Haim O. Rechnitzer, Rabbi, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Associate Professor of Jewish Thought


Rabbinical Program, Cincinnati; School of Graduate Studies, Cincinnati
Academic Field: 
Philosophy/Theology; Contemporary Jewish Studies; Jewish Education
Research Interests: 
Political Theology; Theological Trends in Hebrew Literature; Jewish and Israeli Modern Thought

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Rabbi Haim O. Rechnitzer is Associate Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at the Hebrew Union College-JIR and a poet. He earned his doctorate from the department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, and his rabbinic ordination from HUC-JIR (Jerusalem).  His recent book, Prophecy and the Perfect Political Order: The Political Theology of Leo Strauss, has been published by The Bialik Institute. His poetry book Songs of the Third Exile is forthcoming by Carmel Publishing House (2014),He has published articles on the subject of political theology, philosophy of education, and theology of piyut and Hebrew poetry. Prior to joining the faculty of the College-Institute, Rabbi Dr. Rechnitzer taught in Israel at Sapir and Kerem colleges and was on the faculty of the Franklin and Marshall College, Department of Religious Studies and Jewish Thought.

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Selected Publications and Edited Works

נבואה והסדר המדיני המושלם: התיאולוגיה המדינית של ליאו שטראוס
(Prophecy and the Perfect Political Order: The Political Theology of Leo Strauss), Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik (2012).

משירי הגלות השלישית
(Songs of the Third Exile)
Jerusalem: Carmel Publishing House (2014)
Watch the book event online. Featuring S. Adler (Beit Midrash Elul) and Professors J. Cohen (Hebrew University), Rabbi A. Amir (HUC-JIR), D. Dor (Tel Aviv University), Dr. G. Meiri, and Rabbi H. Rechnitzer (HUC-JIR)


 “From Honolulu via Mt. Gilboa to Tel-Aviv: the Rise and Fall of Shlonsky's Messianic Halutz” Hebrew Studies, 2014, pp. 261-284

“Narrative and Imagination – Four Midrash-Poems,” University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought, Arts Section [Forthcoming, 2013]

  “To See God in His Beauty': Abraham Chalfi and the Mystical Quest for the Evasive God,” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, issue 10 vol. 2. (2012) 383-400.

"The Evolution of the Term Talmud Torah in the Reform Prayer Books and Platforms During the Last Three Decades," Haim O. Rechnitzer & Jonathan Cohen (Hebrew) in The Reform Movement: Sociology, Education and Theology, ed. Avinoam Rosnak (Jerusalem, Van-Leer Institute) [Forthcoming].

"The Reform Zionist Theology at the Turn of the 20th Century," (Hebrew) in The Reform Movement: Sociology, Education and Theology, ed. Avinoam Rosnak (Jerusalem, Van-Leer Institute) [Forthcoming].

Current and Future Courses
Return to Paradise: from Midrash to modern literature
From an Earthly Temple to a Spiritual Architecture: An introduction to Kabbalah
Hassidism and the Mystical Quest
Modern readings of Maimonides’ Guide
Popular Folk-Song and Nation Building – From Yeshuv to a State
Reconstruction of Theology out of modern Hebrew Literature
Liberalism and the Limits of Religious Tolerance
Religion and State – between political philosophy and Israeli thought
Writing Theological ‘Rashi’ Interpretation to Talmudic Sugiyut
Zionism and post-Zionism – interdisciplinary construction of Israeli thought
Theology of Redemption or Redemptive Theology?
Orthodoxy and Heresy
Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought
Introduction to Medieval Jewish Thought
Introduction to Midrash Literature
Public Lecture Topics
New Trends in Israeli Music – from universalism to appropriation of mythical past
Hebrew Poetry and Mysticism
Political Theology and the Jewish State
The Limits of Tolerance and Liberal Political Philosophy
The Redemptive Theology of contemporary Jewish Thinkers
Judaism as Faith versus Judaism as Law
Modes of Translation from Jewish Thought to Jewish Education