Monday, February 10, 2014

Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book I Part 12.15

General Information:


Name of Book: Tree of Souls

ISBN: 9780195086799

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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 XII: Early Incarnations of the Shekhinah

62. The Creation of Wisdom

Issue: Various mentions and relations of wisdom to G-d, perhaps Wisdom is the daughter or a wife of G-d and she existed two thousand years before the world was created as well as mention of her trying to find a house or a throne.

63. Mother Zion

Issue: Jeremiah is indecisive as to where to go, to either go and comfort those who were exiled to Babylon or to comfort those who stayed in Jerusalem. On the way he meets a woman who is constantly crying and tells him of the seven children she has that are slain as well as her husband. Then she reveals to Jeremiah her true identity.

To be Continued...

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