Elliot Ginsburg

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Elliot Ginsburg

Associate Professor

202 South Thayer Street, Suite 3016, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1608

Office Location(s): 3016 Thayer Building
Phone: 734.763.4670
Fax: 734.936.2679
View Curriculum Vitae

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Near Eastern Studies
  • About

    Ph.D., August 1984 in Religious Studies. Concentration in Judaica. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Thesis Topic: "The Sabbath in the Classical Kabbalah." Adviser: Dr. Arthur Green.

    M.A. in Religious Studies. Fall 1980. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    B.A. in Philosophy, May, 1974. University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois. Graduated magna cum laude.


    The Sabbath in the Classical Kabbalah. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989. 341 +xx pages.

    Sod ha-Shabbat: The Mystery of the Sabbath. From the Tola?'at Ya?'aqov of R. Meir ibn Gabbai. Translated and with a critical commentary. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989. 264 + xvi pages.


    "The B'nai Yissaschar on the Meaning of Being Yisra'el." New Menorah Journal, No. 67.

    "'A Little that Contains a Lot': On Spice Containers and the Unfolding of Inspiration at Havdalah" in B. Gomberg and S.S. Yudovin, The Havdalah Spice Container (Spertus Institute/Spertus Museum, Chicago, Illinois), 1998, pp. 7-11 and 16.

    "Rituals of Preparation [in Zoharic Kabbalah]", in Lawrence Fine, ed. Essential Papers in Kabbalah. New York University Press, 1995, pp. (30 pages).

    "Jewish Mysticism: A Bibliographic Map for the English Reader." In Barry Holtz, ed. Reading Jewish Books, pp. 164-202. New York: Schocken Books, 1992.

    "?TDiqsei ha-havdalah ba-qabbalah ha-zoharit" [The Havdalah Ceremony in Zoharic Kabbalah], Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought, vol. 9 (1989), pp. 183-216.

    "?ZDelem ?Elohim: Some Thoughts on God and Person in Zoharic Kabbalah." In L.D. Shinn, ed. In Search of the Divine. New York, Paragon Press, 1987, pp. 61-87.

    "Kabbalistic Ritual as a Means of Furthering the Divine-Human Nexus: Two Examples" (appendix to article above). In L.D. Shinn, ibid., pp. 88-94.

    "The Sabbath in the Kabbalah," Judaism: A Quarterly Journal, v. 31, Winter 1982, pp. 26-36.

    "The Portrait": a translation of Na?hDman of Bratslav's tale from the Hebrew and Yiddish. Published in Arthur Green, Tormented Master: A Life of Nahman of Bratslav, University of Alabama Press, 1979, pp. 355-57.

    Review Essays and Book Reviews

    Review of Michael D. Swartz. Scholastic Magic: Ritual and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism, Religious Studies Reveiw Vol. 24:3, Fall 1998, p. 318.

    "The Many Faces of Kabbalah: A Review Essay of Moshe Idel's Kabbalah: New Perspectives/ ?? . Hebrew Annual Review 36, 1995, pp. 111-122.

    "Moshe Idel and the Field of Ecstatic Kabbalah: A Review Essay," in Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 82:1-2 (July-October 1991), pp. 207-214.

    "Isaiah Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar," The Journal of Religion 71:4 (October, 1991), pp. 626-627.

    "Elliot Wolfson, "The Book of the Pomegranate: Moses de Leon's Sefer ha-Rimmon", in Religious Studies Review 17:2, April 1991, p. 179.

    "Isaiah Tishby, The Wisdom of the Zohar," in Religious Studies Review 17:2, April 1991, ibid.

    "Moshe Idel, The Mystical Experience in Abraham Abulafia," Religious Studies Review, vol. 16:3, July 1990, p. 274.

    "David Ruderman, Kabbalah, Magic, and Science: The Cultural Universe of a Sixteenth Century Jewish Physician," ibid.

    "Moshe Idel, Studies in Ecstatic Kabbalah," Religious Studies Review, vol. 15:3, July 1989, p. 274.

    "David S. Ariel, The Mystic Quest: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism," ibid., pp. 274-76.

    W.W. Kellogg Foundation, Grant for Outreach Scholarship: Jewish Mystical Teachings and Contemplative Practice (2002-2003).

    Recipient of the Sanford Seltzer Chair in Jewish Mysticism, HUC-UAHC, 1998-2002.

    Fellow of the Institute of the Humanities, University of Michigan, 1994-95.

    Rackham Grant, University of Michigan. Summer 1993.

    National Endowment for the Humanities Travel to Collection grant. For Spring-Summer 1993.

    National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend. June-August 1991. For a chapter length study of the motif of mystical marriage in the teachings of one of the earliest known kabbalists, Judah ben Yaqar.

    H.H. Powers Travel Grant, Oberlin College. For manuscript research in England, June 1991. Declined.

    Research and Development Grant-in-Aid, Oberlin College, Summer 1990. For study of kabbalistic texts and manuscripts.

    National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for College Teachers, 1987-88.

    Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (in the Department of Jewish Thought), 1987-88.

    Ford Research Fellowship. Administered by Oberlin College. Fall Semester 1988.

    H.H. Powers Travel Grant, Oberlin College. For research in Eastern Europe and Israel. Summer 1986.

    National Foundation for Jewish Culture Post-doctoral Publication Grant. December 1985.

    Research and Development Grant-in-Aid, Oberlin College, Summer 1985. For study of kabbalistic manuscripts.

    Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Dissertation Fellowship, 1981-83.

    University of Pennsylvania Teaching Fellowship, 1974-78 and 1979-1982.

    Phi Beta Kappa, 1974.

    James Scholar, University of Illinois, 1970-74.

    Cook County (Illinois) Scholar, 1970-74.

    Illinois State Scholar, 1970.

    National Merit Finalist, 1970.


    Book notes editor for medieval Judaism, Religious Studies Review. Fall 1988 to Summer 1992.
    Member, Department of Religion Visiting Committee, Lehigh University, 1990-93.
    Referee for several scholarly journals and on several occasions, for the Division of Research Programs of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    Juror for Jewish Ritual Art Competition: The Havdalah Spice Container. Spertus Institute, chicago, IL. 1997-1998.

    Reader for scholarly presses (SUNY Press, Princeton, California, Chicago, Routledge, etc.)

    Association for Jewish Studies
    World Union for Jewish Studies
    American Academy of Religion

  • Research Areas of Interest
    • Jewish Mysticism and Thought
  • Selected Publications:
  • Books