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Gershom Scholem Card Index of the Zohar

The NLI has posted online Gershom Scholem’s Card Index of the Zohar.

The catalogue is not a book per se, but personal notes that Scholem took in anticipation of the future writing of a Zohar lexicon. The notes are in the form of white cards, which Scholem stored in impeccable order in a long narrow wooden drawer that fit them perfectly, in his impressive writing desk (which today serves as the Scholem collections librarian’s desk at the National Library). Each card deals with a word from the Zohar and includes citations that include this word in its various senses, with references to the Zohar, clarifications of formulation and important notes on the lexicon of the Zohar.

The notes written on the cards include, first and foremost, the meaning of the word and its various connotations, both in linguistic and Kabbalistic terms, and sometimes also symbolic ones. In addition, the cards contain other usages and explanations that elucidate the origin of the word and it etymological development from the ancient texts (Bible, Talmud and Midrashim) or medieval texts – philosophy and Kabbalah, in particular allusions to the works of Moses de Leon who Scholem, for most of his life, regarded as the author of the Zohar. The notes also contain etymological considerations and parallel words in other languages, as well as reference to usage in later Kabbalistic texts and discussion of these words in works by both early and modern Zohar commentators.

I haven’t been able to get all of the features to work, but this looks like a very nice resource for those who study Kabbalah.

2 Responses to “Gershom Scholem Card Index of the Zohar”

  1. 1

    What a great scholar he was.

    Do you know, what language did Gershon Schome write in? Was everything he wrote translated into Hebrew and English, or did he actually write in those two langauges?

  2. 2
    Menachem Mendel:

    I know that he did write some things in German, but I do not know if they were translated into English or Hebrew.




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