Dear Rabbi Kornfeld?
Regarding the Gemara on Daf 7A. What exactly did R' Yishmael Ben Elisha Kohen Godol see. He couldn't have seen Hash-m for only Moshe Rabbeinu was only Zoche to see Hashems Back so What did he see? What is "Akatkrikel Koh Hash-m Tzevokos?"
(a) The Rashba in Chidushei Agados explains that even in the Nevi'im we find that such expressions: I saw Hash-m sitting on His lofty Throne (Yeshayah 6:1). Hash-m's "head" is referred to in Shir ha'Shirim 5:11. The Nevi'im and Chachamim spoke in metaphors.
(b) According to the MAHARSHA, he saw distinctly Hash-m's greatest Midas ha'Rachamim (Attribute of Mercy), which is represented by the Holy Names mentioned in the Gemara. (See Maharsha, who explains this more in depth.)