Joseph Dan (Hebrew: יוסף דן, born 1935) is an Israeli scholar of Jewish mysticism. He taught for over 40 years in the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was the first incumbent of the Gershom Scholem Chair in Jewish Mysticism at The Hebrew University.
Dan was born in 1935 in Budapest, Hungary, from where, at the age of four, he and his family fled out of fear of Nazism, settling later in Jerusalem. All the biographical documents about Joseph Dan (including his own website) give his birthplace as Bratislava, Slovakia, a version created by his father to escape repatriation by the British government in Palestine.
In the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Dan began a double major in Assyriology and Jewish Thought. Under the influence of the revered teacher Gershom Scholem, he was attracted towards Jewish mysticism. He received his doctorate in 1964 under the guidance of Isaiah Tishby, his thesis titled The Speculative Basis of the Ethical Teachings of Chassidei Ashkenaz.
Having written more than 60 books, he published recently the first three volumes of a project titled "Toledot Torat Hasod Ha'ivrit" ("History of Hebraic Mysticism and Esotericism", Zalman Shazar Center, Jerusalem), which he describes as "an attempt by one individual to write the entire history of Jewish mysticism: not some executive summary, but rather a full-blown academic survey abridgment for executives but with academic detail".
- Sheleg, Yair, Mystic Circles, in ha-Aretz, 23.10.08
- Hebrew: "הבסיס העיוני לתורת המוסר של חסידות אשכנז"
- "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1997 (in Hebrew)".
- Joseph Dan's website at the Hebrew University
- Interview with Joseph Dan in Haaretz
- Books written by Joseph Dan
- Articles written by Joseph Dan
- Israeli interview with Joseph Dan on the beginning of the Bible (Hebrew video)
- on YouTube