The Language of the Zohar and How to Understand It

The Zohar is written primarily in Aramaic with some Hebrew words. The characters are the Hebrew letters. And, the meaning of the words is almost never literal. Even when translated into other languages, the Zohar is still difficult to understand. So, we must keep certain fundamental principles in mind to make it work for us.

To begin with, usage of the Hebrew alphabet is of great significance. As the Zohar explains, the world was created and is sustained by the power of the Hebrew alphabet; the letters, in fact, are the DNA of the universe. Although this is a hard concept to grasp, it is an important one. So, before you dismiss the power of the Hebrew alphabet, think about this: Do you believe that your voice can travel to the other side of the world through a little device made out of sea sand, soil, and oil, and which only needs a battery or the rays of the sun to work?

In order to make use of your mobile phone, you don’t need to believe in what it can do because even if you didn’t, the phone would still function for what it was designed. The same goes for the Hebrew letters.

Because the spiritual system can actually “understand” Hebrew, Aramaic–a more divine language that makes use of the Hebrew letters–is intended to bypass the negative elements that can be found in the system. The “outsiders” residing within the spiritual system seek to capture all the energy they can have access to for their survival. Therefore, Aramaic is used to safeguard spiritual connections to the Upper Worlds.

Furthermore, the most important prayers are recited in Aramaic because the language helps bridge our world to the spiritual realms. And, Aramaic is also used to elevate the souls of the recently departed. Not surprisingly, the Zohar uses Aramaic for this exact reason, thus we can use the Zohar to elevate our souls to a higher spiritual level.

Another element of the Zohar’s language is the codes and symbols in its discussions. We may read about day or night, but it actually refers to spiritual aspects and dimensions. When it speaks about walking on a path or climbing a mountain, this is likely alluding to a form of spiritual elevation. And, when it says that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, author of the Zohar, cried, this relates to seeing the future and/or the process of entering the spiritual level of Chokmah, the level which is the father of all spiritual emanations.

Lastly, quotes from the Bible are used throughout the Zohar to connect us to the specific energy at their root. And, all Zohar discussion about the Hebrew letters open channels of energy or create paths for spiritual elevations.

Clearly, the language of the Zohar is so complex that it even requires we suspend our tendency of disbelieve. Yet, with the proper understanding of its main components, we can begin to understand it and use it how it was intended.

Zion Nefesh