characteristic features of Hekhalot and Merkavah mysticism present primarily in several .. Hekhalot Zutarti relates Rabbi Akiva’s ascent to the upper heavens. ); Hekhalot Rabbati (paras. , , , , ); Sar Torah (paras. ); Hekhalot Zutarti (roughly paras. , ); Magic . Hekhalot Zutarti or ‘Lesser Hekhalot’ is one of the fragmentary mystical documents of the various texts comprising the Hekhalot literature and indeed has long.

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Hekhalot | Old Testament Pseudepigrapha – School of Divinity, University of St Andrews

Let his eyes be pressed down to the earth and let him pray with all his might. It should also be noted that, in addition to the three documents discussed in this section, a number of medieval Jewish writers ascribed esoteric physiognomic wisdom to the descenders to the chariot see Scholem, “Physiognomy” [n.

They were, to paraphrase Hultkrantz, social functionaries who, with the help of guardian spirits, attained ecstasy in order to create a rapport with the supernatural world on behalf of the members of their group. Citations from the Physiognomy of R.

The entire song is about four times the length of this excerpt and contains lines unintelligible to the translator and his informants. However, lurid descriptions of the various levels of the underworld are given in the cosmological tractate Zuttarti Rabba de Bereshit the Greater Order of Creationwhich appears in some of the manuscripts of the Hekhalot literature see n.

For example, the Cairo Geniza amulet T. I will recite before [the academy] the mysteries, the concealed things, the gradations, wonders, and the weaving of the web that is the completion of the world and on which its plaiting stands, the axle of heaven and earth, to which all the wings of the earth and inhabited world and the wings of the firmaments on high are tied, sewn, fastened, hanged, and stand. But there is a wide consensus as to what this content is.


It describes the effect that the vision of God on his hekbalot has on one who sees it:. Whether this future time is the writer’s present or not remains unclear.

This stage, shamanism, is found, like mysticism and magic, in religious traditions all over the world. God of hosts, And His rulership is over the hosts. Indeed, the divine realm is one of intense goodness, purity, and splendor to much a higher degree than any place on earth.

Hekhalot Zutarti does not reflect a specific time or historical occurance; it is lacking any eschatological orientation or apocalyptical characterizations as found in other texts of Hekhalot literature; and, it is lacking any literary framework binding its various parts. But they also developed a strain of zutaarti praxis that from an anthropological perspective is closer to shamanism than anything else.

Hekhalot Zutarti

Would you like to? The following hekalot diacritical marks are used:. Space allows for only a single example, the first part of a song sung during the Evenki ceremony of “searching for souls of the sick. A Garden Eastward in Eden. I have yet to read it for myself. But his mouth must only enunciate the names and the fingers of his hands must count to one hundred and twelve.

If we use Western terms and assumptions, the cause and effect relationship between the act and the consequence is mystical, not scientifically validated. Near the end of the Hekhalot Rabbati we are given a hekhaolt of songs that are recited daily by the throne of glory, which the descender to the chariot should also sing paras. There is no one way that a person becomes convinced of his or her call to shamanhood. And three lines in the form of crowns are on his forehead and the middle one is broken into three, and they are wide lines.


They may well have been post-Talmudic, but they seem to have seen themselves as inferior to the rabbis in education and social status.

Whether this community was an esoteric group or the exoteric totality of the Jewish people or even the human race has not yet been resolved. Meridian, [1st ed.

Hekhalot literature

The question of how the physiognomic material determined the relationship of individuals to this divine mediator and thereby established their status in the community may be illuminated by the use of similar texts in the Hekhalot literature. Whether this is because Metatron had his roots in Second Temple traditions about Enoch or because the theurgic elements have been deliberately purged from 3 Enoch, or perhaps for both reasons, is open to discussion. However, a closely related and overlapping genre of literature, the physiognomic texts, seems to indicate that certain physical characteristics are required of initiates in order for them to be accepted into the group.

Scholem points out that “binders of crowns” seem to be a category of angel mentioned twice in the Hekhalot Rabbati. He befriended a female spirit who answered some of his questions and tested him further.

The quotation is from p. There is no thought of mystical union.