Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book 3 Part 6.10

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 Three: Myths of Heavens

Part VI: The Palaces of Heaven

226. The Palaces of Heaven

Issue: Description that the scholars who pass on go on to study Torah with the masters in palaces and in the heavenly Garden of Eden, and that the scholars can get a chance to study Torah with masters from Rashi to Moses and to Abraham.

227. Women In Paradise

Issue:In the Paradise there are six palaces where women make home. First palace is Bitiah's who is Pharaoh's daughter and who raised Moses. Second Palace is that of Serah bat Asher then there is Yocheved who is Moses' mother as well as Miriam his siter and Deborah the prophetess. Beyond those six palaces are the four palaces of the matriarchs; Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel. But these palaces weren't seen yet.

To be continued...


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