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The Zohar is mostly written in what has been described as a cryptic, obscure style of Aramaic.  Aramaic, the day-to-day language of Israel in the Second Temple period (539 BCE – 70 CE), was the original language of large sections of the biblical books of Daniel and Ezra, and is the main language of the Talmud. 
The Zohar first appeared in Spain in the 13th century, and was published by a Jewish writer named Moses de León. De León ascribed the work to Shimon bar Yochai ("Rashbi"), a rabbi of the 2nd century during the Roman persecution  who, according to Jewish legend,   hid in a cave for thirteen years studying the Torah and was inspired by the Prophet Elijah to write the Zohar. This accords with the traditional claim by adherents that Kabbalah is the concealed part of the Oral Torah.
In the Bible the word "Zohar" appears in the vision of Ezekiel 8:2 and is usually translated as meaning radiance or light. It appears again in Daniel 12:3, "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens".