Who Was Heinrich Graetz? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson

Heinrich Graetz (1817-1891) was the first encyclopedic historian of the Jewish people, and his massive 10-volume History of the Jews had a phenomenal impact on the way Jews saw themselves as a nation living in the diaspora. Looking forward to seeing you at Limmud this Sunday! Click the image below to learn more about my […]

Read More Who Was Heinrich Graetz? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson

Who Was Aaron of Lincoln? Jewish Biography as History

Reputed to be the wealthiest man in 11th century England–wealthier even than the King–Aaron of Lincoln was a hugely successful moneylender whose achievements included the financing of many cathedrals. His story, while exceptional in terms of scope, is nevertheless instructive of the Jewish experience in the medieval economy as a whole.  

Read More Who Was Aaron of Lincoln? Jewish Biography as History

The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 (This Week in Jewish History) Dr. Henry Abramson

The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 defined, for the purposes of the Nazi regime, exactly who was considered a Jew. This was an essential element in the unfolding of the Holocaust, as the Nuremberg Laws allowed the Nazis to first identify, then exclude, and finally attempt to eliminate Jews from German society. Part of the “This […]

Read More The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 (This Week in Jewish History) Dr. Henry Abramson

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

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 […]

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

Nicholas Donin and the Disputation of 1240 (This Week in Jewish History)

In 1240 Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, engaged in a public debate with his former teacher, Rabbi Yechiel of Paris. Donin charged that the Talmud was a noxious document that prevented the Jews from embracing Christianity, and brought a total of 35 distinct accusations against this ancient holy text. Ultimately, 24 carriage loads […]

Read More Nicholas Donin and the Disputation of 1240 (This Week in Jewish History)

Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapiro, The Esh Kodesh (Jewish Biography as History)

Discovered in the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto, the wartime writings of Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapiro (1889-1943) offer a unique and powerful perspective on the life and suffering of religious Jews during the horrific years of the Nazi occupation. By Dr. Henry Abramson According to my knowledge of the words of the Sages and the […]

Read More Rabbi Kalonymus Kalmish Shapiro, The Esh Kodesh (Jewish Biography as History)

Heinrich Heine: Poet of Judenschmerz

Revered by many as Germany’s greatest poet, Heine struggled mightily with his Jewish identity in the culturally inimical milieu of the 19th century. This phenomenon, known as Judenschmerz, was widespread among 19th century western European Jews. Despite his 1825 conversion to Christianity, Heine maintained a long, albeit conflicted, relationship to his Jewish background. Part of […]

Read More Heinrich Heine: Poet of Judenschmerz