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01286--Write a note on early Jewish mysticism.


One characteristic of early Jewish mysticism is the desire for an unmediated experience of God. Biblical Judaism mediated one’s relationship to God through the priest. Rabbinic Judaism mediates that relationship through the halachah. But the Bible does contain several episodes of individuals directly experiencing God (see Exod. 24:9–11and Ez. 1 and 10). Although there is relatively little mysticism in Rabbinic literature, other genres of literature during the Rabbinic period recount voyages through the heavens to meet God. This literature is called merkavah (“chariot”) and heichalot (“palaces”).  Rabbinic Judaism tended to discourage mystical experimentation.

[Courtesy : Professor Shai Cherry]

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