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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State University of New York, 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. Perhaps the best-known element heknalot shamanic experience is the alleged ability, either as a free soul or in bodily form, to journey to other realms of existence not materially connected to our world.

Often the upper and lower realms are subdivided into frequently seven or nine layers. Other literaturee texts are: Ishmael the twelve constellations and begins reciting a horoscope:.

These divisions are for convenience only and do not imply a theoretical statement about the textual boundaries of the Hekhalot literature. Shortly after this another vision of God’s throne is narrated by R. Mary’s College University of St. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered.

geography – What’s the history of Hekhalot/Heichalot/Heikhalot literature? – Mi Yodeya

The otherworldly journey, like the control of spirits, can have more than one function. And in every hour that he finishes it let him stand on his feet and adjure by the servants and? Scholem also published another article on this text with an improved German translation that took into account a new manuscript: Nehuniah “stood and made me descend to the chariot.

He said to me: They shall ascend upon him and anyone who sees him says that he shall not be saved from this. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


Since it is widely agreed that the latter two documents are literary reformulations of Hekhalot material that are redactionally later than the other texts, I leave them out of consideration here.

I have not found a source that discusses where, physically, they were put into writing but based on the dates I would certainly assume outside of Israel and would wager to guess Bavel. She takes the position that the Second Temple apocalypses should be read “not as fictionalized accounts of personal experiences but as works of fiction from start to finish” p.

I suggest that the practitioners who used Hekhalot praxes probably used the other closely related magical texts and thus may have been healers and llterature as well. Ishmael how he ascended through the seven palaces and saw what was above the heads of the seraphim who stand above the head of God.

Hekhalot Literature in Translation

It would seem to follow logically that the community behind the Hekhalot texts was at least closely related, and probably overlapped with, the community that produced the Jewish magical texts.

They showed him the future tribulations of his people during his lifetime and equipped him with various shamanic powers with which to aid them. I accept Hultkrantz’s description as a working definition that can, as we shall see, be widely applied cross-culturally. As soon as I hehalot that I could not serve by means of fasting, I made use of the name of forty-two letters. Yediot Achronot, Hebrew. Eight angels guarding the gate of each palace must be shown the proper seal i.

Halperin has traced the interpretation of Ezekiel 1 and related passages through many centuries and has illuminated this exegetical tradition a great litterature. Nor is Hekhalot esotericism merely magic: They in turn passed on the power from their experiences to their community which on various levels seems to have been as narrow as a circle of adepts and as broad as the human race.


Jesus, after all, is presented in the Gospels as a person with a divine calling, if not compulsion, that temporarily drove him into the wilderness, a person who became a healer and exorcist sometimes using magical techniqueswho experienced an initiatory transformation the transfigurationand who ascended to heaven and achieved apotheosis.

Hekhalot Literature in Translation – Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism

She says that magic “claims to be a practical, intellectual, highly individualistic science; working towards the declared end of enlarging the sphere on which the human will can work, and obtaining experimental knowledge of planes hekhaoot being usually regarded as transcendental. Litreature results also indicate that both anthropological approaches to intermediation between the human and divine worlds and further study of the Hekhalot literature may give us new tools to help unlock the secrets of divine mediator traditions in antiquity.

He seized and learned them from before the throne of glory, for His attendants were singing before it” para. Nearly every passage cited in the previous section associates the methods described with the imposition of human will on angels.

The Geniza magical texts were produced by professional scribes who did not have a rabbinic education. The prince hekhakot light opposite the angel of darkness, or Belial is clearly related to the theology behind this magical evaluation. For example, the Cairo Geniza amulet T. Shamans’ marks among Siberian shamans are discussed by V.