Zohar: Annotated & Explained

Guides readers step-by-step through the texts that make up the Zohar and explains the inner meanings of this sacred text in a way that is both spiritually enlightening and intellectually fascinating.

Translation & annotation by Dr. Daniel C. Matt
Foreword by Andrew Harvey

5½ x 8½, 176 pp | 978-1-893361-51-5

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The best-selling author of The Essential Kabbalah now offers readers the best introduction to the Zohar.

The splendor and enigmatic appeal of the Zohar, the major text of the Jewish mystical tradition, has never intrigued readers of all faiths more than it does today. But how can we truly understand it?

Daniel C. Matt brings together in one place the most important teachings from the Zohar, the cornerstone of Kabbalah—described as a mixture of theology, mystical psychology, anthropology, myth and poetry—alongside facing-page stories, notes and historical background that illuminate and explain the text. Ideal for the first-time reader with no prior knowledge of Jewish mysticism.

Guides readers step-by-step through the texts that make up the Zohar—midrash, mystical fantasy, commentary and Hebrew scripture—and explains the inner meanings of this sacred text, recognized by kabbalists as the most important work of mystical teaching, in a way that is both spiritually enlightening and intellectually fascinating.

Praise for Daniel C. Matt

“Matt writes from within the shrine of the great mystery. He enables us to appreciate Jewish mysticism as he presents the masters of the Kabbalah in a way that initiates and illuminates us.”

Rabbi Zalman M. Schachter, Aleph: Alliance for Jewish Renewal

“America’s foremost poet laureate of Kabbalah.”

Lawrence Kushner, author of God Was in This Place & I, I Did Not Know, and The Way Into Jewish Mystical Tradition

“Professor Matt's lyrical translations make sparks of light shimmer from Judaism's most famous mystical classic. With his helpful annotations, he offers us glimpses of the Zohar's radical biblical interpretations as well as its mystical techniques. An exciting book as well as a rich source for contemplation!

Tamar Frankiel, author of The Gift of Kabbalah: Discovering the Secrets of Heaven, Renewing Your Life on Earth

Foreword ix
Preface xix
Introduction to the Zohar xxi
About the Translation and Annotation xxxi
Notes to the Introduction to the Zohar xxxiii

1. The Essence of Torah 3
2. How to Look at Torah 5
3. The Creation of God 11
4. The Hidden Light 15
5. Adam's Sin 19
6. Male and Female 21
7. Openings 25
8. The Binding of Abraham and Isaac 31
9. Josephճ Dream 37
10. Jacobճ Garment of Days 45
11. All of Israel Saw the Letters 55
12. The Old Man and the Ravishing Maiden 59
13. The Gift of Dwelling 73
14. The Secret of Sabbath 83
15. The Aroma of Infinity 87
16. God, Israel, and Shekhinah 91
17. The Wedding Celebration 111

Notes 126
Glossary 130
Suggested Readings 133
Index of Zohar Passages 135
About SkyLight Paths 136