Following Mary’s example, the contemplative is a person centred in God. (VDQ 10)

The Mansions in Hebrew


ha tira penimit


To mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Teresa of Avila : the publication of the Hebrew translation of the book of Interior Castle.

 A study evening was organized at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, following the publication of the Hebrew translation of the book of Mansions or Interior Castle, "Ha-tira-ha- penimit". A similar event was organized in Tel Aviv shortly before.

In the program:
- "The unique voice of Teresa of Avila, a writer of the 16th century of Jewish descent " by Prof. Ruth Fine.
- "On Christian anthropology" by Dr. Mercedes Rubio.
- "On the publishing process of the book and collection "Netivim mistiyim" "Mystical Paths" by Assaf Persia and Talia Halamish, of the Had-keren “licorne" editions.
- "The translation of Ha-tira ha-penimit - What difference between the faculties of the soul and the soul forces" by Denis Haran Ben Dor, translator of the book into Hebrew


No doubt we may well speak of a messianic sign, as there have been many over the centuries: for example the Christians who translated books of Jewish tradition into Latin in the 16 century.

During her speech, Ruth Fine recalled the Jewish origin of Saint Teresa, through her paternal grandfather, Juan Sanchez de Toledo. It is not known if he himself was converted to Christianity, or if it was already the second generation. The family did everything it could to prove its Christian authenticity and hide its Jewish ancestry (the family moved to Toledo, took the family name of the maternal branch Cepeda, which sounded less Jewish).

One may be surprised that St. Teresa wrote the Interior Castle in two months, which seems incredible, yet it is true. The language of St. Teresa is very simple, she wrote for her sisters. It is a language that still touches us today.

Dr. Mercedes Rubio spoke in detail of the content of the Interior Castle and clearly explained the mystical spirituality of St. Teresa: union with God is the goal of our life; mystical experiences of St Teresa exceed all boundaries of religions. God is a personal God, close to us, who is in the soul of every human being.


Assaf Persia, of the Hadkeren editions gave thanks to all those who worked to make possible the publication of the book during the year of the 500th anniversary of her birth.

The translator Denise Haran Ben-Dor a lay Israeli (as she presented herself), who had never been interested in mysticism, reported that she was removed interiorly by St. Teresa while she was translating the Interior Castle. She gave many thanks to Mercedes Rubio who greatly helped to translate and understand certain concepts, such as 'las potencias' that she finally translated as “kohot nefesh” "the forces of the soul”, not in the sense modern of this expression (the inner resources to cope with problems or resist temptation), but in the sense of spiritual forces that move the soul. “kohot nefesh” is already used in this sense by Maimonides: "On the soul of man and his faculties," his will and intelligence.

The translator has completed her speech evoking the walking cane of St. Teresa that she would like to see!

It is a pity! This walking cane of our Foundress was in the Holy Land in February! But we expect that St. Teresa did not complete her adventure and that we will hear speak more about her in Hebrew!

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