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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Studies in Honor of Professor Dr. 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. Blessed are you YHWH who live forever. 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.

Almost every other shamanic activity depends on this control. And let him insert this midrash of the prince of Torah into the prayer three times in every single day; it is after the prayer that he should pray it from its beginning to its end.

These divisions are for convenience litertaure and do not imply a theoretical statement about the textual boundaries of the Hekhalot literature. 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.

It is true that fasting, litterature, and isolation are mentioned only in association with theurgy in the preserved Hekhalot texts, but, as in shamanism, these texts do not make a sharp distinction between the visionary journey and theurgy.


There is no thought of mystical union. Halperin has traced the interpretation of Ezekiel 1 and related passages through many centuries and has illuminated this exegetical tradition a great deal.

Hekhalot Literature

Near the end of the Hekhalot Rabbati we are given a set of songs that are recited daily by the throne of glory, which the descender to the chariot should also sing paras. Shamans’ marks among Siberian shamans are discussed by V. 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.

And at the age of seven months and ten days he shall become sick and shall be in hot water. God of hosts, And His rulership is over the hosts. As soon as R. Shortly after this literaature vision of God’s throne is narrated by R.

Hekhalot literature

Rather than a world tree, a cosmic mountain seems to be found in Japanese cosmology ibid. Ishmael hereafter PRI follow the paragraphing of the latter article. Scholars Press, Like the magician, the shaman uses spirit intermediaries and seeks not mystical union, but esoteric knowledge and power. Jewish mystical texts Merkabah mysticism Kabbalah stubs. The text is translated by Michael A.

Hekhalot literature – Wikipedia

And if he adds or subtracts, his blood is on his own head. Nehuniah ben HaQanah revealed to me this mystery of Torah, Suriah, prince of the Presence, was revealed. I suggest that the practitioners who used Hekhalot praxes probably used litegature other closely related magical texts and thus may have been healers and exorcists as well.

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.

And the way of the ladder on high is that its one head is on earth and its other head is on the right foot of the throne of glory. 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. As Halperin admits, the term “people of the land” is not well understood, and thus is of limited use for our purposes. There is a field of study, which focuses on the Hekhalot literature.


And afterward, let him sit and recite during the twelve days, the days of his fasting, from morning until evening, and let him not be silent. Akiva heard all these songs when he descended to the chariot.

The rhetorical elements that are standard for Geniza incantations also appear in the Hekhalot literature. The text is discussed on pp.

Who is like You, magnificent on high? Whether this community was an esoteric group or piterature exoteric totality of the Jewish people or even the human race has not yet been resolved.

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

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. The Qumran texts include a physiognomic tract that allows one to determine the amount of “light” and “darkness” in i.

And may You join to me all Your attendants so as to do such and such, O great, mighty, fearsome, strong, valiant, magnificent, and eminent God!