Thursday, August 31, 2023

Concerning the Zohar and Other Matters

In the article I cited Bruriah Hutner-David who brings the following proof that R. Zvi Hirsch Chajes rejected the traditional authorship of the Zohar: In order to show that the Targum to Ecclesiastes should be dated to the geonic period, Chajes notes that while the angel Raziel is mentioned in this Targum, he is not mentioned in talmudic literature. Hutner-David notes that Raziel is mentioned in the Zohar, a fact that Chajes was presumably aware of, meaning that he was hinting that the Zohar is also a late work.

This is important information, as Emden confesses that his attack against the Zohar was only designed to pull the wool out from under the Sabbatians, whose ideology was linked to the Zohar. The man who wrote to Or Torah, not knowing anything about Rosenberg, asked for help from the readers. He tried to locate the book Tzur Devash quoted by Rosenberg, but was unable.

the following paragraph  appears in an essay by R. Aryeh Kaplan

One of the first things I discovered was that it was written some 20 years after Rabbi Yitzchok investigated the Zohar. He openly, and clearly and unambiguously states that the Zohar was written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. This is something not known to historians, and this is the first time I am discussing it in a public forum. But the fact is that the one person who is historically known to have investigated the authenticity of the Zohar at the time it was first published, unambiguously came to the conclusion that it was an ancient work written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.


  1. I he's book by a. Kaplan, Jewish meditation. In there he claims that 1+1=1.
    We used to say that the first sign of madness is someone checking his palms for hair growth. Obviously a person who thinks 1+1=1 has totally lost his mind, perhaps from too much lsd.

  2. In other words since he disagrees with you he must be wrong?!

  3. nonsense hocus pocus

    what you are saying is just because he is an accepted rabbi in some BT and other circles, then he is basically our Yashka, and any fallacy he comes out with is necessarily true. His words bend reality to his will - according to the starry eyed followers.
    Oh, but didn't you write a few posts on how gedolim can err? Not this one, there must be something special about him that you are not disclosing?

  4. BTW, you felt self justified in attacking RNG and RSK , who were /are gedolim, for their reliance on false psychological diagnoses - yet now you are accepting a nonsense false arithmetic equation, that a 7 year old knows is sheker. why? Because it is Mr Kaplan, and some friends of yours were deeply imrpessed by him!

  5. You entirely miss my point,
    Why does secular psychology matter, but not arithmetic which is the basis even of transactions? How could a BD resolve a financial matter if the adding is distorted by one party or other?

  6. "The more we realize this, the more we begin to see that on an
    ultimate level there is no plurality. If there is no plurality, then
    we are also one with God. When saying the word "One" (Echad)
    in the Shema, one can realize this in a deep sense.
    An objection might be raised here. If a person is one with God,
    how can he continue to exist? If he is one with God, then there is
    no room left for him to have an independent personality. How is
    it possible for a person to ever experience this oneness with God?
    The answer is that this situation is a paradox. To say that I exist
    and that God exists, and that I am one with God, is like saying
    1 + 1 = 1, which is, of course, logically impossible.
    Nevertheless, we cannot say that logic is higher than God.
    Quite the contrary. Just as God created everything else, He also
    created logic. Logic is a tool of God's, but He is never bound by
    it. Therefore, if He wants one plus one to be one, it is no problem
    for Him. And if He wants a person to be one with Him, and still
    be able to experience it, it is also possible for Him."

    p.126 of the ebook

  7. And this shows what that the concept of oneness is beyond logic?

  8. Nope. It's basically a hechsher for the Christian claim that yashke is One, chas v shalom with Hakadosh Baruch hu.
    if you accept this, then there is no theological objection to Christianity. you could dispute their changes to halacha, or their idea of who moshiach is, but the main problem has always been their departure from monotheism

  9. So you basically object to Kabbala especially if it is from Rabbi Kaplan

  10. So you basically endorse yashke and the Trinity, just that they need to improve on kashrus and shabbat observance?

  11. Soton will not directly tempt you, he has gotten clever . he works through logical fallacies, eg the fallacy of "authority" , so a big man tells sophisticated lies to trick you into following. The rules of reason and logic are jettisoned for a "higher cause" so the beguiled are drawn into a web of sheker and heresy. It is a similar method to how the authority-abuser works. They give all kinds of nonsense pretzel arguments, and manage to draw in innocent and vulenrable kids into their web of evil.

  12. You totally misunderstood what Rabbi Kaplan wrote - but it triggered an irrational fear

  13. Total nonsense!
    If the trinity was supported by anything that would cause automatic rejection
    Rambam says Shma is used to prove the Trinity so you would stop saying it?!

  14. one minute you reject rationalism ("And this shows what that the concept of oneness is beyond logic?"), then you claim my reaction is irrational..

    It seems you misunderstood what he wrote (if in fact he wrote it, I heard a claim he didn't write the book himself).

    He is taking the One in Echad to mean an all encompassing pantheism, in which he (and you and I ) are/is a part. That is ,even more than what the Yashkites claim, at least they limit it to 3.

  15. You misunderstood what Rambam, says, and you misapplied your own argument.

    Rambam actually says that something so clear as the the Shema can be misconstrued to to give a totally opposite meaning, namely its application to the trinity. So your first statement implies that orthodoxy in general, or at least those who follow Rambam, would stop saying the Shema. Perhaps what you had in mind is that the 10 Dibrot were originally part of our tefillah, but since they gave it such prominence in their system, it was dropped from our siddur. But we still believe in the 10 dibrot and stand up in Shul when they are read.

  16. Rav Kapach zT'L wrote in the comment on 1:36 of Moreh Nevuchim, (and also told me personally) that Rambam in his attack on the pantheistic world view was responding to Raavad's famous gloss , where he said "better and greater than him" had such views, albeit in error.
    So was that an irrational fear of the Rambam, or a rational one?

  17. This guy is like Kaplan but on steroids. He learned the Kabbalah of rav Ashlag from rav Brandwein, and had semicha from rav Moshe.
    the rest is history

    The centre called the allegations “meritless” and said it “intends to defend the case vigorously”.

    Philip Berg’s wife, Karen, and their two sons, who have run the Kabbalah centre in Los Angeles since his debilitating stroke, survive him.

    Rabbi Philip Berg, born August 20 1929, died September 16 2013


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