Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Since the semester ended (but not, alas, the grading, which still isn't done!) I've been doing some traveling. I went to Washington, D.C., for the Association for Jewish Studies conference. I chaired a session on "Passages to Glory - Textual Ways of Transforming Experience Among Sectarians, Sages, and Early Jewish Mystics."
Do the verbal structures and literary devices of sectarian, rabbinic, and early Jewish mystical sources correspond to transformations of experience? Where such texts speak of heavenly journeys and glorifications, are they intended also to induce them? Were the wondrous perspectives produced by these texts experienced as actual, and how so? Our panel carries forward a conversation about Sectarians, Sages, and Early Jewish Mystics, once more comparing notes across the ages and sources - this time, on the relationship between text and experience.
There were four speakers: Jonah Steinberg, Alan Segal, Nehemia Polen, and Daphna Arbel. I also went to a number of other good sessions on quite a variety of topics - it's always fun to go to sessions not in my field. I stayed an extra day in Washington to go to an Ithaca College Jewish Studies event (meeting with alumni) and then drove up to Boston to see family and friends, which has been a lot of fun. I've gone several Hanukkah celebrations, including visiting my cousins in New Hampshire. And some Hanukkiah photos follow!

Havurat Shalom candle-lighting.

At my cousins'.

A little bit later in the evening....

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