Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book I Part I.15

General Information:

Name of Book: Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism

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 I: God's Throne of Glory

1. Isaiah's Vision

Issue: The wording is taken from Isaiah 6:1-8 and describes the throne room that G-d is inhabited, as well as the seraphs that stood on attendance to him.

2. Daniel's Night Vision

Issue: The wording is taken from Daniel 7: 9-10, 7:13-14 and describes G-d in a more specific detail, along with the throne room.

3. God's Throne of Glory

Issue: Description of the throne room, half fire half ice, the majesty of G-d as well as a chariot that's fused with Throne of Glory, and how G-d flies through heaven.

4. The Descent of God's Throne

Issue: When the Jewish Messianic Era arrives, G-d will make sure that the throne will be in the middle of the sky so all people can witness him, and the righteous will be more closer than the angles.

5. The Crown of God

Issue: A description of G-d's crown and what's on it which includes the Hebrew alphabet as well as the words from the Song of Songs written by Solomon.

6. God's Crown of Prayers

Issue: What happens to the prayers that Israel prays to G-d? The angel Sandalphon weaves them into a crown which G-d wears on his head.

To be Continued...

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