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Some say that Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai did not write the book at all, but that this Rabbi Moses knew the Holy Name and through its power wrote these wonderful words, and in order to sell them for a good price, much silver and gold, he ascribed them to our great ancestors, saying: I have transcribed for you these words from the book composed by Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai and his son, Rabbi Eleazar.When I came to Spain I went to Valladolid, where the king was, and I found Rabbi Moses there, and he liked me and spoke with me, and swore: "may G-d do so to me, and more also, if there is not at this moment in my house, where I live in Avila, the ancient books written by Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai, and when you come to see me there I shall show it to you.' Rabbi Moses left me after this and went to Arévalo on his way home to Avila, but he fell ill in Arévalo and died there.The Zohar is not a unified work, as we might expect from a book written and planned by one man, but is built section by section.This is what one of the greatest researchers into the kabbalah, Dr.We will attempt also to answer the question of whether the approach which views Rabbi Simeon Bar Yohai as the author of the Zohar is indeed the sole approach in traditional Judaism through the ages, as many today view it.Before we begin on the question of who wrote the Zohar when, it is worthwhile to present the structure of the book.
Below, the linguistic highlights of the Zohar will be cited from the Jerusalem edition of 1940-1953 (Mosad Rav Kook).
One day his house would be full of the silver and gold given to him by the wealthy who learned the great mysteries that he would present to them written down through the power of the Holy Name, and the next day the money would all be gone, so that he has now left his wife and daughter naked, overcome with hunger and thirst, and in utter destitution.
Now, when the news reached us that he had died in Arévalo, I went to call on a prominent wealthy man who lived in this city, by the name of Rabbi Joseph de Avila.
Divisions 21-24 are most of most doubtful provenance and are perhaps post-publication additions.
There is some relationship between the strata which establishes the relative order of the texts, but for the most part each stratum is uniform to itself and this uniformity is confirmed by examination of the details.