By Vita Daphna Arbel

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

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Extra info for Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature

Example text

The discussion will first classify significant aspects present in Hekhalot and Merkavah mysticism, both theoretical and practical. It will then demonstrate the ways in which these notions interact as they create a distinct mystical tradition. In particular, attention will be paid to the interplay between mystical techniques, ritualistic practices, spiritual transformation, and inner perceptions on the one hand, and divine revelations and the interpretations, which they entail, on the other hand. A COMMON MODEL Visions appear .

And he opened his mouth twice and said: ‘Water, Water’. 74 Hekhalot and Merkavah Mysticism 37 The account describes the sages who were expected to unravel the disclosed sight. Of the four, only Rabbi Akiva was able to see the marble stones behind the misleading facade of waves of water. ”75 SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATIONS The shift from conventional to mystical awareness . . expresses a new attitude or temperament which is more than, but inclusive of, intellect or ideas. 76 I saw a light in my heart like the days of heaven .

Re burns in the midst of hail . . lightning flashes in the midst of mountains of snow . . thunder rumbles in the highest heights . . the souls of the righteous who have already been created and have returned, and the souls of the righteous who have not yet been created . . the spirits of the stars which stands in the “Raqia” . . the souls of the angels and the spirits of the ministers . . the right hand of the Omnipresent One . . ”87 When observing these wonders, Rabbi Ishmael is an active participant.

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