“The ‘Wandering Jew’ in Jewish and Christian Imagination”

Dr. Galit Hasan-Rokem

 Tuesday, December 1, 2015 | 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Haub Executive Suite, McShain Hall – 5th Floor [campus map]

Co-sponsored with the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

The “wandering Jew”—doomed, according to legend, to roam the world until the end of days—was a powerful creation of the medieval imagination. As a derogatory image, it represented the idea that God had cursed Jews for their unbelief. However, the wanderer existed not only in the Christian mind but also, albeit differently, in Jewish folklore, art, and literature.

As we celebrate this year the 1965 Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate (which rejected the notion of the cursed and wandering Jew), Galit Hasan-Rokem unravels this multidimensional tradition that evolved over centuries of creative contact between Jews and Christians.

Galit Hasan-Rokem is a distinguished professor of folklore and Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Author of many scholarly works including Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature and Tales of the Neighborhood: Jewish Narrative Dialogues in Late Antiquity, she is also a translator and poet, with several collections published in Hebrew.