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A friend of mine mentioned yesterday during our se'udah with the way in which the Zohar comments on a particular mitzvah lo ta'ase. In Devarim 16, Hashem commands us not to erect an asherah by the mizbe'ach. The Zohar apparently tries to whitewash this by explaining it as a separation between Hashem and the Shechinah. However, in the times of Bayit Rishon, Asherah was viewed by idolaters as a consort for Hashem.

When I subsequently queried him on the makor, he said that he believes that the citation is 1:49a.

Considering that the Zohar effectively rehashes this ancient avodah zarah, how can this belief (and by extension, the Zohar) be muttar?

  • Do you mean a commandment to not separate male and female aspects? – paquda Oct 5 '16 at 18:11
  • @paquda, the belief that the Asherah represents the female aspect of Hashem is a rehash of a very old belief that hashem was not אחד and that Asherah is his consort. See Patai's book on the subject, although he contends that this inyan was more mainstream than ע”ז should ever be. – Noach MiFrankfurt Oct 5 '16 at 18:27
  • I'm just asking about your sentence "my friend mentioned that the Zohar views this as a commandment to separate male and female aspects of Hashem"--it seems more likely the zohar would view it as a commandment to not separate. – paquda Oct 5 '16 at 18:43
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    Even after the edit, I don't get exactly what the Zohar says, and how it related to the ancient a"z of asherah. – mevaqesh Oct 5 '16 at 19:11
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt How is this question not in violation of that Cherem? Because you didn't read the exact words yourself? – Double AA Oct 5 '16 at 21:02
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You can have a concept that some of God's traits are "feminine" and that He has both masculine and feminine aspects but that is different from saying that there is a separate god that is God's wife.

Saying that God can defeat armies is not the same as believing in Mars, god of war.

  • I maintain that this would be better served as a comment than as an answer. – Noach MiFrankfurt Oct 6 '16 at 0:48
  • @NoachMiFrankfurt Why? What's wrong with it? – Double AA Oct 6 '16 at 1:32
  • @DoubleAA, it , it does not address the ע”ז being forbidden and and instead merely repeats claims which are fairly common-knowledge. The way this answer attempts to disprove the OP is insufficient IMO to really be of any great quality – Noach MiFrankfurt Oct 6 '16 at 12:47
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    @NoachMiFrankfurt If you ask a question whose answer is common knowledge, that's what you should expect in the answers. – Double AA Oct 6 '16 at 14:02
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    But the zohar doesn't equate multifacetedness with ashera. – Clint Eastwood Oct 6 '16 at 22:18

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