Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Beast that Dwells upon a Thousand Mountains

This is the second of a series of three posts dealing with the large megabeasts of Jewish folklore. Having spoken of Leviathan, current king of the sea and future meal and construction material, we now turn to its partner Behemoth, … Continue reading

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The Big Bad Fish

The next three posts will be dedicated to the three mythical beasts that are first mentioned in the Bible and repeatedly obsessed over in later texts: Leviathan, King of the Fish; Behemoth, King of the Land Animals; and Ziz Shadai, … Continue reading

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Armilus, Son of the Stone

I’ve written before about syncretism – how a culture comes in contact with another, absorbs certain myths or symbols, and tweaks them to fit better with its previously-established symbols and myths. Where this phenomenon gets really funky, though, is when … Continue reading

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Angelic Songs of Death

One of the issues Jewish mystics obsessed about during the Late Antiquity was the Merkabah, or God’s throne-room. Based on the vivid description in the first chapter of Isaiah. The first chapters of Revelations fit pretty well into the genre … Continue reading

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A Short Talmudic Grimoire

The Talmud is the large corpus of Jewish law, compiled in the first centuries C.E. in Jerusalem and Babylon. The word Law should be used here in a very loose sense; the text is essentially protocols, ordered by vague association … Continue reading

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The Two-Headed Gentleman from the World Beneath the Earth

With the possible exception of weird alien civilizations, cultures don’t exist in vacuum. People, communicative and receptive creatures as they are, tend to absorb ideas, symbols and images from other cultures. This phenomenon is known as syncretism. Early Christianity, for … Continue reading

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The Jeweler-Demon and the Angel Hanging Upside-Down

Much like early Christians, Jewish writers were often obsessed with the idea of angels: primordial creations of God, perfect beings whose only purpose was to help Him create Man, the woefully imperfect crown of creation. According to a very popular … Continue reading

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