Vortrag Prof. Galili Shahar

„The Angels: Poetry and Government, in the Name of Heaven“

Buber vortrag shahar 1

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum 13.

The angels are among the ancient protagonists of world literature. They are known for their enterprises as messengers, heralds of prophecies from heaven, who serve many tasks at the divine court, as priests and ministers, officers, and warriors. They also carry different responsibilities as jurists, scribers, and clerks and as scholars of mysteries – the secrets of creation and revelation. The angels are administrators, serving a divine government. However, at certain hours the angels gather in great choruses for singing and blessing – hymns, psalms, songs of lament and kedusha.

The lecture discusses the double vocation of the angels – as ministers and poets, and reviews their major liturgical tasks, pointing at the diversities of poetical genres and vocal modes of expression they hold in their singing, asking about the a-tonalities, noises, and ruptures of silence.

Galili Shahar is professor of Comparative literature and German studies at Tel Aviv University. His work is dedicated to research and teaching of German, Jewish and Hebrew literatures and classical Persian literature. His publications include books on Goethe, Kafka and Celan as well as articles on Walter Benjamin, Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, Erich Auerbach, S. Y. Agnon and others. In the years 2013-2020 he served as the director of the Minerva Institute for German History at the Tel Aviv University. In 2020 he was appointed as the head of the School of Cultural Studies. Since 2019 he also serves as the chairman of the Leo Baeck Institute Jerusalem.


Buber-Rosenzweig-Institut für jüdische Geistes- und Kulturgeschichte der Moderne und Gegenwart

Frankfurt-Tel Aviv Center for the Study of Religious and Interreligious Dynamics