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What is the earliest mention of the Zohar being explicitly cited in Jewish texts?

I've asked some friends but we were unable to determine where it was.

  • What constitutes cited? The work is mentioned in the 1340s forum.otzar.org/viewtopic.php?t=32364 though I doubt that's the earliest. Do you mean a quotation is brought? That it is cited as authritative evidence in some discussion? If you count R Yitzchak's letter then that brings you to ~1305 – Double AA Jul 29 '18 at 2:30
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    One thing's for certain, you won't find it referenced before Rabbi Moshe de Leon "released it to the public" in the 13th Century. Hence many people's apprehensiveness of the Zohar's authenticity as a work of the Tanna Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. – ezra Jul 29 '18 at 3:13
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    Does the Zohar quoting himself qualify? ;-) – Danny Schoemann Jul 29 '18 at 8:28
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If you look at this article from this website: http://zomet.org.il/eng/?CategoryID=160&ArticleID=6835 It would seem according to Rav Ovadia Yosef that some parts of the Zohar labeled "midrash Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai" were available and quoted as early as the time of the Aruch (Rav Nosson from Roma) who lived in the 11th century in Italy.
For a full anylisis of who quotes the Zohar, the earliest commentators etc. see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zohar

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    With any citation before ~1300 there's always the question of how to prove who is quoting whom. If someone were to forge a lost work (eg. Yerushalmi Kodshim 100 years ago) they'd be sure to include all the stuff we know was in that work (and indeed Friedlander included all that in his "Yerushalmi") – Double AA Jul 29 '18 at 21:10
  • @DoubleAA just curious, so how was he busted? – Shmuel Brin Jul 29 '18 at 22:46
  • @ShmuelBrin onthemainline.blogspot.com/2007/01/… – WAF Jul 30 '18 at 12:31

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