The Song of Songs – between Innocence and Audacity

Lecture and discussion with Ilana Pardes and Galili Shahar in the program accompanying the exhibition Sex. Jewish Positions

The story of the Song of Songs, also known in a Christian context as the Song of Solomon, begins with a riddle: Why was a bold, sensual love poem that makes no reference to God, religious rules or to the history of the Jewish people included in the Bible? This is the question that literary scholar Ilana Pardes seeks to answer, looking everywhere from the rabbis of late antiquity, who saw in the “Song of Songs” a key to the mysterious connection between God and humanity, to today’s feminist and artistic interpretations.

Following her lecture, Ilana Pardes (digitally connected) will discuss with the literary scholar Galili Shahar (on site at the JMB), moderated by Miriam Goldmann, curator of the exhibition.   

Past event

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
(Opposite the Museum)

Ilana Pardes

Ilana Pardes is Katharine Cornell Professor of Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Director of the Center for Literary Studies and of the Institute of Literatures. She has taught at Princeton University, UC Berkeley and Harvard. During the fall of 2009, she was a fellow at the Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at Penn and in fall 2017 she was a fellow at the Humanities Council of Princeton University. Her work focuses on the nexus of Bible, literature, and culture, as well as on questions of gender, aesthetics and hermeneutics. 

Profile photo of a woman with long, wavy hair looking friendly into the camera.

Ilana Pardes, Photo: Bruno Charbit

Colorful photo collage of art objects from the exhibition.

Sex: Jewish Positions: Features & Programme

Exhibition Webpage
Sex: Jewish Positions: Exhibition, 17 May to 6 Oct 2024
Accompanying Events
From Orthodox to Queer. SEX – Jewish Positions in Film: 23 Jun 2024
JMB Bookclub: Let's read! The Song of Songs, 26 Jun 2024
JMB Bookclub: Let's read! Portnoy’s Fear of Flying, 24 Jul 2024
Sex. Jüdische Positionen: Catalog accompanying the exhibition, German edition, 2024
Sex: Jewish Positions: Catalog accompanying the exhibition, English edition, 2024
Digital Content
Letʼs Talk About Sex: Online feature accompanying the exhibition
What do the artists say? Interview series accompanying the exhibition
Listen to the exhibition’s soundtrack: Playlist on Spotify
The Song of Songs. Between Literal and Allegorical Loves: Essay by Ilana Pardes
“Sex Is A Force”: Interview with Talli Rosenbaum
Androgynous Characters in I.B. Singer’s Literary Shtetl: Essay by Helena Lutz
Jewish Places: Find information about Jewish sites related to the exhibition on our interactive map
Tours & Workshops
Public tour: Tour with fixed dates, in German
Public tour: Tour with fixed dates
Public tour: Tour with fixed dates, in Hebrew
Bookable tours: Tours for groups
Sex: Jewish Positions at the JMB library: Public guided tour through the museum’s library
Hey you! Flirting without Sexism: Workshop for students with drama-pedagogical elements on the exhibition
Duty and Pleasure: Workshop for adults
See also
Jüdisches Film Festival Berlin | Brandenburg: Film series in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin

Where, when, what?

  • WhenTue, 4 Jun 2024, 7 pm
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium
    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin (Opposite the Museum)
    See location on map
  • Entry fee

    6 € (3 € reduced rate)

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