Cover of The Zohar by Translation and Commentary by Daniel C. Matt
The Zohar
Pritzker Edition, Volume Eight
Translation and Commentary by Daniel C. Matt


608 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804787260
Ebook ISBN: 9781503603462


Excerpts and More

Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed readers ever since it emerged in medieval Spain over seven hundred years ago. Written in lyrical Aramaic, this masterpiece of Kabbalah exceeds the dimensions of a normal book; it is virtually a body of mystical literature, comprising over twenty sections. The bulk of the Zohar consists of mystical interpretation of the Torah, from Genesis through Deuteronomy.

This eighth volume of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition consists of commentary on the end of Leviticus and the beginning of Numbers. Its most remarkable section is Idra Rabba—a dramatic narrative, in which Rabbi Shim'on and his Companions gather to explore the deepest secrets of God's nature. There is a sense of emergency here, because due to human misconduct, the world is vulnerable to divine wrath. The mystical heroes seek to restore the balance in the upper worlds—aiming to stimulate a radiant flow from God's aspect of Compassion, which can soothe the irascible divine aspect and thereby save the world. The quest is perilous, and through its intensity three of the Companions tragically perish.

About the author

Daniel C. Matt is a leading authority on Jewish mysticism and translator of the first seven volumes of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition.

"[T]his is a very serious translation of the Zohar holy, an elaboration that took years of work and research on the part of Daniel C. Matt and his team of several scholars who have spared no effort to give the greatest number information of each passuk, each parashah, bringing reliable sources . . . This fantastic edition of The Zohar not only presents an accurate translation of the text, but also an interpretation with insights, more accessible . . . Brilliant expositions on complex subjects rendered easy by Daniel C. Matt, his wonderful ability to transmit profound ideas is amazing."

—Gilson Sasson, Journal Mitzvah

"Matt provides invaluable commentary to put the Zohar into context and explain the almost disconnected paragraphs."

—Daniel D. Stuhlman, Association of Jewish Libraries

"Matt's commentary may be the most significant and comprehensive line-by-line exegesis of the Zohar to ever appear, given its fusion of wisdom gained from the older religious commentaries and the fruits of modern critical scholarship."

—Eitan P. Fishbane, Jewish Review of Books