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Images Of The Temple In Sefer Ha-Bahir

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Chapter Summary

The temple in Jerusalem was, of course, the site in which God's presence was thought to be particularly tangible. Indeed, it is this characteristic of the temple that leads various Rabbinic texts to grapple with the theological question of how the omnipresent God could nevertheless dwell in a particular location. The experience of God may no longer be possible in the earthly temple, but it remains available to the mystic who ascends to the seventh heavenly temple. It is against this backdrop that the temple symbolism employed in Sefer ha-Bahir - a compilation of disparate material, which espouses many elements of the theosophical symbolism that came to be identified with Kabbalah - is so striking. Sefer ha-Bahir mentions the temple in three separate passages. In all three, it refers to it as the "holy temple".

Keywords: God; Sefer Ha-Bahir; temple; theosophical symbolism

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