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Grant number like: FT-54322-06

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Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern
Northwestern University (Evanston, IL 60208-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2006 – 8/31/2006

Practical Kabbalah in East Europe and the Sub-Culture of the Ba'alei Shem

This project will explore how elitist knowledge becomes popularized. It focuses on the movement of the Jewish mystical tradition known as “practical Kabbalah” from the periphery to the aegis of 18th-century East European Jewish society. This project seeks to examine and test a hypothesis that the late- 17th to early-18th century Ba’alei Shem—practical Kabbalists, shamans, exorcists, and itinerant healers—are responsible for the transformation of knowledge of the practical Kabbalah from the Jewish elite to Jewish masses.