Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic by Gershom Scholem

By Gershom Scholem

This little ebook offers Gershom Scholem discoveries within the quarter of Jewish Gnosticism which move at the back of of what he already did in his “Major tendencies in Jewish Mysticism”. the following, Scholem offers a thorough re-examination of traditions embedded in Hekhalot Books preserved in Rabbinic circles which had retained deep attachment to Pharisaism. Having underrated the antiquity of those texts, such a lot students therefore have been not able to correctly review the phenomenon. Gnosticism, a spiritual move that believed in mystical esotericism for the go with derived from illumination and the purchase of the information of heavenly issues, now turns out to were just about the very middle of Judaism in Roman Palestine and based on Scholem needs to be ascribed to both the Tannaitic or the early Amoraic interval. Did the differentiation of the top God and Demiurge, supposedly God of Israel, preceeded the increase of Christianity and doubtless served as some extent of departure for definite Christian heresies? Scholem indicates that records of Christian Gnosticism presuppose the life of simple conceptions of Merkabah Mysticism and derides students who glance towards Iranian sources…

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And , in fact, that the angels sing in this manner is also mentioned in the Slavic Enoch (19 : 6) , in which I , for one, cannot detect any Christian elements. Moreover, it would seem that the same detail was taken over both by the Hekhaloth traditions and by the earliest Christian liturgy. •s •4 1nH �1p in this sense is good Hebrew. Cf. •s Quoted by Joseph Kroll , Die Lehren des Hermes Trismegistos ( 1 928), p. 309. i'1:l1 n1CII', Par. XLI I , 1 : �1p:l 1�'11;:) 1n11. v SOME OLD ELEMENTS IN THE GREATER HEKHALOTH The Hekhaloth books, I have said, describe at great length the ecstatic ascent of the soul to heaven.

AGE OF Sll/UR KOMAR SPECULATION AND ORIGEN 39 inclusion of this book in his list. A. Marmorstein and S. '" Saul Lieberman has rightly observed that this m ust be understood as a reference to the fact that the Church had begun, in the third century, to interpret the Song of Songs as an allegory of the love of Christ and the Church. While Lieberman's interpretation holds good for these later pseudepigraphical statements, it can hardly be accepted as an explanation of Origen's original statement. Origen refers to something current in Jewish usage ; but the rabbis before his time could not have known about a Christological in terpretation of Canticles that might have caused them to declare the book unfit for general study.

His forthcoming commentary on Tosefta Shabbath I, 1 2. N mil•? l,n n'::l::l 1nn nnorv:� The beginning of praise and the commencement of song The beginning of j ubilation and the commencement of exultation Are sung by the princes who serve each day The Lord God of I srael and the throne of His glory. · They bear up the wheel of the throne of His glory, singing : "Rejoice, rejoice, supernal dwelling/ Shout, shout for joy, precious vessel ! Made marvelously and a marvel . Surely thou shalt gladden the king who sitteth upon thee [with a joy] as the joy of the bridegroom in his bridechamber.

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