Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book I Part 8.15

General Information:

Name of Book: Tree of Souls

ISBN: 9780195086799

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Year it was published: 2004

Overall theme:

"With only one God, heaven would be a barren place, at least in mythic terms. Yet the actual Jewish view of heaven is quite different. There are seven heavens, filled with angels and other divine beings, such as the Messiah [Not jesus!], who is said to have a palace of his own in the highest heaven. The clestial Temple can be found there- the mirror image of the Temple in the earthly Jerusalem- as well as an abundance of heavenly palaces, one for each of the patriarchs and matriarchs and sages, where he or she teaches Torah to the attentive souls of the righteous and the angels..." (xliii)

"Drawing on the full range of Jewish sources, sacred and nonsacred, ten major categories of Jewish mythology can be identified: Myths of God, Myths of Creation...Each of these categories explores a mythic realm, and, in the process, reimagines it. This is the secret to the transformations that characterize Jewish mythology. Building on a strong foundation of biblical myth, each generation has embellished the earlier myths, while, at the same time, reinterpeting them for tis own time." (xlv)

Book One: Myths of God

Part VIII: God's Voice and Word

42. A Still, Small Voice

Issue: This is taken from 1 Kings 19:5-12, about Elijah falling asleep, G-d urging him to eat, and he watching the wind splitting mountains and so forth, yet it was not G-d. G-d was a small voice.

43. God's Voice

Issue: When G-d used his voice was to give Torah at Mount Sinai, which caused silence all over the earth. Effects of G-d using the voice follows. G-d cannot be divined or found. The voice also split into multitude of languages and so forth.

44. God's Image

Issue: When G-d began speaking, Israel was afraid and ask Moses to listen for them, which he did and saw unbelievable sights.

45. The elders of Israel behold God

Issue: G-d invites the elders of Israel, Moses and others to come, although Moses may come nearer than others. All saw G-d and ate and drank before G-d.

To be continued...

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