Religion Magazine

Pleading Ignorance

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I know I am late to the game on this, but it is time for a comment.
Shortly after the Meron tragedy, this excerpt from the Zohar, from the Idra Rabba, got passed around..
pleading ignorance
This piece of Zohar has become a point of contention, to some extent.
Initially it was passed around with the explanation that it refers to a conversation between Elijah the Prophet and Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, in which, briefly, Rabbi Shimon says 45 people will die on his yahrtzeit as he protects the masses from far worse. Or something like that.
A bit later this was followed up with some opposition, claiming that those who initially passed it around are preying on people's ignorance, as it says nothing like what was claimed. It refers to a conversation between Elijah and Rabbbi Shimon but is about Elijah killing 45 Roman guards, or something like that.
Honestly, I have no idea what it says. I never did well with Zohar. I find it overly cryptic, and even when I can make out what the words say I usually have no idea what they mean.
My point is that I am super impressed that so many people, both rabbis and lay people, are such experts in the Zohar, even in just translating it and understanding it on a basic level but even more so that so many know what he means to say! I guess it is just me that is fully ignorant in these things.
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