“Sweet singer of Israel,” David was the poet-warrior King who led the Jewish people to political and cultural prominence. Denied his most cherished goal of building the Temple, he lived a life of great personal challenge and heroic resurgence from tragedy, and his biography left an indelible mark on the Jewish understanding of leadership.Read More Who Was King David?
The Bible describes how the Jewish people, emerging from Egyptian servitude and decades of wandering in the Sinai desert, followed Joshua’s military leadership to conquer the Land of Israel and establish the ancient foundations of their Torah-centered society. This lecture will survey the archeological and historical record to understand the larger context of the Biblical […]Read More Who Was Joshua?
Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitshak) was a great 11th century commentator on the Torah. This brief video outlines his major scholarly contribution within historical context.Read More Rashi (This Week in Jewish History)
One of the most creative, unusual, and controversial Hasidic leaders at the turn of the 19th century, Rabbi Nahman of Bratzlav (Nachman of Breslov) continues to inspire generations of disciples. Part of the Jewish Biography as History series, more available at www.henryabramson.com.Read More Who Was Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav? Jewish Biography as History
This is a more-or-less scholarly discussion of the origins of modern Jewish history in Enlightenment Europe. Warning: there are a few jokes in this video, but they only start around the 15 minute mark. The rest is more theoretical and historical. Part of the Essential Lectures in Jewish History series, more available at www.henryabramson.com. **************** […]Read More The Origins of Modern Jewish Humor (Essential Lectures in Jewish History)
Gluckel of Hameln, a Jewish woman who lived in late 17th-century Germany, left a remarkable memoir describing her life. Part of the Jewish Biography as History series by Dr. Henry Abramson, more available at www.henryabramson.com.Read More Who was Gluckel of Hameln? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson
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 […]Read More Jewish History in the Sixteenth Century (Essential Lectures in Jewish History)
Famed author of the Lecha Dodi hymn sung on the eve of the Jewish sabbath, Rabbi Alkabets was one of the founding members of the 16th-century school of Kabbalists based in Safed (Tsfat), Israel. Next week’s lecture: Gluckel of Hameln! Love Yiddish culture? Check out the new poster for the 2015 Kultur Festival in Boca […]Read More Who Was Rabbi Shlomo Alkabets? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson
Early adopters of the newest disruptive technology, the Soncino family were the first Jewish printers in 15th century Europe. This lecture discusses some aspects of the early decades of Jewish printing, and meditates on the meaning of the current digital revolution for Jewish culture and society. Planning to attend Limmud Miami this year? I would […]Read More Who Were the Soncinos? Jews and the Gutenberg Revolution(s)
The Septuagint, an ancient translation of the Torah into Koine Greek, had a tremendous impact on the later Christian understanding of Jewish theology.Read More The Septuagint (This Week in Jewish History) Dr. Henry Abramson