Dedicated to the memory of my father: A new translation and commentary of Moses Maimonides’ classic work on repentance. Softcover, 253 pages, illustrations. $18. Click here to order.Read More Maimonides on Teshuvah
“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?
Introduction to a short video series on Maimonides on Teshuvah.Read More Maimonides On Teshuvah, Chapter One
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?
Lecture on the great 2nd-century Rabbi Meir, one of the most important figures in the history of Jewish thought in ancient Israel. Here’s the link to the Prezi.Read More Who Was Rabbi Meir? Jewish Biography as History
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)