Brief overview of the history of Jewish immigration to the United States and demographic developments to the beginning of the 21st century.Read More American Jewish History (Essential Lectures in Jewish History)
Intimidated by neither power nor position, Rabbi Yaakov Emden left a remarkable literary legacy in the form of his autobiography, Megilat Sefer. This brief lecture provides an overview of his life and work, including his epic controversy with Rabbi Yonasan Eibeschutz. R. Yaakov Emden, Megilat Sefer People of the Book: Great Works of the Jewish […]Read More Who Was R. Yaakov Emden?
Detractors and admirers alike called him a “zealot, the son of a zealot” a fitting title for arguably the most divisive figure in early eighteenth-century Jewish history. A native son of Jerusalem, Rabbi Moshe Chagiz (1671-1751) originally journeyed to Europe to raise funds for his beleaguered Yeshiva. Within a short period of time, however, […]Read More Who Was R. Moshe Hagiz?
People Of The Book: Classic Works Of The Jewish Tradition This article originally appeared in the Five Towns Jewish Times on March 3, 2016. Click here for a video lecture on the topic. By Dr. Henry Abramson Working in the abandoned Judaica collection of the Kiev Vernadsky Library during the immediate post-Soviet period, a brilliant […]Read More Sefer Ha-Heshek
Sarra Copia Sulam’s Manifesto People of the Book: Great Works of the Jewish Tradition Dr. Henry Abramson This article appeared in the February 17, 2016 edition of the Five Towns Jewish Times. An unlikely literary duel in Venice took an unexpected turn in 1621 with the appearance of a slim volume entitled “The Manifesto of […]Read More Sarra Copia Sulem’s Manifesto
When Sarra, a bright young poetry lover of 17th century Venice, wrote to a senior literary figure, she thought she was merely expressing her admiration for his literary work. In the end, she was forced to defend publicly her refusal to leave Judaism. Click here for the Prezi. Sarra Copia Sulam’s Manifesto People of the […]Read More Who Was Sarra Copia Sulem?
David Gans (1541-1613) was a Rabbinic scholar, historian, and astronomer. A student of Rabbi Moshe Isserles and the Maharal of Prague, he collaborated actively with Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and left behind important scholarly works. Click here for the Prezi.Read More Who Was Rabbi David Gans?
People Of The Book: Classic Works Of The Jewish Tradition By Dr. Henry Abramson Written with a deep humility that nevertheless could not disguise the author’s brilliance,Sefer HaChinuch remains one of the most thought-provoking halachic studies some 800 years after it first appeared in the Iberian Peninsula. The deceptively simple title, “The Book of Education,” alludes to the anonymous […]Read More Sefer HaChinuch (People of the Book)
“When I speak, I regret what I say, but when I am silent, I do not regret. And if I may regret my silence once, I regret speaking many times over.” —Gate 21: The Gate of Silence, The Ways of the Righteous Is it possible that The Ways of the Righteous, among the most influential works […]Read More People of the Book: The Ways of the Righteous
Rabbi Chaim Vital (1542-1620) was the principal disciple of the great Kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Arizal). Three days after the death of his master, Rabbi Vital received a vision in a dream that consumed his scholarly life for decades: preserving the mystical heritage of the great Safed tradition. Please click here for the Prezi.Read More Who Was Rabbi Chaim Vital?