Boaz Huss

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Boaz Huss (born 1959)[1] is a professor of Kabbalah and chair of the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. He is a leading scholar in contemporary Kabbalah.

Early life and education

Boaz Huss was born in Jerusalem, Israel.[1] He completed his undergraduate and graduate work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he earned a B.A. in Philosophy and History of Jewish Thought in 1986 and a Ph.D. in History of Jewish Thought in 1993.[2] His doctoral thesis, "Ketem Paz – The Kabbalistic Doctrine of Rabbi Simeon Lavi in His Commentary to the Zohar",[3] was supervised by Professor Moshe Idel.[2]

He was a Fulbright post-doctoral fellow at Yale University (1993/4), a Starr fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University (2002), and a fellow at the The Institute for Advanced Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1998/9, 2008/9).[4] He lectured at Hebrew University (1994–1996) and Tel Aviv University (1995–1996) before coming to the Goldstein-Goren department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University;[5] he has chaired the department since 2010.[6] He has received several research grants, including two 4-year grants from the Israel Science Foundation on the subjects of "Major Trends in 20th Century Kabbalah" (2005) and "Kabbalah and the Theosophical Society (1875-1936)".[7]

Huss is a Board member of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, and has served on the editorial boards of the Zohar Education Project in Chicago and the International Journal for the Study of New Religions.[6]


Huss' research interests cover the Zohar and its reception, modern and contemporary Kabbalah, Western Esotericism, and the New Age. His first monograph was dedicated to the Kabbalah of Rabbi Shimon Lavi, one of the first commentators of the Zohar. In his second monograph he examined the reception of the Zohar and the construction of its symbolic value. Huss was one of the first scholars to "take seriously more contemporary expressions of Jewish mysticism that have been largely ignored by scholars".[8]

He has written about the communist Kabbalah of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag,[9] about Kabbalistic motifs used by Madonna,[10] and about the New Age and postmodern characteristic of contemporary Kabbalah.[11] Huss also studied the history of Kabbalah research, and criticized the use of the term "mysticism" as the defining category of Kabbalah and Hasidism, and the theological framework of the academic study of Jewish mysticism.[12] He is widely quoted in contemporary Kabbalah literature.[13][14][15][16]

In 2006 he appeared as himself in the TV movie "Decoding the Past: Secrets of Kabbalah", together with other Kabbalah scholars such as Michael Berg, Pinchas Giller, Moshe Idel, Daniel C. Matt, Ronit Meroz, and Byron Sherwin.[17]

Selected bibliography


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Boaz Huss". Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Boaz Huss – Education". Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  3. Huss, Boaz (October 1992). "Ketem Paz – The Kabbalistic Doctrine of Rabbi Simeon Lavi in his Commentary of the Zohar". 
  4. "Boaz Huss – Awards and Fellowships". Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  5. "Boaz Huss – Employment History (Academic Appointments)". Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Boaz Huss – Professional Activities". Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  7. "Boaz Huss – Research Grants". Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  8. Wolfson, Elliot R. (2007). "Structure, Innovation, and Diremptive Temporality: The Use of Models to Study Continuity and Discontinuity in Kabbalistic Tradition". Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies 6 (18): 162. 
  9. Odenheimer, Micha. "Latter-Day Luminary". Haaretz. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  10. "All You Need Is LAV: Madonna and Postmodern Kabbalah". Jewish Quarterly Review 95 (4): 611–624. Fall 2005. Template:Citation error. 
  11. "The New Age of Kabbalah: Contemporary Kabbalah, New Age, and Postmodern Spirituality". Modern Jewish Studies 6 (2): 107–125. July 2007. 
  12. "Is Kabbalah Mysticism? Continuing the Debate". Zeek. 17 October 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  13. Hellner-Eshed, Melila; Wolski, Nathan (2009). A River Flows from Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar. Stanford University Press. pp. 429–430. ISBN 0804776245. 
  14. Fishbane, Etan (2009). As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist. Stanford University Press. pp. 15–16. ISBN 0804774870. 
  15. Ogren, Brian (2009). Renaissance and Rebirth: Reincarnation in Early Modern Italian Kabbalah. Brill. p. 53. ISBN 9004177647. 
  16. Kaplan, Marion A.; Dash Moore, Deborah (2011). Gender and Jewish History. Indiana University Press. pp. 222–223. ISBN 025322263X. 
  17. "Decoding the Past: Secrets of Kabbalah". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 

External links