Melila Hellner-Eshed. Seekers of the Face: Secrets of the Idra Rabba (The Great Assembly) of the Zohar. Translated by Raphael Dascalu. Stanford Studies in Jewish Mysticism Series. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2021. 480 pp. $75.00 (e-book), ISBN 978-1-5036-2858-8; $75.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-5036-2842-7.Cross-file under Zohar Watch. For many PaleoJudaica posts on the Zohar, start here and follow the links.
Reviewed by Mark Verman (Wright State University)
Published on H-Judaic (June, 2022)
Commissioned by Robin Buller (University of California - Berkeley)
Melila Hellner-Eshed’s Seekers of the Face is an enchanting work, in terms of both content and style. It constitutes the first monograph in English devoted to one of the most important parts of the Zohar, the crown jewel of medieval Jewish literature. A translation of Hellner-Eshed’s Hebrew book Mevakshei ha-Panim (2017), Seekers of the Face is also a wonderful sequel to her earlier work, A River Flows from Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar (2009), which is a translation of her Hebrew monograph Ve-Nahar Yotse me-'Eden (2005). Both are part of Stanford University Press’s ambitious series, Stanford Studies in Jewish Mysticism, which has published a number of important studies of the Zohar.
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