Jewish History in the Sixteenth Century (Essential Lectures in Jewish History)

The Jewish people experienced dramatic changes in the sixteenth century that reverberate to this day. This lecture discusses three aspects of this century in particular: 1) the demographic upheavals associated with the expulsions from Spain and Portugal as well as the Ashkenazic migration, 2) the impact of the disruptive technology of printing, and 3) the ramifications of the Safed circle.


Thanks for not asking too many hard questions! Henry Abramson’s 2014 Lectures in Review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 31,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

What is Chanukah, and How Do You Spell it? This Week in Jewish History

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What, exactly is Chanukah (or is it Hanukah, or Hannukkah)? This short video describes the historical origins of the holiday, notes the ironic nature of its observance in the American context, and has a couple of jokes besides.


Suggested Holiday Gifts (Maybe for people you don’t especially like).

The Sea of Talmud   kof cover DMA_Fotor   Rambam CoverTHUMBNAIL_IMAGE   prayer-for-the-government-cover   art of hatred cover

Many titles available as eBooks.

THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM: Alexander Abramson Runs the Jerusalem Marathon for Crossroads

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Hey everybody, this year I have the good fortune to be in Israel and to be able to run the Jerusalem Marathon. The charity that I am going to be running for is called Crossroads and I believe it is an excellent cause. Their mission is to help teens who are stranded on the streets whether because they are homeless, receiving abuse, or have drug or alcohol substance issues, and Crossroads gets them back into a better place. I myself have never been in any of those negative situations but I can’t imagine what I would do in their situations. I’m assuming it’s very scary and traumatic, thankfully though for those teens there is a organization (Crossroads) that helps them get out of their horrible situation and I would like to help them out. Please donate whatever you can to this worthy cause at my page whatever you can give is fantastic, thanks.

Really excited to be part of Touro College’s Avenue J campus!


Just returned from two intense days meeting with the amazing AvenueJ faculty.  Great group of dedicated, enthusiastic experts in their fields with a passion for teaching! Can’t wait to get started working with these really inspirational professors.


Who Was Babatha? Jewish Biography as History Dr. Henry Abramson

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Rolling her precious documents and carefully wrapping them in a leather pouch tied with twine, Babatha buried her entire legal history in the floor of the cave she shared with Bar Kochba’s rebels. They would remain entombed in that desolate refuge for 1800 years until their discovery by archaeologist Yigael Yadin, and then the life of an otherwise forgotten 2nd-century woman suddenly came to light: her marriages, custody battles for her son, property disputes, and much more. The Babatha archive constitutes an amazing source of information for the history of Jewish women in ancient Israel.


Really excited to be invited to present at Limmud Miami 2015!


I’ve been selected as a presenter to speak about my latest book, The Kabbalah of Forgiveness: The Thirteen Levels of Mercy in Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s Tomer Devorah (The Date Palm of Devorah). Please check out the Limmud’s Facebook Page or website for more information (the full schedule and list of presenters will be live in December).

Hope to see you there on February 22, 2015!

kof cover DMA_Fotor

Medieval Antisemitism (Essential Lectures in Jewish History) Dr. Henry Abramson

Depiction of Host Desecration in Sternberg, Germany (1492). Diebold Schilling the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Depiction of Host Desecration in Sternberg, Germany (1492). Diebold Schilling the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Concise video lecture describing the four main expressions of antisemitic ideology in the medieval period.  Warning: images are disturbing.


Breaking the history of antisemitism into four major periods (Ancient Xenophobia, Early Christian Anti-Judaism, Medieval Jew-hatred, and Modern Antisemitism), Dr. Abramson focusses on the third period to look at the ideological basis for the false charges of ritual murder, blood libel, and desecration of the host, ending with a discussion of the Judensau image.