Sharonah, currently at work on her thesis in Hispanic & Latin American Literature at Stony Brook University, lectures and writes in Spanish, English and Portuguese on Sephardic literature and legends, as well as Native American and Jewish cultural survival during the period of the inquisition in the Americas. She has directed the Berlitz cultural consulting seminar department in Israel (1999-2004) and educates people on five continents.

Session 1: The sitra ahra/Judaism’s parallel evil universe

What is the philosophical meaning of this magical other world of the Cabalah, where demons frequently behave better than human beings? Is it a Jewish version of hell, or an idea of other life forms in the universe, existing along with creation? Does the other world threaten our own, or are we the threat?

Session 2: Jewish heretics and Argentine dictatorships

How did the death of an intellectually brilliant crypto-Jewish heretic, Maldonado Da Silva, in the mid-17th century in Peru, become a symbol of the fight against oppression during the military dictatorships of Latin America? Does Jewish literature engage the reader on the very real level of life and death?

Session 3: Polytheism in the Bible – Jewish “gods” or one God?

Is our concept of one God necessarily the only concept of God that we find in the Bible? What are the pagan influences on the development and evolution of God in Jewish texts, and what are the possibilities that Egyptian, Babylonian, and Canaanite thought had on the idea of God in the Old Testament? The Hebrew calendar may provide the key…