‘Open Courses’ Events

The Jews in Medieval Christian Europe


September 29 - October 10 Ephraim Shoham   Dr. Ephraim Shoham-Steiner graduated Hebrew University in Jerusalem (2002). He teaches Medieval Jewish History at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Specializing in Medieval Jewish History his research focuses on the social and intellectual aspects of Jewish history with a special interest in soc ... ... more »  

Christianity and Judaism: Conflict and Dialogue


October 20 - 24 Israel Yuval The history of the relations between the two sister-religions is marked by a constant tension between closeness and hostility. Jews were the only minority tolerated in Christian Europe during the Middle Ages. This tolerance is due to the fact that Judaism had a specific role in the history of Christianity and in its ... ... more »  

Jewish Law: From the Talmud to Shulhan Arukh


October 27 - November 7 Rachel Fürst What is halakhah, and what was its significance for Jewish life in pre-modern times?  When did formal codes of Jewish law develop, and why?  What is the legal weight of rabbinic responsa written to address specific cases and situations?  This course will survey the development of Jewi ... ... more »  

The Varieties of Medieval Jewish Thought


November 10 - 21 Nadav Berman Shifman Medieval Jewish thinkers grappled with many issues, and approached common questions in different ways. This course is an attempt to present and examine their philosophical world, focusing on seven major topics: Who is God? What is the origin of the World? What is the Human being? Who are the People of Israe ... ... more »  

Kabbalah and Its Place in Late Medieval and Early Modern Jewish Culture


November 24 - December 5 Assaf Tamari The course will investigate the major concepts and the historical development of Kabbalah. We will examine major Kabbalistic themes, such as theosophy, theurgy, the problem of evil and the structure of the human psyche, and discuss the question of the origin of Kabbalah, as well as the major movements and cen ... ... more »  

Midrash between Judaism and Islam


December 8 - 12 Joseph Witztum The course will trace the transformation of midrashic traditions in their movement between Judaism and Islam. The lectures will introduce the Quran and the Hadith literature and examine some Islamic traditions from a comparative point of view. Joseph Witztum teaches in the Department of Arabic Language and L ... ... more »  

Modern Jewish Thought: The Turn to the World


January 12 - 23 Nadav Berman Shifman In a departure from medieval metaphysical and other-worldly discourse, modern western philosophy reflects a major turn to a worldly discourse, and an epistemic-pragmatic turn to the human and to the ‘self’. In this course, we will examine this assumption within major Jewish texts that came into b ... ... more »  

The Jewish Society in Modern Era – Between Tradition and Modernity


January 26 - February 6 Motti Zalkin The course will concentrate on the main religious, educational, social and economic processes which had a crucial impact on the Jewish collective consciousness and way of life from the mid 18th century to the Holocaust. Professor Motti Zalkin was born in Jerusalem and received his university training at ... ... more »  

The Hasidic Path: Theory and Society


February 16 - 27 Assaf Tamari Assaf Tamari is a doctoral student at the department for Jewish thought in Ben-Gurion University in the Negev. His main field of expertise is sixteenth-century Lurianic Kabbalah, and his research is focused on the Lurianic Body Discourse. His academic interests vary, and include Kabbalistic anthropological models, ... ... more »  

Contemporary Jewish Philosophy


March 2 - 6 Yael Lin   The notable events of the 20th century, among them the Holocaust, the growth of Zionism as a cultural and political movement, the founding of the State of Israel, as well as the rise of new disciplines such as woman studies, raises new philosophical questions that demand the consideration of Jewish philosophers. In t ... ... more »