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Hekhalot Rabbati

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Chapter Summary

Hekhalot Rabbati and the other Hekhalot writings are cast as mystical manuals, describing at length what should be done in order to achieve the desired experience and how to overcome the perils that stand in the mystic's way. In this respect, the Hekhalot writings are not mere descriptions of mystical experiences, but mystical guides to experiences the nature of which is described, so-to-speak, en passant. In § 106 the text of Hekhalot Rabbati says that those incantations were acquired by a mystic during a vision of the Throne of Glory. Several apocalyptic visionaries, though, experienced visions of the Deity. In this respect, this chapter argues their visions established the matrix in which later phases of mystical experience unfolded. The Hekhalot mystic ascended primarily in order to attain a vision of the "Beauties (yofiot) of the Merkavah". Another substantial difference between Merkavah mysticism and apocalyptic is highlighted in Hekhalot Rabbati.

Keywords: Hekhalot Rabbati; Israel; Merkavah mysticism

10.1163/9789004279209_011
/content/books/b9789004279209_011
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