Page 70 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
ANCIENT PHASE
We now turn to books which were devoted to the study of
specific periods of Jewish Mysticism. The ancient Jewish mys­
tical expression, found in the Heikhalot literature was the sub­
ject of a number of valuable works. I. Gruenwald, in his
Apoc­
alyptic and Merkavah Mysticism
(Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1980), expand­
ed his doctoral dissertation to offer an extensive presentation
of the subject.6 His work was enlarged with regard to the re­
lationship between rabbinic and mystical rabbinic literature by
D.J. Halperin in
The Merkavah in Rabbinic Literature
(New Haven,
CT, American Oriental Society, 1980)7 and by I. Chernus in
Mysticism in Rabbinic Judaism
(Berlin & New York, W. de
Gruyter, 1982). P. Schafer contributed a major tool for the an­
alytical study of the Heikhalot literature in his
Synopsis zur
Hekhalot-Literatur
(Tubingen, J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1981),
which he edited with the assistance of M. Schluter and H.G.
von Mutius. This was the first collection to be made of the scat­
tered fragments of this esoteric literature, but it cannot be said
to be a critical scientific edition.8 A few years later Schafer pub­
lished an important addition to his earlier work in his
Geniza-
Fragmente zur Hekhalot-Literatur
(Tubingen, J.C.B. Mohr [Paul
Siebeck], 1984).
Recently, Schafer’s intensive research yielded two new books.
F irst th e re a p p e a red
Konkordanz zur H ekha lo t-L itera tu r
(Tubingen, J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1987), which was com­
piled with the assistance of G. Peeg and K. Herman. His second
book was
Ubersetzung der Hekhalot-Literatur
(Tubingen, J.C.B.
Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1987), which was issued with the assistance
of J. Becker. Together with his above-mentioned works, these
books serve to establish Schafer’s research into Heikhalot liter-
6. A discussion o f Gruenwald’s book appeared in
Kiryat Sefer
57(1982), pp.
35—36. A review o f the book by J. Dan, entitled “The Study o f the Heikhalot
and Merkavah Literature,” is found in
Tarbiz
51(1981-82) pp. 685-691; see
also J. Liebes’ remarks in his book,
The Sin of Elisha ben Avuyah
. . . , pp.
4 -6 , discussed below.
7. See J. Dan’s review, “Maasei Merkavah be-Sifrut Hazal,”
Jerusalem Studies
in Jewish Thought
2(1983), pp. 307-316; see also J. Liebes’ remarks in his
The Sin of Elisha ben Avuyah
. . . , pp. 9—12.
8. See J. Dan’s review, “The Manuscripts o f the Heikhalot and Merkavah Lit­
erature,”
Tarbiz
53(1982-84), pp. 313-317; see also D. Halperin’s review
in
JAOS
104(1984), pp. 544-551.