Sexual Symbolism and Merkavah Speculation in Medieval Germany: A Study of the Sod h-Egoz Texts by Daniel Abrams

This study offers a fresh reinvestigation to the Sod ha-Egoz texts, the earliest known commentaries to Ezekiel’s Chariot (Ma’aseh Merkavah) from the medieval Jewish mystics of Europe. The texts, ascribed to Eleazar of Worms and the circle of the German Pietists in 12th and 13th century Germany, apparently infer that the sexual reproduction of the Egoz (nut) reflects the workings of the chariot-world. If true, the main circle of the Jewish mystics prior to the appearance of the Kabbalah already believed in a doctrine which is widely considered a defining characteristic of Kabbalah. This study challenges the accepted views in scholarship regarding the authorship and meaning of these texts. New manuscript sources are presented along with all the known text versions and a synoptic translation of the main text-types.

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