Page 74 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

Basic HTML Version

6 6
or literary message, as well as their place in the homiletical struc­
ture of the work.14
D. Cohen-Aloro published an expanded version of a chapter
of her doctoral thesis entitled,
The Secret of the Garment and the
Vision of the Angel in the Zohar
(Jerusalem, Institute of Jewish
Studies of the Hebrew University, 1987 [Hebrew]). She also con­
tributed an additional work, which is mentioned below. A selec­
tion of texts from the Zohar was translated and annotated in
English by D.C. Matt in his
Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment
(Ramsey, NJ, Paulist Press, 1983). Matt’s fine work paved the way
for the publication of selections from other Kabbalistic texts of
the early and later periods of Kabbalah. They include:
The Early
(Mahwah, NJ, Paulist Press, 1986), edited and intro­
duced by J. Dan, and translated by R.C. Kiener, with a preface
by M. Idel, and L. Fein’s
Safed Spirituality
(Ramsey, NJ, Paulist
Press, 1984). Fein translated and presented selections of
Kabbalistic rules of mystical piety (
), together with
Lurianic poetic writings, and extracts of the ethical tracts of Elijah
de Vidas as condensed by Jacob Poyetto.
Moshe de Leon’s famous Hebrew work,
The Book of the Pome­
(Sefer ha-Rimmon), received the scholarly attention of two
writers, who prepared critical editions of the text. The entire work
was presented by E. Wolfson (Atlanta, GA, Scholars Press, 1988).
D. Cohen-Aloro published only part of the text, on the negative
commandments (Jerusalem, Institute of Jewish Studies of the He­
brew University, 1987). The subject of the mystical reasons for
the commandments (Ta’amei ha-Mitzvot) has been treated by sev­
eral scholars, and hopefully the new text which has been made
available will help foster a more expanded study of the halakhic
aspects of the Kabbalistic approach to the reasons for the com­
mandments, as well as an inquiry into the broader interrelations
between Halakhah and Kabbalah.15
14. See my review o f Megged’s book, in
Kiryat Sefer
55(1980), pp. 373-378 .
As a matter o f fact, J. Liebes wrote a study o f the literary hero o f the
Zohar, Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai, and published it as an article in
The Mes­
sianic Idea in Israel
(Jerusalem, Israel Academy o f Science and Humanities,
1982 [Hebrew]), pp. 87-236 . Liebes showed that the stories play an essential
role in the mystical mission o f the writer and that they cannot be studied
outside the context o f the homiletical and symbolic discourses o f the Zohar.
15. A significant contribution to this study is J. Katz’s volume o f collected ar­
Halakhah and Kabbalah
(Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 1984 [Hebrew]).