Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and by Elliot R. Wolfson

By Elliot R. Wolfson

This publication explores the elemental concerns in Jewish mysticism and offers a taxonomy of the deep buildings of suggestion that emerge from the texts.

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Extra info for Along the Path: Studies in Kabbalistic Myth, Symbolism, and Hermeneutics

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166 Moreover, the numerical value of maqom is 186, and the Tetragrammaton is also 186. How so? Yod is numerically ten, and when you calculate ten times ten, it is one hundred. Heh is numerically five, and when you calculate five times five, it is twenty-five. Vav is numerically six, and when you calculate six times six, it is thirty-six. The final heh of the Name yields a sum of twenty-five. Accordingly, you shall find that the Name yields a sum of 186. This is the calculation which has been completely squared, when you calculate the numerical value of each individual letter and word in a correct computation.

This identification is alluded to in the verse, "He mounted a cherub," that is, God rode upon the image of Jacob (the exact meaning of this will become clear at a subsequent lHE IMAGE OF JACOB 35 stage in this analysis). " And in more detail: "Thus you will find [the word] )adam in the last letters of the words, '0 throne of glory, exalted,' kisse J khavod marom (Jer. 17:12), as well as in the last [letters of the expression] 'granting them seats of honor,' we-khisse) khavod yanlJilem (1 Sam 2:8) ....

However, in that context the anonymous author connects the anthropomorphic image in the angelic world specifically to Metatron who is described as the body of the Presence Il7 : The lower Presence ... her chariot is Metatron, the body of the Presence. The Presence is [designated by the word] maNl8 . her chariot is Metatron. Concerning him it is said, "God's chariots are myriads upon myriads, thousands upon thousands" (Ps. 68:18). What is [the meaning of] "thousands," shin Jan? 121 TIlE IMAGE OF JACOB 17 It is difficult to decide definitively if this matter reached the kabbalists from ancient sources preserving an older form of theosophic speculation according to which Metatron was identified as the divine chariot inasmuch as he comprised all four living creatures or even represented the enthroned glory itself.

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