JUDAISM DEMYSTIFIED : A Guide for Today's Perplexed | Jewish Philosophy | Torah | Rational Bible
Episode 62: J.J. Kimche "Is the Zohar Authentic?"
Manage episode 363882909 series 3449165
Is the Zohar authentic? Join us as we take a deep-dive into one of the most influential and controversial works in Jewish mysticism and the book that changed Judaism forever, the Zohar. Hakham J.J. Kimche provides us with a clear definition of the Zohar, and discusses its major ideas at its core, including the Zohar's new conceptions of theology, Torah and Mitzvot, and mankind/Jews. The authorship of the Zohar is a topic of much debate, and we delve into the subject in this podcast. J.J. Kimche breaks down the historical and linguistic evidence surrounding the Zohar's authorship, and gives a thorough analysis of its various anachronisms, errors, and objectionable statements in the text, leading to a discussion on the dubious nature of the text's authorship. Who was Rabbi Moses De Leon and why was the Zohar penned in the name of Rashby (R. Shimon Bar Yochai)? We also explore the editing and printing of the Zohar, and the spread and influence of the text post-1492. Additionally, we examine the history of Zohar criticism, including the small historical signs of criticism, major medieval critics such as Rabbi Elijah Del Medigo, Rabbi Leon de Modena, and Rabbi Jacob Emden, the Maskilic period, and the modern era of Zohar criticism with scholars such as Shadal, Wissenschaft des Judentum scholars, and Gershom Scholem. We end with a difficult but important conversation about why this is even important to unpack, why traditional Sepharadim and followers of Rambam often find its influence objectionable and its contents heretical. What does it mean for Jews today, considering its widespread acceptance (with the popularity of its byproducts: Lurianic Kabbalah and Hassidut)? You likely won't find another Orthodox Jewish podcast covering such an "untouchable" topic, but we feel it's about time since we live in the age of information and see the after-effects of its lasting influence on Judaism, both good and bad. We always advocate for a return to fundamentals and a focus on the core teachings of Judaism: TaNakh, Halakha, and Talmud.--- Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/judaismdemystified/support