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Kabbalah, Modernity, and Textual Authority in 19th Century Jewish Lithuania

February 22 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Presented by Brian Hillman, Indiana University

This talk explores how two nineteenth-century Lithuanian rabbis, R. Yitzhak Isaac Haver and R. David Luria, defended the authority of Kabbalah.  In the mid-nineteenth century, Kabbalah’s textual and philosophical foundations were newly under attack from academic scholarship and modernizing Jews.  In their defense of Kabbalah, Haver and Luria engaged with fundamental questions about the nature of knowledge and the stature of sacred texts.  Using their defenses of tradition, I propose a new understanding of traditional Jewish intellectual life, one that appreciates an openness to intellectual innovation while defending the authority of tradition.

UB Clemens Hall 904

Presented by the Department of Jewish Thought


February 22
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Alex Green


University at Buffalo – Clemens Hall
708 Clemens Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260 United States
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