Lecture, 'Kabbalah, messianism and magic'

The Iberian Jewish identity in Amsterdam by Ets Haim Jewish library Amsterdam curator Heide Warncke

More than 400 years ago, the first Portuguese Jews settled in Amsterdam. They came from the Iberian Peninsula where they were forced to convert to Catholicism under the Inquisition. The collection of the Ets Haim library offers a spectacular view into the lives of this 17th- and 18th-century Portuguese congregation. It shows that much of pre-expulsion Jewish intellectual and spiritual heritage found its way into the Amsterdam community.

After a short introduction about the history of Ets Haim, Heide Warncke will shed light on the practice of kabbalah in Amsterdam Jewish life. How did the leaders of the community integrate kabbalistic ideas? What was the main focus of kabbalistic thought in the city? How did the congregation react to the false messiah Shabetai Zevi? And how did kabbalistic and messianistic ideas live on after this episode? Manuscripts will be shown that give evidence of the spiritual life of the Jewish community. Finally a Hebrew manuscript will be discussed that goes back to ancient Islamic magic used to foretell the future or discern hidden things.

Date: Thursday 22 August
Time: 19.00-21.00h (doors open: 18.15h)
Tickets: € 12,50 | Students € 10
Language: English
Special: After this lecture we will exclusively open our new exhibition 'Kabbalah & Alchemy' for a quick preview of the unique works on display.


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