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I recently heard from a rabbi that people (in the Zohar's view) were standing on the Earth's sphere both above and below, and while it was day for some, it was night for others and vice versa. If its true, I would like to know where in the Zohar this statement or idea comes from.

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זוהר ויקרא דף י עמוד א

כל העולם מתגלגל בעיגול ככדור אלו למעלה, ואלו למטה,וכל אלו הבריות משונות במראיהן משינוי האויר, כפי כל מקום ומקום, וקיימים במקומם כשאר בני האדם, ועל זה יש מקום בעולם כאשר מאור לאלו, חשוך לאלו, לאלו יום, ולאלו לילה, ויש מקום שכולו יום ולא נמצא בו לילה, חוץ משעה אחת קטנה

Rough translation: The whole world revolves in a circle like a ball, some are on top and some are on the bottom, and the people in different places have different appearances from each other due to the different atmospheres. And this allows that while it is light for these, it is dark for these, for these day and for these night, and there is a place where it is light all the time except for a brief period.

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Huh. Maybe it didn't know about the Earth's 23.5 degree tilt? When did people discover that? –  Double AA Apr 1 at 19:53
    
@DoubleAA Evidently knew of some tilt, though - it does refer to a "שעה קטנה" of night even there. (Don't know enough astronomy to know how that would work) –  YEZ Apr 1 at 19:56
    
If it's talking about a sphere revolving around the sun, then it sounds like no tilt. In a no tilt situation, unless you are precisely at a pole (either of them, btw) the center of the sun will sometimes dip below the horizon. This doesn't account for obstacles on the horizon. –  Double AA Apr 1 at 20:02
    
@DoubleAA why can't the "יש מקום" be one of the poles? And even if the sun would go below the horizon, it would still be light. –  YEZ Apr 1 at 20:05
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@Renato I don't know if there is mention somewhere of different skin colors- it just says "משונות במראיהן" - different appearances. That doesn't have to mean skin color. But that was what I translated in my answer as "people in different places are different from each other" –  YEZ Apr 1 at 20:16
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