By Jonah Steinberg
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Extra resources for Angelic Israel: Self-Identification with Angels in Rabbinic Agadah and its Jewish Antecedents
G. Davis, that is now qivinq way to the recoqnition of influential Jewish precedents. While Hellenistic philosophy should not be entirely discounted as an influence, the present study is primarily concerned with the influence of earlier Jewish ideas on later Jewish tradition. When the continuity of earlier Jewish thouqht with the aqadic sources is emphasized, mytholoqical and experiential themes come to the fore more than do philosophical arquments. In connection with Urbach's appreciation of the rabbinic notion of a "paradox in man," one side of which involves divine or anqelic identity, we should also recall I.
It may even have been shared by them initially until it had to be suppressed to counter heretics who stuck to the liqht-mysticism which entailed the danqer of veneration of anqelic beinqs visibly represented by the stars. l44) Accordinq to xorray-Jon••, whose view is closer to the arqument of this study, the suppression of themes of anqeloloqy and apotheosis in rabbinic society was far from complete, and that by desiqn, at least on the part of some early rabbis. In his University of Cambridqe dissertation, Morray-Jones arqued "contra Urbach, Schaefer, and Halperin31 , in favor of a modified version of the hypothesis advanced by Scholem and developed by Gruenwald that the talmudic references to ma'aseb merkabah indicate the existence of an esoteric tradition or traditions within first- and secondcentury rabbinism.
18). In the remainder of his study, Morray-Jones traces the intensification of this theme in the Hekhalot literature, through close examination of which, he concludes: It seems that the mystic is identifying himself with the Merkabah and asking God to be enthroned upon or within him. In other words, he is seeking to become, like the patriarchs and righteous men of mythical history, a vehicle for the manifestation of the divine Image or Glory. 26) With regard to the experience of the pre-Hekhalot rabbis themselves, clear.
Angelic Israel: Self-Identification with Angels in Rabbinic Agadah and its Jewish Antecedents by Jonah Steinberg