Research Query: Source of Doctrine in Menasseh
In Menasseh ben Israel's Nishmat Hayyim, Book 2, chapter 10, near the end, there occurs the following passage:
And thus, according to the Zohar, the Biblical passage, and Sarah died in Kiriath Arba [—the same is Hebron; Gen. 23:2], should be interpreted allegorically: the Soul [neshamah] is Sarah, i.e., princess and mistress; its death is its descent into the body, which is the city of the four elements (kiriath ’arba‘ ha-yesodot); and Hebron is their union which lasts till the end of the person’s life.
I have not been able to find any such passage in the Zoharic literature, and in any case it seems unlikely. The Zohar identifies Abraham with the soul and Sarah with the body. If anyone can direct me to a source for this teaching, I will appreciate it.
University of Arkansas