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?
Two hundred years ago, Sefer Ha-Brit was a fixture in the library of every educated Jewish home. First published anonymously in 1797, this hugely popular 800-page tome appeared in forty editions, including translations into Ladino and Yiddish. It was widely read by Ashkenazim and Sefardim, western and eastern European Jews, Hasidim, Mitnagdim and Maskilim […]Read More Who Was R. Pinhas Hurwitz?
Orphaned by the Eastern European pogroms of 1648-49, the volatile Sarah became the spouse of the infamous messianic pretender. Her life, filled with controversy, illustrates the egalitarian elements in Shabbetai Tsvi’s antinomian message. Here is a link to the Prezi.Read More Who Was Sarah, Wife of Shabbetai Tsvi?
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?
We’ll be looking at the life and work of Rabbi Chaim Vital (1542-1620), 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 […]Read More MONDAY NIGHT: FINAL LECTURE OF THE SEMESTER
Free for the High Holiday Season: a free download of The Kabbalah of Forgiveness, a translation and commentary of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s Tomer Devorah. Especially valuable reading in preparation for Yom Kippur! To download, visit https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/464044 and enter coupon code BQ57Y, valid through October 7, 2015. If you really must have a hard copy, visit Amazon […]Read More Free Download of The Kabbalah of Forgiveness (Tomer Devorah)
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 http://www.henryabramson.com.Read More Who Was Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav? Jewish Biography as 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
Rabbi Shlomo ben Adret, known to his student by the acronym of his name Rashba, was one of the most brilliant Talmudists of medieval Spain. Student of Nachmanides (Ramban) and teacher to the Ritva, his writings are studied to the present day. Here’s Dr. Abramson in print (because there are times and places where one […]Read More Who Was the Rashba? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson