Who Was Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson? Jewish Biography as History

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson, also known as “Der Frierdiker Rebbe” (The Earlier Rebbe) to distinguish him from his successor, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, was the sixth leader of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. Living in tumultuous times, he shifted the center of the movement from its Eastern European origins to its current headquarters in the United States.

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Who Was Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav? Jewish Biography as History

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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.

Who Was Joseph Perl? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson

One of the strongest critics of early Hasidism, Joseph Perl was a fervent advocate of the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, in 19th century Galicia. Part of the Jewish Biography as History series by Dr. Henry Abramson, more available at http://www.henryabramson.com.

The Origins of Modern Jewish Humor (Essential Lectures in Jewish History)

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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 http://www.henryabramson.com.

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Here are a few of Dr. Abramson’s recent publications. He’s not very funny in print (but taller).

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The Sea of Talmud

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Who was Gluckel of Hameln? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson

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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 http://www.henryabramson.com.

Jewish History in the Sixteenth Century (Essential Lectures in Jewish History)

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 ramifications of the Safed circle.

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Who Was Rabbi Shlomo Alkabets? Jewish Biography as History by Dr. Henry Abramson

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 Raton! I’m really proud to be doing a book reading (The Kabbalah of Forgiveness) there on March 6. Main event, as always, will be Maestro Aaron Kula’s phenomenal Klezmer Company Orchestra concert on March 1!

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Who Was the Rashba? 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 just can’t enjoy a video).  Check out the eBook versions as well.  

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Rambam Cover

The Sea of Talmud

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The Septuagint (This Week in Jewish History) Dr. Henry Abramson

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The Septuagint, an ancient translation of the Torah into Koine Greek, had a tremendous impact on the later Christian understanding of Jewish theology.

 

 

Who Was Ibn Ezra? Jewish Biography as History Dr. Henry Abramson

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Hailed as one of the greatest commentators on the Torah, Abraham ibn Ezra lived a life of great scholarly accomplishment amidst great personal suffering.

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