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Books and Angels: Bibliography and Spirituality in the 17th Century, Dr Avriel Bar-Levav (Open University)

The Gabriel Urwitz Jewish Studies Lectures
“My Text of Choice”

Books are both physical objects and carriers of texts, that might convey abstract ideas. In this lecture, some interactions between books and people in Jewish culture will be analyzed, in order to show the transformation of the concept of the book from a unique personal object, as in manuscripts, to a printed duplicated commodity. Accordingly, the awareness of the library and its functions changed as well.
In the middle ages it was conceptualized mainly as a fragmented, arbitrary cluster. In the early modern period it became a well defined collection, organized according to a theme. An important point at the process of the abstraction of the Jewish book is the first printed Hebrew Bibliography, siftei yeshenim, published by Shabetai Meshorer Bass in Amsterdam in 1680. Its novelties and their significance will be discussed, as well as the path leading from it to the Jewish National Library
and its collective projects.

Dr Avriel Bar-Levav is senior lecturer at the department of History, Philosophy and Judaic Studies at the Open University of Israel where he has been head of department. His areas of research are Jewish attitudes towards death, Jewish magic and history of the Jewish book.
Time: 18:00-19:00
Place: The Jewish Library of Stockholm
Admission: Free
Please notify: alexander.freudenthal[at]jfst.se
In cooperation with the Great Synagogue in Stockholm