The Study of Science & Kabbalah in the Venetian Ghetto During the Renaissance with Fabrizio Lelli, Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies Visiting Scholar
Fabrizio Lelli from the University of Salento, Lecce, Italy will elaborate on sixteenth century Jewish life in Italy. The first ghetto on European soil was instituted in Venice in 1516 to restrict Jewish life to a confined space. Despite this confinement, the Jewish ghetto of Venice became a creative intellectual community and one of the hallmarks of the early modern period.
Grounding their knowledge in both traditional Jewish sources and in the contemporary achievements of Renaissance thought, Jewish Venetian scholars created new modes for interpreting their own identity that paved the way to an early modern self-understanding of the Italian Jews that distinguished them from medieval Jews.
Dr. Fabrizio Lelli will introduce the work of two Jewish scholars who exemplify life within the confinement of the ghetto: Abraham De Balmes and Elijah Menahem Halfan. In particular, Dr. Lelli will focus on the different approaches these two Jewish scholars took to the study of science and Kabbalah.