That Zohar Wasn’t Really Saying That..

6

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by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the horrific tragedy at Meron, there was a mistranslated Zohar circulating.  It is unclear as to why it was mistranslated.  It is either because the person does not have adequate Aramaic reading skills, or to further an agenda. Some may justify doing so in order to placate those who have lost loved ones – but it cannot be done at the expense of ziuf haTorah.

The following is the voice note that was on Social Media however this is a thoroughly incorrect translation.

 

This is what the incorrect reading said:

This is from the Zohar:  “It says that there will come a day that 45 people will die on the yartzeit, on Lag BaOmer by the Kever of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and that these people are nitzotzos from the Neshama of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.”

This is incorrect and a stop should be put to it. We do not use sheker and mistranslations to promote things. 

===PLEASE HELP A BAALEI TESHIVA COUPLE GET MARRIED.  THEY ARE A WONDERFUL COUPLE AND THERE ARE NO FUNDS ON EITHER SIDE.===

https://thechesedfund.com/zechornilah/weddingoftwobaaleiteshuva

THE CORRECT MEANING

The correct meaning of this passage, however, does not discuss a future time. It discusses an event that happened in the past. It is a conversation between Eliyahu HaNavi and Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.  There was to be a gathering where Hashem would reveal secrets to the  Tzaddikim.  Eliyahu haNavi was there initially, but Hashem tied a task to him.  The task was to rescue Rabbi Hamnunah and his friends who were taken captive (in a Roman prison).  Eliyahu pushed down the walls and 45 of the Roman guards were killed. He then saved Rabbi Hamnunah.

There is no future time.  Any comparison of the tzaddikim who perished rachmana litzlan to the Roman guards who captured Rav Hamnunah and his friends is wrong.

===PLEASE HELP A BAALEI TESHIVA COUPLE GET MARRIED. THEY ARE A WONDERFUL COUPLE AND THERE ARE NO FUNDS ON EITHER SIDE.===

https://thechesedfund.com/zechornilah/weddingoftwobaaleiteshuva

The author can be reached at [email protected]


6 COMMENTS

  1. Obviously, there are many layers to the words of the Holy Zohar. Is R Hoffman claiming exclusive right of interpretation? [RABBI HOFFMAN RESPONDS: CHAS VESHALOM. THERE IS, HOWEVER, A PROBLEM OF CONFUSING INTERPRETATION AND TRANSLATION. WHEN SOMEONE TAKES A POSSIBLE INTERPRETATION – AND THIS IS PRESENTED AS A TRANSLATION, (WHERE THE READER SAYS, “WOW! THIS WAS PREDICTED IN THE ZOHAR”) AS SOMETHING THAT THE ZOHAR HAS ACTUALLY SAID – THIS IS ZI’UF.]

  2. Like with every other peice of zohar, I am sure there are deeper meanings to the story. Even if the guy on the original voice note did not translate it properly, you have to admit that the number 45 is very interesting…

  3. this is the best accurate paraphrase. The Zohar begins by telling us that Rabbi Shimon revealed awesome things and 3 of his own talmidim were niftar after that Rabbi Shimon asks Hashem in anguish if that was a negative decree as punishment? The heavenly voice replies that no it is not they are worthy and so is he, their deaths were a positive event because their souls cleaved unto Hashem in a supreme embrace
    Afterwards Rashbi wonders were was Eliyahu haNavi during all these revelations? Eliyahu shows up and replies that he was absent because Hashem sent him on a mission to save Rav Hamanuna Saba by miraculously taking him from the king’s palace in order to save him and his friends Eliyahu pushes down the walls and 45 princes or sarim are crushed to death, their souls are tied up, and Eliyahu then sees a stretcher being carried by the angels on which lie the 3 souls of the talmidim (which he did not witness their passing since he was saving Rav Hamanuna) when he asks the angels who are these and why did they die he is told that they are part of Rashbi’s hilula celebration and worthy is their lot and praiseworthy are they and happy is their portion to be in the portion of Rashbi, that is the most accurate translation of those 2 pages of the Idra Rabbah which took place on LagBaOmer the last day of Rashbi’s life

  4. there are many questions about this Zohar 1 why 45 people? the girsa of the Kav HaYashar is btw 245 sarim, and he learns that they were gentiles that were opressing Rav Hamnuna Sabba, 2 if these past events are somehow linked why did those 45 neshamos described as having been crushed to death by Eliyahu haNavi die through a miracle, and their death is called tied up a lashon that implies being bound up and not just death 3 are they gilgulim of some kind? who were they? 4 why was the death of 3 talmidim that died on LagBaOmer a positive event? I heard from Talmidim that Rav Itche Meir Morgenstern shlita said that Hashem did for us a great miracle thru Rashbi his talmidim interpret his meaning that soehow it could have been a much worse decree and what we saw was a veiled chessed a miracle that could have been much much worse… Hashem yerachem

  5. The underlined Aramaic text (Zohar 3:144b, Idra Rabba) pictured above reads: “… and they were trapped in the magical entanglement, in which forty-five officers died… and they told me, ‘The share of the blessed Holy One from the wedding celebration of Rabbi Shim’on and his Companions’” (Excerpt From: Daniel C. Matt. “The Zohar (The Zohar: Pritzker Edition) vol 8: Leviticus-Numbers.” iBooks).

    When you read more of the context you should come to the same conclusion of Rabbi Yair Hoffman.

  6. TMZ12: Correction, the Idrah Rabbah was NOT on Rabbi Shimon’s last day. The Idrah Zutah was on his last day. It also includes the reason why he was buried in Meron.

    IMHO, it is possible that the referenced piece in the Zohar is hinting at current events, but there is absolutely no way that we can understand the meaning of this.