Then, what do we know, What understanding of him have we? What have we found out or discovered, Truly, all is mysterious, as at first., and this is what the Scripture refers to where it is written: "Mah (what) I take thee to witness." "Mah (what) shall I liken thee to?" When the temple at Jerusalem was ravaged and destroyed there was heard a voice crying aloud: "What shall I testify concerning thee? [Lam. 2:13] For from the beginning of creation have I testified to thee."
Also, is it written: "I call heaven and earth this day to record." [Deut. 30:19] "Mah (what) shall be likened unto thee." "I will crown thee with crowns of holiness and make thee to rule over the world." So that it shall be said: "Is this the city called Beautiful, etc?" [Lam 2:15] "This is Jerusalem, the city most compacted in beauty." "Mah (what) shall equal thee?" That is, it shall ascend on high, where thou art sitting, and even as thou observest below, the holy people do not now enter the holy city; so I say unto thee I will not ascend there until the people have entered into thy walls below. Let this console and comfort thee. I will not ascend until, under the form of Mah, I become like thee in all things. If the overflow of thy afflictions be like that of the sea, and if thou say there is no healing or remedy for thee, thou thinkest wrongly. Mi (who) shall heal thee? This is the highest scale of the mystery--the mystery of the being, upon whom dependeth all things. He shall heal and strengthen thee. Mi of the heavens above is the highest pole, Mah of the heavens below is the lower pole, and the heritage of Jacob stands between these extremities of the heavens [Ex. 27:28]--Mi (who) and Mah (what). This is the meaning of the words "Who (Mi) created these?" Then Rabbi Simeon, interrupting, spake, and said: "Eliezar, my son! cease thy interpretations of the words, for a profound mystery is about to be revealed, which the children of the world know nothing of, even onto this day." Rabbi Eliezar obeyed, and ceased speaking.
Rabbi Simeon for a moment was silent, and then said: "Eliezar, my son, what is the meaning of Aleh (these)? If thou sayest it includes the stars, constellations and other heavenly bodies which are visible and seen always to the eye of man and have been created by Mah, as it is written, "By the word of God the heavens were made." [Ps. 33:6] Aleh (these) cannot refer to things invisible, but to those that are seen. The mysterious meaning of the word was revealed to me one day that I was standing by the seashore, when Elijah, the prophet, suddenly appeared and said unto me: Rabbi! knowest thou what Aleh (these things) means? And I answered and said it means the heavens and their hosts, the work of the Holy One, blessed be He, which it behooves every man to study as it is written: "When I consider the heavens the work of that fingers, etc." [Ps. 8:3] "Oh, Lord, our God how excellent is thy name in all the earth!" [Ps. 8:9] Rabbi! said Elijah, this word is an occult word, and was revealed and explained in the heavenly college thus. When the Most Secret One wished to reveal himself, He first created a point, and it became a divine Thought, in which were the ideas of all created things and forms of all things, and also that holy, glorious Light wherein was the Holy of Holies--a structure of magnificent and lofty dimensions, the work of that divine Thought and the beginning, or cornerstone, to this structure, hidden and concealed in the name as yet ineffable find known only as Mi (who), who wished to manifest itself and to be called by a name and become arrayed and clothed with a precious and resplendent garment. He therefore created Aleh (these things), which then became a part of the divine name; for these words, joined and associated together, form Alhim, which is composed of Aleh (these things), and Mi reversed and which existed not previous to this conjunction.
To this mystery the worshippers of the golden calf alluded when they cried: "Aleh is thy God, Oh, Israel! As on the work of creation, Mi remains conjoined with Aleh (these), so in the name Alhim they are always inseparable. And by reason of this unity the world abides as it is having thus spoken, Elijah disappeared, and I saw him no more. It is from him I learned the meaning of this mystery of Mi, Aleh and Alhim."