Ascensions on High in Jewish Mysticism: Pillars, Lines, by Author Moshe Idel

By Author Moshe Idel

Ascensions on excessive took many kinds in Jewish mysticism and so they permeated such a lot of its heritage from its inception till Hasidism. The publication surveys many of the different types, with an emphasis at the architectural pictures of the ascent, just like the inn to pictures of pillars, traces, and ladders. After surveying the range of scholarly methods to faith, the writer additionally bargains what he proposes as an eclectic process, and a perspectivist one. The latter recommends to check spiritual phenomena from numerous views. the writer investigates the categorical factor of the pillar in Jewish mysticism via evaluating it to the archaic hotel to pillars habitual in rural societies. Given the truth that the ascent of the soul and pillars constituted the worries of 2 major Romanian students of faith, Ioan P. Culianu and Mircea Eliade, Idel lodges to their perspectives, and within the Concluding feedback analyzes the emergence of Eliade's imaginative and prescient of Judaism at the foundation of missed assets.

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Sometimes establishing such contact is a matter not only of overcoming ontic differences between fallen or impure individuals and the supreme and sublime beings, but also of bridging the distance between the mundane place where lower beings live and the realm of the supernal beings. Sometimes the attempt to strengthen contact with the divine is a journey. Other times, special holy persons who have assimilated with the higher being play a pontific role to some extent. The theme of the ascent to heaven is often mentioned in spiritual biographies of religious perfecti: mythical figures in the Mesopotamian religions, the founders of some faiths, Siberian Shamans, apocalyptic figures, Greek medicine men or Jewish tzaddiqim (the righteous).

4. NEOPLATONIC CASES OF PSYCHANODIA In Heikhalot literature it seems that the main protagonist of the ascent is not the soul, but rather some form of spiritual body. As seen above, it is only later in the Middle Ages that the term “soul” occurs in an ascensional context. 71 Explicit mention of the soul, though not in a literal sense, is found in a highly influential text by Plotin. Following is a translation of this passage as mediated by the Theology of Aristotle by Rabbi Shem Tov ibn Falaquera, a Jewish philosopher active in the second half of the thirteenth century in Spain: Aristotle has said: Sometimes I become as if self-centered and remove my body and I was as if I am a spiritual substance without a body.

45–57, 69–70, 383–84, etc. 34. Gershom Scholem, “The Name of God and the Linguistic Theory of Kabbalah,” Diogenes 79 (1972): p. 60; see also pp. 62, 165 and 193; idem, On the Kabbalah, p. 36; idem, On Jews and Judaism, p. 48; Isaiah Tishby, Paths of Faith and Heresy (in Hebrew) (Ramat Gan: Massada, 1964), pp. 11–22; and Dan, Early Kabbalah, p. 13. For more detailed discussions of Scholem’s view of the Kabbalistic symbol, see Susan Handelman, Fragments of Redemption (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), pp.

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