Zohar 1:228a


He began to speak and he said- “Who are these” (mi ’elleh) (Gen. 48-8)? One may infer that he was speaking about worship from the side of idolatry [as it says] “This is your god, O Israel” (’elleh ’elohekha yisra’el) (Exod. 32-4). Rather it is a secret- When all the aspects of that evil serpent, the serpent that comes from the side of the impure spirit, and the one who rides upon it are united, they are called “these” (’elleh)….The Holy Spirit is called “this” (z’ot), and it is the secret of the holy, inscribed covenant that is always found on men. And this [is the import of] “This is my God and I will glorify Him” (zeh ’eli we’anvehu) (ibid. 15-3), and “This is the Lord” (zeh yhwh) (Isa. 25-9). But these [demonic forces] are called ’elleh, and thus it is written, “This is your god, O Israel.” And for this reason it is written, “Though she might forget these” (gam ’elleh tishkahnah), but “I,” the secret of ’anokhi, “never could forget you” (we’anokhi lo’ ’eshkahekh) (ibid. 49-15).

Translated by Elliot Wolfson in “Re/membering the Covenant- Memory, Forgetfulness, and History in the Zohar,” in Jewish History and Jewish Memory- Essays in Honor of Joseph Hayim Jerushalmi, 214-246. Edited by E. Carlbach, D. S. Myers, and J. Efron. Hanover and London- Brandeis University Press, 1998.

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