Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 2 Part 10.15

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 Two: Myths of Creation

 Part X: Creation by Angels

147. The Creation of Angels

Issue: Brief discussion of when G-d possibly created angels of sorts, whether on first, second or even fifth day. There is also speculation of how angels were created, and it is thought by every word that G-d utters and they're nourished by the Bride of G-d. From fire angels and armies were created, or else from a fiery stream in Paradise.

148. Creation by Angels

Issue: A brief debate of whether or not angels assisted G-d by participating in creation of the world. Debate goes on about whether or not angels participated in creating the world, this time the side that thinks G-d created the world alone, but there is agreement that once the world was created, angels definitely participated in the world and a brief description of their roles are talked about along with the fact they're princes of elements.

149.Anafiel, the Creator of the Beginning

Issue: Anafiel rules over other angels and the splendor Anafiel emanates is described along with the fact that angels bow down to him. Also describes Anafiel's tasks when it comes to bringing Enoch int heaven to become Metatron as well as strike him with sixty fiery lashes when he refused to rise from the throne.

150. The Creation of the World

Issue: G-d's chariot flies from one end to another and speculation begins as to who sits on the Chariot, whether its G-d Himself or Yotzer Bereshit.

151.The First Created Being

Issue: He comes from a Hidden Cause and is knowledgeable in everything and everyone as well a source of all existence. Moses also made a request to teh being for the Being to show him the glory.

152. The Angel who created the World

Issue: It is believed that G-d at first created the angel who became the proxy and this angel created everything and everyone that exists in the world. This angel also acted as G-d's voice through the prophets. There is a differing viewpoint that G-d selected this angel from those who served him and this angel became an apostle of G-d.

To Be Continued...


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