MELVYN BRAGG AND GUESTS DISCUSS THE TIMES AND LEGACY OF MAIMONIDES. (BBC recording) (42.15)
MOSES MAIMONIDES (1135-1204) THE LIFE OF THE MIND JEWISH BIOGRAPHY AS HISTORY Dr. Henry Abramson 2013
Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (1135-1204) was a towering figure in medieval Jewish history, and continues to cast a long shadow into the Jewish present. Nevertheless, the work of the philosopher-physician endured significant controversy, including an especially sad episode in which Jews actually consigned his works to the flames
THE MAIMONIDEAN CONTROVERSY Dr. Henry Abramson 2016
Brief overview of the controversy that surrounded the writings of Rabbi Moses Maimonides. Lecture delivered at the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst.
MAIMONIDES (RAMBAM), SPINOZA, AND REASON by Rabbi Marc Angel Dan Cohen 2013 (1.12.0)
Rambam and the Philosophers: What Reason Can and Cannot Attain
RAMBAM ON MEDICINE 2012 (1.06.04)
RABBI YOSEF KARO (1488-1575) (‘HAMECHABER (HEBREW: "THE AUTHOR") AND THE CODE OF JEWISH LAW (the SHULCHAN ARUCH) Dr. Henry Abramson 2012 (58.13)
RABBI MOSHE ISSERLES (‘THE REMA’) (1520-1572) AND THE CODE OF JEWISH LAW (the SHULCHAN ARUCH) Dr. Henry Abramson 2014 (6.11)
RABBI AKIVA (50-135 CE) Dr Henry Abramson 2017 (1.00.33) one of the greatest Rabbis of the entire Talmud, Akiva son of Joseph did not begin his study of Judaism before adulthood. His trajectory of incredible spiritual growth was punctuated by moments of great personal tragedy, and his martyrdom at the hands of the Romans after the failed second-century Bar-Kochba revolt has an enduring legacy in Jewish history.
RABBAN YOHANAN BEN ZAKKAI 30-90 CE Dr. Henry Abramson 2014 (56.44)
Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai was one of the most influential figures in ancient Jewish history. Emerging from the ruins of the destroyed Temple, Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai led the Jewish people through the dangerous first years after the devastation of the last remnants of their state by the Romans. A disciple of Hillel, he was of the "national-realist" school that favored tactical surrender to the overwhelming power of the Roman Empire. In his most famous act, he arranged to fake his own death in order to escape his enemies among the Zealots to negotiate a peace treaty with Vespasian, who would later become Emperor. "Give me Yavneh and its scholars," asked Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, setting in place the foundation for the existence of Judaism after the Temple could no longer serve as the center of Jewish religious life.
HILLEL THE ELDER (110BCE -10CE) Dr Henry Abramson 2012 (59.31) One of the most important figures in Jewish history, associated with the Mishnah and the Talmud.The founder of Beit Hillel ("House of Hillel"), an eventually dominant school of rabbinical thought.
NACHMANIDES (RABBI MOSHE BEN NAHMAN, OR RAMBAN) (1194–1270) Dr Henry Abramson 2017 (56.03) A brilliant 13th-century scholar of Rabbinic thought, Nahmanides’ defense of Judaism in a forced Church-sponsored debate earned him exile from his native Spain. An elderly sage, he emigrated to the Land of Israel, where he found a tiny Jewish community, desperately hanging onto the traditions of their ancestors. Summoning upon an immense reserve of energy, Nahmanides single-handedly resurrected the community living under Islamic rule and laid the foundation for a Jewish renaissance.
YOCHEVED BAT RASHI: EXCEPTIONAL Dr Henry Abramson 2013 (54.49)
RABBI MOSHE CORDOVERO (1522-1570) SAFED (TSFAT), ISRAEL Dr Henry Abramson 2017 (54.29) The sixteenth century witnessed a phenomenal, short-lived explosion of Jewish spiritual creativity, centered in the sleepy Galilean town of Safed (Tsfat). Along with greats such as Rabbi Yosef Karo, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero was one of the founders of that unusual place, attracting still more Rabbis and especially Kabbalists to the mountaintop community, including Rabbi Cordovero’s most prominent disciple, Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Arizal).
‘The Source’ by James Michener ‘The Law’ pp425 on and ‘The Saintly Men of Safed pp637 on
Rabbi is not an occupation found in the Hebrew Bible, and ancient generations did not employ related titles such as Rabban, Ribbi, or Rab to describe either the Babylonian sages or the sages in Israel. The titles "Rabban" and "Rabbi" are first mentioned in the Mishnah (c. 200 CE). The term was first used for Rabban Gamaliel the elder, Rabban Simeon his son, and Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, all of whom werepatriarchs or presidents of the Sanhedrin. The title "Rabbi" occurs (in the New Testament (Wikipedia)
With the Jewish exile from Judea the focus of scholarly and spiritual leadership within the Jewish people shifted to the sages.
RABBI CHAIM VITAL (1542 -1620) Dr Henry Abramson 2015 (55.27)
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.
RABBI ISAAC LURIA (THE ARIZAL) (1534-1572) Dr. Henry Abramson 2014 (1.00.43) Emerging from the sixteenth-century Safed Circle of Jewish mystics, Rabbi Isaac Luria (the Arizal) was a pivotal figure in the history of Kabbalah. His influence on later Jewish movements, in particular Hasidism, is still felt to this day.
THE BA'AL SHEM TOV? (1700-1760) FOUNDER OF HASIDISM Dr Henry Abramson 2012 (1.00.09)
Israel ben Eliezer (c. 1700-1760), popularly known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, widely regarded as the father of the Hasidic movement.
RABBI ELIYAHU BEN SHLOMO, THE VILNA GAON, 1720-1797 Dr Henry Abramson 2014 (1.00.02)
the 18th century Talmudic scholar better known as The Vilna Gaon, is revered as the father of traditional Lithuanian Judaism
RABBI DAVID GANS (11541-1613) Dr Henry Abramson 2015 (50.02) 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.
R. DAVID SINTZHEIM (1745-1812) Dr Henry Abramson 2017 (1.00.33) head of Napoleon's Grand Sanhedrin, respected Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva David Sintzheim created a political modus vivendi for Jews in modern Europe.
RABBI ELIYAHU BEN SHLOMO: THE VILNA GAON (1720-1797) Dr Henry Abramson 2014 (1.00.01) Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo, the 18th century Talmudic scholar better known as The Vilna Gaon, is revered as the father of traditional Lithuanian Judaism.
RABBI SCHNEUR ZALMAN OF LIADI ( THE ALTER REBBE) OF CHABAD (1745-1812) Dr Henry Abramson 2014 (59.18) Author of the Tanya, a hugely influential 18th-century work of Jewish spirituality, Rabbi Scheur Zalman of LIadi is considered the founder of the Chabad (Lubavitch) movement.
RABBI YOSEF YITZCHAK SCHNEERSON (1880-1950) Dr Henry Abramson 2015 (1.01.00)
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.
RAV KOOK (1865-2011) Dr Henry Abramson 2016 (1.00.33) Mystic and early Zionist, Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook's challenging and eclectic philosophy has inspired generations of Jews since his passing in 1935. Often misunderstood, Rav Kook's role as one of the principal Rabbinic figures of the era was foundational for establishing a religious ideology for the the modern, secular and democratic state of Israel.
RABBI MENACHEM MENDEL SCHNEERSON OF CHABAD ((1902-1994) Dr. Henry Abramson 2016 (1.00.23) the life and word of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), the Seventh Rebbe of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement. A native of Nikolaev, Ukraine, and educated in Germany and France, his leadership transformed his Hasidic followers into an international movement that continues to shape the lives of Jews world wide.