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The Jerusalem Temple in the Jewish Renaissance

26Oct6:30 pmThe Jerusalem Temple in the Jewish Renaissance6:30 pm(GMT+00:00) Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16 Street, New York, NY 10011

Event Details

The Jerusalem Temple in the Jewish RenaissanceImagining Spaces Beyond Historical Boundaries. Giuseppe Veltri, University of Hamburg.

The destruction of the Temple in the first century was not the end of the sacred meaning of a precious building. On the contrary, it was the beginning of a new imaginative space built in a time without limits but within the boundaries of the history. The Jewish Sage of the rabbinic period replaced the sacrifices with the Torah and the building with the presence of God in History. Jewish Renaissance scholars used the sacred space  to allegorically create a structure of thought, knowledge and education.

The physician Moshe da Rieti wrote his poem Miqdash me’at (the Little Sanctuary) as entry into the empire of knowledge: the three sections of the poem, a vestibule, a palace, and the Sancta sanctorum, correspond to levels of sacred knowledge as a way to enter the most intimate part of the Sanctuary. Another physician, Abraham ben David Portaleone, used the Temple, whose plan was of divine origin, as visual symbol of harmony between science and the divine Word, the architectural transposition of the harmonic cohesion of creation’s variety. In Portaleone’s work, the Temple serves as spatial entity to memorize all human knowledge and science. Prof. Veltri’s talk will illustrate the Temple space in the imagination of Jewish scholars of the Renaissance.



Giuseppe Veltri is professor of Jewish Philosophy and Religion at University of  Hamburg (Germany).  He is chief-editor of European Journal of Jewish Studies (Brill) and of  the series Studies in Jewish History and Culture (Brill: Leiden, Boston), Jewish Philosophy, Though and Religion (Berlin(New York), De Gruyter).  Since 2009 he is president of  German Association of Jewish Studies and  since November 2010 he is also Professor (h.c.) of Comparative Religious studies at the University of Leipzig.  Since 2015 is also director of the “Maimonides Centre for Advanced studies” in Hamburg.  His  field of research are Jewish culture history, Jewish Philosophy in the Renaissance and early Modern Period, Magic, biblical tradition and translations.  Among his recent publications are:  Sapienza Alienata. La Filosofia ebraica tra mito, scienza e scetticismo (Aracne: Roma 2017);  Oltre le Mura del Ghetto: Accademie, Scetticismo e Tolleranza nella Venezia Barocca (New Digital Frontiers: Palermo 2016 (authored together with Evelien Chajes); A Mirror of Rabbinic Hermeneutics. Studies in Religion, Magic and Language Theory in Ancient Judaism (Berlin: W. De Gruyter, 2015); Scritti politici e filosofici di Simone Luzzatto, Rabbino e Filosofo nella Venezia del Seicento (Milan: Bompiani, 2013); Renaissance Philosophy in Jewish Garb: Foundations and Challenges in Jewish Thought on the Eve of Modernity (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2009).

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