Dr. Assaf Tamari

Areas of specialization:

Intellectual History of Jews in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire, The Literature of the Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism)

Areas of competence:

Intellectual History, Critique of Secularism, Jewish Studies Genealogy, Current Political Theory


Dr. Assaf Tamari is an historian, focused on the intellectual history of Jews in the early modern Ottoman Empire, specializing in the literature of the Kabbalah and its relation to scientific discourses. He is also interested in the critique of secularism, the genealogies of Jewish studies, as well as current political theory in the context of Israel-Palestine, and has published about contemporary religious political theologies.

Dr. Tamari was awarded a Polonsky Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue a project titled “’Heal Us O Lord and We Shall Be Healed’ – Me and You Together”: Medical Discourse and Early Modern Jewish Thought. In this study he aims to explore the relations between medical and religious discourses among Jews in the early modern eastern Mediterranean, in order to think in what ways does thinking through the sick body – and the discourse it brings with it – expresses and shapes notions of the human and the divine, their subjectivities and their experience as actors in the world, even their idea of a body politic.

Dr. Tamari received his PhD from the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. His dissertation, titled ‘The Discourse of the Body in the Lurianic Kabbalah’, is a re-reading of this highly influential Kabbalah of sixteenth-century Safed as a medical discourse, and an analysis of the implications of such a reading on its construction of divine and human agency.


Assaf Tamari, “’I misled such a great nation and my time […] has passed’: Ottoman Millenarianism and the ‘True Religion’ in R. Hayyim Vital’s Sefer ha-Hezyonot”, Jama’a: an Interdisciplinary Journal of Middle East Studies, 25 (2020), pp. 297-314 (Hebrew).

“’Eleh Shemot: Political Thought in Hebrew – Guest Editor’s Introduction”, Mafte’akh: Lexical Review of Political Thought, 14 (2019), pp. 3-12 [Hebrew]

“The Place of Politics: The Notion of Consciousness in R. Yitzchak Ginsburgh’s Political Thought”, Israel Studies Review, Volume 29, Issue 2, Winter 2014: 78–98.