Hekhalot Bibliography - part 1

As part of my graduate program, I wrote an annotated bibliography of the secondary literature on the Hekhalot literature (early 1990s). It may still be useful to others who are studying this literature. This is the first part of the bibliography, covering the works of Gershom Scholem on the Hekhalot texts.

Note: the footnote references do not link to the footnotes at the end of the document - I haven't been able to figure out how to do that.

In this annotated bibliography I am starting with the books and articles of Gershom Scholem, because his assertions about the nature of the Hekhalot Literature (HL) have framed most of the scholarly discussion for the last 50 years. (He did not initiate study of these texts; that honor goes to Heinrich Grätz[1], Philipp Bloch[2], Moritz Friedländer[3] and Leopold Zunz.[4]) I will begin by discussing Scholem's contributions in chapter two of Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, then his statements in Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition, the relevant entries which he wrote for the Encyclopedia Judaica which are collected in Kabbala, and his statements on Merkabah mysticism in The Origins of the Kabbalah. His article on the Shiur Qomah (SQ) will be discussed in the section on it. After discussing Scholem's books I will then, first of all, take up the topics he addressed that have given birth to their own scholarly argument (e.g., the question of the Tannaitic provenance of Merkabah mysticism, the provenance and nature of the SQ, the halakhic character of the HL, HL and the liturgy, HL and Qumran), and then books and articles which discuss the Hekhalot literature generally. I will not be annotating every book or article which has been written on Merkabah mysticism or Hekhalot literature, but I plan to include many of the important works of the last fifty years. The unannotated bibliography at the end will include everything which I have been able to find or have seen cited as relevant to the topic.

Gershom Scholem
Works to be discussed: Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, ch. 2, "Merkabah Mysticism and Jewish Gnosticism,"[5] Jewish Gnosticism, Merkabah Mysticism, and Talmudic Tradition,[6] Kabbalah,[7] article on "The Historical Development of Kabbalah," pp. 8-22, "Merkabah Mysticism," pp. 373-376, and "Metatron", pp. 377-381, and The Origins of the Kabbalah,[8] pp. 18-24.

Major Trends. In this, his first statement on Merkabah mysticism, Scholem is of the opinion that the mystical movement began in Palestine. He traces the movement in three stages: apocalyptic (e.g., 1 Enoch), Merkabah speculations of named Mishnaic teachers, and the HL. The essence of this form of mysticism is throne-mysticism. This literature begins with 1 Enoch 14 and leads to the HL itself. Scholem dates the editing of the HL to the fifth and sixth centuries C.E., before the expansion of Islam. Although he acknow- ledges that "there is a good deal of almost shapeless literary raw material,"[9] he then goes on to describe several distinct works: the "Book of Enoch" (called 3 Enoch by Odeberg[10]), the "Greater Hekhalot" (=Hekhalot Rabbati (HR)) and the "Lesser Hekhalot (=Hekhalot Zutarti (HZ))." Scholem considers HZ to be the oldest, then HR, and then 3 Enoch, which he thinks contains material which goes back to the second century C.E., but was edited in the 6th century. These texts are not exegetical; rather they are descriptions of religious experience. In the earlier texts (HZ) there is reference to an "ascent to the Merkabah," while in the later texts (most of HR, 3 Enoch), the journey is described as a "descent to the Merkabah," for some unknown reason. Scholem thinks that the groups responsible for these works came initially from Palestine in the 4th and 5th centuries, but he says that their existence can only be established for Babylonia. They were secret schools of mystics who tried to keep their form of mysticism within the framework of halakhic Judaism. They limited their membership by the use of physiognomic and chiromantic criteria.

Scholem considers the heavenly journey described in HR to be gnostic, like the gnostic ascent of the soul from earth to its divine home, passing through the hostile realm of the planets. The mystic has to prepare by fasting and by adopting a certain bodily posture, (thus he interprets a passage quoted by Hai Gaon, which Hai takes to refer to the preparations for the heavenly ascension) and after that, "in a state of ecstasy,"[11] he begins his journey through the seven hekhalot of the highest heaven. The place of the archons is taken by the hostile angelic gate-keepers, who must be shown a magic seal with a secret name on it to let the mystic pass. Scholem explains the multiplication of magical names by saying that when the mystic's "psychical energy"[12] becomes strained he needs to use these names to force his way through. These mystical names are part of the core of the Hekhalot mysticism, not later additions or marks of deterioration, which he proves by referring to the Greek and Coptic magical papyri of Egypt, where a similar combination of mysticism and magic is found. The degeneration of the movement from active mysticism to literature is found when the seals and magic names, which were the moving force behind the practice, disappear In this second stage of the movement the magical contents are no longer a "psychical reality,"[13] and the new texts are a kind of devotional literature. HR and HZ are part of the first stage, the Midrash of the Ten Martyrs and the Alphabet of R. Akiba part of the second.

Scholem finds the correct interpretation of the "water, water" warning of R. Akiba (BT Hag. 14b) in HZ: the mystic sees a vision which appears to be water, but must not say so, or he will be injured. In his opinion, this is the true meaning of the Talmudic passage. It refers to an ecstatic ascension.

The religious feeling of the Hekhalot texts is centered around the idea of God as the holy king. There is a complete absence of divine immanence, and of love of God. Therefore, there is no trace of mystical union with God. The mystic upon reaching his goal is overwhelmed by the magnificence and majesty of God.

The hymns found in the Hekhalot texts are both the songs sung by the angels before the throne of God and what the mystic recites to induce a state of ecstasy. Following Rudolf Otto, Scholem calls these compositions "numinous hymns."[14] The rabbis of the Talmud attempted to suppress this form of prayer but were unsuccessful. The Merkabah hymns had a great influence on the liturgy. They are not all post-Talmudic, as Bloch maintained, because mystical groups may have been in existence in Palestine as early as the 4th century C.E. Although the hymns themselves are not older than the 5th century C.E., they continue a much older tradition, found for example in the Apocalypse of Abraham. Scholem also notes the influence of the Merkabah hymns on the Palestinian payyetanim, notably Kallir.

According to Scholem, what the mystic sees in his ascent is the "Shiur Qomah," the measure of the body of God, which is analogous to the body of the beloved one in Song of Songs 5. These enormous figures are also evidence that the mystics focused on the aspect of God as king, rather than as spirit. He thinks that this kind of speculation probably originated among heretical mystics who had almost broken with rabbinic Judaism, which then blended in again with the kind of "rabbinical" Gnosticism developed by the Merkabah mystics. In his opinion, the figure described in the SQ was probably identified with the "primordial man" of Iranian belief, and was, in fact, a Jewish version of the Gnostic belief in two gods -- the demiurge and the true God. For these Jewish mystics the demiurge became the appearance of God on the throne. In this case, the measurements do not apply to the true God, but only to his glory.[15] Against Grätz, Scholem holds that this is part of the oldest Hekhalot speculation, and is not due to the influence of Muslim anthropomorphists; influence probably went in the other direction.

Another subject of mystical contemplation is Metatron, the transformed Enoch. After the second century C.E. the metamorphosized Enoch was identified with Yahoel, and the characteristics of this angel were transferred to Metatron, including his name (which was counted among the 70 names of Metatron). Scholem finds no satisfactory etymology for the word "Metatron," and suggests that it merely follows a pattern followed by other of the angelic names. Metatron always retains his position as second to the Creator.

Scholem maintains that all of the hekhalot books contain descriptions of the end of the world and calculations of the end. He claims that "apocalyptic nostalgia" was one of the motives for the hekhalot mystics; they have a negative attitude towards the reality of history, and in consequence turn to the prehistory of creation or the post-history of redemption.[16]

Scholem finds that the Sefer Yesirah, written between the 3rd and the 6th century, is close to the Merkabah literature in terminology and style.[17] Its subject is the ten elementary numbers (sefirot) and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which represent the forces by which God created the universe. In his opinion, it is a combination of late Hellenistic, perhaps Neoplatonic numerological mysticism with Jewish concepts of the power of letters and language.[18] This book uses the same theory of magic and theurgy which is found in Merkabah mysticism. This theory appears not only in the ascent to the throne, but also in the "putting on of the name" and in the adjurations of the Sar Torah.[19] The revelations sought through this adjuration are the same as are sought through the Merkabah vision. According to Scholem, the Sar Torah material is not central to the goals of the Merkabah mystics. (This is an issue addressed by Schäfer, which I will discuss below). Moral perfection or moral interpretation of the Merkabah are also not intrinsic to this literature; they are a later development.

Jewish Gnosticism. In this book Scholem develops a number of the themes discussed in his chapter in Major Trends. The book also contains four appendices, one of them the first publication of "Ma‘aseh Merkabah," and another "Mishnat Shir ha-Shirim" by Saul Lieberman. I will discuss Professor Lieberman's article in the section on Shiur Qomah.

Chapter 1: "General Remarks." In this chapter he begins with some remarks on the Jewish roots of Gnosticism, goes on to discuss possible ties between the Dead Sea Scrolls and later Jewish esotericism, and then outlines the different works of the Hekhalot literature which may also throw light on the problems of the origin of Gnosticism. He lists them as follows: 1) the Visions of Ezekiel, 2) HZ, 3) HR, 4) Merkabah Rabbah, 5) the titleless text which he publishes under the name Ma‘aseh Merkabah (MM), 6) a chapter on physiognomics and chiromancy, 7) 3 Enoch, 8) Massekhet Hekhalot. These revelations are related to the old traditions about the Merkabah, some of which are found in BT Hag. 12-16a. Scholem revises his opinion about the age of Merkabah texts; while in Major Trends he dated the earliest of them to the 4th and 5th centuries, now he wishes to date them much earlier.

Chapter 2: "The Halakhic Character of Hekhaloth Mysticism." Scholem brings in a passage from HR (ch. 16) in which the disciples of R. Nehuniah b. HaQanah brought their teacher back from his trance to ask him an urgent question. They used an elaborate method based on the laws of menstrual impurity in order to bring him back. According to Scholem, this concern for purity in a manner defined by rabbinic law was evidence that the writers of the Hekhalot texts were in the center of rabbinic Judaism, not on its fringes. He also cites as evidence for the halakhic concerns of the HL the Sar Torah material. It is likely that these traditions were later than the ascent materials, both because they are a degeneration from the attempts to make the heavenly ascent and because such supernatural help in Torah study would be needed at a later time when Torah study had become more intricate.

Chapter 3: "The Four Who Entered Paradise and Paul's Ascension to Paradise." Scholem adduces more evidence from HZ (about Ben Azzai seeing the sixth palace and asking about the waters) to show that the "water, water" passage referred to above from BT Hag. 14b refers to the dangers of the heavenly ascent. He also brings in the story of Paul's account of his ascent to Paradise in the third heaven (from 2 Cor. 12:2-4). He interprets the pardes passage from BT Hag. 14b as an entry into or ascent to Paradise on the basis of 1 Enoch 32:2 and 77:3, which refer to a "paradise of righteousness" (in the Aramaic fragments from Qumran, pardes kushta). Although he says the Talmudic story also makes use of the "orchard" meaning of pardes (when it describes R. Elisha b. Abuyah as cutting down the saplings), he emphasizes that pardes in the story refers to a heavenly abode. When Paul talked about being caught up to the third heaven and Paradise, he was talking about the same thing as the Talmudic story. The same idea is present in II Enoch, the Life of Adam and Eve and the Apocalypse of Moses. He links the journeys of mystics in the HL to the heavenly journeys in the apocalyptic literature. Paul's account is a link between the apocalyptic texts and the "Gnosis of the Tannaitic Merkabah mystics."[20] He finds other links in the Testament of Levi and the Apocalypse of Zephania as quoted by Clement of Alexandria.

Chapter 4: "The Merkabah Hymns and the Song of the Kine in a Talmudic Passage." Scholem brings in another Talmudic passage to show that at least one hymnic stratum of HR is very early. The earlier scholarly view was that these hymns were from the 7th or 8th century C.E. Scholem thinks that this dating is much too late, both because the Palestinian piyyutim, which are later than the HL, are dated earlier than the 7th or 8th century, and because the hymns of the angels before the throne of God are also an integral part of the apocalyptic literature. He also brings in a passage from BT Abodah Zarah 24b, in which R. Isaac Napha quotes the song which the cows drawing the ark sang to it on their way to Beit Shemesh (exegesis of 1 Sam 6:12). In his opinion this song is very much like that which the heavenly creatures sing to the throne of God in the HL, and he thinks that this is proof that such hymns were known by the third century. This means that the content of these hymns, describing the world of the Merkabah, is to be dated to the third century, and that this kind of hymn originated in Palestine. He also considers that the Alenu prayer (ascribed to Rav), a version of which is found in MM, has some Merkabah terminology in it (such as Yotzer Bereshit); this is additional proof for the early date of the Merkabah hymns. He also asks whether these hymns have some historical connection with the Dead Sea Scrolls (citing a preliminary account on the "Angelic Liturgy" found in the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice).

Chapter 5. "Some Old Elements in the Greater Hekhaloth." Scholem cites several passages from HR which point to an early, Palestinian dating. He cites ch. 15, which refers to the manger of Caesarea, the gate of Caesarea, and the water-pipe in the valley of Kidron. The hippodrome, known from Josephus, is never mentioned in talmudic or midrashic literature, so the illustration is not dependent on a literary source but on a "concrete Palestinian reality known to the writer."[21] The seals which the mystic must show to the the angels before entering the hekhalot are paralleled in the Gnostic sources, the Pistis Sophia and the Books of Jeu. In the Marcosian version of Valentinian Gnosis, the soul as it ascends through the seven heavens must use Aramaic formulae (in a Greek writing) to fend off the powers of the demiurge, while in the HL the mystic must make use of Greek formulas to greet the rulers of the hekhalot. Also, the ruler of the sixth hall, called Dumiel, is also known by a Greek name which implies that he is ruler of the four elements (this point is elaborated in an article by Hans Lewy).[22] There is proof here of contact with Hellenistic-Egyptian elements, but never with Christian ones. "The logical conclusion seems to be, given the historical circumstances, that, initially Jewish esoteric tradition absorbed Hellenistic elements similar to those we actually find in Hermetic writings."[23] Later on these elements were taken from Judaism to Christian Gnosticism. This would explain the Jewish elements in the Excerpta ex Theodoto of Clement of Alexandria.

Chapter 6: "The Age of Shiur Komah Speculation and a Passage in Origen." According to Scholem, the Shiur Qomah (SQ) is linked to the description of the lover in the Song of Songs, ch. 5. It has a close parallel in Markos the Gnostic's description of the "Body of Truth." He gives an early age to the SQ speculation on the basis of a reference in Origen's commentary on the Song of Songs. There, Origen describes four biblical passages whose study is kept from young boys and reserved for later life: the first chapters of Genesis, the beginning of Ezekiel, the last chapters of Ezekiel, and the Song of Songs. The first two are explicable on the basis of the prohibitions in Hag. 2:1. The third may have been restricted because it contradicts statements about the temple in the Torah. The fourth restriction is mysterious, because the Song of Songs was a favorite subject for sermons in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Scholem holds that it was restricted because of the mystical reading of it given by the SQ; it was read not only as an allegory of the love between God and Israel, but as a description of the body of God. Therefore the SQ is from an early age, as well as the description of the ascent to heaven and the hymns of HR. Scholem thinks that Markos took his ideas from a Jewish source which knew of the SQ.

Chapter 7: "Some Remarks on Metatron and Akatriel." Among the Merkabah mystics Metatron was given many characteristics which had earlier belonged to Michael. Scholem traces the process of identification to the 3rd or 4th century. The most important source for this transformation is the Visions of Ezekiel. In the passage about the third heaven Metatron ("like the name of the [divine] Dynamis") is a secret name of Michael.[24] There are two stages through which the traditions on the seven heavens have gone: the first knows nothing of Metatron and does not mention magic names. The second stage introduces the magical names and puts Metatron in place of Michael. Scholem connects these magic names for Michael with the names that the Essenes (in Josephus' account) took an oath not to divulge. They were not the public names of the angels, but possibly secret names like those in the passage from the Visions. Metatron also is referred to in the Babylonian magic bowls as the "Prince of the whole world," as Michael is in Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer. Metatron's linking with Michael as the celestial high priest (in the SQ) may be the reason he is called the "Prince of the world"; he has assimilated one of Michael's attributes. In this passage of the SQ Metatron is also called the Na‘ar (Youth). In 3 Enoch Metatron is called the Youth because he is the youngest of the angels (being the transformed Enoch) but it is not sure whether this is the conception behind the name in the SQ.

In 3 Enoch it is not only with respect to the angels that Metatron is called "youth"; God himself also refers to him this way. The word na‘ar can mean "servant" as well as "youth," and it may be because of his function as servant before the throne or in the celestial tabernacle that Metatron was called Na‘ar. In an Aramaic section of the SQ the term na‘ar is rendered shammasha rehima (the beloved servant).

There are two aspects of Metatron: 1) connection with Yahoel or Michael, knowing nothing of his transformation from a human being into an angel; 2) identification of Metatron with the Enoch of apocalyptic literature. When 3 Enoch was composed the two aspects had already become entwined.

Akatriel appears in BT Ber. 7a in a tradition about R. Ishmael. The commentators could not decide if this name referred to God or an angel, and there are different traditions about him in the HL. In a passage in 3 Enoch he is identified with God, while in a section called the Mystery of Sandalphon (from ms. Oxford 1531) he is one of the angels at the entrance of Paradise. In another passage from the Oxford ms. the name Akatriel is one of the secret names of God's crown (keter, in Hebrew). Scholem speculates that this is what is referred to in the passage in Abot 1:13 ("to make use of the crown"). He also relates this name to the sections of the HL on the "great crown," which is used theurgically, he thinks, for the ascent to the merkabah. (Peter Schäfer disputes this point; see discussion below of his article on Merkabah Rabbah). He concludes that in these cases the material preserved in the HL supplements the sparse information provided by the Talmud, "and must be considered as essentially of the same period."[25]

Chapter 7: "Some Aggadic Statements Explained by the Merkabah Hymns. The Garment of God." In the beginning of this chapter Scholem explains several mysterious aggadic statements (about the rivers of fire and about the Leviathan) by passages from the HL, and then goes on to discuss the theme of the "garment of God." He brings out the esoteric meaning of the garment by referring to several passages from the HL. The garment of God, when seen by the mystic, causes in him a temporary transformation like that of Enoch.

Chapter 9: "The Relationship Between Gnostic and Jewish Sources. Jewish Sources on the Ogdoas. Yaldabaoth and Ariel. Elijah and Lilith." In this chapter Scholem discusses the hellenistic (and later the Gnostic) idea of the Ogdoas, the eighth heaven above the usual seven heavens. This eighth heaven is mentioned in BT Hag. 13a as one which should not be talked about. In the HL one of the secret names of God is 'Azbogah, the Shem ha-Sheminiyuth (the name of eightness). Scholem considers that this is a Jewish use of the Hellenistic and Gnostic idea of the eighth heaven.[26] Also, in the HL this name occurs together with the Tetragrammaton -- 'Azbogah YHWH, which seems to have been taken over in the Greek magical papyri from Leiden as one of the names of God. He also cites other composite names of the same type in the magical papyri, such as "I conjure thee by the God Jao, the God Abaoth, the God Adonai, the God Michael, the God Suriel, the God Gabriel, the God Raphael."[27] In this case the writer of the spell misunderstood the Hebrew names as referring to God; actually they are the names of angels with names combined with the Tetragrammaton, as we see frequently in the HL.

Scholem explains the association of Yaldabaoth with the figure of a lion (in Celsus' account of the Ophitic system) by an amulet with the names of the seven archons on one side, and on the other, the names Yaldabaoth and Ariel. Ariel, meaning "lion of God" in Hebrew, must be the original of the Ophitic idea.

Chapter 10: "The Theurgic Elements of the Lesser Hekhalot and the Magical Papyri." Scholem maintains that the theurgical component of the HL is basic to it, but that there was also a "progressive hypertrophy"[28] of magical names as time went on, particularly in HZ and MM. (He does not explain how these two concepts are compatible, since the second one seems to contradict the first). In HZ there are Hebrew forms of magical names which also appear in the Greek magical papyri, but not in their Hebrew forms; rather they are to be found as transliterations from the Greek. Two examples are Jao Sebaoth and Semiselam, instead of Yaho Sebaoth and Shemesh 'olam. The theurgical element in HZ is very strong; the occult powers gained by the mystic are a prelude to the vision of the glory and the knowledge of the measures of the divine body. HZ also contains an incantation of the name of God in which equivalents of the secret names are given as they were supposedly used by Balaam, Moses, the angel of death, David, and Solomon. This is similar to some in the Leiden magical papyrus. The names in HZ seem Greek, and at the end of the list of names, it says, "This is the Shem ha-meforash and its interpretations, its explorations and its pronunciations, and its interpretation is Greek."[29] Apparently the author was aware of the original nature of the names.

In Appendices A and B of the book Scholem discusses an Aramaic inscription first published by Dupont-Sommer, correcting his readings, and the magical formulae, frequently found in the magical papyri, Akramacham- arei and Sesengen Barpharanges.

Kabbalah. "Historical Development of Kabbalah," pp. 10-21. Scholem's characterization of Merkabah mysticism and its history follows closely his remarks in Major Trends and Jewish Gnosticism. He does, at one point, pull back a bit from his radical statements in those two books about the early dating of the Hekhalot literature. "Even though it is quite possible that some of the texts were not edited until this period (the gaonic period), there is no doubt that large sections originated in talmudic times, and that the central ideas, as well as many details, go back as far as the first and second centuries."[30]

"Merkabah Mysticism," pp. 373-376. This article repeats most of his earlier statements on Merkabah mysticism. In his enumeration of the different writings in the HL, he says that the Sar Torah section of HR is much later than the rest of the text. He adds to the list found in the first chapter of Jewish Gnosticism the Tosefta to the Targum of the first chapter of Ezekiel.

"Metatron," pp. 377-381. This article summarizes Scholem's remarks in his earlier books on Metatron.

Origins of the Kabbalah
. "The Esoteric Doctrine of the Creation and the Merkabah in Pre-kabbalistic Judaism: The Literature of the Hekhaloth and Jewish Gnosticism," pp. 18-24. Here his description basically follows the earlier books. He emphasizes strongly the character of Merkabah mysticism as a form of Jewish Gnosticism, albeit of a monotheistic kind. He stresses that its creative period was in the 3rd century and earlier; in the later period there are literary elaborations of the old material, but no new ideas. The old texts, "augmented by all kinds of later additions, were known to the Middle Ages in the form given to them in the late talmudic and early post-talmudic periods as 'Greater Hekhaloth,' 'Lesser Hekhalot,' Shiur Qomah, Book of the Merkabah."[31] He seems to have pushed back the dates for the texts themselves, at least, to a later time, while in Jewish Gnosticism he maintained their early date.

[1] Grätz, Heinrich. "Die mystische Literatur in der gaonischen Epoche," MGWJ 8 (1859) and Gnosticismus und Judenthum (Krotoschin, 1846).

[2] Bloch, Philipp. "Die Yordei Merkabah, die Mystiker der Gaonenzeit, und ihr Einfluss auf die Liturgie," MGWJ 37 (1893).

[3] Friedländer, Moritz. Der Vorchristliche jüdische Gnosticismus. (Gottingen, 1898).

[4] Zunz, Leopold. Die gottesdienstliche Vorträge der Juden. (Berlin, 1832).

[5] New York: Schocken, 1941.

[6] New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1960.

[7] Jerusalem, Israel: Keter, 1974.

[8] German: Ursprung und Anfänge der Kabbala. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1962). English translation, revised and updated, edited by R.J. Zwi Werblowsky, translated by Allan Arkush. (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1987).

[9] Major Trends, pp. 44-45.

[10] 3 Enoch or the Hebrew Book of Enoch, edited and translated by Hugh Odeberg. (Cambridge, 1928).

[11] Major Trends, p. 50.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid., p. 51.

[14] Ibid., p. 57.

[15] Based on my reading of the SQ material in Schäfer's synopsis, I simply cannot find a basis for this contention. For just one example, see #376 (New York ms. 8128) of the Synopsis, which begins,
R. Akiba said, Metatron, the beloved servant, great prince of testimony, said to me, 'I make this testimony about YHWH the God of Israel . . . that the height of his body when he sits on the Throne of Glory is 118,000,000 parasangs. . ."

Here Metatron gives R. Akiba the measurements of God. See also #948 (Munich ms. 40): "Rabbi Yishmael said, I will tell you how much is the measure of the body of the Blessed One, which is hidden from all people." The passage from #952 (also Munich ms. 40) is more ambiguous:

R. Yishmael said, when I spoke this matter (i.e., the measurements) before R. Akiba, he said to me, Everyone who knows this measure of our Creator (yotsrenu) and the praise (shivho) of the Blessed One, which is hidden from all people, life in the world to come is guaranteed for him. . .
It would be necessary to compare all of the relevant passages in all of the manuscripts really to decide what or who is being measured, but based on these readings I think there is a strong case to be made against Scholem's contention. Perhaps his opinion was based on a reading of the SQ similar to that of Saadia Gaon or the Hasidei Ashkenaz.

[16] Major Trends, pp. 72-73.

[17] See the article by A.P. Hayman which refutes this view: "Sefer Yesira and the Hekhalot Literature," in Proceedings of the First International Conference on the History of Jewish Mysticism: Early Jewish Mysticism, ed. by Joseph Dan. Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, vol. 6, 1-2 (1987), pp. 71-86. This volume will be referred to as the Proceedings volume.

[18] Major Trends, p. 76.

[19] Ibid., p. 77.

[20] Jewish Gnosticism, p. 18.

[21] Ibid., p. 32.

[22] "Remainders of Greek Phrases and Nouns in 'Hekhalot Rabbati," by Hans Lewy, pp. 259-265 in Studies in Jewish Hellenism (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 1969) (Also in Tarbiz 12 (2), 163-167).

[23] Jewish Gnosticism, p. 34.

[24] Ibid., p. 46.

[25] Ibid., p. 55.

[26] I do not quite understand how an idea of the eighth heaven could have developed into a secret name of God. One idea is locational, the other verbal.

[27] Ibid,. p. 71, quoting Preisdendanz, I, pp. 38-39. See bibliography for full reference.

[28] Ibid., p. 75.

[29] Ibid., p. 81.

[30] Kabbalah, pp. 14-15.

[31] Origins of the Kabbalah, p. 23.