By Jonah Steinberg
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Additional info for Angelic Israel: Self-Identification with Angels in Rabbinic Agadah and its Jewish Antecedents
55 The majority of Newsom's work in a subsequent article is a tracing of what she calls the "implicit exegesis" of Ezekiel and other texts in the 4Q fragments. 56 At the same time, Newsom also makes important contributions to the discussion of the place of the Sabbath Songs in the thought and experience of the Qumran Sect and in the study of Jewish mysticism. She writes, "Although heavenly praise is the focal point of the Sabbath songs, there are indications of the communion of praise that exists between human and angelic worshipping communities.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. 55 Bilhah Nitzan in her article on what she calls the "Harmonic Shirot65 and also Mystical focuses Characteristics" on Celestial realm and God. "one finds clear this desire of to the Qumran approach the "Xn Qumran poetry," Nitzan writes, statements concerninq the reliqious experience of communion between human beinqs and the celestial entouraqe. " 68 Nitzan separates the alleqed "mystical approach" of the Qumran Shirot into two aspects, a "celestial approach" and a "coJDDlunionist "celestial approach" • 69 approach" in In Nitzan's Qumran's formulation, mysticism consisted the of elevatinq the prayers of the celestial entourage above those recited by earthly beinqs.
The kabod? belief actually functioned in rabbinic What does one do when (and if) one has been How (if at all) does one come down, as it were, from that (or even a somewhat lesser) realization of divine identity, and what then? This study agrees with Morray-Jones' assertion that there is real continuity between Second Temple angelic concepts and much later leaders Hekhalot knew of and traditions, in some and that instances radically mystical kind of apotheosis. early even rabbinic practiced a However, this present work will seek to appreciate in greater nuance and detail the mitiqation of such beliefs and practices into a less hazardous (although equally powerful and otologically serious) angelic anthropology in classical rabbinic literature.