Dr.  Melila Hellner-Eshed has spent 30 years bringing its narrative, its language, and its teachings – which she refers to as “the gem of mystical Judaism”- to life for a broad audience, from her students at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem to learners at the Shalom Hartman Institute; from study groups made up of secular Israelis to Jewish communities and institutions across North America, Europe and the former Soviet Union.


Hellner-Eshed takes great delight in inviting her students into this foundational work of Jewish mysticism, using phrases such as “the key to its enchantment” and “falling in love with the Zohar” and “it gives you vertigo at times” to describe the experience of entering into the universe of the Zohar.

Using contemporary metaphors and poetic language, Hellner-Eshed’s teaching on the Zohar centers on the stories of the nine students and their teacher Shimon Bar Yochai, who are the protagonists of this medieval text and their call for the awakening of consciousness that has resonated across the generations.

Hellner-Eshed, who will be a Scholar-in-Residence at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College in April, will also share her beautiful teachings on the Zohar at a public event on Tuesday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m., co-sponsored by Hebrew College and The Institute for Jewish Spirituality. For more information and to register for her talk, “The Language of Awakening in the Zohar: The Sparkling Gem of Mystical Judaism,” with an introduction by Rabbi Arthur Green, click here.

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