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By Vita Daphna Arbel

"A wide-ranging exploration of the Hekhalot and Merkavah literature, a paranormal Jewish culture from overdue 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

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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. 6 The discussion below will examine the mystical tradition of the Hekhalot and Merkavah literature and its particular features.

Once again, it is possible to note a repetitive version of this pattern in Ma’aseh Merkavah.

Halperin, M. M. Swartz, and R. M. 49 In addition to such methods, directed to influence divine powers or to provoke safe ascents, yet other methods are designed to alter human perception and in so doing they affect the adepts’ ability to attain the divine. The Babylonian rabbinic leader of the eleventh century, Hai Gaon, first discussed the effects of various preparational practices on the adepts’ ability to behold divine visions. According to his understanding: Perhaps you know that many of the sages believed that whoever is worthy, [possessing] several [moral] attributes which are mentioned and specified, when he wants to see the Merkavah and glimpse the Hekhalot of the angels on high, there are ways of doing so.

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