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.

  • It should be noted that the authorship of the Zohar is contested by many. Putting the date of writing a lot later than Talmudic times. In some estimations it was written in the 13th century.
    – bondonk
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


זוהר ויקרא דף י עמוד א

וּבְסִפְרָא דְּרַב הַמְנוּנָא סָבָא, פָּרִישׁ יַתִּיר, דְּהָא כָּל יִשׁוּבָא מִתְגַּלְגְּלָא בְּעִגוּלָא כַּכַּדּוּר, אִלֵּין לְתַתָּא, וְאִלֵּין לְעֵילָּא, וְכָל אִינּוּן בִּרְיָין מְשַׁנְיָין בְּחֶזְוַויְיהוּ מִשִׁנוּיָא דַּאֲוִירָא. כְּפוּם כָּל אֲתַר וַאֲתַר, וְקַיְימִין בְּקִיּוּמַיְיהוּ כִּשְׁאָר בְּנֵי נָשָׁא.

ועַל דָּא אִית אֲתַר בְּיִשּׁוּבָא, כַּד נָהִיר לְאִלֵּין, חָשִׁיךְ לְאִלֵּין, לְאִלֵּין יְמָמָא, וּלְאִלֵּין לֵילְיָא. וְאִית אֲתַר דְּכוּלֵיהּ יְמָמָא, וְלָא אִשְׁתְּכַח בֵּיהּ לֵילְיָא, בַּר בְּשַׁעֲתָא חֲדָא זְעֵירָא.

Hebrew translation:

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.

  • Huh. Maybe it didn't know about the Earth's 23.5 degree tilt? When did people discover that?
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 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) Commented Apr 1, 2014 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
    Commented Apr 1, 2014 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. Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 20:05
  • 1
    @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" Commented Apr 1, 2014 at 20:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .