Zohar, the Book of Enlightenment

By Daniel Chanan Matt | Go to book overview

ABRAM'S DESCENT INTO EGYPT

And Abram went down to Egypt.

(Genesis 12:10)

Rabbi Shim'on said
"Come and see:
Everything has secret wisdom.
This verse hints at wisdom and the levels down below,
to the depths of which Abraham descended.
He knew them but did not become attached.
He returned to face his Lord,
was not seduced by them like Adam,
was not seduced by them like Noah.

When Adam reached that level,
he was seduced by the serpent
and dragged Death into the world.

When Noah descended to that level,
what is written?
'He drank of the wine and became drunk
and uncovered himself within his tent'
(Genesis 9:21).
The spelling implies 'her tent.'

But what is written of Abraham?
'Abram went up from Egypt'
(Genesis 13:1).
He went up and did not come down.
He returned to his domain,
the high rung he had grasped before.

This story appears in the Torah to reveal wisdom.
Abraham fulfilled himself,

-63-

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Zohar, the Book of Enlightenment
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Zohar - The Book of Enlightenment *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Preface xiii
  • Foreword xv
  • Introduction *
  • How to Look at Torah 43
  • Zohar on Genesis *
  • The Creation of Elohim 49
  • The Hidden Light 51
  • Adam's Sin 54
  • Male and Female 55
  • After the Flood 57
  • Abram, the Soul-Breath 60
  • Abram's Descent into Egypt 63
  • Openings 65
  • An Offering to God 69
  • The Binding of Abraham and Isaac 72
  • Jacob's Journey 75
  • Joseph's Dream 80
  • Seduction above and below 84
  • Jacob's Garment of Days 91
  • Zohar on Exodus *
  • The Birth of Moses 99
  • Moses and the Blazing Bush 102
  • Moses and His Father-In-Law 105
  • Colors and Enlightenment 107
  • Pharaoh, Israel, and God 111
  • Manna and Wisdom 113
  • Is There Anyone like Moses? 117
  • All of Israel Saw the Letters 119
  • The Old Man and the Beautiful Maiden 121
  • The Gift of Dwelling 127
  • The Secret of Sabbath 132
  • The Golden Calf 133
  • Zohar on Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy *
  • Qorban and Olah, Drawing near and Ascending 145
  • Guests in the Sukkah 148
  • God, Israel, and Shekhinah 153
  • Threshing out the Secrets 163
  • The Rabbis Encounter a Child 170
  • Miracles 177
  • The Wedding Celebration 182
  • Notes *
  • Foreword & Introduction 193
  • Zohar 204
  • Appendix *
  • Glossary 303
  • Bibliography 307
  • Index to Zohar Passages 311
  • Index to Preface, Foreword, Introduction and Notes 313
  • Index to Text 316
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