By Author Moshe Idel
Ascensions on excessive took many kinds in Jewish mysticism they usually permeated so much of its historical past from its inception till Hasidism. The ebook surveys a number 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 ways to faith, the writer additionally bargains what he proposes as an eclectic procedure, and a perspectivist one. The latter recommends to ascertain spiritual phenomena from various views. the writer investigates the explicit factor of the pillar in Jewish mysticism via evaluating it to the archaic lodge to pillars habitual in rural societies. Given the truth that the ascent of the soul and pillars constituted the troubles of 2 major Romanian students of faith, Ioan P. Culianu and Mircea Eliade, Idel lodges to their perspectives, and within the Concluding comments analyzes the emergence of Eliade's imaginative and prescient of Judaism at the foundation of overlooked assets.
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Unique yr of e-book: 1995
Excerpt from the Introduction
Most reports of Jewish modernity have handled the responses of Western Jewry — basically Ashkenazi Jewry — to the trendy situation. certainly, so much books of any style at the Jews within the sleek global deal commonly with Ashkenazim. This booklet is meant, like several of my reviews, to right in a few degree this imbalance. it really is approximately a few of the diversified responses of Sephardi and Oriental Jewry to modernity, particularly a few of their non secular responses. The issues of comparability and distinction to the bigger and extra intensively tested Ashkenazi international are, i think, no longer purely attention-grabbing, yet hugely instructive. For what they express are assorted types of contemporary spiritual improvement due to various old stories. as a rule, Sephardi and Oriental Jewry made the transition into smooth instances whereas conserving its equilibrium way more extra effectively than had eu Jewish society upon its emergence from the ghetto, and so they have been greater in a position to look after a few of their existential moorings. the complete modernizing procedure used to be total extra slow and no more stressful for jap Jews than it used to be for his or her Ashkenazi brethren or certainly for his or her Muslim acquaintances. even supposing the Westernizing forces of modernity got here to the Sephardi and Oriental Jews basically from with out, the spiritual evolution of those groups constructed from inside. Their coming to phrases with the trendy global didn't consistently bring about a stark and invidious selection among conventional faith and development as was once the case for thus a lot of Ashkenazi Jewry.
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Extra resources for Ascensions on High in Jewish Mysticism: Pillars, Lines, Ladders
Halperin accepts Scholem’s understanding of this passage, although he disagrees with the assumption that it reflects a view occurring in the much earlier treatise, Heikhalot Zutarti. He denies the presence of a reference to a celestial journey in this treatise and argues that Rav Hai misunderstood the earlier source, translating the phrase “He thus peers into the inner rooms and chambers” without referring to the possessive form of these nouns. ”45 34 ASCENSIONS ON HIGH IN JEWISH MYSTICISM It is my opinion that Rav Hai Gaon misinterpreted the late antiquity texts by transforming an ecstatic experience that takes place out of the body into an introversive one.
78 Unlike the Neoplatonic use of the term “supernal soul” to indicate the cosmic or universal soul, as seen above and as shall be seen again below, the Zoharic passage deals with the superior part of the human soul. Adam’s soul is understood Neoplatonically—that is, as an entity that descended from a higher sphere of reality and returns thereto—but this is a soul preserved for the few, and as such, Enoch merits it. In a 44 ASCENSIONS ON HIGH IN JEWISH MYSTICISM way, the soul that deserted the sinful Adam is also a light that descends upon meritorious individuals.
Both resort to the cleaving of thought and soul, and both conceive the culmination of the ascent with the acquisition of magical capacities. Both combine Neoaristotelian and Neoplatonic terminology. And, what is more pertinent to our discussion, both describe a rather easy transition from the lower human capacity to the highest spiritual level of the divine world. In other words, Rabbi Albotini’s passage offers a synthesis of theories found in the writings of Rabbi Abulafia and two of his followers, who belong to what I call the Eastern group of his disciples.
Ascensions on High in Jewish Mysticism: Pillars, Lines, Ladders by Author Moshe Idel