The essential Zohar The source of Kabbalistic wisdom

Philip S. Berg

Book - 2002

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Subjects
Published
New York : Bell Tower 2002.
Language
English
Physical Description
275 p.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
0609609270
Main Author
Philip S. Berg (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Berg, the dean and director of the Kabbalah Centre, writes accessibly about the Zohar, a free-flowing mystical commentary on the Bible, as a way people can tap into cosmic energies that are available for personal and universal salvation. For this to happen, however, the reader must believe that the Bible is a literal history of real personalities and, on the other hand, accept claims that Cham castrated his father, Noah, or that the "biblical golden calf could walk, talk, dance, and even change its shape" midrashic assertions that are not in the Bible. Berg's introduction to the Zohar is often insightful, noting, for example, that awe can be the beginning of wisdom in a world distracted by the "golden calves" of computers and cars. But there are also risks. Although "analyzing" a book on the Zohar is a contradiction in terms, this commentary can be disorganized and illogical. Berg admits that people may be uncomfortable with the notion that we can use "whatever means... necessary to create the spiritual circuitry of our universe," especially if that explains such misdeeds as King David murdering Uriah so he could take Batsheva as his wife. But comforting the reader is not the goal here; Berg succeeds in providing readable access to an esoteric Jewish mystical text. Whether he has also established that "only through Kabbalah will we forever eliminate war, destruction and man's inhumanity to his fellow man" is not so clear. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Provides a practical understanding and interpretation of the Zohar, the central kabbalistic text, examines its central teachings on evil, redemption, human relationships, wealth and poverty, death and the afterlife, and other fundamental concerns and explains how to use the principles of Kabbalah to live in harmony with the divine. 30,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

For thousands of years, no book has been more shrouded in mystery than the Zohar, yet no book offers us greater wisdom. The central text of Kabbalah, the Zohar is a commentary on the Bible’s narratives, laws, and genealogies and a map of the spiritual landscape. In The Essential Zohar, the eminent kabbalist Rav P. S. Berg decodes its teachings on evil, redemption, human relationships, wealth and poverty, and other fundamental concerns from a practical, contemporary perspective. The Zohar and Kabbalah have traditionally been known as the world’s most esoteric sources of spiritual knowledge, but Rav Berg has dedicated his life to making this concentrated distillation of infinite wisdom available to people of all faiths so that we may use its principles to live each day in harmony with the divine.From the Trade Paperback edition.