The Zohar: Pritzk­er Edi­tion, Vol­ume Six

Daniel C. Matt, trans. and commentary
  • Review
By – March 23, 2012

Daniel Matt has been work­ing on the trans­la­tion, anno­ta­tion, and estab­lish­ment of a crit­i­cal edi­tion of the text for the mon­u­men­tal Pritzk­er edi­tion of the Zohar since 1998. The issuance of Vol­ume Six of this mas­ter­work com­pletes the mate­r­i­al asso­ci­at­ed with the book of She­mot, begin­ning with Parashat Tet­za­veh, includ­ing the con­struc­tion of the Taber­na­cle and the sin of the Gold­en Calf. In the spir­it of the Rab­binic com­ment that there are sev­en­ty faces to the Torah, the mys­ti­cal inter­pre­ta­tions and the mem­o­rable anec­dotes that punc­tu­ate these pages serve to infi­nite­ly expand one’s thoughts, asso­ci­a­tions, and under­stand­ings of, and uncov­er new mean­ings for, bib­li­cal pas­sages that one might have thought well-known due to con­stant study and the annu­al review of the week­ly pub­lic Torah read­ings. Includ­ed in the sec­tion that dis­cuss­es the vers­es in She­mot 35:1 – 2 describ­ing Shab­bat obser­vance is an evoca­tive descrip­tion of the Shab­bat Torah ser­vice, includ­ing a sup­pli­ca­tion that has been direct­ly incor­po­rat­ed into the stan­dard Shab­bat morn­ing prayers when the Torah is first removed from the Ark, and which the author refers to as the Zohar’s most famous pas­sage, a mov­ing prayer known as Berich She­maih.’” Rec­og­niz­ing this par­tic­u­lar prayer’s ori­gins and study­ing it with­in the con­text of the Zohar serves to sig­nif­i­cant­ly enhance one’s appre­ci­a­tion of the week­ly prayers.

Yaakov (Jack) Biel­er was the found­ing Rab­bi of the Kemp Mill Syn­a­gogue in Sil­ver Spring, MD until his retire­ment in 2015. He has been asso­ci­at­ed with Jew­ish day school edu­ca­tion for over thir­ty years. R. Biel­er served as a men­tor for the Bar Ilan Uni­ver­si­ty Look­stein Cen­ter Prin­ci­pals’ Sem­i­nar and he has pub­lished and lec­tured exten­sive­ly on the phi­los­o­phy of Mod­ern Ortho­dox education.

Discussion Questions