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Basic Info

Ariel Evan Mayse

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Ariel Evan Mayse

Ariel Evan Mayse joined the faculty of Stanford University in 2017 as an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies, after previously serving as the Director of Jewish Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts, and a research fellow at the Frankel Institute for Advanced Judaic Studies of the University of Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Studies from Harvard University and rabbinic ordination from Beit Midrash Har'el in Israel.

Ariel's current research examines the role of​ language in ​Hasidism, manuscript theory and the formation of early Hasidic literature, the renaissance of Jewish mysticism in the nineteenth and twentieth century and the relationship between spirituality and law in Jewish legal writings. 

Select Publications


2020     Speaking Infinities: God and Language in the Teachings of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezritsh. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020. Pp. 408. A Hebrew version will be forthcoming with Bar-Ilan Univeristy Press in 2021.


Edited and Co-Authored Books

2021    Hasidism, Renewal and Suffering: The Religious Legacy of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro. Co-edited with Don Seeman and Daniel Reiser. Albany: SUNY Press. Forthcoming in June, 2021.

2020    The Sefat Emet in Yiddish (Sefat Emet be-Sefat ha-Em),co-authored with Daniel Reiser (Magnes Press) (Hebrew), 2020.

2020     Hasidism: Writings on Devotion, Community and Life in the Modern World. Co-edited with Sam Berrin Shonkoff. Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2020.

2019     A New Hasidism: Roots and A New Hasidism: Branches. Co-edited with Arthur Green, 2 volumes. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society and University of Nebraska Press, 2019. Pp. 432; and pp. 496.

2019     Be-Ron Yahad: Studies in Jewish Law and Theology in Honor of Nehemia Polen. Co-edited with Arthur Green. Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019. Pp. 415 + xxi.

2017     Your Word is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer, revised and expanded edition. Co-edited with Arthur Green and Barry Holtz. Nashville: Jewish Lights, 2017.

2014     From the Depth of the Well: An Anthology of Jewish Mysticism. New York: Paulist Press, 2014.

2013     Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from Around the Maggid’s Table, with Arthur Green, Ebn Leader and Or Rose, 2 volumes. Woodstock, VT: Jewish Lights, 2013.


Special Issues of Journals

In Progress     Guest editor, Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture and Ecology, “Special Issue on Jewish Environmental Ethics.” Coedited with Alexander Weissberg, in progress.

In Press     Guest editor, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies, “Special Issue on Tiberian Hasidism” (appearing in Fall, 2020). Coedited with Glenn Dynner and Aubrey Glazer.

2018–2019    Chief guest editor, In geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies, "Kratsn in der linker peye: yidish, yidishkayt, un dos pintele yid: A special issue of In geveb on Religious Thought in Yiddish.Coedited with Naomi Seidman, Marc Caplan, and Daniel Reiser.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

In Press     “Renewal and Redemption: Spirituality, Law and Religious Praxis in the Writings of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi.” Forthcoming in The Journal of Religion.

In Press     “Moving Mezritsh”: The Legacy of the Maggid and the Hasidic Community in the Land of Israel.” Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies (in press).

  • A revised version of this paper will be reprinted as “Moving Mezritsh”: The Legacy of the Maggid and the Hasidic Community in the Land of Israel” in From Tiberias, With Love: A Collection of Tiberean Hasidism -- R. Abraham ha-Kohen of Kalisk (in press, forthcoming 2021).

2020     “‘All the Knots of Jewish Thought’: A Response to Mira Wasserman. Journal of Textual Reasoning (2020). Online, c. 11,500 words.

2019     “Setting the Table Anew: Law and Spirit in a Nineteenth-Century Hasidic Code,” The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 27 (2019): 1–33.

2019     “Expanding the Boundaries of the Holy: Hasidic Devotion, Sacred Speech and Early Modern Jewish Thought.” Jewish Social Studies, n.s. 25, no. 1 (2019): 45–101.

2019     “Where Heaven and Earth Kiss: Jewish Law, Moral Reflection and Environmental Ethics.” Journal of Jewish Ethics 5, no. 1 (2019): 68–110.

  • A Hebrew translation is now in progress.

2019     “Religious Education and Sacred Study in the Teachings of Rabbi Yitshak Hutner.” Religions 10, no. 5 (2019). Online, c. 23,000 words.

2019     “The Voices of Moses: Theologies of Revelation in an Early Hasidic Circle.” Harvard Theological Review 112, no. 1 (2019): 101–125.

2019     “Yokhed ve-Tsiber: Personal Expression and Communal Responsibility in a Yiddish Droshe by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik.” In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies (2019). Online, 12,000 words.

2018    “Territories and Textures: The Hasidic Sermon as the Crossroads of Language and Culture.” Coauthored with Daniel Reiser. Jewish Social Studies, n.s. 24, no. 1 (2018): 127–160.

2017     “Hasidic Halakhah: Reappraising the Interface of Spirit and Law.” Coauthored with Maoz Kahana. AJS Review 41, no. 2 (2017): 375–408.

2017     “Second Thoughts: Unknown Yiddish Texts and New Perspectives on the Study of Hasidism.” Coauthored with Daniel Reiser. Zutot: Perspectives on Jewish Culture 14 (2017): 88–98.
       * Winner of Second Prize, Zutot Young Scholars Competition, 2015–2016.

2017     “Double-Take: Textual Artifacts and the Memory of Hasidic Teachings.” Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 37 (2017): 37–93.

2016     “‘For Many Years He Said This’: A Forgotten Manuscript of the Sefat Emet.” Coauthored with Daniel Reiser. Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 34 (2016): 123–184 (Hebrew).

2016     “‘The Great Call of the Hour’: Hillel Zeitlin’s Yiddish Writings on Yavneh. Coauthored with Arthur Green. In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies (Spring, 2016). Online, 17,700 words.

2015     “Sefer Sefat Emet, Yiddish Manuscripts, and the Oral Homilies of R. Yehudah Aryeh Leib of Ger,” coauthored with Daniel Reiser. Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 33 (2015): 9-43.

2013     “The Final Sermon of the Rebbe of Ger: The Sefat Emet and the Implications of Yiddish for the Study of Hasidic Homilies.” Coauthored with Daniel Reiser. Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 30 (2013): 127–160 (Hebrew).


Book Chapters

In Press     “‘Dirshuni: Seek Me and Live: Hasidism and the Spiritual Journey.” In Studies in Jewish History, Literature, and Thought in Honor of the Centenary of Hebrew College. Edited by Arthur Green, Michael Fishbane, and Jonathan Sarna (forthcoming, 2020).

In Press     “Wading into Infinite Waters: Mediation in Theology, Pedagogy and Revelation.” In Ways of Learning, Ways of Becoming: Neo-Hasidic Teaching of the Hasidic Homily. Edited by Elie Holzer (Boston: Academic Studies Press, in press).

In Press     “Tree of Life, Tree of Knowledge: Halakhah and Theology in Ma’or va-Shamesh.” In Maor VaShamesh: History, Philosophy, Lore, and Legacy. Edited by Levi Cooper, Ariel Evan Mayse and Zvi Mark (in press) (Hebrew).

2021  “The Devotional Talmud: Study as a Sacred Quest.” In Hasidism, Renewal and Suffering: The Religious Legacy of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapiro, ed. Don Seeman, Daniel Reiser and Ariel Evan Mayse (Albany: SUNY Press, in press).

2020     “The Calf Awakens: Language, Zionism and Heresy in Twentieth-Century American Hasidism.” In Kabbalah in America: Ancient Lore in the New World. Edited by Brian Ogren (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 269–291.

2020     “Beyond the Pale: Hasidism, Neo-Hasidism and Jewish-Christian Dialogue.” In A Sukkah in the Shadow of Saint Ignatius: Essays on the History of Jewish-Christian Relations, ed. Jeremy P. Brown (San Francisco: University of San Francisco Press, 2020), 53–90.

2020     “‘His Spirit Speaks’: Contextualizing the Vitebsker’s Devotional Path Within the Maggid’s Circle.” In From Tiberias With Love: Lost Mystical Masters in Search of a Promised Land, ed. Aubrey Glazer and Nehemia Polen (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2020), 109–135.

2019     “Stories Untold: Theology, Language and the Hasidic Spirit in Elie Wiesel’s The Gates of the Forest.” In The Struggle for Understanding: Elie Wiesel’s Literary Works, ed. Victoria Nesfield and Philip Smith (Albany: SUNY Press, 2019), 137–167.

2019     “‘Like a Moth to the Flame’: The Death of Nadav and Avihu in Hasidic Literature.” In Be-Ron Yahad: Studies in Jewish Thought and Theology Presented to Nehemia Polen, ed. Ariel Evan Mayse and Arthur Green (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019), 364–406.

2016     “Time and Presence: Eternity in Hasidism.” In Eternity: A History, ed. Yitzhak Melamed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 231–238.

2015     “Arthur Green: An Intellectual Portrait.” In Arthur Green: Hasidism for Tomorrow, ed. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015), 1-52.


Public Scholarship and Contemporary Theology

2020    “The Development of Neo-Hasidism: Echoes and Repercussions.” In Contemporary Uses and Forms of Hasidut, ed. Shlomo Zuckier (New York and Jerusalem: Yeshiva University Press and KTAV-Urim, 2020), 181–260.

2019     “Neo-Hasidism and Halakhah: The Duties of Intimacy and the Law of the Heart.” In A New Hasidism: Branches, ed. Arthur Green and Ariel Evan Mayse (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society and University of Nebraska Press, 2019), 155–222.

2019     “The Divine Image: Theological Reflections on Jewish Labor Law.” In Kashrut & Jewish Food Ethics, ed. Shmuly Yanklowitz (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019), 134–153.

2019     “Food for Thought: Hasidic Wisdom on Spiritual Eating.” In Kashrut & Jewish Food Ethics, ed. Shmuly Yanklowitz (Boston: Academic Studies Press, 2019), 49–65.

2019     “Elevating Strange Thoughts.” Sh’ma Now: A Journal of Jewish Sensibilities 49, no. 744 (2019): 2–3.

2018     “Like a Blacksmith with the Hammer: Talmud Study and the Spiritual Life.” In The Search for Meaning, ed. Martin S. Cohen and David Birnbaum (New York: Mesorah Matrix, 2018), 369–409.

2018     “God’s Silent Voice: Divine Presence in a Yiddish Poem by Abraham Joshua Heschel.” The Seforim Blog: All About Seforim – New, Old, and Jewish Bibliography (January, 2018) (Yiddish and English).

2017     “The Sacred Writ of Hasidism: The Tanya and the Spiritual Vision of R. Shneur Zalman of Liady.” In Books of the People: Revisiting Classic Works of Jewish Thought, ed. Stuart Halpern (New York: Maggid and Yeshiva University Press, 2017), 109–156.

2016     “Conceptions of the Sacred in Modern Hasidic Spirituality.” Secularization & Sacralization: Frankel Institute Annual (2016): 12–14.

2015     “The Ever-Changing Path: Visions of Legal Diversity in Hasidic Literature.” Conversations: The Journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals 23 (2015): 84–115.

2012    “‘Who Amongst You is Transcribing my Teachings?’: Orality and Vitality in Written Hasidic Homilies.” Yerusholaymer Almanakh 29 (2012): 364–381 (Yiddish).

2012     “Or ha-Hayyim: Creativity, Tradition and Mysticism in the Torah Commentary of R. Hayyim ibn Attar.” Conversations: The Journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals 13 (2012): 68–89.

2011     “The Role of Kabbalah in Revitalizing Modern Orthodoxy.” Conversations: The Journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals 9 (2011): 123–138.

  • Reprinted in Conversations: The Journal of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals 21 (2015): 161–176.


Book Reviews

2020     “History, Renewed.” A review of Hasidism: Key Questions, by Marcin Wodzinski. H-Net Judaic (Winter, 2020), c. 2,100 words.

2019     “Words of Flames and Madness.” A review of Torah from the Years of Wrath 1939-1943: The Historical Context of the Aish Kodesh, by Henry Abramson. Studies in Judaism, Humanities and the Social Sciences 3, no. 1 (2019): 124–130.

2017     “The Soul of Scholarship: A Review Essay.” Review of Yearnings of the Soul: Psychological Thought in Modern Kabbalah, by Jonathan Garb. The Journal of Religion 97, no. 3(2017): 388-411.

2016     “Traces of Amazement.” Review of Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder, by Michael Marmur. H-Net Judaic(Winter, 2016).

2016     “The Alter Rebbe.” Review of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady: The Origins of Chabad Hasidism, by Immanuel Etkes. The Jewish Review of Books(Spring, 2016): 19-21.

2015     Review of Jonatan Meir, Imagined Hasidism: The Anti-Hasidic Writings of Joseph Perl, and idem, Sefer Megale Temirin[3 volumes, Hebrew]. Jewish History29 (2015): 391-395 [review in English].

2015     Review of Shai Held, Abraham Joshua Heschel: The Call of Transcendence. In Modern Judaism 35, no. 2 (2015): 233-242.

2012     “Pillar of Prayer: A Review Essay.” Review ofMenachem Kallus, trans.Pillar of Prayer: Guidance in Contemplative Prayer, Sacred Study, and the Spiritual Life, from the Baal Shem Tov and his Circle. In Modern Judaism32, no. 3 (2012): 359-368.


Encylopedia Entries, Bibliographies and Translations

In Press     “Rabbi Kalonymous Kalman Shapira.” Oxford Bibliographies Online, Jewish Studies, co-edited with Don Seeman and Daniel Reiser.

2020     “Beauty within Beauty: How Lag baOmer Stopped a Plague.” Jewish Review of Books (May, 2020), online, c. 1850 words.

2019     Hillel Zeitlin, “Hasidic Renewal on the Brink of Destruction – A Review of Hovat ha-Talmidim,” Jewish Review of Books (November, 2019), online, c. 3,300 words.

2019     Hillel Zeitlin, “A Bit of Clarity and Simplicity in Regard to the Language Question,” Der Moment, 1924. Translated and introduced, coauthored with Joshua Meyers. In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies (January, 2019), online, c. 1,700 words.

2018     “The Rebbe and the Professor: An Exchange Between Salo Wittmayer Baron and Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn.” Jewish Review of Books (Fall, 2018): 44–45.

2018     “Tov, Baal Shem.” In The World’s Greatest Religious Leaders: How Religious Figures Helped Shape World History, ed. Scott E. Hendrix and Uchenna Okeja (ABC-CLIO Greenwood, 2018), 667–672.

2015     “Mikveh and Mitsvah: Melancholia and the Spiritual Life.” Translated and introduced, coauthored with Daniel Reiser. In Geveb: A Journal of Yiddish Studies (2015), online.

2014--   Entries for Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (De Gruyter, 2014–2018):

Azaria da Fano, Menachem;  Ibn Attar, Hayyim ben Moses;  Intercession and Intercessory Prayer in Hasidism and other Ashkenazi Jews;  Kabbalah, Modern Judaism and Bible Interpretation;  Joy in Medieval Kabbalah, Hasidism and Modern Judaism;  Kingdom/Kingship of God in Modern Judaism;  Kiss in Modern Judaism;  Labor in Modern Judaism;  Lawgiver in Modern Judaism;  Love in Modern Judaism;  Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev; Menahem Nahum of Chernobyl.

2013     “Breslev/Bratslav Hasidism.” Oxford Bibliographies Online, Jewish Studies (2013).