David Solomon explores messiahs of the modern period of Jewish history and the dangers of mystical attempts to bring about redemption.
Among the figures David discusses are:
- Yosef Della Reina
- Rabbi Avraham ben Eliezer ha-Levi
- Shlomo Molcho and David haReuveni
- Asher Lemlein
- Rabbi Ḥayyim Vital
- Shabbetai Zvi
- Rabbi Chaim Luzzatto, the Ramchal
- Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov
- Jacob Frank
- Gaon of Vilna
- Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
- Hannah Rachel Verbermacher, the Maid of Ludmir
- Rav Abraham Isaac Kook
- Theodor Herzl
- Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, the Lubavitcher Rebbe
Ideas that the lecture examines include:
- a return to the apocalyptic- this time with mystical magic
- the transformation of Christianity
- the concept of a ‘special time’
- end times
- redeeming the sparks
- the antinomian messiah
- redemptive consciousness
- kabbalistic efforts to bring redemption
- sexual practices to bring the special soul
- the redemptive spirit in the special soul.
David discusses the stories of these fascinating messianic figures and thinkers and unpacks their ideas, influences, and contributions to history as well as to the ever-developing notion of redemption and messianic fulfillment.
This talk is the final part of a four-part series presented for Caulfield Shule in 2021 as part of its scholar-in-residence program. Due to COVID lockdown restrictions in Melbourne at the time, it was filmed at home.