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Gabriel's Palace : Jewish Mystical Tales - Howard Schwartz

Gabriel's Palace

Jewish Mystical Tales

Paperback

Published: 1st January 1996
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A vast bounty of tales recounting mystical experiences among the rabbis can be found in the Talmud, the Zohar, Jewish folktales, and Hasidic lore. Now, in Gabriel's Palace, scholar Howard Schwartz has collected the greatest of these stories, sacred and secular, in a marvelously readable anthology.
Gabriel's Palace offers a treasury of 150 pithy and powerful tales, involving experiences of union with the divine, out-of-body travel, encounters with angels and demons, possession by spirits holy and pernicious, and more. Schwartz provides an informative introduction placing these remarkable tales firmly in the context of centuries of post-biblical Jewish tradition. The body of the text presents spellbinding tales from the Talmud, Zohar, the Hasidic masters, and an enormous range of other sources. Here are stories of Shimon bar Yohai, reputed to be the author of the Zohar; Isaac Luria, known as the Ari, who was the central figure among the Safed mystics of the 16th century; Israel ben Eliezer, known as Baal Shem Tov, who founded Hasidism; Elimelech of Lizensk, possessor of legendary mystical powers; and Nachman of Bratslav, the great storyteller whose wandering spirit is said to protect his followers to this day. Together, these tales paint a vivid picture of "a world of signs and symbols, where everything that took place had meaning, a world of mythic proportions....A world in which the spirits of the dead were no longer invisible, nor the angels," where the master and his disciples labor to repair the world so that the footsteps of the Messiah might be heard.
Drawn from rabbinic, kabbalistic, folk, and Hasidic sources, these collected tales form a rich genre all their own. In Gabriel's Palace, the powerful tradition of Jewish mysticism comes to life in clear, contemporary English.

"There are 80 pages of scholarly notes about the tales, and an extremely helpful Glossary of Hebrew and Yiddish words."--The Living Church "Gabriel's Palace offers tales on such intriguing topics as meditation and spiritual growth, psychic phenomena like clairvoyance and precognition, dreamwork, healing, near-death and out-of-the-body experiences, and potent encounters with angelic and demonic forces. It is impossible to come away from this book without absobring a good deal of Jewish mystical teaching about these subjects, especially since Schwartz's simple but poetic style helps bring the tales to contemporary life."--Gnosis Magazine "150 rabbinic, Kabalistic, Hasidic, and other mystical folktales from the international Jewish tradition....Schwartz delivers another monumental masterpiece that will inform, illuminate, and entertain. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "A wise book."--Sr. Anna M. Denbla, Spalding University "In recent years Howard Schwartz, combining the accumulative skills of scholarship with the lucently pure voice of the storyteller, has become the preeminent Jewish folklorist in America. What the Grimm brothers and Martin Buber gave to the German language, what Italo Calvino gave to the Italian, Schwartz now gives to English: a landmark collection of tales that expands our common patrimony of legend and mystical treasure. Where Gabriel's Palace is uniquely Jewish, however, is in its God-soaked search, under the light of Torah, for the saintly deed."--Cynthia Ozick, author of The Messiah of Stockholm and The Pagan Rabbi and Other Stories "Once in a while, a book appears that is truly important. Gabriel's Palace is just such a volume. Howard Schwartz has gathered the essential tales that reflect the very foundations of Jewish mystical thought. His writing, as always, is beautiful, his research is breathtaking, his contribution is extraordinary."--Arthur Kurzweil, author of From Generation to Generation "Howard Schwartz, the foremost Jewish anthologist, has defined genres through his various collections of tales. In Elijah's Violin, he explored Jewish fairy tales; in Lilith's Cave he examined Jewish tales of the supernatural. Now, in Gabriel's Palace, he has collected mystical tales from a wide range of Jewish sources in the first book of its kind. These brief imaginative stories, written in a fluid oral style by a master storyteller, are truly marvelous and miracle-filled. Through these stories, we see the circle forming, the mystical dance beginning, and we are drawn into the circle to continue the spiritual journey of the Jewish people."--Peninnah Schram, author of Jewish Stories One Generation Tells Another and Tales of Elijah the Prophet "A handsome collection of little known tales, lyrical enough to read at children's bedtime and scholarly enough to be assigned in class."--Alan F. Segal, Professor of Religions, Barnard College, Columbia University "Tales drawn from the long traditions of Jewish mysticism and retold by Schwartz in an incomparably beautiful style for modern readers....The stories have been painstakingly researched, collected, and retold....An excellent gift book, a rare treasure trove. It's fascinatingly appealing and enduring."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch "You don't, of course, have to be Jewish to relish these sharp, clever, instructive anecdotes."--The Washington Post Book World "[Schwartz is ] among the most important literary figures helping to advance [the Jewish mystical tradition]....Artfully retold....An illuminating glimpse into Jewish mystical thought through the ages."--Moment "Schwartz is a spellbinding storyteller, and the stories he has collected here will grip and enchant the reader....Schwartz has collected the key legends of the Jewish mystical tradition....An enlightening introduction....The notes on the stories provide valuable background information and are accessible and illuminating. Schwartz is to be commended for both his insightful research and his clear and compelling use of language....Those who appreciate the power of the tale will want to savor this unusual collection."--The Jerusalem Post "Schwartz retells [these tales] in a poetic prose that captures not only the mystery and the miracles, but the contemporary reader as well....This is the definitive edition of Jewish mystical tales. It represents an enormous undertaking and a fine achievement. Scholars and researchers will find it indispensable. General readers will find it enchanting."--St. Louis Jewish Light "[These] stories are told by a gifted writer and poet to be read and savored, and to provide inspiration for other storytellers....Schwartz has given a new and powerful expression to the ancient voice of the traditional Jewish storyteller, a voice which deserves to be heard--and indeed needs to be heard--in our generation."--The Sagarin Review (The St. Louis Jewish Literary Journal) "Remarkable....An impressive work to house the various mystical themes and legends of Jewish literature, both sacred and secular....Serves not only as a resource for a particular genre of Jewish literature, but as a welcome stimulus for perceiving the interaction of the divine in everyday life."--Midstream Gabriel's Palace provides us with an illuminating glimpse into Jewish mystical thought through the ages."--Edward Hoffman, Ph.D., Moment

Introductionp. 3
Rabbinic Tales
The Golden Dovep. 41
An Appointment with Deathp. 42
Isaac's Ascentp. 43
The Magic Flockp. 44
The Ascent of Mosesp. 45
The Chronicle of Serah bat Asherp. 47
Mysteries of the Chariotp. 50
The Four Who Entered Paradisep. 51
Rabbi Ishmael's Ascentp. 52
The Waters of the Abyssp. 54
The Vision of the High Priestp. 55
The Keys of the Templep. 56
The Spirit of Idolatryp. 56
The Angel of Conceptionp. 57
The Golden Tablep. 58
The Tzoharp. 59
The Gates of Edenp. 62
The Law Is Not in Heavenp. 63
The Voice in the Atticp. 64
Forcing the Endp. 65
Kabbalistic Tales
The Circle of Shimon bar Yohai
The Cave of Shimon bar Yohaip. 69
The Decreep. 70
The Curtain of Firep. 71
A Saint from the Other Worldp. 72
The Golden Scepterp. 73
The Book of Adamp. 74
Rabbi Gadiel the Childp. 75
The Celestial Academyp. 76
The Book of Flying Lettersp. 77
Candles in the Synagoguep. 78
A Kiss from the Masterp. 79
The Circle of the Ari
The Pillar of Cloudp. 80
The Angel of Forgetfulnessp. 81
The Dancing of the Arip. 83
The Blessing of the Kohanimp. 84
The Journey to Jerusalemp. 86
The Precious Prayerp. 86
A Vision at the Wailing Wallp. 87
Reading the Lips of the Arip. 89
The Speaking Flamep. 90
Greeting the Sabbath Queenp. 93
Gathering Sparksp. 94
Delivering a Messagep. 95
A Stone in the Wallp. 97
The Widow of Safedp. 98
The Body of Mosesp. 100
A Visit to the City of the Deadp. 101
The Angel in the Mirrorp. 102
The Handwriting of the Messiahp. 103
Other Kabbalistic Tales
The Palace of Vanitiesp. 104
The Chains of the Messiahp. 106
The Tzaddik of the Forestp. 109
The Angel of the Mishnahp. 112
A New Lease on Lifep. 114
Redemption of the Lost Soulsp. 115
Repairing Soulsp. 116
The Tefillin of the Or Hayimp. 117
Mystical Folktales
Gabriel's Palacep. 121
The Cottage of Candlesp. 124
Rabbi Shimon's Escapep. 126
The Boy Who Blew the Shofarp. 127
The Enchanted Innp. 130
Leaves from the Garden of Edenp. 134
The Tenth Manp. 135
The Ram Whose Horns Reached to Heavenp. 137
The Cave of King Davidp. 139
The Shining Robep. 141
The Evil Angelp. 143
The Young Man without a Soulp. 145
Asenath's Dovep. 148
The Tale of the Kiddush Cupp. 149
The Miracle in the Sukkahp. 151
Rabbi Naftali's Trancep. 152
Interpreting the Zoharp. 154
The Secrets of Kabbalahp. 155
The Flying Lettersp. 156
The Cursep. 157
The Miracle of the Ringp. 158
The Angel's Daughterp. 160
The Bridegroom and the Angel of Deathp. 162
The Cave to the Holy Landp. 164
The Cave of Temptationsp. 166
The Hollow of the Slingp. 168
How Rabbi Judah the Pious Became a Great Scholarp. 170
The Words in the Sandp. 171
The Count Who Wanted to Study Kabbalahp. 172
The Dream Question of the Maharalp. 174
The Ruinp. 175
The Voice in the Treep. 177
A Vision in the Cemeteryp. 178
The Spirit of Hagigahp. 179
Hasidic Tales
The Circle of the Baal Shem Tov
The Book in the Cavep. 183
The Prince of Firep. 187
The Angel's Swordp. 189
The Ladder of Prayersp. 191
The Tree of Lifep. 192
A Crown of Shoesp. 194
The Flaming Treep. 195
A Visitor from the Other Worldp. 196
The Master Keyp. 198
The Enchanted Islandp. 199
The Circle of Firep. 202
The Tale of the Frogp. 203
The Field of Soulsp. 204
Unlocking the Gates of Heavenp. 205
The Healing Springp. 207
Lighting a Firep. 209
The Circle of Reb Pinhas of Koretz
Opening a Versep. 210
The Angel of the Zoharp. 212
The Angel of Friendshipp. 213
The Underground Forestp. 214
Reb Pinhas and the Angel of Deathp. 219
The Circle of Reb Elimelech of Lizensk
The Woman in the Forestp. 221
A Bowl of Soupp. 222
The Wine of Paradisep. 223
The Young Magicianp. 224
Reb Shmelke's Whipp. 226
Three Starsp. 227
The Shadow on the Wallp. 228
The Garden of the Torahp. 229
The Circle of Reb Nachman of Bratslav
A Vision of Lightp. 231
The Scribep. 232
The Sabbath Fishp. 233
The Sword of the Messiahp. 234
The Souls of Treesp. 236
Divining from the Zoharp. 237
The Angel of Lossesp. 238
The Book That Was Burnedp. 239
A Letter from the Beyondp. 240
Reb Nachman's Chairp. 241
Reb Nachman's Tombp. 242
The Soul of Reb Nachmanp. 244
Other Hasidic Masters
A Vision of the Bridep. 245
The Flaming Lettersp. 247
The Saba Kadisha in the Upper Worldp. 248
The Wandering Wellp. 250
The Sabbath Guestsp. 251
From the Beyondp. 253
The Prayer Leaderp. 254
The Pactp. 256
The Clock of the Seer of Lublinp. 257
The Soul of the Arip. 258
The Blind Angelp. 259
The Cave of Mattathiasp. 261
A New Soulp. 263
A Visionp. 264
The Tale of the Etrogp. 265
A Wandering Soulp. 266
Trying to Prayp. 267
The Tale of the Kugelp. 268
Sources and Commentary
Appendixp. 357
Glossaryp. 367
Bibliographyp. 377
Indexp. 393
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195093889
ISBN-10: 0195093887
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 1st January 1996
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.67 x 14.05  x 2.82
Weight (kg): 0.37