Rabbis Who, If they had the Temerity to Show up in Our Shuls today…(Lecturing in Monsey this Shabbos)

Very honored to serve as a Scholar-In-Residence this Shabbos, parshas Vayehi, at Bais Medrash Ohr Chaim in Monsey, New York. Please view the video for the planned public talks (which will not be recorded, of course).

Friday Night, December 17, 8pm

Rabbis Who, If they had the Temerity to Show up in Our Shuls today…

Shabbos Morning Drasha, December 18

The Aish Kodesh on How to Be Gen-Z (useful for Boomers too)


Profile in Mishpacha Magazine

This week’s Mishpacha Magazine has a kind profile written by Mrs. Barbara Bensoussan. We had a long conversation and I probably overshared stuff, but here’s a link to the online version if you’re curious.


Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, the First Jew of Modernity

Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush, 1305 Coney Island Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY. 8:15 pm. Please join us!


Click here for course information and registration.
Click here for course information and registration.

Hasidism is born, The Misnagdim Strike Back! and Haskalah Enters the Debate.

Good morning fellow students of Jewish history: please join me for this week’s series of video premieres (with live chat), live in-person and zoom classes. We’ll be looking at the 18th century with some forays into Jewish art history and the controversy that led the Jews of France to torch Maimonides’ works in 1232. Here’s the planned schedule:

Sunday:

The Birth of Hasidism

Premieres Sunday 11am ET with live chat

Monday:

The Misnagdim Strike Back!

Premieres Monday 3pm ET with Live Chat

Burning Maimonides (Live Zoom)

Roundel with Allegorical Scene of Book Burning, ca. 1520-30, at the Met Cloisters. Rhododendrites via Wikimedia Commons

First in a series of three lectures looking at major Jewish leaders who endured intense controversy in their lifetimes (the next two are Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto and the Lubavitcher Rebbe). Sponsored by the Beth Jacob Congregation of Beverly Hills, California. 7:30 PM Pacific (10:30 ET), Zoom link is private, available to Beth Jacob congregants and members of my YouTube channel at the Colleague level (see weekly announcements on the Community tab).

Tuesday:

The Haskalah Enters the Debate

Premieres Tuesday 3pm ET with Live Chat

Wednesday:

The Birth of Modern Jewish Politics

Napoléon le grand rétablit le culte des Israélites le 30 mai 1806. Via Wikimedia Commons

Continuation of the Jewish History Lab series, hybrid in-person and Zoom class at Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst, 7:30 pm ET. Zoom link is private, available to Beth Jacob congregants and members of my YouTube channel at the Colleague level (see weekly announcements on the Community tab).

Thursday:

The Mosaics of 6th century Bet Alfa Synagogue

Betty Nudler from Jerusalem, Israel, via Wikimedia Commons

YouTube video with live chat, Thursday at 3pm ET (check here for link later this week).

Saturday Night (December 18):

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto: The First Jew of Modernity

Live lecture at Congregation Talmud Torah of Flatbush, 1305 Coney Island Boulevard, Brooklyn New York, at 8:15 pm ET. This lecture will not be broadcast.


Online Course News

Biblical Jewish History

Thank you to all who have supplied comments and edits to the draft chapters on Ancient Israel! Please check in to read the new material.

Open to all! Please click here for more information and registration.

A Thousand Years of Ashkenaz

Students in Hungary: in light of the current surge of Omicron, we have moved the January meetings in Budapest to late March.

Open to all! Please click here for course information and registration.

TODAY: Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Wisdom: Postmodernism and the Digital Age (Torah and Science Conference) 1:45 pm ET

Good morning fellow students of Jewish history. Please join me today for a discussion of the implications of postmodernism and the digital age in the XIV Torah and Science conference, held virtually at this link. My presentation is at 1:45 PM ET, the conference program is below. I hope to release a recording later, but a Q&A opportunity is planned for today’s live presentation.

Jewish Migration to the Americas; The Haskalah; Torah and the Internet

Sunday

Premiering today at 12pm ET: Jewish Migration to the New World. Following up on the previous Jewish History Lab video on the Origins of the Jews in the New World, this brief video will survey the major waves of Jewish migration in the 18th-20th centuries.

Tuesday

Final lecture in the three-part series entitled Hasidim, Mitnagdim and Maskilim: The Formation of Jewish Identity in the 18th century, 11:45 am ET at the Beit Midrash of Teaneck, 70 Sterling Place, Teaneck NJ. Zoom link available by writing to BMTeaneck@gmail.com.

Wednesday

The Jewish History Lab lecture series will not meet at YILC this Wednesday night. We plan to resume on December 18.

Thursday

“Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Wisdom: Postmodernism and the Digital Age,” International Conference on Torah and Science, 1:45 PM ET. Link available at www.TorahScienceConference.org.

What is the Jewish History Lab?

The Jewish (Re)Discovery of Chanukah

Strange but true: Jewish sources largely ignored the history of Chanukah until the 10th century! Here’s a quick review of the major works, and how they affected the Jewish memory of this remarkable period in Jewish history.

Here’s a few Sefaria links to texts mentioned in the video:

Relevant section of Talmud, Tractate Shabbat

Megilat Ta’anit

Megilat Antiochus

Josephus, Antiquities 12

First Book of the Maccabees

ויסיפון


Interested in studying more deeply? Take a course!

History and Practice of Eating Donuts on Chanukah: A Book Review

Review of Reuven Melekh ben Binyamin Yitzhak Schwartz, Emek Ha-Sufganim: Iyunim u-beiurim be-inyan minhag akhilat sufganim be-yemei hanukah Israel: Sh. Vaynraikh, Hanukah 5780 (2019), 431 pages.

For a copy, please contact your local Jewish bookseller or the phone numbers listed on the copyright page: (718) 253-2804; (516) 581-3597; (718) 501-3165.


Interested in studying more deeply? Try one of these courses!

Elazar Maccabee and the Battle of Bet Zekharya; The Shtadlan in Jewish History

A brief look at the depiction of the heroism of Elazar Maccabee in medieval art, with emphasis on how artists struggled to represent a war elephant.

The Misnagdim Strike Back!

Part II of the series on Hasidim, Mitnagdim and Maskilim: The Formation of Jewish Identity. Open to the Community at Beit Midrash of Teaneck, 70 Sterling Place, Teaneck NJ. Tuesday, November 30 at 11:45 am. Please write BMTeaneck@gmail.com for Zoom links.


Click here to read the article at Jewish Action

Take your learning to the next level: try a course!


Click here for Course Information and Registration!

Click here for Course Information and Registration!

The Origins of American Jewry

Something appropriate for Thanksgiving: an account of the migration of Jews to the Americas in the 17th century, culminating in the 23 bedraggled refugees from the Portuguese inquisition who sailed into New Amsterdam harbor to form the nucleus of the mighty New York Jewish community.

For recommended readings related to this video, please click here.

Enjoy in good health!


New Online Course!

Biblical Jewish History: From Abraham to Bar Kochba. Please click here for course information and registration. Join us!


A Thousand Years of Ashkenaz: An online course. Please click here for course information and registration. You are welcome to join our learning community!

Hasidim, Mitnagdim and Maskilim: The Shaping of Modern Jewish Identity

Three live lectures at Beit Medrash of Teaneck, 70 Sterling Avenue, Teaneck NJ 07666.

Tuesdays November 23, November 30, and December 7. 11:45 AM ET.

Please write BMTeaneck@gmail.com for Zoom information.

Shabbetai Tsvi, False Messiah (Jewish History Lab)

A brief look at the life and times of one of the most notorious false messiahs of Jewish history: Shabbetai Tsvi, who led a major Jewish movement in the 17th century. After confronting the Ottoman authorities with his demands to take Jerusalem from them, he ultimately chose to convert to Islam, taking hundreds of his followers with him. Please join me at 12 noon today for a premiere of this video, with a live chat!


Recommended Reading:


Like to learn more? Check out this course:

A Thousand Years of Ashkenaz

New Course! Biblical Jewish History

Please click here for more course information and registration!