Gershom Sholem, whose lectures here at Red Rabbi Wise's institute of Judaism in New York were compiled as "Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism" has been listed in Who's Who in World Jewry as holding the chair of Jewish mysticism at Hebrew University, Palestine.
His excerpts from The Zohar, the Book of Splendor (Schocken Books, 1949) are revealing:
"The book of Zohar, the most important literary work of the Kabbalah . a work of secret wisdom," he calls it. Like the Talmud, which uses the Bible verses which admittedly are not there, the Zohar uses a non-existent verse to portray the Talmudists as Divine: "The Divine Presence as the mystical embodiment of the Community of Israel," Blasphemously, in Baal worship style, intercourse is called Holy Communion. "God chose Israel and none other from among the peoples and established them in the world as a single unique nation ... he called them 'one nation' When is 'one' said of a man? When he is male together with female .then and only then he is designated one without mar of any kind. only when male and female are conjoined do they form a single body; whereas, and this we have learned, if a man is not wedded, he is, we may say, divided into two " This is "holy communion."
The section of the book, "The Rose of Sharon" is another intercourse scene in which "the Community of Israel is called Rose of Sharon; because her desire to be watered from the deep stream .. She is named 'Rose' when she is about to Join with the King and after she has come together with [page 36] him in her kisses, she is named 'lily.'" That excerpt, extended, however, is not enough. The Rabbis are quoted on: "the true devotion of the
Community of Israel to God, and her longing for him, for these souls make possible the flow of the lower waters toward the upper, and this brings about perfect friendship and the yearning for mutual embrace in order to bring forth fruit. When they cleave one to another, then says the Community of Israel in the largeness of her affections: 'Set me a seal upon thy heart.'" (same book, pages 6970) There is much more of the same.
With that diversity of spelling characteristic of the Talmudists, God is called, in Sholem's study of the Zohar, the "en sof, the Infinite. Neither shape nor form has he [Note: small "h" always in referring to the Deity] and no vessel exists to contain him, nor any means to apprehend him." (page 79) And then comes a vicious attack on Christianity so common in Talmudism. Our "crime" is in ascribing Intelligence to God, in accepting Christ's words that He is the personification of the Father, a real and Loving Spirit: "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." (John 14:9)
The Zohar: "Woe to the man who would make bold to identify the Lord with any single attribute . and the less so any human form existent ... there is neither attribute, nor likeness, nor form in him." (same book, page 78)
Sholem's work on the Zohar also states:
"The names and grades of the soul of man are three: 'nefesh' (vital soul), 'ruah' (spirit), 'neshamah' (innermost soul). The three are comprehended one within the other, but each has its separate abode. While the body in the grave is decomposing nefesh tarries with it, and it hovers about in this world, going here and there among the living . Ruah betakes itself into the earthly Garden of Eden . On Sabbaths, New Moons and festival days. it ascends up to the supernal sphere But neshamah ascends for forthwith to her place in the domain from which she emanated when the children of men betake themselves to the graves of those who are gone, then nefesh is wakened, and it goes out to bestir ruah, which then rouses neshamah . " (pages 96-7)
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