Category Archives: SETI

Interdimensions and Jewish Legends

There’s a lot of old style SF ideas in religious legends. The classic “first SF” tale is Enoch’s encounter with various angels in various layers of the heavens in the old “Book of Enoch” (c.200BC-100AD… has various ‘editions’ that are hard to date.) But creative interpretations of Bible stories didn’t stop with “Enoch”. Later Jewish legends are even more interesting from an SF point of view. Apparently, in Ginzberg’s “Legends of the Jews”, there was a belief in 7 worlds inhabited by Biblical ‘races’…

The Seven Earths

  • First: Erez ~ a place of darkness, yet flames with the rotating sword that guards Eden
  • Second: Adamah ~ lit by reflected light from its sky. Heavens seen are only images. Inhabited by “phantoms” which can become evil-spirits in our world.
  • Third: Arka ~ Cainites, both giants and dwarfs, but two-headed. They plant trees, but there’s no grass-derived crops.
  • Fourth: Ge ~ home of the Babelites, who possess great wealth and science.
  • Fifth: Neshiah ~ place of “forgetting”. Inhabited by dwarfs without noses, breath through holes.
  • Sixth: Ziah ~ very wealthy, but very dry (name means ‘drought’.) The inhabitants sometimes pass into our world through “water-springs”.
  • Seventh: Tebel ~ our world.
  • …from Ginzberg, available here. There’s a lot of resonances here with UFO-lore and classic SF. Imagine wormholes linking a number of worlds, and you’d have a story ready made.

    Another surprise for me was the Kabbalah’s take on the Tower of Babel, that it was a flying machine, originally built for good, but then used to subjugate the world. Alternatively it stretched over several billion kilometres, to the limits of the solar system (a garbled account of its range perhaps?) Very odd imaginings by the Ancients. And you thought our current SF was a new idea?