The Kabbalah of Tzefat
An Online Course with Dr. Eitan Fishbane
Six Wednesdays: February 8, 15, 22, March 1, 8, 15; 1:15–2:30 p.m. ET
How did a small town in the upper Galilee become a revolutionary spiritual center in the 16th century? From the Kabbalat Shabbat service to the Tikkun Leil Shavuot, many core rituals of the Jewish calendar can be traced to the town of Tzefat. It was there that kabbalists such as Joseph Karo (also the author of the Shulkhan Arukh, the definitive code of Jewish law), Moses Cordovero, Isaac Luria, and Hayyim Vital flourished, producing classic works of mystical theology, ethics, autobiography, and meditative experience. It was here that the hugely influential ideas of Lurianic Kabbalah emerged, including shevirat ha-keilim (breaking of the vessels), raising the sparks, and tikkun (repair) of the divine, the self, and the cosmos. This course will introduce you to the texts and ideas that were developed in this extraordinary time and place. We will delve into the thought of the brilliant and creative scholars and mystics who made the town home and consider the community’s profound impact on modern Jewish life.
$180 for six sessions
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
Dr. Eitan Fishbane is professor of Jewish Thought at JTS, where he teaches courses in the literature and history of Jewish mysticism, from medieval Kabbalah to modern Hasidism. The author or editor of six books, the latest of which was published in 2018 by Oxford University Press, Dr. Fishbane has devoted his research and writing primarily to the development of Kabbalah in medieval Spain. At present his scholarship is devoted to three main topics: the Zohar as mystical poetry; the Sabbath and sacred time in Hasidic mysticism; and ideas of the self and identity in the Kabbalah.