By Vita Daphna Arbel
"A wide-ranging exploration of the Hekhalot and Merkavah literature, a paranormal Jewish culture from past due antiquity, together with a dialogue of the potential cultural context of this material's creators."
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Additional info for Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature
They embody as well an example of the suitable attitude and practice, to be followed by dedicated adepts. As both temporal and trans-temporal ﬁgures, these individuals are introduced not only as historical but also as contemporary models, whose teachings endure and remain valid and heuristic for committed adepts in each succeeding generation. A description in the Genizah illustrates this notion of a shared system. It refers to a common and established mystical path which leads to an optimal destination, as well as to an ideal type of a seeker, who wishes to reach such a destination, to experience the divine realm, and to behold celestial visions in a proper manner: You should write and set the Seal of the Descent to the Merkavah for the people of the world, for you, and for everyone who wishes to descend and gaze at the king in His beauty.
When I heard this loud voice I trembled and I was silent and I fell back until Hadari’el the prince came and bestowed upon me a spirit and soul; and raised me on my feet . . and he led me into the archives of comfort, archives of salvation, and I saw groups of serving angels sitting and weaving garments of salvation and making crowns of life for the righteous persons . . ”93 After Rabbi Ishmael undergoes a stage of separation from his common human disposition, he is given spirit and soul, reincorporated into a new state, and thus becomes capable of seeing concealed visions beyond phenomenological reality: .
And he led me into the archives of comfort, archives of salvation, and I saw groups of serving angels sitting and weaving garments of salvation and making crowns of life for the righteous persons . . ”93 After Rabbi Ishmael undergoes a stage of separation from his common human disposition, he is given spirit and soul, reincorporated into a new state, and thus becomes capable of seeing concealed visions beyond phenomenological reality: . . I heard the sound of great noise coming from Eden . .