Mystic Tales from the Zohar

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Aryeh Wineman
Princeton University Press, Apr 19, 1998 - Religion - 161 pages

Zohar, or "brilliant light," is the central text of Kabbalah. In Jewish mystical tradition, it is the meeting of midrash (storytelling that expands on events in the Bible) and myth. This selection offers original translations of eight of the most well developed narratives in the Zohar along with notes and detailed commentary. The tales deal with the themes of sin and repentance, death, exile, redemption, and resurrection. Most importantly, they are stories, they are literature, and here they are finally analyzed as such. Using comparative information, Aryeh Wineman places the tales in their historical and etymological contexts. He cites a variety of theorists of myth, including Otto Rank, C. G. Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell, all of whom sought to connect the motifs of the Zohar to universal motifs. He ties the stories to the tenets of Kabbalah, to one another, and to the world's universal symbols and meanings.

 

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Mystic tales from the Zohar

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The 13th-century Zohar, consisting of theosophical theories concerning the Godhead and the Torah, is the central text of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism. Woven through it are several narrative passages ... Read full review

Contents

On the Zoharic Story
1
Grief Triumph Expulsion
19
Two Accounts
33
The House of the World
53
Death Postponed
67
The Bridegrooms Silence
83
A Retelling of Jonah
99
A Tale of Sin and Repentance
119
A Childs Tears and His Fathers Resurrection
133
Glossary
149
Bibliography
155
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About the author (1998)

Aryeh Wineman is a Rabbi at Temple Beth-El in Troy, New York.

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