Sephir Zohar and Joseph Smith

I am presently taking a class at university about Judaism.  Tuesday we were talking about Jewish Mysticism.  In discussing the Sephir Zohar (the book of Splendor) we discussed the idea of Elohim. 

Elohim can generically mean God or Gods depending on how it is used.  At least according the professor.  He points out that Sephir Zohar is in its discussions brings out the idea that Elohim in Genesis made the Gods.

On this subject he then went on to say that this is in part is where Joseph Smith got the idea for Gods who made the world and other Gods.  My immediate thought, ignoring the fact that we believe in this idea of who God is as being revealed,  was Joseph even familar with the Sephir Zohar?

While I know Joseph took Hebrew in Kirtland, the Sephir Zohar was written in Armaic so did he know how to read that?  All that being said, I cannot see the Sephir Zohar being the origin because just reading it was to say the least rather vague like so:

 With the Beginning
the Concealed One who is not known created the palace.
This palace is called Elohim.
The secret is:
“With Beginning, created Elohim”
http://wolf.mind.net/library/ancient/qabala/zohar.htm

So if I am reading this translation correctly Elohim refers to palaces rather than Gods.  So I have my doubts of the connection to Elohim as God the father as taught by Joseph Smith.

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