The Zohar and the Book of Mormon
A New Assessment of Israel For Mormons: The Zohar and the Book of Mormon
We are living in an unprecedented era of information. The branch of Israel known as Joseph (Mormonism) has amassed a gigantic amount of wealth and is thriving, at least financially. We know this now thanks to information from the internet. I had never ever known anything about the financials of Mormonism for my first 48 years of living, now I get annual updates if not sooner than that. But it is not this which I wish to address that is most fascinating concerning modern Israel.
Joseph has risen from the ashes, so to speak, since the early 1800’s with Joseph Smith’s revelations and restorations of texts, priesthoods, prayers, endowments, and riches. Mormonism’s role in Israel has been a clarion call that we are entering the last days, according to many thoughts the founding prophet Joseph Smith announced. We still don’t have much of a clue about the lost ten tribes, other than they are scattered among the nations, but Judah of Israel has never disappeared from the pages of history since it began, a most unusual phenomena.
The Jews, the eternal covenant people, have recently finished, for the first time in history, two entire and valid sets of 23, and of 12 volumes of scripture, the most complete to date of the Zohar (not to mention the new analysis of other books of scripture besides the Torah, the Bahir and Sefer Yetzirah). This ancient book of Medieval scripture has now come to the light of day, and its light is shining throughout the world to all who wish to read it. It was considered scripture for hundreds of years in its medieval revelations, (Arthur Green says so in the Introduction to the Volume 1 of Daniel Matt’s Pritzker edition of Zohar, p. xxxii) and still is by a growing number of Jewish groups, then was forced underground, and is now back into the full light of day sharing the Jewish revelations from Elijah and other heavenly beings, Gabriel, Enoch, etc., (who has returned to them numerous times throughout their long centuries of existence, giving them keys, revelations, and sacred geometric, cosmological knowledge as the Zohar clearly demonstrates).
Mormonism claims that Elijah only returned to them in Kirtland in the 1830’s for the first time since Jesus’ day, is simply ignoring the Jewish witnesses and testimonies. To be fair, these testimonies have been difficult to gain access to from medieval times, since they mostly exist in manuscript form alone. Now we have a direct way to reassess the theology, the history, and the religious significance of new scripture before us.
As when the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi discoveries were made in the 1940-1950’s, on all phases of Israel’s ancient religion and knowledge, a major reassessment was forced upon the world, so today, with the coming forth of yet more sacred revelations and records, scriptures of Israel, this time, to what I can only presume is a major surprise for Mormons (who claim Israelite connections through Joseph), from the tribe of Judah, a reassessment is called for, especially for Mormons, but no less for all Christians, Buddhists, Bahais, Muslims, etc.
And why not? God is not limited to a mortal Mormon finite and limited understanding and view of how God will carry out his work. God obviously has continually shared revelation and knowledge with the Jews throughout all time in history as the many records we now have demonstrate conclusively. The idea of an apostasy of God stopping revelation apparently was never given to either God or the Jews. If they lost authority from God, someone failed to tell God to shut up, he kept on sharing his knowledge with them for millenia, continually sending his messengers. He has continually blessed them with knowledge, light, truth, and revelation all through the centuries after Christ, up into the Middle Ages ever since their temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. That obviously did not stop God in any way from continually guiding them and building their spiritual power and giving them scriptural knowledge (the Sefer Yetzirah, the Bahir, and now the Zohar). For any Mormon, layman or leader, to say none of this counts simply because they have not known about it is dubious.
35 gigantic volumes of scripture have recently been published for the entire world, a most precious gift from Judah, to begin reading in a new day of opening up the secret revelations which were not safe to do for the Jews during pogroms, blood libel and persecutions for so long throughout medieval Europe, whether in Eastern Byzantium/Russia, or Western Roman/Europe. These are scriptures as the Jews noted for hundreds of years. God has simply never stopped talking to the Jewish people in their own mode, as Mormons themselves claim He does so talk. If Mormons don't have continuously published new revelations it does not follow that no one else does. And if they do have new revelations it also does not follow that no one else does except their Mormon ones alone in the world. The Book of Mormon militates against just such a narrow view, with nothing said about scripture being proper due only to possessing priesthood authority, or coming only from a “true church”.
Read again in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:12 - “For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it…” notice the present tense of the verb with the 1st person pronoun “I shall speak,” and the continued present tense “They shall write”, the entire chapter is about all nations writing scripture because God is continually revealing truth to them, and this down through the ages, from at minimum the beginning time of the ten lost tribes in 700 B.C., until all the 12 tribes of Israel gather together. Vs. 7 - “and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all nations of the earth,” again noting the present tense of the verb - “I bring forth my word” Note vs. 12 the future tense in “and I shall speak unto the other tribes,” and further in the verse, “I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.” It is not only in the past God has spoken nor in the past that scripture has been given, but rather, throughout all time to all nations.
God continues pouring out new light and knowledge all over the world in many, many cultures, some we probably have not heard of. Who dares limit God to what he can do, who he can enlighten, and who he can inspire? The dubious claim that priesthood authority is necessary before true scripture can be given just shows, in light of the massive outpouring of scripture from many others besides Mormons, that apparently God has shared his priesthood in a far wider net than Mormons have ever even dared to suppose, thus rendering their historic interpretation of an universal apostasy of priesthood authority moot. Or else, with the massive evidence we now possess, the claim of needed priesthood first before scripture can be justified, is just wrong.
But today, right now... this is impressively something! More scripture has come forth from Judaism than all the other scriptures combined from all the other religions, so far as print has occurred in the last mere 20 years. You want to know why God has stopped talking? Perhaps no one is looking where he has been talking and what instructions await those who wish to read His Good Word after all. God has not stopped inspiring, talking, and revealing, man has just stopped looking, learning, and caring. It's not God's fault no one is paying attention to his words as they come forth from other nations than our own. Our own cultural bias keeps us in the dark.
The new Zohar has been published in two different amazing, inspiring editions, one by the Kabbalah Center coupled with the excellent commentary of Rabbi Yehuda Halevi Ashlag, with both the Aramaic and English, 23 sumptuous volumes in 2003. The other edition of the Zohar was been produced by an astonishing team of international experts, and translated by Daniel C. Matt, The Zohar, Pritzker edition, the most complete folio of Aramaic manuscripts all collected from around the world by an international team and gathered for translation in 12 volumes, with Daniel Matt’s incredibly extensive commentary in a gorgeous 12 volume set, finished in 2017.
It is not only for and through Mormonism that God is going to give revelation and new scripture. Yes, Mormons want to imagine they are the only darlings in the house, and God is only going to reveal truth to their own prophets and no one else, but Joseph, I repeat, is not all of Israel, but a single puzzle piece in the drama, though an important one. Judah is also still of Israel, and both these tribes need to sit up and smell the coffee and realize that God doesn’t limit himself to just one or the other. The Book of Mormon says he’s right now talking to all the other tribes, and they are writing their own scriptures, and someday we are all going to read them too.
Now just hold it. If the other tribes are scattered among the nations, then the already existing sacred scriptures of other peoples may very well be some of those lost scriptures. What about the Bhagavad Gita, the Quran, and other sacred writings of other religions?
Exoteric religion is so hamstrung over its own importance eliminating all others as not being righteous enough, that we cut off our noses to spite our face. I have a proposal, one that probably no actual exoteric religion (organized church religions, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Bahai’s etc.) is going to like, but it’s seriously time to stop acting so hurt and threatened when new light comes from someone other than our own righteous selves, and our own pet personal religion we belong to.
What if we come to recognize that right now Mormonism is on the lowdown, and Judah’s spirituality has arisen to astonishing new heights to open up the new Millenium? Not only have we received two sets of Zohar, but also what could be a very important key to understanding that incredible record through Leonora Leet’s writings, and Joseph Dan’s writings, and Howard Schwartz’s writings, and Eugene Seaich’s writings, all coming forth from 1999-2004 to shine brightly in this new age? Leet wrote 4 texts before she died.
1. Renewing the Covenant, a Kabbalistic Guide to Jewish Spirituality
2. The Kabbalah of the Soul, The Transformative Psychology and Practices of Jewish Mysticism
3. The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah, Recovering the Key to Hebraic Sacred Science
4. The Universal Kabbalah, Deciphering the Cosmic Code in the Sacred Geometry of the Sabbath Star Diagram
Joseph Dan’s magisterial set of texts elaborating on all Jewish Mysticism, religion and Kabbalistic also number four.
Jewish Mysticism, Late Antiquity, Vol. 1
Jewish Mysticism, The Middle Ages, Vol. 2
Jewish Mysticism, The Modern Period, Vol. 3
Jewish Mysticism, General Characteristics and Comparative Studies, Vol. 4
Howard Schwartz for the first time ever put together an entire one volume gigantic anthology of the mythology of Judaism, “Tree of Souls, The Mythology of Judaism.” (2004)
Eugene Seaich published about one of the singular most sacred, important, and vibrant symbols of all Judaism, concerning the most sacred part of their religion, “A Great Mystery: The Secret of the Jerusalem Temple, The Embracing Cherubim and At-One-Ment with the Divine.” (2008)
It is hard to find a way to share the significance of this, so I will without exaggeration explain that in the opening of this new Millenium, all of the most sacred, secret, mystical teachings, learning, and esoteric religious ideas of Judaism have been shared, entirely in the open to the entire world for the very first time in all history. No one was allowed to read the Zohar until they reached 40, were raised in Judaism and well studied and versed in Torah, Halaka, and Talmud. And then could only study the Zohar with a learned rabbi, never, ever alone.
Let me give Mormons the equivalent to this massive amazing spiritual effort and outpouring in order to shock into a realization of what is happening in our very lives right here, right now. This massive outpouring of the most inner secret sacred teachings is the equivalent to if Mormonism now opened all the doors of all their temples and invited the entire rest of the world to begin participating in the endowment sessions, no temple recommends needed. Absolutely all are invited into the singular most sacred aspect of Mormonism. If that doesn’t shock you if that happened, then you are not paying attention and you have not grasped what I have just told you here. Judah has completely come open with all of their most sacred scripture, secrets, ideas, hopes, and methods of getting back to God, with nothing held back, it is all available now.
Obviously Mormonism is on the wane for producing new scripture for the time being, while Judah is supposed to be waxing stronger and sharing vastly more spiritual light in this new Millenium. It has gone back and forth, first Mormonism, now Judah, and if there is anything to the Book of Mormon, it will be the Ten Tribes turn soon, if they haven’t already and we are ignoring their contribution!. This to me is announcing in absolutely no uncertain terms that the Last Days are being entered here. In Judah, in their calendar, the Messianic Age is nigh unto arriving also, perhaps why now it is the proper time to begin helping the world begin to begin to rise in spirituality, and hence all this publishing is going on of their complete, most sacred texts for all the world to read and profit from. Mormonism (Joseph) need not hang her head or complain, it is the Lord’s plan for all Israel after all, and Judah is not in apostasy, but is thriving sharing all this new and critically important light and knowledge for all of us. Rather than grudgingly fight it, what would happen if all our religions quit worrying about who is right and who is wrong, and begin all coalescing together as ONE Israel finally, and profiting spiritually from all the scripture that is pouring out?
Forget worrying about one book of scripture contradicting or being problematical with another for the moment. How about working all of them in together and finding the common light all are talking about and sharing? Rather than arguing and going to war (thankfully only spiritually and not physically these days), what if all the scriptures in print now begin to be studied together, (from all religions), sharing their goodness will all others, no one scripture being privileged over another, but all of them coming together in all people’s mind and a common goal of true worldwide Brotherhood becomes a reality instead of paying mere hypocritical lip service? Do the various and sundry religions have that kind of foresight, or are they all going to continue with their legalistic narrow minded bigoted limited views of imagining only they are right and all others are wrong, in the direct face of the Creator who made us all in this astonishing new Millenium of literal instant World Wide Communication? Isn’t it time to take the hint from Judah and expand our horizons, both physically and spiritually?