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Saturday, February 13 • 9:45pm - 11:00pm
Redemption through Sin?: Kabbalah and Ritual Violation of Halakha

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Kabbalah’s stance toward halakha is paradoxical. Most texts demand strict observance, if we would avoid cosmic disaster. Other texts seem to call for transgression, whether only for the holiest people or for a large-scale movement, as in Sabbateanism. This explosive potential obsessed Gershom Scholem, kabbalah’s leading scholar. We will look at key texts, from the Zohar, Lurianic sources, and Sabbateanism. Are there “times when the nullification of the Torah is its foundation” (Talmud Menakhot)?

avatar for Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman

Nathaniel Berman is the Rahel Varnhagen Professor of International Affairs, Law, and Modern Culture at Brown University's Cogut Center for the Humanities. He also teaches kabbalah courses in the New York area. Nathaniel holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a PhD in Jewish Studies from University College London. His doctorate focused on the mythology of the demonic, the “Other Side,” in classical kabbalah.

Saturday February 13, 2016 9:45pm - 11:00pm

Attendees (8)