STANFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS
  

Online Zohar Course


Daniel Matt

Some years ago, I completed an 18-year project of translating and annotating the Zohar (The Zohar: Pritzker Edition). More recently I have been teaching Zohar online.

For enrollment and payment information, see further below.

There are two courses, one based on my English translation and the other based on the original Aramaic text of the Zohar. Each is described below. Links to sample videos of both courses are available further below.

There are several ways to participate in either course.

1)   Begin with the first series, watching or listening to the recordings. Then, either continue with the second series, or—as many do—jump to the current series. With Zohar, it doesn’t matter so much where you dive in or in what exact order you proceed.

2)   For those who prefer live meetings, you can begin with the current series. Later, if you wish, you can go back and “catch up” on some of the earlier series. I recommend, though, that you watch the very first shiur of the first English series, where I briefly explain the ten Sefirot. (See the link below.)

 

The Aramaic Zohar course meets bi-weekly on alternate Thursdays. Each series consists of six shiurim (“measures,” lessons). The next live series (Series 4) begins on October 27 and continues on November 10; December 1 and 15; January 12 and 26.

The time of the Zoom meetings of the Aramaic course is: 11 am (Pacific), 2 pm (Eastern), 9 pm (Israel time). Video and audio recordings (of all six shiurim of any one series) are available to anyone who enrolls in that series. For this Aramaic Zohar course, you do not need to know Aramaic, but you should have fluency in reading Hebrew (with comprehension).

 

The English Zohar course meets weekly on Tuesdays,with six shiurim in each series. Herewe study the Zohar in my English translation (The Zohar: Pritzker Edition), with frequent reference to the original Aramaic. In each series, we explore new passages from the Zohar, not repeating what has been covered in any earlier series.

Video and audio recordings (of all six shiurim of any one series) are available to anyone who enrolls in that series. Currently (in both courses) about half the participants attend the live shiurim, whereas the other half access the recordings afterward at their convenience.

The next live series of the English Zohar course (Series 21) begins on October 25 and continues on November 1, 8 and 29; December 6 and 13. Those who wish can also enroll in any of the earlier series and watch or listen to the recordings.For enrollment and payment information, see below.

The English course meets via Zoom on Tuesday evenings from 5 pm – 6:15 pm Pacific Time (8 pm – 9:15 pm Eastern Time). During the first hour, I teach a passage from the Zohar, following which there is time for questions. In November 2020 we completed Volume 1 of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition and are now exploring Volume 2. If you join the course, you should obtain Volume 1 (for Series 1-12) and/or Volume 2 (for Series 12-21).

The English Zohar course began in January 2019. Currently there are about 120 people participating, including over 40 rabbis but also many folks without Hebrew fluency or much background in studying traditional Jewish texts. Although I sometimes refer to the original Aramaic text, this course is intended especially for those who have not yet studied Zohar extensively or even at all. As we explore the English translation, some participants follow along in the original Aramaic (which is distributed before each shiur).

There is a Facebook group for both courses (Zohar Zoom), in which we discuss the Zohar. You are welcome to join this group even if you do not enroll in the Zohar course. Simply go to Facebook, click on the Groups icon (a circle with 3 human figures in it), and search for Zohar Zoom.

 

Links to sample recordings from the English and Aramaic Zohar courses

1)  The first shiur of the English Zohar course (January 16, 2019). Here I provide a brief introduction to the Ten Sefirot, and then we explore a passage near the beginning of the Zohar (1:1b), in The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Vol. 1, pp. 5-7.          https://youtu.be/NNoZsOin5bg

2)  A passage from the Zohar about meditating on a candle, from Zohar 1:50b-51a; The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Vol. 1, pp. 282-284.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11wzmKflpGlMXSDVMdn0y3ec43iDMP4Si?usp=sharing

3)  A passage from the Zohar on inviting the Ushpizin (Guests) into the Sukkah, from Zohar 3:103b-104a; The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Vol. 8, pp. 163-168.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aOUpcX29QwiG1Y3JKVdUyBg2FrS_e4l9/view?usp=sharing

4)  A shiur in the Aramaic Zohar course (Series 2, Shiur 3, February 24, 2022):

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1E_q9O2FYwFyV094EFVnEgkxtltqLB6D2?usp=sharing

ENROLLMENT AND PAYMENT INFORMATION (FOR BOTH COURSES)

To enroll, you simply pay (online or by mailing a check) for one or more series of either course. The cost of each series (of six shiurim) is on a sliding scale from $100 – $250. You determine the exact amount (between $100 – $250), based on what you can afford. Once you have paid, I will email you a link to the live weekly shiurim and another link to the recordings. Please email me once you have paid online (using my email address below).

You can pay me online via PayPal (using my email address), Venmo (@Daniel-Matt), or Zelle. (If you pay on Venmo and you need the last four digits of my phone number, they are 3920.) Alternatively, you can send a check to me (at the address at the end of this description).

When making online payments, please indicate, if possible, which course you are enrolling in (English or Aramaic) and which series (e.g., Series 1, Series 20). If there is no way to indicate this (as on Zelle), then please email me at the address below. If you pay on PayPal (or Venmo), please include your preferred email address in the space for a “note” on the payment page.

If you prefer to pay by check, you can mail your check (made out to Daniel Matt) to the address below. Please specify which course and which series you are paying for. The cost (described above) is for each series of six shiurim.

My mailing address: Daniel Matt, 1013 Middlefield Rd., Berkeley, CA 94708
My email:   danielcmatt@gmail.com  (Please include my middle initial “c”. Otherwise the payment will go to the wrong person!)