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Desiderius Erasmus, Johannes Reuchlin and the Hebrew Language

The Polis Interdisciplinary Colloquium: Souls and Sounds of the City

According to Reuchlin, only the Jews draw from the sources and therefore the Hebrew language “must be kissed tenderly and embraced with both arms,” by Christianity. Contrarily, in 1504 Erasmus wrote to a colleague, “I have been wholly absorbed by Greek…. I began to take up Hebrew as well, but stopped because I was put off by the strangeness of the language… and the limitations of human nature will not allow a man to master too many things at once.” The positioning of the two greatest humanists north of the Alps against each other can facilitate a distinctive observation of Erasmus and a sharper omprehension of his prejudices concerning the Jews, their language and books— as much as to convince us to appreciate, with greater vigor, the outstanding intellectual and defender of the Jews that Reuchlin was.

Sunday March 12, 2023

Lecture Time: 11 AM

The Polis Institute, Classroom 6

(Also available live online)

8 HaAyin Het St

9511208 Jerusalem

+972 (0) 74 701-1048

The lecture is free however pre-registration is required at: [email protected]