Skip to main content

Dan, Joseph


DAN, JOSEPH (1935– ), scholar and educator in Jewish Studies and Thought. Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, he was taken to Palestine when he was three. His family settled in Jerusalem and Dan studied at the Hebrew University where he received a Ph.D. for his thesis on "The Theological Basis of the Ethical Thought of Ashkenazi Ḥasidism."

He began teaching at the Hebrew University in 1958, initially in the Department of Hebrew Literature and later in the Department of Jewish Thought where he was appointed professor of Kabbalah in 1978.

One of the most prominent researchers in the area of Jewish mysticism, Dan's research combined a historical, philological, and literary approach. The areas he concentrated on included the beginnings of the Kabbalah, the Heikhalot literature, the Ashkenazi Hasidic movement, and ethics and Hasidism.

In the teaching of Jewish Thought, he developed academic projects of wide public dimensions. He was the editor of Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Thought and wrote the Open University course "The Theology and Ethics of the Ashkenazi Hasidic Movement," bridging the gap between the purely academic sphere and the broader public.

He was a member of the editorial board of the quarterly Tarbiz from 1981 to 1986 and was director of the Jewish National and University Library 1984–1985.

He was responsible for writing and editing the catalogue of the 12,000-volume Scholem library which houses most of the books ever published in the area of Jewish mysticism. Dan published nearly 200 studies in various scholarly journals and articles in various encyclopedias including the EncyclopaediaJudaica for which he was departmental editor for medieval Hebrew prose.

His books include Ethical and Homiletical Literature (Heb.; 1975), The Hasidic Story (Heb.; 1975), The Teachings of Ḥasidism (1983), and Gershom Scholem and the Mystical Dimension in Jewish History (1987). In 1998 and 1999 he published his four-volume Jewish Mysticism, a historical and comparative study.

In recognition of his great contribution to his field he was awarded the Israel Prize in 1997.

[Elaine Hoter]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Dan, Joseph." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 23 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Dan, Joseph." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (February 23, 2019).

"Dan, Joseph." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved February 23, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.