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Prof. Haviva Pedaya

… a philosopher, researcher of Judaism, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Hasidism, and is engaged in writing a mass of criticism and culture…

Photo: Ronen Morad

Haviva Pedaya – a cultural profile

Haviva Pedaya is a philosopher, researcher of Judaism, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Hasidism, and is engaged in writing a mass of criticism and culture. She is also a creator in theater, music and poetry. She regularly conducts academic series and evenings of poetry and culture. She regularly writes essays and articles that gets extensive echoes. Besides her academic work in the Department of the History of Israel and her role as the Head of the J.R. Elaychar Center for Studies in Sephardi Heritage at Ben Gurion University, she is a lecturer and teaches in many institutes and at various events around the country and receives many invitations to write and teach.

As a poet she is defined by the editor and translator Halit Yeshurun, in an interview by Dov Elbaum (Trans-Israel Highway), as the writer of ‘the great poetry in Israel today’; She was called by the poet and translator Jeremy Sa’ari as ‘the Emily Dickinson’ of Israeli (Poetry International Web) and by the poet and literary critic Professor Hamutal Bar Yosef as ‘one of the greatest discoveries, and most authentic mystical experience in the Israeli literature’ (Haaretz); ‘the songs of Haviva Pedaya’. The Novelist and critic Dror Burstein, ‘Greater than Haviva Pedaya exponentially, because this poet is wrapped in this poetry and this world as if poetry were Jackets’ (‘The City’). And more of the songs: ‘I read them as if regarding gold and gold closed Purvis and gold veins are waiting for me on the following pages’ (Amos Oz) ; ‘a masterpiece of lyric writing … in a multi-language and stratified voice she is breaking new ground Hebrew poetry’ (judges remark, President’s Award). Peter Cole, the poet and translator included her in his anthology of poetry from its beginnings Israeli young poetry expressing the seal the book.

And more about the cultural profile: ‘a poet, a scholar … Brilliant publicist and renews and revitalizes the mizrahi music from Rabbi Israel Najara of the 16th century to the present … a brilliant Intellectual … an investigator of mysticism, Kabbalah and Hasidism leading and breaking through’ (Hezi Mehlav [reporter for the first channel],’ Ha’oketz’) ; ‘Pedaya in her analysis manages to reach depths of the mechanisms of cultural production … and soar brilliantly with reasoned formulation, formulations that are backed by broad knowledge and deep acquaintance with the objects of her writing … Prof. Haviva Pedaya is today one of the most important and most fascinating figures in the academic and cultural fields in Israel’ (Shira Ohayon, ‘ on poetry and struggles in the intellectual field’, ‘ Ha’oketz’). And more: ‘the creation of Haviva Pedaya, a work with mercy, knowledge and science. Intelligent graceful language, multi-layered, is echoing Jewish and Hebrew. Attitude, in its review (“a view”) and science in the sense of information, investigation, and demand balance. All her work is included in the theoretical and literary, well sprinkled and everything, we cover as a map, like her personality. Greatness as a researcher (see her latest book: Ramban, Am Oved), what it continues if the investigation and gathering treasures in Israel … Haviva Peday’s poetry, besides her being a single song alone is significant, she is redemptive language and worlds’ (Adam Baruch).

 Her book “The eye of the cat” [Am Oved, 2008] instigated a cultural revolution in Israel in many ways.

Many reviews and articles were written about it, all praising it, in many newspapers and media [see below links:

Among the three most important dimensions in the change that the book instigated and among its social impact centers, noted is the obvious increase of the fate of the animals in the media and in the press and the reports on cat Knesset Education Committee. The change in the literary discourse and expansion of the dimensions of the languages included in the best of books published in the last two years that began to accommodate more complex languages to all sections of the Hebrew. The book also affected the attitude towards periphery and the city of Be’er Sheva in particular, Pedaya was invited to the Board of Education of Be’er Sheva’s Municipality, and is among 40 of the influential people of the south, and is a consultant for the Bienniala Project in Haifa.

Her book ‘The eye of the Cat’ is taught at the Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev, in the Department of Politics and Government and the Department of Literature. The book was recently selected as one of the one hundred mandatory texts to study in Israeli culture classes in schools. This is a significant achievement mediated for a writer that mediates Judaism through messages of tolerance, peace and brotherhood from the east to the west and emphasizes the periphery. ‘The eye of the Cat’ bridges the gap between the world of Kabbalah and tolerant messages and contains the hardships of the periphery, and ecological issues in an Israeli and global point of view.

Pedaya was involved in the liturgical revolution and has been a pioneer in this field since 2003: cultural activities, music and poetry, and was a pioneer of the liturgical meeting with Israeli space.

For example, she was part of the cooperation with secular artists such as Barry Sakharov, or performance 29 of November.

She established the dove music ensemble from the East and produced disk books. The ensemble was invited to a Jewish music festival in Krakow.

In the Van Leer Institute (2205-2007) she initiated research groups engaged in the blanks of Mizrahi Jewry, Judaism and Israel.

Since 2008 she is the Chairman of the Vision NGO (founded by her mother) for the rehabilitation of women through arts, she renewed the definition of this rehabilitation project fulfillment center of disadvantaged women by means of a Midrash theater creates. Today she is building a network of artists and friends to promote the integration of Judaism and therapy with the empowerment of women victims of single gender-based environment open to all sectors.

2008-2012 she proposed the redefinition of the objectives of the NGO’s goals in favor of changing relations between center and periphery, East and West, as the basis for renewed, open and tolerant Israeli Judaism. The center will be active in the south of the country, association committee members will be intellectuals and key members of the Israeli economy.

Recent books: going beyond trauma, and: space and place, a mass on the unconscious theological political offering a depth examination of the Jewish-Christian consciousness and its consequences in the Arab Israeli, they offer a fascinating and original discussion of the issues of historical trauma and collective memory, secularization and religious fundamentalism.

Haviva Pedaya is an active teacher around the country (teaching in all denominations, religious and secular, left and right, Jews and Arabs)

  • Kolot a Beit Midrash for Educational Leadership
  • The Mandel Center for Leadership in the Negev
  • Sapir College, Department of Film
  • Bamidbar a Beit Midrash in Yeruham
  • Beth Israel a Beit Midrash and urban commune in Jerusalem
  • Maale Gilboa Yeshiva
  • Shuva College Branch in Jerusalem
  • East of the sun
  • Athniel Yeshiva
  • Tko’ah
  • Musrara College in Jerusalem.

 Haviva Pedaya is a member in the Hermes international forum (in combination with the School of Religion) to promote peace in the world which meets each year in Marrakech, by processing the theological messages and universal spiritual language of tolerance and containment.

About Prof. Pedaya at Poetry International Web – click here

Prof. Pdaya at the Hebrew literature dictionary – click here