Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Vocalization and History of Kabbalah

Jordan Penkower has published a new book (in Hebrew) with Cherub Press titled The Dates of Composition of The Zohar and The Book Bahir: The History of Biblical Vocalization and Accentuation as a Tool for Dating Kabbalistic Works. The title pretty much sums it up - the references to Hebrew punctuation in these Kabbalistic works provide key information for determining when the Zohar and the Bahir were written (and more importantly, when they were not written). The long chapter on the Bahir was written in response to an attempt by Ronit Meroz (in Da'at 49, 2002) to identify the punctuation system of the Bahir as being Babylonian ("nikud Bavli") and thus placing the composition of the Bahir in the very early medieval East.


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