I have a question, however.
Dan Brown begins his work by stating unequivocally: All descriptions of artwork, architechture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
Now, since I assume Dan Brown doesn't really want to be sued by various religious groups, his scholarship can't be too shoddy. That's why I'm especially confused by this:
- "He gave her a moment. Admittedly, the concept of sex as a pathway to God was mind-boggling at first. Langdon's Jewish students always looked flabbergasted when he first told them that the early Jewish tradition involved ritualistic sex. In the Temple, no less. Early Jews believed that the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple housed not only God but also His powerful female equal, Shekinah. Men seeking spiritual wholeness came to the Temple to visit priestesses- or hierodules- with whom they made love and experienced the divine through physical union. The Jewish tetragrammaton YHWH- the sacred name of God- in fact derived from Jehovah, an adrogynous phyiscal union between the masculine Jah and the pre-Hebraic name for Eve, Havah."
In my version (the European paperback, purchased in Israel) this is on page 411
This defies words.
We had priestesses in the Temple? Not to my knowledge; I thought we had male priests who were levi'im. And the Shekinah as an equal God? Sorry, that's way off. Women made love in the Temple? First, that seems completely impossible, but more importantly, then wouldn't the whole Temple be considered tamay, impure?
Does anyone know what the source is for this belief/ supposedly secret ritual? Is it somehow accurate? If not, how is it that Mr. Brown has escaped complaint or suits from the Jewish community on account of misrepresentation (not that I necessarily wish that upon him?) I wish he had documented his sources, and I'd appreciate anyone who could explain this to me.
Update: The first results of this google search all describe the abovementioned statement/ quotation as an appalling error that is completely inaccurate. If so, I really don't understand Mr. Brown's seemingly over-confident statement that "all secret rituals described...are accurate."