Two Young Jewish History in Daf Yomi Scholars

Have to share this really sweet email from a student in the Jewish History in Daf Yomi podcast on the All Daf app (edited, and with permission) and his amazingly studious daughters. These kind of messages give me strength to continue!

Howdy Dr. Abramson! I just wanted to say a special thank you for your Daf videos as I know the last couple days you’ve been forced to record them at home under less than ideal conditions. Your wonderfulness still shines through! As part of the Jewish education of my 10 and 5 year olds, Tirzah and Nava, we watch your videos daily and Tirzah takes notes and then puts them up on our magnet board as you see here. Then when we finish we have a little siyum Masechta party with ice cream and review all her notes. We love you and you make us laugh and warm our hearts and I just wanted to let you know that and say thank you. You’re the kind of man I want my children to associate in their minds with Torah and Judaism. Keep up the great work. 

Tammuz-17 and Covid-19

Please join me tonight @ 7pm EDT for a discussion of the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz in historical perspective, focusing on the disastrous 1st century and its implications for Jewish life in the Coronavirus era.

Introduction and concluding remarks by Rabbi Chaim Poupko, Congregation Ahavath Torah (Englewood, NJ). I am grateful to Rabbi Daniel Goldberg for graciously making the arrangements. Webinar is free and open to the community.

Please click here to register.

Sectarianism and our Troubled Times: A Reflection for the 17th of Tammuz (Webinar)

The Humility of Rabbi Zecharyah: Jewish Sectarianism in the First Century, the Beginning of our Exile, and a Reflection of our Troubled Times. Webinar sponsored by Congregation Ahavath Torah (Englewood, NJ) in commemoration of the communal period of reflection and Teshuvah that begins on the 17th of Tammuz. Lecture by Dr. Henry Abramson, Dean and Historian at Touro College, followed by Q & A. Thursday, July 9, 7:00 PM EDT. Register at

Jewish history shows the consequences of tolerating police brutality

NEW YORK (JTA) — “Pray for the welfare of the state,” Rabbi Hanina writes, “for if it were not for the fear thereof, people would swallow each other alive.”

As cities around the nation burn with righteous indignation over yet another horrific incident of police brutality directed against a black man, Jewish leaders must reflect on our own long and ambiguous history with police as we grapple with our role in what is unfolding today. 

Historically, Jews have had an ambiguous relationship with the police. Their stabilizing role in society is essential for us, a vulnerable minority. But we also know what it is like to be the victims of law enforcement twisted by systemic hatred. 

As a minority, Jews generally strive for harmonious relations with the ruling authorities, as per Rabbi Hanina’s dictum, and may be inclined to overlook smaller abuses of power in the interest of social stability. Egregious offenses, however, may push many representative Jewish organizations to take a side — “in solidarity with people of color in this moment,” as the Jewish Community Relations Council of Washington recently put it

Please click here to read the rest of the article at JTA.

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto’s Last Words

Looking forward to this special presentation at Congregation Ohav Emeth via Zoom: a look at the incomparable Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto’s last words to his students and an overview of his tragically brief yet incredibly important life, filled with contributions to the religious, scholarly and intellectual future of the Jewish people. In honor of Yom Yerushalayim and the 274th anniversary of his passing during the plague of 1746.

Please visit to RSVP and receive the password.