The Sulam Shir HaShirim Exclusive Facsimile
The Sulam Commentary on The Zohar Ḥadash
Shir HaShirim / Numbered Edition
120 pages / 9"x13" / 23cmx33cm
Exclusive facsimile print edition from the original manuscript written by the author, the great kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag, Ba'al HaSulam.
"The Sulam Commentary on the Zohar Ḥadash– Shir HaShirim" is a complete and exemplary work, published for the first time as a high-quality facsimile print of the author's original handwritten manuscript. The author is the great kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag, known as the Ba'al HaSulam. The composition contains 120 pages.
This commentary is truly the final leg of the Ba'al HaSulam's magnum opus, of translating and explaining "The Book of the Zohar," the most important kabbalistic work of all time, thus making it accessible to every person, so that they can become acquainted with the powerful secrets hidden in its pages. The Ba'al HaSulam began writing his commentary in 1943, and viewed it as the crowning glory of his extensive kabbalistic oeuvre. He began writing this particular composition on December 31, 1953, a decade after beginning his commentary on the entire Zohar. Uncharacteristically, he chose to cite the date he began this commentary at the beginning of the work before us.
Approximately nine months later, the Ba'al HaSulam was no longer with us. He died on Yom Kippur (September 25, 1954), before having brought this work to print (it was printed posthumously). We do not know exactly when he completed this writing, but from the fact that he and his students marked the completion of "The Sulam Commentary" with a special festive meal on Lag BaOmer (May 31, 1953), we can certainly say that the composition here was completed by then, together with all the other volumes in his commentary on the Zohar.
From firsthand testimonies, it appears that the writing of this commentary to Shir HaShirim, in the final months of his life, was accompanied by much pain and physical suffering. The Ba'al HaSulam was extremely weak, and in complete opposition to his doctors' advice – who warned him that if he continued to write his health would deteriorate – he chose not to accede to their request to stop, and continued to write with the most concerted efforts and utmost devotion. The description we have indicates that he would use one hand to support the other as it was writing. This shocking image testifies just how important it was to the Ba'al HaSulam to complete his last commentary on the Zohar, of which this explanation of Shir HaShirim is an integral part. Even at the cost of endangering his life.
In an address the Ba'al Sulam gave to his students at the above-mentioned celebratory feast on Lag BaOmer in Meron, he divulged why it had been so crucial to him to work at such great risk to complete his monumental commentary to the Zohar. He explained that its completion was a huge contribution in bringing the Final Redemption closer, and in bringing the world to its fullest repaired state. Because in effect, it was as if the Book of the Zohar was being exposed to the world for the very first time.
The print of the manuscript before us reveals those moments of writing and its depths, erasures, and notes, alongside the various versions written and erased until one can see how the author arrived at the final corrected version. This beautiful facsimile edition is like a voyage through time to those days of wonder; to those few months of twilight before the sun finally set. To the last signs of worldly life of the greatest kabbalist in recent generations, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ashlag – Ba'al HaSulam.