Friday, March 1, 2013
Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book I Part 9.15
Name of Book: Tree of Souls
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Year it was published: 2004
"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 IX: God Studies the Torah
46. God Studies the Torah
Issue: G-d studied Torah day and night; at day is Written Torah, while at night is Oral Torah.
47. God Puts on Tallit and Tefillin
Issue: From some verses its known that G-d wears Tallit and Tefillin G-d also taught Moses how to wear Tefillin, although some say that angels help G-d bind it.
48. God's Tabernacle
Issue: G-d has His own tabernacle but since a tabernacle was destroyed, G-d hopes that Israel will do penitence so that He might hasten rebuilding and spread the Tabernacle of peace all over the people and Jerusalem.
49. God's Prayer
Issue: How its known that G-d prays, as well as what he prays about, which is mercy overcoming His anger.
50. God Expounds the Torah
Issue: G-d is destined to sit in Garden of Eden and interpret Torah. Everyone and everything will listen to G-d talk of the Torah, and the Jewish Messiah will expound more on the Torah.
To be Continued...