Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Authenticity of the Zohar -- pt xi

Shadal continues his Vikuach al Chochmat haKabbalah. (See previous segment.) The guest just mentioned a Christian parallel story of "discovering" an ancient text, containing the history of the world as it would unfold, from Adam until the end, mentioning Jesus, and mentioning that this book itself "would in the future be revealed when Ferdinando ruled..." He now suggests that this influenced the story of the discovery of the Zohar. The text of the Vikuach follows:

The author: And where is this story found?

The guest: This story is found in the book Fortalitium fidei contra Judaeos etc. {ascribed to the Spanish Friar Alonso de Espina} printed in Nuremberg in the year 1494, and the scholar {Johan Christoph} Wolf records it in his book Bibliotheca hebraea, second volume, page 1121.

The author: Now, behold I recall that I have already seen this story in an early Italian book called Dittamondo (book 2, chapter 27) {from Fazio degli Uberti?}.

The guest: And what more, the matter is likely that the author of the Zohar, who was in Sefarad in the beginning of the sixth millennium, heard this made-up story, and from this he was encouraged to do to bolster our faith, just as others did to bolster their faith.

The author: And who told you that the author of the sefer haZohar was in Sefarad? For I have already showed you that the testimony of the {sefer} HaYuchsin is nothing.

The guest: This matter you have said, but have not proven it.

And I have already shown you the definitive example on this word Esh Nogah (Esnoga), which they say in the Sefardic language {=Ladino} in place of Synagoga.

And if a further, additional proof you request, there is another which I will leave before you.

Behold, it is known that the zarka which they teach to children is arranged in three different manners. For the Ashkenazim say zarka segol munach revia, and the men of Italy say zarka sharei {??} pazer gadol, and the Sefardim say zarka makef shofar holech segolta. And behold, in the sefer haZohar, (chelek 1, page 24a), it is written, "and the secret of the word is zarka makef shofar," which is like the custom of the Sefardim.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin