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AR30 Ḥasidic Commentary on the Torah

Hasidic teaching is formed and informed by creative interpretations of the Torah—that is, the sacred oral and written sources of Jewish tradition. Many hundreds of volumes of Hasidic literature containing such teachings have been written and published over the past 250 years. Although scholars have mined some of these works for useful information in a wide range of fields, few have explored their exegetical and literary dimensions or plumbed their experiential and spiritual depths. In this course we will try to understand better the ways that Hasidic commentary works, and to discover why it has remained such a compelling aspect of Jewish experience. How, through their creative interpretations of the Torah, did Hasidic masters confront the challenges of their times? As they struggled with problems of faith and doubt, suffering and disaster, how did their readings of sacred texts help them make sense of the world, history, and their own lives?

Course Specifications
Type: Compulsory
Lesson type: Lecture
Hours: 28 (5 credits)
Requirement: Informal personal writing and one formal essay
Instructor: Prof. ORA WISKIND
Status: The course is currently not available, it was offered in 2022.
Course Readings1
Ora Wiskind-Elper, Hasidic Commentary on the Torah (Littman, 2018)