Shai Afsai: Benjamin Franklin’s Influence on Jewish Thought & Practice


In his 20s Benjamin Franklin resolved to perfect his character, devising a self-improvement method to aid him in the challenging task of becoming virtuous and intending to complete a book on its use. This method was eventually incorporated into the Jewish ethical tradition through the publication, in 1808, of Rabbi Mendel Lefin’s "Book of Spiritual Accounting," which made it available to Hebrew-reading audiences. Shai Afsai discusses this surprising historical development, which has often confused Judaic scholars, and of which Franklin specialists have been largely oblivious.

There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Please register here.

Event Date
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Event time
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Cost / donation
Registration required. There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).