Hidden Meanings: Part II: Roots
Saul Gorenstein - December 25, 2008
Judaism has a long and rich history of mysticism woven into its culture and traditions. At the very beginning of its recorded history is the story of Abraham, the father of the Jewish people and his interaction with HaShem who called upon Him to form a righteous people who would follow his direction and become His chosen people. This was followed later by his ancestor Isaac who was ordered to kill his youngest son as a human sacrifice but was saved by an angel who helped him replace his son with a sacrificial sheep.
Portae Lucis: Joesph Gikatilla
One of the greatest events in the life and times of the Jewish people was the receiving of the Ten Commandments and the Torah directly from HaShem on Mount Sinai after a long and arduous journey from slavery in Egypt towards the eventual Promised Land. All of these stories as well as many more divine interventions are recorded in the Bible or Torah and so from early days the Jews like the Israelis and the Hebrews before them were taught to believe in the supernatural and magical powers of the Creator.
But most Jews like all other people wanted a deeper understanding of their relationship with HaShem. They wanted to know more about Him, his attributes and aspects, and how they could aspire to more serving of His needs, and if possible less human and more divine in their daily lives.
Most of the mystical history of the Jewish people was handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth in the early days of Judaism. This was delivered by a variety of patriarchs, prophets, teachers, and wise men. Throughout the years many devout Jews made a practice of devoting their lives to the ancient stories of Judaism and some of these not only taught them to others but wrote their ideas down to be preserved and studied by other students.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. © 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED