Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 3 Part 1.10
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 Three: Myths of Heavens
Part I: The Translation of Enoch
191. Enoch Walked with God
Issue: Basically a brief retelling of Enoch's life from the Hebrew Testament (Tanakh) about how long he lived and what children he had.
192. Enoch's vision of God
Issue: Enoch was given a vision and description of the vision follows, how the mist summoned him, and lightning beckoned him. After the first house, another house was shown to Enoch, and he envisioned himself entering the house and seeing G-d sitting on the throne.
193. The Metamorphosis and Enthronement of Enoch
Issue: Story begins with reason why G-d called Enoch to him. In heaven angels wanted to cast him out, but G-d wouldn't let them. Afterwards G-d brought Enoch to ten gates of understanding. G-d then turns Enoch to an angel and metamorphosis and changes Enoch went through follows. G-d renamed Enoch to Metatron and gave Metatron a throne as well as other gifts. G-d then let everyone know about the new angel Metatron. Metatron learns secrets and other things about heaven thanks to G-d and is called the Lesser YHVH. All the people gathered there trembled before Metatron as he was crowned. Metatron then became the holy scribe and judge.
To be continued...