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Ritual Practices to Gain Power
  • Ritual Practices to Gain Power

    Angels, Incantations, & Revelations in Early Jewish Mysticism 


    Rebecca Mary Lesses. 


    Trinity Press: 1998. First edition. Softcover. Very good. Book is crisp but there is highlighting throughout the first 100 pages. 


    "The adjurations of angels call for ascetic preparations and repeated recitations of the adjurations and names over many days. The goals of these actions include experiencing the vision of God, participating in the angelic liturgy, recieving the assurance that God loves the people of Israel, and acquiring the divine wisdom of the Torah (as well as the ability to never forget it), revelations from angels, and mystical transformation. It is as if the successful mystic has come to the world anew. The texts sometimes mention other rewards, such as long life, many children, financial success, or healing, and the texts themselves do not seem to sense a contradiction in any of those goals. The same methods can achieve a variety of goals. When analyzing the Hekhalot texts one ought not to forget either the techniques or the goals. We need to acknowledge that the practices of ritual power can obtain both the goals of transcendent mysticism and the ordinary, day-to-day personal and social needs of Jews in late antiquity and the early Middle Ages." 

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