Zohar Portion Shmini

Advanced Studies

Apart from a few Hebrew sections,most of the Zohar is written in a unique language:an idiosyncratic Aramaic that cannot be classified within the standard division of Aramaic dialects and which was never a spoken language. On these grounds the scholarly literature has labelled it ‘artificial’. Challenging this label, arguing that the Aramaic of the Zohar is completely natural. Aramaic was traditionally used for mystical purposes, and the Zohar’s preference for this language as the best vehicle for advancing its own mystical purpose has been vindicated by the work’s quality and lasting effect.
Keywords: Hebrew, Aramaic, Zohar, Kabbalah, mysticism.

Talmud and Zohar

Those whom condemn such texts have a lack of understanding and this is why it is important to have a Rabbi who is knowledgeable on these texts yet does not flaunt them around as required reading or study. It is ok and actually helpful in taking the next step if they say in their teachings at times, “The Mishna says………..” and use that as a reference point for deep emphasis on something. But Talmud and Zohar is NOT something that should be something someone jumps into immediately. The Sages say that a person must wait between 10-20 years before even glancing at the texts. I would not suggest saying to be liberal with these figures. It is important to have a deep understanding of the Scripture before referencing these texts or teaching on them. But a good Rabbi will prepare his congregation for when they are ready. When they are able to adequately understand Paul in every single verse, then I believe a person is on their way to be able to properly understand the writings of the Rabbis, cause Paul was one of these guys.

I will not say how long a person must study until they are ready to look at the rabbinical texts, I would trust the opinion of your Rabbi and consult with him. If he however says within the first few years, I would have to respectfully disagree but each person is different. Some might be ready in the 5th year and some may not be ready until the 20th year to jump into Talmud. However, the Zohar is a different animal entirely. I would not suggest Zohar study until at least 20 years in the faith. Some may find 20 years to be rather excessive, but it is important to realize the eccentricities of this text known as the Zohar. It is easily taken out of context by many of those whom are unlearned and has even been used in different variations in paganism and is used as a base text cause it is so easy to manipulate and get it wrong and be very dangerous. It is like putting a 5 year old behind the wheel of a race car. Watching race cars race can be very fun but if a 5 year old is behind the wheel then you know disaster is eminent. Thus is the Zohar, it is like having a high school student brain surgery, though he may really want to be a brain surgeon he has not been possibly trained yet. The Zohar deals a great deal with each Hebrew letter in each Torah Portion and treats it as a “Miltha” (Aramaic word for “word” or “manifestation”) and the fact is in Proverbs it shows us the two are one in the same that there are physical attributes to words and letters that make up those words. The Zohar is very intense, hard to follow even for the seasoned veteran in Torah and Messiah, thus again makes it easy to manipulate.

Just know I am not saying these texts are in anyway evil or bad, but it is irresponsible to give a 10 year old the keys to a Ferrari. The unlearned damn these texts however, because they are unlearned. Stay away from those who want you to jump into them right away, and stay away from those whom are unlearned who pretend to be teachers who say they are evil and quote them out of context. Such teachers are the same ones who would quote Galatians 2:19-21 and say that the Torah has been done away with. This is why it is important to be responsible in our walk and objective as well as open to correction and criticism.

I would also suggest that an unmarried woman NEVER pick up the Talmud or Zohar. A woman is more susceptible to contextual problems without her covering with her. Many of these mitzviots discussed amongst the Rabbis deal with setting a halakah that is to be practiced within a person’s life. If a woman is ever to be married at some point in her life, then issues will arise with differing halakah and it should be for the man and wife to determine their halakah amongst each other. It is the job of the man to establish the halakah and the job of the wife to fulfill it. It is a team effort.

Parashat/ פרשת שמיני

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