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Zohar and midrash found in Koran


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Adar 12, 5773
Hello, thank you for your reply to my previous question. However, since the dating of the Zohar is controversial, and believed by many to be the 13th Cent. CE (Spain, Moses de Leon), to assign the source of the story about Abraham and the stars etc. to the Zohar does not incontrovertibly refute the suspicion that it might have been drawn from the Koran. Do you not have more solid evidence that the story is originally Jewish?
Shalom Avi. The controversy regarding the dating of different parts of the Zohar is common knowledge. What I meant is that if the midrash is in the Zohar than it’s “kosher” and part of the Jewish tradition and legitimately “mainstream”, whether, as most traditions, one attributes the core Zohar to R. Shimon bar Yochai (about 500 years before the Koran), or not. It’s also common knowledge that many places in the Koran reflect Jewish traditions, which were all passed down orally (!) and only beginning about 1800 years ago, some (!) of them were put into writing in the classic midrashim (beforehand, it was prohibited to write them down). Accordingly, there’s nothing wrong or suspicious with saying that the first place a midrash was written down was the Koran. See for example Otzar HaMidrashim (ed. By R. J. D. Eisenstein) or Midrash HaGadol (from ancient Yemen), for hundreds, if not thousands (!), of midrashim which were ancient but weren’t written down in the classic midrashic works (like Midrash Rabba or Tanchuma), but in other ancient sources or written down only in the past centuries. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat
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