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The authenticity of the Zohar was accepted by such 16th century Jewish luminaries as R' Yosef Karo (d.1575), R' Moses Isserles (d.1572), and R' Solomon Luria (d.1574), who wrote that Jewish law (Halacha) follows the Zohar, except where the Zohar is contradicted by the Babylonian Talmud.She had asked him several times, she said, why he had chosen to credit his own teachings to another, and he had always answered that doctrines put into the mouth of the miracle-working Shimon bar Yochai would be a rich source of profit.The story indicates that shortly after its appearance the work was believed by some to have been written by Moses de Leon.This leads him to hypothesize that Moses de León's wife sold the original manuscript, as parchment was very valuable, and was embarrassed by the realization of its high ancient worth, leading her to claim it was written by her husband.Rabbi Kaplan concludes saying this was the probable series of events.the woman's alleged confession in favor of the testimony of Joseph ben Todros and of Jacob, a pupil of Moses de León, both of whom assured him on oath that the work was not written by de Leon.Issac's testimony, which appeared in the first edition (1566) of Sefer Yuchasin, was censored from the second edition (1580) Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan notes that Isaac evidently did not believe her, since Isaac quotes the Zohar as authored by Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai in a manuscript in Rabbi Kaplan's possession.
The Zohar is mostly written in what has been described as a cryptic, obscure style of Aramaic.
It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and scriptural interpretations as well as material on mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology.
The Zohar contains discussions of the nature of God, the origin and structure of the universe, the nature of souls, redemption, the relationship of Ego to Darkness and "true self" to "The Light of God", and the relationship between the "universal energy" and man.
Conversely, Elijah Delmedigo (c.1458 – c.1493), in his Bechinat ha-Dat endeavored to show that the Zohar could not be attributed to Shimon bar Yochai, by a number of arguments.
He claims that if it were his work, the Zohar would have been mentioned by the Talmud, as has been the case with other works of the Talmudic period; he claims that had bar Yochai known by divine revelation the hidden meaning of the precepts, his decisions on Jewish law from the Talmudic period would have been adopted by the Talmud, that it would not contain the names of rabbis who lived at a later period than that of bar Yochai; he claims that if the Kabbalah was a revealed doctrine, there would have been no divergence of opinion among the Kabbalists concerning the mystic interpretation of the precepts.In the Ashkenazi community of Eastern Europe, religious authorities including the Vilna Gaon (d.1797) and Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (d.1812) (The Baal Ha Tanya) believed in the authenticity of the Zohar.