90198 - Jewish Language and Culture 2A

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Anthropology, Religions, Oriental Civilizations (cod. 8493)

Learning outcomes

The student, after having taken the course "Hebrew language and Jewish Culture" is provided with sufficient grammatical, hitorical, literary and anthropological information to be able to read Biblical texts and, with some assistance, also of ancient and late ancient Rabbinical tests, especially the Mishnah and Jewish Medieval exegetical and juridical literature. The first module of the second year, therefore, will focus on the reading and analysis of increasingly complex Rabbinical tests, starting with ethical (Pirqe Avot) and normative texts (tractates Berakot, Niddah, Shabbat). At the end of the module, the students will be able to translate, interpret and analyze chosen texts from the Mishnah putting them into the appropriate historical and cultural context.

Course contents

The course aims at introducing the students, already sufficiently fluent in Biblical Hebrew, to Medieval Hebrew and in particular to the Kabbalistc literature. 

After a general introduction to the Kabbalah, its history and its main currents, the short ethical and kabbalistical treatise entitle Iggeret ha-qodesh (Letter on Holiness) will be read and commented. Furthermore, the history of the reception of this treatise will be traced, in particular among the Christian Hebraists of the Renaissance. 

Students not attending the lectures are kindly required to contact the lecturer (via e-mail or during his speaking time) in order to receive a specific programme and further bibliography to be prepared for the oral examination. 


- M. Pérez Fernández, An Introductory Grammar of Rabbinic Hebrew, Brill, Leiden 1999.

- J. Seymour Cohen, The Holy Letter. A Study in Jewish Sexual Morality, Jason Aronson, Northvale (NJ) 1994.

- Ch. Mopsik, Lettre sur la sainteté. La relation de l'homme avec sa femme, Verdier, Lagrasse 1993.

- G. Busi - E. Loewenthal, Mistica ebraica, Einaudi, Torino 2006.

- S. Campanini, Porte iusticie: l’Iggeret ha-qodesh nella traduzione di Flavio Mitridate, in R. González Salinero – M. T. Ortega Monasterio (edd.), De Sophia a Hokmah: fuentes clásicas en el judaísmo, Signifer, Madrid 2009, pp. 143-164.

- S. Campanini, La traduzione dell’Iggeret ha-qodesh di Jacques Gaffarel, in «Materia Giudaica» XXIV (2019), pp. 307-317.

- S. Campanini, Salute e salvezza: l’Iggeret ha-qodesh e i suoi lettori, in C. Moreschini (a cura di), La medicina allo specchio del sacro. Incontri e confronti tra scienza e religione, Morcelliana, Brescia 2020, pp. 273-286.



Teaching methods

traditional lecture / seminarial

Assessment methods

Students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending.

oral exam.

The exam candidates will receive a note falling into one of four assessment ranges: 1) excellent (28-30 cum laude); 2) good (24-27); 3) sufficient (18-23); insufficient (fail), according to their capacity to express themselves, to articulate their knowledge and to answer appropriately to the questions of the instructor.

Teaching tools

The lecturere will distribute during the lecture and on the virtual page of the course additional materials supporting the learning process and the discussion. 

Office hours

See the website of Saverio Campanini


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.