The Zohar [translated “the splendor”] is the preeminent work of Jewish mysticism. It was “discovered” by Moses de Leon, a scholar from thirteenth-century Spain who attributed the work to Simeon bar Yohai, a famous Jewish sage from second-century Israel who reportedly hid from the Roman authorities in a cave for thirteen years, studying the Torah and the more esoteric traditions of Jewish learning. However, many scholars believe that the Zohar was in fact written by Moses de Leon himself. The Zohar first appeared in print in Mantua in 1558–1560. The Library of Congress owns a particularly fine copy of this first edition; the second volume, displayed here, is printed on blue paper—a rarity in sixteenth-century Italy. The entire set was once owned by Abraham Joseph Graziano, a rabbi in seventeenth-century Modena whose learned notes fill the margins of the first volume.