The Land is a Ball
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The Land is a Ball

Kabbalah Centre
January 9, 2014

Prior to Christopher Columbus’ famous voyage across the Atlantic, most people thought the world was flat, with a visible edge that one could fall off of into oblivion. Most people thought this, but not all.

English Zohar Vayikra Volume 14 vs. 141

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

English: Rav Hamnuna Saba (the elder) explains further in his book that the entire inhabited land rolls around like a ball, so that some are up and some are down. TO WIT, THE CREATURES AROUND THE GLOBE ARE OPPOSITE EACH OTHER AND THE SEVEN SECTIONS OF THE GLOBE ARE SEVEN LANDS. (The Seven Continents) All of the creatures OF SIX OF THE LANDS are different in their appearance according to the difference in the atmosphere in each place, and they live like any other man.

That’s right, the Zohar – written over 2,000 years ago – is clearly stating that the world is a ‘globe’ and therefore round. It also happens to mention that there are seven continents, of which six are inhabited. Let us continue.

English Zohar Vayikra Volume 14 vs. 142

וְעַל 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. וְהַאי דְּאָמַר בְּסִפְרֵי קַדְמָאֵי, וּבְסִפְרָא דְּאָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן הָכִי הוּא.

English: There is an inhabited place, so that when there is light on some - ON THAT SIDE OF THE GLOBE - it is dark for others ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. THUS when it is day for one group, it is night for the others. There is an inhabited place where there is day only and no night, save for a little while. (Antarctica)

Here, the Zohar is demonstrating its grasp of the concept of the Earth spinning on an axis and revolving around the sun. This was not widely accepted or understood until the 16th century – only some 1,500 years later.