In Genesis, Enoch is said to have walked with God and ultimately to have been “taken” by him. Second Temple mystical traditions identify him as the angel Metatron, who sits on his own celestial throne and is referred to as the “lesser YHWH.” This tradition can be better understood in light of a similar Zoroastrian tale regarding an ancient king named Yima.
M. Sanhedrin 10:1 is considered to be the most important statement of rabbinic heresiology in tannaitic literature. However, a close examination of this text’s development suggests that it is not a straightforward expression of c. 200 C.E. rabbinic doctrine at all, but a reworked tradition from an earlier sectarian milieu.
To illustrate the body and soul’s responsibility for sin, an early midrash presents the parable of the blind and lame watchmen. Curiously, this parable later shows up in Piyyut and in a Christian text. What might this teach us about the spread of rabbinic texts and ideas in late antiquity?