It's Good to See the King: Visual Kabbalah and the Diagramming of the Divine

For the Public
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
7:00 PM

Main Line Reform Temple
410 Montgomery Avenue 
Wynnewood, PA 19096

Etty Lassman

Most students of kabbalistic literature find themselves “visualizing” its cosmogonic and cosmological teachings. The iconic “Tree of Life” is certainly the best known kabbalistic symbol, and is often the first thing conveyed to those being exposed to this lore. What few realize is that complex graphical scrolls have been a genre of kabbalistic literature in their own right since the Renaissance, and that from the late seventeenth century such scrolls became an indispensable tool to Lurianic kabbalists. In his presentation, Dr. Chajes will introduce this little known genre and explain the origins and functions of these amazing kabbalistic artifacts.


J. H. (Yossi) Chajes

University of Haifa

J. H. (Yossi) Chajes is the director of the Center for the Study of Jewish Cultures and an associate professor of Jewish history, both at the University of Haifa. His research interests include kabbalah, early modern Jewish egodocuments, women’s religiosity, the history of Jewish attitudes toward magic, and the visualization of knowledge. He is currently directing the Israel Science Foundation-supported Ilanot Project, which is working to catalog and describe all kabbalistic cosmological diagrams.

Chajes received his PhD at Yale University. He has previously been awarded Fulbright, Rothschild, Wexner, Hartman, and Katz Center fellowships, and, in addition, has conducted research at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften at Goethe University, and at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

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