Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and by Elliot R. Wolfson

By Elliot R. Wolfson

This publication explores the elemental matters in Jewish mysticism and gives a taxonomy of the deep constructions of suggestion that emerge from the texts.

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Additional info for Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics

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The appropriateness of the persona of Jacob to represent the Logos is due to a merging of two factors: first, this biblical patriarch, the ideal Israel, symbolically and typologically replaces Adam; and, second, the Logos is typically portrayed as the macroanthropos. It is thus entirely THE IMAGE OF JACOB 19 plausible that the adamic figure of Jacob should symbolize the Logos. Moreover, in some of the relevant sources I have uncovered another stream of tradition according to which the icon of Jacob is identified as the angelic creature that has the face of a human and comprises all four creatures who bear the throne.

157 The passage that I have cited above illustrates that the aggadic motif of the image of Jacob engraved upon the throne is clearly transferred in Abulafia to Metatron. 158 It is worthwhile to note that in a list of seventy-two intelligible powers (kohot sikhliyyim) that appears in the introduction to the collection of Jacob ha-Kohen's teachings, Seier haJOra h,159 the fifth power is described as the pure intellect l60 that is the form fixed on the throne of glory, and Jacob, peace be upon him, comprehended its knowledge, and he was constantly conjoined to that attribute, to the point that he and it became one thing.

Since he is unique the image of man precedes all the countenances, as it is written, "For the Lord has chosen Jacob for Himself" (Ps. 135:4), and it is written, "Jacob His own allotment" (Deut. 32:9). It is written, "You will see My back," we-ra )ita Jet )al:zorai (Exod. " (Gen. 30:2), [the THE IMAGE OF JACOB 33 word Janokhil is numerically equivalent to kisse J (throne). Thus, Jacob receives the splendor when the prayer rises upward. It is written, "And they saw the God of Israel" (Exod. "216 It is known that the human being is the most glorious of the creatures, and the head of a human is the most glorious of all the limbs, and so it is above.

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