From Publishers Weekly
SkyLight Paths continues its Illuminations series with this edition of the Zohar, which series editor Andrew Harvey explains in his foreword is "the cornerstone of Kabbalah." This central text of Jewish mysticism is notoriously recondite and lends itself to multiple interpretations, making its study the life's work of many a Jewish scholar. More recently, individuals of other religious traditions (Exhibit A being Madonna) have begun to dabble in the Zohar, and this edition is particularly geared to them. It is based on short selections rather than the full text, and it offers wonderful facing-page explanations of key concepts and terms, so readers will not have to dig through endnotes looking for information. Matt, a former professor of Jewish mysticism at Berkeley and author of The Essential Kabbalah, doesn't "dumb down" the more abstruse passages of the Zohar, and he provides a very effective introduction that outlines its importance for the reader.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
There are many fine books that explain the Zohar,
the mostimportant text of the mystical Jewish movement, kabbalah. This one hasseveral advantages, however, over the others. First, it has awonderful foreword by Harvey, editor of the SkyLight Illuminationsseries, of which the book is a member. In it Harvey evocativelyintroduces a kabbalist named Ezekiel, who teaches Harvey about thepossibilities and power of the mystic tradition, generally andparticularly. Interested readers will be as exhilarated as Harvey isby Ezekiel's provocative statements. Next, the solid preface explainsthe Zohar
's origins, which aren't lost in the mists of time asmany believe, and basic concepts. The text proper is the Zohar
with commentary by translator Matt that explains references to theBible and Midrash and draws on the writings of Jewish philosophers forfurther illumination. A fine starting place for most readersinterested in Jewish mysticism. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved