Download Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the by Vita Daphna Arbel PDF

By Vita Daphna Arbel

ISBN-10: 0791457230

ISBN-13: 9780791457238

ISBN-10: 1417537418

ISBN-13: 9781417537419

"A wide-ranging exploration of the Hekhalot and Merkavah literature, a magical Jewish culture from overdue antiquity, together with a dialogue of the potential cultural context of this material's creators."

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Additional resources for Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature

Example text

A COMMON MODEL Visions appear . . 1 21 22 Beholders of Divine Secrets . . for the people of the world, for you, and for everyone who wishes to descend and gaze at the King in His beauty. 2 In the Hekhalot and Merkavah literature many descriptions overlap or correspond in content. At the same time accounts and details in various treatises diverge and vary. Yet, with regard to the mystical aspects of this literature, it is possible to assert with confidence that the diverse voices do not contradict each other.

And whenever one wishes to descend to the Merkavah, Anafi’el, the prince, opens the doors of the gate of the seventh palace for him. This man enters and stands at the threshold of the gate to the seventh palace. The holy living creatures raise to him five hundred and twelve eyes . . and that man then trembles, shakes, and shudders. He is stricken and faints and he falls backwards. And the prince Anafi’el supports him, and sixty-three other gatekeepers of the seventh palaces. ” . . They give him strength and immediately a horn is sounded above the firmament over their heads and the holy living creatures cover their faces and the Cherubim and Ophanim turn their faces around.

This paradox has been the topic of much study by scholars. G. Scholem makes a distinction between the transcendent God and his visible appearance. 23 This observation gained support from other scholars 28 Beholders of Divine Secrets such as I. ”24 R. Elior pays particular attention to the unusual quality of the vision and the uniqueness of the human perception during the experience. ”25 The human possibility, however, of beholding and understanding divine visions is limited, according to Elior.

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Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature by Vita Daphna Arbel


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