The Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature and Its Mystical Tradition. Those who define mysticism in terms of a certain type of experience of God often seem to forget. Heikhalot Literature. Scholars Reprinted with permission from Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature, published by Brill. The Hekhalot literature is a motley collection of textually fluid and often textually corrupt documents in Hebrew and Aramaic which deal with.

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Second, the magical literature frequently makes use of themes and ideas typical of the Hekhalot literature. The quotation is on p.

A very common way is by ingesting mind-altering drugs of various types. The most natural understanding of the material is that it preserves at least a literary residue of actual practices and experiences. Can you source any of this? Let his eyes be pressed down to the earth and let him pray with all his might.

Larry Hurtado has argued that Christianity arose from a “mutation” within Judaism that led to the treatment of Jesus as an object of worship and devotion. Some of the Hekhalot texts are: The question of the relation between the Hekhalot literature and Jewish magic is an important one that has not yet received much attention. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. It has been shown by Ira Chernus that the various macroforms within this literature have somewhat different views of community.

This tendency, in great mystics, gradually captures the whole field of consciousness; it dominates their life and, in the experience called ‘mystic union,’ attains its end.

Sereptie, after his initiatory vision, healed people by propitiating the evil spirits tormenting them. This page was last edited on 14 Julyat However, the internet gives conflicting information about them.

The following additional diacritical marks are used:. In this case the goal seems to be the magical granting of a wish.

Jewish mystical texts Merkabah mysticism Kabbalah stubs. He was introduced to his six “Grandfathers,” the Powers of the World the spirits of the four cardinal points, the sky, and the earth who came to him in the form of horses.


Hekhalot Literature in Translation

When I saw him, my hands and feet were burned and I was standing without hands and feet until PNYYWN the prince from among the heavenly hkehalot appeared to me before the throne of glory opposite the inner room of the seraphim, whose name is like His name, and it is one name. However, lurid descriptions of the various levels of the underworld are given in the cosmological tractate Seder Rabba de Bereshit the Greater Order of Creationwhich appears in some of the manuscripts of the Hekhalot literature see n.

As Halperin admits, the term “people of the land” is not well understood, and thus is of limited use for our purposes. The Merkavah Rabba, after prescribing the standard praxes paras.

It has been recognized by Christopher Morray-Jones that these three passages should be interpreted together. They may well have been post-Talmudic, but they seem to have seen themselves as inferior to the rabbis in education and social status.

The longest and most detailed description of the descent to the chariot is in R. Using Hultkrantz’s definition as a basis, the rest of this paper will test this approach by organizing the Hekhalot literature according to the component elements of shamanism as generally accepted by anthropologists. And for the last day I prayed three times and invoked and PRQDS, the angel of the Presence, descended, and with him were angels of mercy. And when I breathed, my breath was lightning.

Hekhalot Literature

Akiva reports that “I had a vision of and observed the whole inhabited world and I saw it as it is. Where can one find those? The literature as a whole is also often referred to as a group, hekhalkt not specific book or collection of fragments is explicitly mentioned.

The hidden and manifest God: I propose therefore that the most illuminating framework for these experiences is shamanism.

For example, the Cairo Geniza amulet T. In other words, context in the manuscripts, content, and the social background reconstructed in this paper all point to the Hekhalot literature being a subgenre of Jewish magical literature.

The Hekhalot literature developed, at least indirectly, from traditions that are also found in Second Temple apocalyptic literature, Greco-Roman religion and magic, and gnostic literature, so it is reasonable to hope that it may illuminate the earlier texts. As soon as I saw that I could not serve by means of fasting, I made use of the name of forty-two letters.

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Hekhalot Literature in Translation – Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism

I take no position in this paper on the date of composition and redaction of the Hekhalot literature or on its precise relationship to Second Temple apocalyptic and esoteric literature on the latter question, see the discussion in the last two sections of this article.

At the end of his ordeal in the snow hut, Igjugarjuk was visited by a spirit in the form of a beautiful woman who came as literatuge sign that he was to become a shaman. The following paragraphs suggest some ways in which the approach and material in this study can contribute to our understanding of divine mediator figures in antiquity. Finally, the illness of his childhood is reminiscent of childhood illnesses that sometimes presage hekbalot onset of a shamanic call.

And I know that Your holiness is forever, and I bless the holiness of Your name forever, and I sanctify Your great name. In the instruction of R. Studies in Honor of Professor Dr.

I was thirteen years old and my heart was moved on each day that began with fasting. The definitions of Underhill and Middleton apply well to the ancient and medieval Jewish magical texts whose relationship to the Hekhalot literature will be literatute later in this paper.

Often the upper and lower realms are subdivided into frequently seven or nine layers. Shamans reach the state that gives them access to the supernatural world in a variety of literaturf. Others argue they were written around the year as a response to Islamic influence. The Hekhalot literature is post-rabbinical, and not a literature of the rabbis, but since it seeks to stand in continuity with the Rabbinic literature often pseudepigraphical.