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The Kabbalah of Dreams
Confronting Demons through Ritual and Text

Nathaniel Berman

Ritual, Prayer & Spirituality, Text & Thought

Dreams are key to Jewish thought about the soul and God. The Talmudic saying “an uninterpreted dream is like an unread letter” is oft-quoted but highly mysterious: from where do such “letters” come? The "Zohar" (the foundational book of Jewish mysticism) teaches that the dreams may be sent by the demonic as well as the divine realms. The Talmud bequeathed us an elaborate ritual with the power of turning bitter dreams into sweet. Join us as we study texts about dream-mysteries, and together perform the “dream-sweetening” ceremony.

Nathaniel Berman

Watson Institute, Brown University

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Nathaniel Berman is a doctoral candidate in Jewish Studies at University College London. His thesis focuses on the Zohar's vision of the demonic, the Sitra Akhra. He has taught kabbalah in many settings, emphasizing the relationship between meditative practice and divine mythology. In his non-kabbalistic life, he is a professor at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies.

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