Jews, the First Crusade, and the Culture of Ashkenaz

After a discussion of Jewish communal structure in the medieval era, we will look at the devastation of the First Crusade and the Rhineland Massacres of 1096, follow up with some thoughts on the long-term impact on Ashkenazi Culture. Premiering today at 1 pm.

Interview with Dr. Michael Chighel of The Ashkenazium

Yikes! This interview started out with a lot more personal material than I intended, but I had a lot of fun speaking with my colleague and friend Dr. Michael Chighel, Dean of Ashkenazium Jewish History MA in Budapest. Enjoy in good health!

Amsterdam: Refuge of Rabbi Moshe Hayim Luzzatto

Brief review of the troubled journey of Rabbi Moshe Hayim Luzzatto, a brilliant young scholar of the 18th century who was persecuted by opponents and hounded across Europe before finding his way to the more tolerant intellectual climate of Amsterdam.

Truth will Spring from the Earth: Gutenberg, the Internet, and the New Uncertainty Principle

“Truth will Sprout from the Earth: Gutenberg, the Internet, and the New Uncertainty Principle.” Presentation at the XIII International Torah and Science Conference, Miami. Introductory remarks by Dr. Nathan Katz.

Runaway Yeshiva Bochur’s Work May Aid COVID Research

Runaway Yeshiva Bochur’s Work May Aid COVID Research The Jewish Star (March 24, 2021) Shortly after emigrating to Israel in 1901, this Telz-educated orphaned son of a rosh yeshiva earned an unlikely nickname: “the crazy fly-catcher.” Israel Aharoni’s odyssey into the world of middle eastern zoology, long recognized in the scientific world with over 30Continue reading “Runaway Yeshiva Bochur’s Work May Aid COVID Research”

The Jews of Egypt after the Exodus, and the Third Plague

A brief overview of the history of Jewish life in Egypt. After looking briefly at the Exodus itself, we look at some major population centers in Elephantine, Alexandria, and Cairo, to the present day. To avoid any possible confusion: this lecture does not argue for continuity between the Jewish population described in the account ofContinue reading “The Jews of Egypt after the Exodus, and the Third Plague”

The Geonim of Baghdad and the Origins of the Jews of North Africa (today at noon New York time)

A brief look at the social and economic background of the post-Talmudic era in Baghdad, with an important digression into the 8th-10th century revolution in information technology that helped propel the authority and influence of the Geonim. The following video will look at the early history of North Africa, an area influenced by their scholarshipContinue reading “The Geonim of Baghdad and the Origins of the Jews of North Africa (today at noon New York time)”