/ Maskilot



Research Fellow

Melila Hellner-Eshed, Ph.D., is a Research Fellow of the Kogod Research Center at Shalom Hartman Institute, where she founded and co-directs the Rabbinic Students Seminar, a interdenominational program for rabbinic students spending a year in Israel.

She has been a professor of Jewish mysticism and Zohar in the Department of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for over two decades. She received her degree from Hebrew University under the tutelage of Professor Yehuda Liebes. At the Hebrew University, Melila also taught in the honors teacher-training program Revivim and in the Amirim honors program for liberal studies.

For the past three decades, she has been a central figure in the Israeli renaissance of study of Jewish texts by Israeli adults of all paths of life in various frameworks. She has been teaching and working with Jewish communities in North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union for many years.

Her publications include A River Flows from Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar, (Hebrew, Alma and Am Oved Publications, 2005 and English, Stanford University Press, 2009). Her book Seekers of the Face  – From the Secrets of the Idra Rabba in the Zohar was published in Hebrew in 2018, forthcoming in English from Stanford University Press.

Melila also serves on the faculty of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality in the U.S. and is active in the ‘Sulha’ – a reconciliation project that brings together Israelis and Palestinians.

Melila Hellner-Eshed


Jul 19, 2023

Jul 14, 2022

Session from Rabbinic Torah Seminar (RTS) 2022 in Jerusalem

Jun 2, 2022

Steve was in the first cohort of Hartman’s Rabbinic Leadership Initiative and an invaluable member of the Hartman Beit Midrash for decades.

Mar 4, 2022

Drawing on classical midrash, medieval exegesis and kabbalah, Melila Hellner-Eshed explores interpretations of the iconic opening of the Bible.

Jul 15, 2021

Through poetry and mystical sources, Melila Hellner-Eshed explores the meaning of Torah in Zohar and Hasidut.

Jul 12, 2021

What is a Torah of Possibility for this moment? Melila Hellner-Eshed leads a rabbinic beit midrash on both the fragility and power of hope in the Jewish tradition.

Nov 14, 2020

Melila Hellner-Eshed brings rabbis texts from the Zohar to celebrate light in dark times.

Jul 20, 2020

How can we gain strength and nourishment during this time?

Oct 29, 2017

Has the sun always been large and dazzling and the moon smaller, waxing and waning each month? Or were the cosmos different at the dawn of Creation?

Jul 7, 2016

Lecture to Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar (RTS), What is a Jew: Dilemmas of Identity in the 21st Century, July 2016

Jul 2, 2015

Lecture from Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar, July 2015 Shalom Hartman Institute

Jul 2, 2014

Lecture from Rabbinic Torah Study Seminar at the Shalom Hartman Institute July 2014

Jul 3, 2012

Lecture to the 2012 Community Leadership Program (CLP) at the Shalom Hartman Institute

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