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1 Maaseh Merkabah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Maaseh Merkabah
From Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia
The Ma'aseh Merkabah ("Work of the Chariot" !"#$ !%&'$ ) is a Hebrew-language Jewish mystical text dating fromthe
Gaonic period which comprises a collectionof hymns recited by the "descenders" and heard during their ascent. It is part of the
traditionof Merkabah mysticismand the Hekhalot literature. The text was first edited by Gershom Scholem(1965).
[1]
An
English translationby Janowitz can be found in her Poetics of Ascent, pages 29–81. The critical edition and translationof the
text was published by Michael D. Swartz
[2]
Contents
Like most other Hekhalot texts, the Ma'aseh Merkabah revolves around the knowledge of secret names of God used theurgically
for mystical ascent. It begins with a conversationbetween Rabbi Ishmael and Rabbi Aqiba,
[3]
where the latter expounds on the
mysteriesof the spiritual world, as well as describingthe appearance of the heavenly planes. Hymns with longs lists of secret
names of God are present throughout the text, as well as many angel names including a section listingthe various angelic rules
of the 7 palaces. Specific ritual instructionsare also given at various points in the text, including a technique to invoke the angel
of the Presence:
The name of the prince of the Torah is Yofiel, and everyone who seeks himmust sit for 40 days in fast, eat his
bread with salt, and must not eat unclean food; he must perform24 immersions, and not look at any kind of
coloured garments; his eyes must be cast to the ground. And he must pray with all his strength, direct his heart to his
prayer, and seal himself with his own seal, and pronounce 12 utterances: 'You are living God in heaven, engraved
as a SPYS(WS NWMS(WS 'QNYPWS 'NBY...'
[4]
After more formulas, another prayer and ritual is given to protect the practitionerwhen the angel of the presence (named as
PDQRM or PNQRS in the text
[5]
) descends. This involves the recitationof various divine names over one's body, referredto as
"seals", designed to ensure that the mystic does not perish due to the fearsome power of the angel:
Blessed are you YY who created heaven and earth with your wisdom. Your name is forever. )Y 'WP SYSY
PYY'W LW SM BY KYH TNYY the name of Your servant. By the Seven Seals that Rabbi Ishmael sealed on his
heart. 'WRYS SSTYY on my feet, 'BG BGG on my heart, 'RYS TYP' on my right arm, 'WRYS TSY Y'H on my
left arm...(etc.)
[6]
The text ends with a series of hymns for further ascent.
References
1. ^ Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash Hermann Leberecht Strack, Günter Stemberger, Markus Bockmuehl - 1991 Ma'aseh
Merkabah was first edited ...
2. ^ Michael D. Swartz, Mystical Prayer in Ancient Judaism: An Analysis of Ma!aseh Merkavah Coronet Books, 1991, p. 3.
3. ^ Swartz, pg. 224
4. ^ Swartz, pg. 235 ff.
5. ^ Swartz, pg. 235 ff.
6. ^ Swartz, pg. 238 ff.
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Categories: Kabbalah texts Hebrew-language names Kabbalistic words and phrases
This page was last modifiedon 9 April 2014 at 05:06.
2 Maaseh Merkabah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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