Inside the hidden nexus (from Jacob's Journey)

by Zohar (Moses de Leon)

English version by Daniel Chanan Matt
Original Language Aramaic

Jacob left Be'er Sheva and set out for Haran. (Genesis 28:10)

Inside the hidden nexus,
from within the sealed secret,
a zohar flashed,
shining as a mirror,
embracing two colors blended together.
Once these two absorbed each other, all colors appeared:
purple, the whole spectrum of colors, flashing, disappearing.
Those rays of color do not wait to be seen;
they merge into the fusion of zohar.

In this zohar dwells the one who dwells.
It provides a name for the one who is concealed and totally unknown.
It is called the Voice of Jacob.
Complete faith in the one who is concealed and totally unknown belongs here.
Here dwells YHVH,
perfection of all sides, above and below.
Here Jacob is found,
perfection of the Patriarchs, linked to all sides.
This zohar is called by the singled-out name:
"Jacob, whom I have chosen
(Isaiah 41:8)
Two names he is called: Jacob and Israel.
At first, Jacob; later, Israel.

The secret of this secret:
First he attained the End of Thought,
the Elucidation of the Written Torah.
She is the Oral Torah, called Be'er;
as it is said:
"Moses began be'er, to explain, the Torah"
(Deuteronomy 1:5)
She is a be'er, a well and an explanation
of the one who is called Sheva, Seven,
as it is written:
"It took him sheva, seven, years to build it"
(1 Kings 6:38)
Sheva is the Mighty Voice,
while the End of Thought is Be'er Sheva.

-- from Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment: (Classics of Western Spirituality), Translated by Daniel Chanan Matt

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Commentary by Ivan M. Granger

This passage has so much to contemplate and explore on many levels. I would just point out that the word "zohar" is a reference to light or shining. It is the light of mystics. It is the light of enlightenment.

Once these two absorbed each other, all colors appeared:
purple, the whole spectrum of colors, flashing, disappearing.
Those rays of color do not wait to be seen;
they merge into the fusion of zohar.

Once the "two colors" -- the solar and the lunar, the masculine and the feminine -- are balanced and merged, once they are "blended together," then a new, all-encompassing level of radiance is discovered. This is a shining composed of all things, all light, "all colors," flowing into and out of appearance, "flashing and disappearing."

Someone seeking yogic parallels might identify this zohar as the radiant crown chakra -- the place of divine presence. "In this zohar dwells the one who dwells... Here dwells YHVH, / perfection of all sides, above and below."

I also want to note the Zohar's mystical understanding of Jacob/Israel. "Here Jacob is found..." Jacob is not simply a figure of history and culture. Jacob is presented to us as a living presence, available, accessible, and connected to all, "linked to all sides". And, of course, Jacob became known as Israel, giving his name to his offspring as a people. Jacob, as a Patriarch and a bridge to divine presence, also gives us a mystical understanding of Israel, not as a nation upon a map, but as a state of awareness.

Finally, it's worth contemplating what the Zohar means by "the End of Thought." This End of Thought is the "Mighty Voice," the "Oral Torah," the "Elucidation of the Torah," "a well and an explanation" of the Torah. The Zohar seems to suggest that the Law of God can only be understood by attaining perfect silence and stillness.



Recommended Books: Zohar (Moses de Leon)

Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment: (Classics of Western Spirituality) Zohar: Annotated & Explained The Zohar (Revised Edition, Volumes 1-23) Zohar: The Book of Splendor: Basic Readings from the Kabbalah The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews, and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain





Inside the hidden