The Jewish Kabbalah: A Sephardic Legacy with Mark Planellas Witzsch

The Jewish Kabbalah: A Sephardic Legacy with Mark Planellas Witzsch


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Why is the Jewish Kabbalah in Spain so fascinating? And why is it so difficult for the “uninitiated” to understand? In this seminar, we will head to Sephardic Spain where we will uncover the meaning and purpose of the Kabbalah, its contribution to biblical interpretation, and discover more about its expansion across the world.

Before the Edict of Expulsion displaced Spanish Jews throughout the world in 1492, Spain was home to an extensive and engaged Jewish community. We’ll discuss the thousands of years of Jewish philosophical and Kabbalistic heritage and history in the Iberian Peninsula and its role in the classical debate between reason and faith. We will explore Portugal, Castile, and Catalonia-Aragon to the Sephardic communities in Amsterdam or Salonika. We will look closely at Girona and Barcelona as well.

Led by Mark Planellas Witzsch, this virtual tour will look at the history and the expansions of the Kabbalah across the Mediterranian in the aftermath of the Expulsion Edict of Alhambra in 1492. Participants will emerge with a clear understanding of what the Kabbalah sought, from Isaac the Blind, Maimonides, Nahmanides, the Rashba, Moses of Leon, Cordovero or Isaac Luria or Albulafia, and appreciate its brilliant scope.

Mark Planellas Witzsch is active in several areas in the cultural field and taught philosophy of art and avant-gardes of the twentieth century at university, focusing on universally well-known Catalan artists such as Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Catalonia being a part of Spain that has historically defended democracy and the ideals of the republic, the vast majority of its artists were committed to those Civil values and reflected it in their art. This led Mark Planellas to dive into some related topics, such as propaganda in the twentieth century, thus publishing books on the subject, such as “Jaume Miravitlles. El somriure de Catalunya”, which explains the history of the first modern propaganda ministry ever created, in the context of the Spanish Civil War.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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