Prof. Maoz Kahana

Department of Jewish History
חוג להסטוריה של עם ישראל סגל אקדמי בכיר
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Maoz Kahana (PhD) is an associate Professor  in the Jewish History Department, Tel Aviv University.

His research focuses on deciphering and elucidating rabbinical literature and Jewish law and legal cultures within the social and intellectual contexts of the early modern and modern European history as well as its minority Jewish culture. 

His research and teaching integrates intellectual and social history; legal and cultural methods.

Characteristic themes of his work are print and book history, the scientific revolution, magic, law, and the divine; Rabbi's allure to Sabbatian literature, Chassidic Halakhic writings, Jewish legal cultures and European romanticism,  the emergence of European coffeehouses, and others.

His book: Halakhic Writing in a Changing World, from the ‘Noda B’yhuda’ to the ‘Hatam Sofer’, 1730-1839, based on his doctoral :dissertation, was published in the Zalman Shazar Publication House, Jerusalem (2015). A second book: A Heartless Chicken and other Wonders: Religion and Science in Early Modern Rabbinic Culture”, was published (2021) in Bialik Institute Publishing House, Jerusalem. 

personal website:
)Classes (2018-2019


 for articles download , the personal webpage:


Maoz Kahana, 'The Hatam Sofer: A Decisor in His Own Eyes', Tarbitz 76:3-4

(2007), pp. 519-556. "החת"ם סופר – הפוסק בעיני עצמו"


Maoz Kahana, Michael Silber, 'Deists, Sabbateans and Kabbalists in Prague, A censored sermon of R. Ezekiel Landau 1770', Kabbalah: journal for the study of Jewish mystical texts 21 (2010), pp. 349-384.

"דאיסטים שבתאים ומקובלים בקהלת פראג – דרשה מצונזרת של הרב יחזקאל לנדא, תק"ל"

Maoz Kahana, ‘How did the Hatam-Sofer Wish to Trump Spinoza? Text, Hermeneutics, and Romanticism in the Writings of R. Moses Sofer’, Tarbitz 79:3 (2011), pp. 557-585.

"כיצד ביקש החת"ם סופר לנצח את שפינוזה? טקסט, למדנות ורומנטיקה בכתבי החת"ם סופר"


Maoz Kahana,  ‘The Allure of Forbidden Knowledge: The Temptation of Sabbatean Literature for Mainstream Rabbis - the Frankist Moment, 1756-1761', JQR 102,4 (2012) pp. 589–616.

Maoz Kahana, 'Changing the world's measures – Rabbi Zeev Olesker and the Revolutionary Scholars Circle in Brody Kloyz', AJS Review 37,1 (2013), pp. 29-53.

"משנים את מידות העולם: חוג הלומדים המהפכני בקלויז ברודי ומהפכת יחידות המידה בראשית העת החדשה"


Maoz Kahana, ‘The Shabbes Coffeehouse - on the emergence of the Jewish Coffeehouse in eighteenth-century Prague’, Zion 78,1 (2013), pp. 5-50.

"שבת בבית הקפה של קהילת קודש פראג"


.Maoz Kahana,  'An Esoteric Path to Modernity: Rabbi Jacob Emden's Alchemical Quest', Journal of Modern Jewish Studies (2013), pp. 1-23


Maoz Kahana, 'Sources of knowledge and the Scientific Revolution: Halacha, Medicine and Alchemy, Hamburg 1736’, Tarbitz 82,1 (2013), pp. 165-212.

"המהפכה המדעית וקידוד מקורות הידע: רפואה, הלכה ואלכימיה, המבורג–אלטונה 1736"


Maoz Kahana, 'Scientific Demons: The "Hatam Sofer" as an Exorcist', AJS Review  38:2 (2014), pp. 1-23

Maoz Kahana,'The Legal Pluralism of an Enclave Society: The Case of Munkatch Hasidism' (with Levi Cooper) The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 48,1 (2016), pp. 1-17.


.Maoz Kahana, Cosmos and Nomos: Rabbi Joseph Karo and Shabtai Zvi as portable heavenly temples', El Prezente 10 (2016), pp. 143-153.


Maoz Kahana, 'Shabtai Zvi - the Halachic Man', Zion 81 (2016), pp. 391-434,

״שבתי צבי איש ההלכה״

Maoz Kahana, ‘Hasidic Halakhah - Reappraising the Interface of Spirit and Law’ (with Ariel Evan Mayse), AJS Review 41:2 (2017), pp. 375–408.

Maoz Kahana, 'Sources of knowledge and time oscillations: R' Yehuda Ha-Chassid's Testament in the Modern Era', Spiritual Authority: Struggles Over Cultural Power in Jewish Thought, Ben Gurion University Press 2009, pp. 223-262.

"מקורות הידע ותמורות הזמן: צוואת ר' יהודה החסיד בעת החדשה"


Maoz Kahana, ‘’Three Disputing Factions’ – The Contentious Internal Discourse of the Jewish Community of Prague in the 18th-Century’ Otto Dov Kulka, Lia Skalova, Timma Soroka (Eds.), Erich Kulka 1911-1995,  Život jako poslání za ty, kteří se nevrátili. Sto let od jeho narození, Židovským muzeem v Praze 2011, pp. 70-79.

Maoz Kahana, ‘"We Have an Old Father" - The Hatam Sofer - A Short Cultural Biography, From Before his Death and Shortly Thereafter’, Nissim Leon, Benjamin Brown (Eds.), The Gdoylim: Men Who Shaped Haredi Judaism in Israel, Van Leer Institute 2017, pp. 73-104 ].

"'יש לנו אב זקן' - ביוגרפיה תרבותית קצרה של ר' משה סופר, לפני פטירתו ומעט אחריה"


Maoz Kahana, “Rabbinic Monsters: The World of Wonder and Rabbinic Writings at the Turn of the Nintheen Century”, Christian Wiese, Iris Idelson (Eds.), Monsters and Monstrosity in Jewish History: From the Middle Ages to Modernity, Bloomsbury Publishing


Book Reviews

1.   "עירום לבוש מאוד"

 ‘A Well Dressed Nakedness - on Pawel Maciejko's "The Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816", GAL-ED 23 (2011), pp. 241-245

2. ״קפה נחשק, מקולל קדוש"

 ‘Cursed, Desired, Holly coffee – on Robert Libeles; "Jews Welcome

 Coffee"’, Zion 76 (2012) pp. 558-563



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