Translations of the Zohar

Historical Contexts and Ideological Frameworks

Boaz Huss


The Zohar, a compilation of Kabbalistic texts which were written in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, was bestowed an authoritative and sacred status in many Jewish communities. Together with its central role in Jewish culture, the Zohar stimulated considerable interest in Christian Kabbalistic and Western esoteric circles. In recent years, a newly awakened interest in the Kabbalah and the Zohar has been evident in many circles both in Israel and all over the world. The interest in the Zohar stimulated its translation into different languages, each created according to different motivations and within diverse theological and ideological frameworks. This article offers a review of the history of translations of the Zohar and discusses the historical contexts and ideological frameworks in which these were created.

Zohar, Kabbalah, Christian Kabbalah, Western Esotericism