The relationship between halakhah and kabbalah in Early Modern Europe

Joseph Citron's picture
Call for Papers
July 15, 2018 to July 19, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Jewish History / Studies, Intellectual History, Religious Studies and Theology, Eastern Europe History / Studies, European History / Studies


I am organising a panel  on the subject of 'The interaction between halakhah and kabbalah in Early Modern Europe'. In the panel I would like to discuss the following topics:

  •  How was halakhic decision making affected by the spread of kabbalistic teachings from Safed, Italy and North Africa in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries?
  •  Which customs were spread and popularised by students of kabbalah and what impact did they have on community practice?
  •  To what extent did the spread of kabbalistic works of musar create a more pietistic halakhic system in Eastern Europe?
Other topics that may be of interest may include but are not limited to: The relationship between social and environmental factors and Jewish law and practice; hasidism and its relationship to halakha; a comparative approach comparing the relationship between Jewish mystical teachings and other forms of mysticism.
The panel is specifically aimed at PHD students and early-stage researchers to present research  at the eleventh congress of the European Association of Jewish Studies in Krakow in 2018.  Professor Joseph Davis (Graetz college), author of Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller: Portrait of a Seventeenth Century Rabbi (Oxford: Littman Library, 2004) has kindly agreed to chair this panel.
Please send me an abstract of your research no longer than 300 words.
My name is Joseph Citron and I am a PHD student at UCL writing a thesis on the subject of R. Isaiah Horowitz's Sheneh Luhot Haberit, a highly influential anthology of Halakhah, Kabbalah and Musar published in 1649.
As part of my project, I examine the way in which R. Horowitz applies kabbalistic teachings and ideology to the practice and theory of halakhah, a topic that has particularly fascinated me with regard to the increasingly pietistic direction that Horowitz and other kabbalistically-inclined rabbis were taking Judaism in the seventeenth century. 


Contact Info: 

Joseph Citron

UCL (University College London)