J. H. (Yossi) Chajes/University of Haifa, "It's Good to See the King: Visual Kabbalah and the Diagramming of the Divine"

 

February 18, 2014 7:00pm

J. H. (Yossi) Chajes/University of Haifa, "It's Good to See the King: Visual Kabbalah and the Diagramming of the Divine"



Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

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

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.

Main Line Reform Temple, 410 Montgomery Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096


Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies

J. H. (Yossi) Chajes (Ph.D., Yale University 1999) is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa and the director of its Center for the Study of Jewish Culture. A former recipient of Fulbright, Rothchild, Wexner, and Hartman Fellowships, Chajes has also been a visiting professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and is currently a returning fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His book, Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism (2003) was listed by the Wall Street Journal as among the top five books ever written on spirit possession, alongside Aldous Huxley’s The Devils of Loudun. He is currently directing the Israel Science Foundation supported “Ilanot Project”—an ambitious attempt to catalogue and describe all kabbalistic cosmological diagrams. Chajes, a classical pianist, was also a student of R. Shlomo Carlebach, and performed with R. Carlebach for many years. Today Chajes is in demand as a Carlebach Hazzan and is invited to congregations around the world to lead weekends of prayer, devotional study, and lectures.




Event Contact:  Etty Lassman  |   lassman@sas.upenn.edu  |   215-238-1290