Book Cover_Zimmerman

Professor Joshua Zimmerman will be giving a lecture this Thursday (Nov. 17th) @ 4 PM at the UCLA Center for Jewish Studies:

Wounds of History: The Polish Underground and the Jews during World War II…/wounds-of-history-the-polish-und…/



Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lecture and Book Signing, Thur. Dec. 15, 3:00 PM

The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel 

Steven Fine, Dr. Pinkhos Churgin Professor of Jewish History, Yeshiva University, and Director, Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies

From Moses to the Maccabees and on to our own days, the menorah has illuminated Western civilization, particularly Jewish history. Explore the art of exemplary menorahs over the 3,000-year history of this extraordinary symbol.

The publication The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel will be available for purchase in The Met Store located in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education, ground floor. Steven Fine will be signing books after the presentation.


The Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies
invites you to a lecture

Should We Seek to Understand the Ways of God?
Contrasting Perspectives in Jewish Thought

By David Shatz


Theodicy—the attempt to explain how
God allows evil—is a central part of Jewish
tradition. But so is antitheodicy, the position
that it is inappropriate or wrong or irrational
even to seek theodicies. This lecture will
explore some of the key arguments relevant
to this disagreement.

David Shatz is the Ronald P. Stanton
University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics,
and Religious Thought at Yeshiva University,
chair of the Philosophy Department
at Stern College for Women, editor of The
Torah u-Madda Journal and editor of the
series MeOtzar HoRav: Selected Writings
of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l. He
has edited, co-edited or authored 15
books and has published approximately
80 articles and reviews dealing with
both general and Jewish philosophy.
In recognition of his achievements as
scholar and teacher, he was awarded
YU’s Presidential Medallion. A book
devoted to his life and work appears in
The Library of Contemporary Jewish
Philosophers, produced by the academic
publisher Brill.

Sponsor reception with Dr. Shatz, including
light dinner, at 6 p.m., in the President’s Suite

For sponsorship opportunities, call Paul Glasser
at 212.960.0852 or email

Yeshiva University
Belfer Hall
Sky Café, 12th Floor
2495 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10033

Sponsored Parking is Available in YU Lot E

Reservations are not necessary

Questions should be directed to




By Isaac Choua

Poetry during the High Middle Ages of Spain under Islamic rule “was in the very heart of that culture”, according To Professor Peter Cole. Being a star in those days meant being a poet. Poetry dealt with more than just the beauty of the physical world, instead dealing with the divine, homiletic, satirical, and the political. Muslims would later call a collection of poems dīwān, which translates to “Archive”, since poetry was the dīwān of Arab culture. Jews of the Islamic lands, especially in Spain, came to emulate this practice and have their poetry at the center of their lives.
In Professor Cole’s works he is able to capture this rich Jewish dīwān of the past through his transfiguration into English, allowing one to read the poetry fluently with a diction and tone that is modern. The rich scholarship accompanying it references to the religious and cultural borrowings from the Arabic tradition and from the Tanakh, and even explains the method of choosing each particular word.

Aside from being a transfigurator, Professor Cole was a prolific reader as well. His voice grabbed the attention of the audience of sixty plus in the room. With each poem recited it felt as if we were all speaking and understanding the text in its native tongue.

Professor Cole opened with a poem that he wrote to set the stage for poetry and what it means for the Jewish people:

Actual Angels by: Peter Cole
Gone is the griffin, the phoenix, the faun.

Only angels in the poem live on

as characters catching the light between things,

as carriers of currents from the wings

of thinking we know where we’re going and then

getting somewhere, despite our intention.


Maybe an angel’s confused with an angle

so often because the slip lays bare

something these envoys are trying to tell us—

that what we’re missing is already there.

How is it that creatures with names like Anáfiel,

Shakdehúziah, Azbúgah, and Yófi’el

could possess the power to raise a person

up to a Temple-within from his Hell?


Angels are letters, says Abulafia,

in us like mind as the present’s hum.

No one knows what a year will bring,

but the world-to-come is the word to come.

“Actual Angels” and Other Poems Common Knowledge, Volume 20, Issue 3, Fall 2014, pp. 549-561 by Peter Cole <>
In this excerpt, Professor Cole explained the awesomeness of angels and their eternity, comparing them to letters. “Angels are letters”, meaning that the words/letters themselves takes us from different plains of existence, acting as messengers, a go-between. When reading a poem, you obtain insight into another person’s world – their mindset. Poems take us on a journey that we might not be able to go on by simply reading a history book. We need the historical background to understand poetry, but a dīwān can take this understanding beyond to heights where a simple history lesson cannot.