Shir Shel Shavua : Issue 5

May 12, 2023

Yisrael V'Oraita

This week’s Shir Shel Shavua takes us to a passage from the Zohar. The Zohar (The Book of Radiance) is a mystical Torah commentary written in Aramaic. It comprises multiple volumes totaling over 1,000 pages. It is part of the corpus of the Jewish mystical tradition known as Kabbalah. According to traditional Jewish belief, the Zohar was revealed by God to Moses at Sinai, and passed down orally until it was written down in the second century by Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai (known as the “Rashbi,” also sometimes referred to as Simeon ben Yohai). Though difficult to understand, due to the dense and obscure cosmological system the text inhabits, even in translation, the Zohar invites those willing to explore it into a fantastical universe filled with spiritual contemplation and insight.

ישראל ואורייתא וקודשא בריך הוא חד הוא. תורה אורה הללוקה

In this quote, for obvious textual reasons, the song is connected to both Shavuot and Simchat Torah. The text teaches that “Israel and Torah and the Holy One, Blessed be He, are One. The Torah is Light - Hallelujah!”

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