New Library Exhibition: Seeing the Unseeable: Kabbalistic Imagery from the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary

The Jewish Theological Seminary is pleased to announce its latest exhibition entitled “Seeing the Unseeable: Kabbalistic Imagery from the Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary.” This new exhibit will feature a selection of artistic works, artifacts, and archival material depicting various representations of Kabbalah, imagined by Kabbalists throughout the ages.  

The emergence of the Kabbalah in southern France and Spain in the twelfth century amounted to a revolution in Judaism whose effects can still be felt to this day. Responding to the increasing rationalization of religion and assimilation of Jewish communities in southern Europe, the Kabbalah promoted adherence to tradition by infusing Judaism with new mystical meaning. The Kabbalists drew on symbols and images to re-envision traditional Jewish belief and practice in ways that put vision and the visual at the forefront of the human relationship with the divine. “Seeing the Unseeable” explores the role of the visual in the Kabbalistic imagination and enables visitors to encounter images that were central to how Kabbalists presented their complex metaphysical ideas, depicted invisible realities, cultivated religious experience, and manifested divine power. 

An opening event will be held on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Guests will be invited to visit the exhibition and hear from co-curator Dr. Elly Moseson. He will be presenting a lecture entitled “Beyond Words: Visualizing the Divine in Jewish Mystical Texts.” 

JTS is also a launching a new podcast, Exploring Kabbalah, to highlight the evolution of Jewish mystical thought from Biblical expressions to the ways in which Hasidic circles incorporated mysticism. Dr. Eitan Fishbane, professor of Jewish Thought, introduces concepts, personalities and texts throughout thousands of years of mystical tradition. The first episode will be available on Tuesday, March 26.