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Masekhet Hekhalot

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Chapter Summary

Masekhet Hekhalot is the most frequently published Hekhalot text. Klaus Hermann has recently published a sophisticated edition of the text. He closely examines the extant manuscripts. Some of them refer to the text using different terms or titles: Masekhet Merkavah, Sefer Ha-Merkavah, Sod Shem (the secret of the name of) Ha-Merkavah, or Pirkei Hekhalot. Masekhet Hekhalot shows interesting mutations of Merkavah traditions and terminology. The writing style of Masekhet Hekhalot may betray traces of the circles of the German Ḥasidim (about 1150-1250), but, as Hermann has shown, several manuscripts point in different directions. The first chapter of the text is divided in two: the first part mentions six names by which both God and His Throne are called. The second chapter of the text describes the huge dimensions of the Throne. The third chapter of the text describes the magnificence of the Throne of Glory.

Keywords: Klaus Hermann; Masekhet Hekhalot; Masekhet Merkavah; Pirkei Hekhalot; Sefer Ha-Merkavah; Throne of Glory

10.1163/9789004279209_016
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