Greater Hekhaloth in Jewish Mysticism

Greater Hekhaloth is the Jewish visionary text of the Hekhaloth school originating from the Talmudic phase of Jewish mysticism during the first century AD. The Hekhaloth were different «chambers» or «halls» through which mystics advanced during meditation.

Alone this meditative journey the divine names of God would be repeated in a Mantra while the mystics would project their consciousnesses into spirit-vehicles which journey to each hall in turn. In each of the chamber a sacred «seal» was presented to an archangel who guarded that chamber.

Just before reaching the seventh chamber, the mystics would enter a chariot that would lift each of them up to a profound state of mystical ecstasy, an experience called MerkabahA.G.H.

 

Exploration of Greater Hekhaloth in Jewish Mysticism

Introduction  Origins and Context

The Greater Hekhaloth, an integral part of Jewish visionary mysticism, originated in the Talmudic era, marking a significant phase in Jewish mystical practices. This text is a cornerstone of the Hekhaloth school, deeply rooted in the early centuries of Jewish mysticism.

 

The Mystical Journey through the Hekhaloth

 

Navigating the ‘Chambers’ or ‘Halls’

The core of the Greater Hekhaloth involves a meditative journey through various «chambers» or «halls,» each representing a different level of spiritual ascension. Mystics engaging in this practice aim to progress through these halls in a structured, meditative state.

 

Role of Divine Names in Meditation

A critical aspect of this journey is the repetition of God’s divine names, akin to a mantra. This repetitive invocation plays a vital role in aiding the mystics’ consciousness to project into spiritual vehicles, facilitating their mystical journey.

 

Encounters with Archangels and Sacred Seals

 

Guardians of the Chambers

In each chamber, the mystics encounter archangels serving as guardians. These spiritual encounters are pivotal, marking progress through the mystical realms.

 

The Presentation of Sacred Seals

A unique feature of the journey is the presentation of sacred «seals» to these archangels. These seals symbolize the mystical knowledge and authority required to advance through the Hekhaloth.

 

The Culmination: The Merkabah Experience

 

Entering the Seventh Chamber

As the mystics approach the seventh chamber, they enter a transformative phase of their journey, marked by the boarding of a celestial chariot.

 

Mystical Ecstasy and Merkabah

This phase leads them into a state of profound mystical ecstasy, known as the Merkabah experience. The Merkabah, symbolizing a heavenly chariot, represents the pinnacle of spiritual ascent, offering a profound and transformative mystical encounter.

 

Significance in Jewish Mysticism

The Greater Hekhaloth remains a significant text in the study of Jewish mysticism, offering insights into early mystical practices and the complex layers of spiritual progression within the Jewish esoteric tradition.

 


Source: 62.