New! Essential Lectures in Jewish History Series (Short and Interesting, like a lot of us)

Rosh Hashanah Card, early 20th c. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Rosh Hashanah Card, early 20th c. Source: Wikimedia Commons

This brief lecture inaugurates a new series: Essential Lectures in Jewish History, brief overviews of major themes and periods, designed as introductions to more detailed treatments in the Jewish Biography as History s series. Enjoy in good health! Lectures by Dr. Henry Abramson.

To view the Prezi associated with this lecture, please click here.

Please Support Alexander’s Marathon Bid for Friendship Circle

Alexander Abramson runs the 2013 ING Miami Marathon
Alexander Abramson runs the 2013 ING Miami Marathon

Hello everyone: my son Alexander is once again training to run the ING Miami Marathon to raise funds for Friendship Circle, a non-profit organization that helps children, teens and adults with special needs. Alexander is an avid runner with a long history of running for charitable causes: in 2010 he ran his first half-marathon (at age 12) and raised several thousand dollars for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Since then he’s been running with Team Friendship, and really counts on your support to help kids with various disabilities (the attached brief video, created by his sister Danit Malka, tells the story).  Please support his bid to complete his second full marathon by visiting www.teamfriendship.org and sponsoring this organization generously.  Thank you!

Rabbi Isaac Luria (The Arizal) Jewish Biographies Lecture

The grave of the Arizal in Safed, Israel. Photo by Jonathan Stein via Wikimedia Commons.
The grave of the Arizal in Safed, Israel. Photo by Jonathan Stein via Wikimedia Commons.

Emerging from the sixteenth-century Safed Circle of Jewish mystics, Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Arizal) was a pivotal figure in the history of Kabbalah. His influence on later Jewish movements, in particular Hasidism, is still felt to this day. Part of the Jewish Biography as History lecture series by Dr. Henry Abramson.

David Reubeni: Politics and the Messiah

Signature of Solomon Molcho, Disciple of David Reubeni. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
Signature of Solomon Molcho, Disciple of David Reubeni. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

David Reubeni was one of the most colorful messianic figures of Jewish history.  A little person with a shady background, he was received with dignity by Popes and Kings in the fifteenth century, regaling them with tales of the Jews of the east and promising them great military victories should they enlist his service. He gathered Jewish followers around Europe, eventually attracting the unwanted attention of the Inquisition. Part of the Jewish Biography as History lecture series by Dr. Henry Abramson.

Nicholas Donin: The Dimensions of Medieval Jewish Self-Hatred

12th c. Depiction of Hell by Herrad of Landsberg. Note demons throwing Jews (with conical hats) into boiling vats, lower left. Via Wikimedia Commons.
12th c. Depiction of Hell by Herrad of Landsberg. Note demons throwing Jews (with conical hats) into boiling vats, lower left. Via Wikimedia Commons.

Nicholas Donin was an erstwhile Talmudic scholar who converted to Christianity and made a career of denouncing the Talmud. His charges, brought before the Pope, resulted in a massive destruction of priceless Jewish manuscripts in Paris, 1242. Part of the Jewish Biography as History lecture series by Dr. Henry Abramson.

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