Found In Translation

An English version of the Zohar, a guiding text of Jewish mysticism, offers new insights

The road winds like a Talmudic discourse, first one way and then another, up toward Daniel Matt's home in the Berkeley, Calif., hills. "There's a more direct route that my wife likes," admits Matt, 53. "But I find this one more interesting."

That's not surprising. Matt is embarked on a solo journey through one of the most influential--and maddeningly difficult--works in the history of religious literature. After six years of his labor, Stanford University Press has published the first two books of his translation of the Zohar, the wellspring of Jewish mysticism, or Cabala. He will do nine more volumes,...

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