#63 Hope in Darkness: Jewish History of the 14th & 15th Centuries (Part Two)

The second half of the 14th century saw tremendous economic and theological pressure placed on the Jews of Europe. In this podcast, David explores a series of compelling and poignant historical events that captured the trying circumstances of Jewish life in the Middle Ages in Europe. David also discusses the remarkable tenacity of Jewish communities and individuals during these dark days, revealing impressive achievements, innovation, resilience, and extraordinary demonstrations of hope.

This episode includes discussions of:
  • European Jewish communities coming together and the rise of ‘professional rabbis’ in the wake of the Black Death
  • the famous disputation of Tortossa – several influential Jewish figures in the courts of Europe whose standing and responsibilities were enormous
  • remarkable contributions of commentators like the RaN and Jewish philosophers like R. Ḥasdai Crescas
  • devastating massacres throughout Spain and the end of the community of Barcelona
  • the rise of crypto-Judaism
Find David Solomon’s podcast, with dozens of lectures on Jewish history, the Bible, Jewish philosophy, and Kabbalah here.