Noam Lev El

noam

Department of Jewish Thought

Subject: The Kabbalist's Craft: A History of Early Modern Kabbalistic Knowledge

Supervisor: Prof. Jonathan Garb

Abtract: In my dissertation, I plan to discuss the ways in which sixteenth-century kabbalistic knowledge was organized in the Mediterranean by focusing on scholarly (lamdanut) and encyclopedic writings. The study will concentrate on the scholarly methods and practices of the central kabbalists of this period, who, within their compositions, tackled a variety of diverse kabbalistic opinions and methods and generally arbitrated between them. This mapping and discussion will provide an in-depth look at Jewish learning culture in a formative period and the textual practices used by these erudite scholars.

Bio: In my studies, I concentrated on the early modern period, specifically the reception, transmission, and dissemination of Safedean kabbalah to the European continent. My master’s thesis explored the initial reception of Moses Cordovero’s (1522–1570) kabbalah, an area that had yet to be systematically analyzed, and the organization and clarification of this kabbalistic knowledge by him and his successors. By mapping Cordovero’s encyclopedic trends and examining their reception by two generations of his disciples, the study explores the organization of kabbalistic knowledge presented by the Italian kabbalist Menaḥem Azariah of Fano (1548–1620) and is the first to characterize the genre of kabbalistic abridgment through the case-study of Pelaḥ ha-Rimon (Mantua 1600).

In my dissertation, I plan to discuss the ways in which sixteenth-century kabbalistic knowledge was organized in the Mediterranean by focusing on scholarly (lamdanut) and encyclopedic writings. The study will concentrate on the scholarly methods and practices of the central kabbalists of this period, who, within their compositions, tackled a variety of diverse kabbalistic opinions and methods and generally arbitrated between them. This mapping and discussion will provide an in-depth look at Jewish learning culture in a formative period and the textual practices used by these erudite scholars.

Publications:

• "על מהדורות ספר פלח הרימון לר' מנחם עזריה מפאנו", קבלה: כתב עת לחקר כתבי המיסטיקה היהודית, מב (תשע"ח), עמ' 209–236.
• “The Epistle of Nathan of Gaza to Raphael Joseph and the Issue of the Lurianic Prayer Intentions”, El Prezente: Journal of Sephardic Studies, 12–13 (2018–2019), pp. 73–89.
• “Kabbalah for Beginners?: Moses Cordovero's Early Oeuvre and its Initial Reception”, Journal of Jewish Studies, Forthcoming.
 

President Scholarship 2020/2021

MA Honors 2016/2017