Academic Year 2011-2012
Hillel Ben Sasson
Hillel Ben Sasson is a Ph.D. candidate in Department of Philosophy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he also completed his Bachelors and Masters. His work focuses on encounters between scriptural traditions and Western philosophy, both in antiquity as well as in modern times. Hillel is married to Talila and father to little Fania. Alongside his academic activities, Hillel is a member of the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity movement.
As a Tikvah Scholar, I intend to continue writing my doctoral work, which dwells on various conceptions of the divine name YHWH, as a key to uncovering theological frameworks of Jewish contemplative traditions from antiquity to early modernity. While other names such as El, Elohim and Sebaoth are a part of natural language insofar as they are also used for designating beings other than the one God, YHWH denotes God alone. This name, therefore, does not only entail a suspension of the worldly language, as it does not refer to any thing in the world, but is also the single closest object to God himself. As a result, the name YHWH serves as one of the most important pillars of Jewish religious language. Furthermore, studying the different understandings as to the meaning and significance of this name may provide a unique insight into the very heart of Jewish theology. My work will propose an interdisciplinary approach integrating historical and philosophical readings, together with biblical and philological scholarship.