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Professor Joel Hecker's picture

Professor Joel Hecker

Dr. Hecker, a native of Toronto, received semicha from Yeshiva University and his doctorate from New York University, focusing on Jewish Mysticism. Professor Joel Hecker is Associate Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He has been a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania; served as a visiting instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University; and has lectured at a range of universities, a host of adult-education institutions and synagogues of all four major denominations.

Dr. Hecker is the author of  Mystical Bodies, Mystical Meals: Eating and Embodiment in Medieval Kabbalah  (Wayne State University Press, 2004) and has published widely on a range of themes in Jewish mysticism. His scholarly interests include ritual, the role of the body, mystical technique and experience, as well as the history of Jewish magic. 

This past year Dr. Hecker was Visiting Scholar at the Hartman Institute in Yerushalayim where he began translation and commentary on the Zohar on Song of Songs, Ruth, and Lamentations. This constitutes Volume 11 of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition , the first complete English translation of the Zohar  with commentary. He will be writing Volume 12 as well, consisting of lesser known sections of the Zohar.