The creation of the Moshe Idel Matanel Professor of Kabbalah Studies position at Zefat Academic College is to promote the academic study of Kabbalah at Zefat Academic College, and in the city of Zefat. Professor Moshe Idel is widely considered to be the greatest living scholar of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism in the world today. He has transformed the study of Kabbalah, critically expanding the historical-philological groundwork first laid by Professor Gershom Scholem.
The 2013 Moshe Idel Matanel Professor of Kabbalah Studies will include the deciphering and printing of the manuscript Tzafnat Pa’aneah that was written by Rabbi Yehudah Hallewah in Zefat.
The Open Public Lecture Series at Zefat Academic College will be launched, which will highlight the development of Kabbalah in Zefat.
Professor Idel’s innovative approach combinesphenomenological methodology emphasizes the experiential and performative aspects of kabbalistic practice and profound reflection on kabbalistic hermeneutics and theories of languages. He has identified, dated, analyzed and translated thousands of unknown or little-known texts, exhibiting from the outset, an unparalleled understanding that has enabled him to give fresh interpretations of ideas, attitudes and patterns of behaviour evinced in them. His contribution has transcended the academic study of Kabbalah, touching the broadest possible spectrum of issues of Judaism, history and phenomenology of religion.