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Eleazar of Worms, Hokhmat ha-Nefesh, 13b-c

Jewish Mysticism
The soul has no body, and it sees like an angel when it goes out from the body, and it has no shadow. Even the soul of the righteous sees through prophecy and in a vision since it contemplates all day long like Jacob, [of whom it says] “he had a dream, and behold there was a ladder” (Gen. 28-12). The [word] sullam [“ladder”] is numerically equivalent [to the expression] zeh kisse’ ha-kavod [“this is the throne of glory”] … The [word] sullam is numerically equivalent to [the word] qol [“voice”], for by means of the voice of prayer the angels ascend, and similarly the souls of the righteous rise in the voice of praise that is heard. … With respect to the matter of this world [it says] “When your eyes behold the king in his beauty” (Isa. 33-17), but in the future the righteous man shall see from all his sides like the supernal ones before and behind him … The soul of the righteous is bound beneath the throne of glory, and it delights in the vision of the glory from all the pleasures of the garden.

Translated by Elliot Wolfson, “Martyrdom, Eroticism and Asceticism in Twelfth Century Ashkenazi Piety,” in Jews and Christians in Twelfth Century Europe, 171-220. Edited by J. van Engen and M. Signer, Notre Dame- University of Notre Dame Press, 2001.

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