Text and Context Track: Exploring Sepharadi Jewry through Rabbinic Texts with Chaim Grafstein
Jewish life in the Middle East and North Africa remains a complex and vibrant part of Jewish history and continued reality, which is often unrepresented in typical European and Ashkenazi study of Jewish texts. In this class we will read pan-Sepharadi rabbinic texts from Morocco to Egypt to Iraq to better understand North African and Middle Eastern Jewish life, along with culture, political views, religious ideas, and discuss how it connects to our communities today.
Each class will focus on a different region, explore the legal reality, and look at some of the more unique texts that frame these communities. In a time when travel is difficult, take this opportunity to travel through the Jewish past of the Middle east and North Africa!
Chaim Grafstein is a PhD Candidate in the University of
Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations studying Moroccan
rabbinic writing. His focus is on 21st century reactions to the controversial
Moroccan rabbinic writer Yosef Messas. He is also passionate about revitalizing
Judeo-Arabic and advocacy for Jewish graduate students.