Jewish Theological Seminary
Ivan and Nina Ross Family Fellow

Research Topic

Bodies in [E]motion: Affect and Rabbinic Ritual Law


Sarah Wolf is an assistant professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Her research interests include scholasticism, legal theory, and the history of emotions. Her current book project examines the construction of emotions as legal categories in rabbinic literature. At the Katz Center, she will investigate the legislation of emotions including joy and mourning in rabbinic law, considering how these legal texts functioned as a late antique Jewish version of mental health discourse. 

Wolf received her Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She is also a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.

Selected publications

  • “‘Between Her and Others’: The ‘Spirit of Jealousy’ and Its Reception,” in Making History: Studies in Rabbinic Literature, History, and Culture in Honor of Richard L. Kalmin, ed. C. Bakhos and A. M. Gray (SBL Press, 2024)
  • “Shame, Blindness, and the Face of the Other: Emotions In and Out of Rabbinic Legal Texts,” Journal of Textual Reasoning 14.1 (2023): 8–26.



Exploring health through the intersection between bodies and systems, language and physicality, religion and science, and beyond.