Saturday, February 2, 2013
Book Review for Tree of Souls The Mythology of Judaism by Howard Schwartz Book I Part 5.15
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 One: Myths of God
Part V: God's Attributes
26. The Breath of God
Issue: Description of G-d's Throne of Glory as well as of four gatherings of angels singing praises before Him and how he sat in the center.
27. The Mind of God
Issue: What G-d's mind contained before the creation of the world such as light and darkness, rainbow, sunset colors and so forth.
28. The Eyes of God
Issue: Description of what G-d's eyes do; one sees from one end of universe to another while the other eye can see the future before him. He's also vigilant day and night.
29. The Face of God
Issue: The face of G-d is majestic, and outshines the faces of the bride and the groom, but whoever sees the face shall be torn to pieces.
30. The Size of God
Issue: People can comprehend the greatness of G-d from the size of his fist as well as his fingers and a dwelling place, which cannot accommodate the throne.
31. The Three Keys
Issue: G-d has three keys, that of the rain, womb and resurrection. While rain and womb keys are known where to be opened, G-d refuses to use the key of resurrection until the time is right for messiah.
32. The Arms of God
Issue: G-d carries a lot with his amrs such as heavens and earth, each one is carried separately, and right carries one hundred twenty t housand worlds while other carries eighteen thousand worlds.
33. God's Hands
Issue: G-d has two hands, one named Just and another Holy which He uses to create things such as holy mountain or Adam even. In some cases He used both hands to create Adam.
34. The Body of God
Issue: The appearace of G-d is described as fire and stormy. Then there's a brief summary of what one read so far about the attributes of G-d.
35. God's Back
Issue: Moses wants to see G-d's face but G-d warns him that if Moses should see him, he'll die, thus G-d will shield him with his hand until he passes by so Moses only glimpses G-d's back instead of the face.
To be continued...