Dr. Yair Lipshitz
15 teaching hours, equivalent to 2 ECTS

Dr. Yair Lipshitz is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts and Head of the Cymbalista Jewish Heritage Center at Tel Aviv University. He is also Academic Content Advisor at Paideia. Dr. Liphshitz’ research examines the various intersections between theatre, performance and Jewish religious traditions – and more broadly, between theatre and religion. He is the author of “The Holy Tongue, Comedy’s Version: Intertextual Dramas on the Stage of ‘A Comedy of Betrothal’” (Hebrew, 2010), “Embodied Tradition: Theatrical Performances of Jewish Texts” (Hebrew, 2016), and “Theatre & Judaism” (English, 2019). He has also published numerous papers dealing with topics ranging from Jewish-Italian theatre in the Renaissance to the queering of Scripture in “Angels in America”, and from Jewish ritual and performance theory to the reception of “King Lear” and “Salome” in Modern Hebrew culture. His current projects focus on messianic temporalities in Hebrew theatre and on the performativity of rabbinic literature.

The course will conceptualize Jewish culture as a culture of textual interpretation, with the privileged act of study at its center. It will examine how the multilayered textuality that emerges from the act of study allows for innovative interventions within tradition, and how interpretation serves as an engagement both with the text and with the identities of those studying it at a particular moment. We will explore these themes through a close reading in five “scenes” of study from throughout Jewish literature: Talmudic stories, the Zohar, Yiddish drama, and modern Hebrew poetry and plays.