#31 The Geonic Period: Jewish History of the 6th to 10th Centuries (part 1)

During the 6th and 7th centuries, Jewish populations were centred in territories ruled by the Sassanian, Byzantine and the Western Roman empires. In this podcast episode, David Solomon examines how Jewish life unfolded during these two centuries. He explores the changing fortunes of the renowned Jewish academies of Sura and Pumbedita; the role and status of the Jewish exilarch over generations; the brief existence of a semi-independent Jewish State in Jerusalem; and the rise and fall of Jewish communal safety throughout the generations.

Image: Reproduction of the Madaba Map, a 6th century AD floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba containing the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Creative Commons (see https://www.flickr.com/photos/carolemage/15010441404).

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How to Run Your Own Seder in Unusual Circumstances – free online class

In view of the current COVID19 pandemic there are people around the world who will be running a Passover seder for the first time, some of whom are approaching this idea with trepidation.

Caulfield Shule Scholar-in Residence David Solomon will be hosting two online classes entitled, How to Run Your Own Seder in Unusual Circumstances. The first will be tonight @ 7pm, the second on Wednesday @ 1pm. The links and IDs for both are the same (see event information).

These free classes are open to anyone who would like information and encouragement about running a seder. The classes are designed for people who have not run a Passover seder before or those who do not feel confident in this role.

Please share with those who you think will benefit. Stay safe and well all.

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#30 The Passover Seder ‘in one hour’

Every year Jewish people come together in homes around the world to share in the mitzvah of the Passover seder. But what are the essential elements of the seder? What do people need to know in order to fulfil this mitzvah? In this podcast episode, David Solomon discusses the key things people need to understand about the Passover seder, including what they are commanded to do in relation to the festival of Passover, in general, and the seder specifically. David also provides background to the Haggadah (the telling of the Passover story) and the requirements for performing this commandment.

This lecture was recorded at Ealing Synagogue in 2009.

Image: ‘Passover’ by Arthur Szyk 1948. Image supplied by Centre for Jewish History (for reuse rights see https://www.cjh.org/about/copyright-information)

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#29 Chassidism ‘in one hour’

Arising in the wake of a number of dramatic historical events of the 17th century, the Chassidic movement emerged in the first half of the 18th century under the charismatic leadership of Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov, with profound effect on European Jewry. In this podcast episode, David Solomon provides an introduction and overview of Chassidism, looking at its early leaders and their ideas. David also examines the impact of the movement, how it has evolved, and the form it has come to take in the current age.

Painting by Roger David Servais – Hasidic jewish fiddler, Homage to Daniel Ahaviel, 100 cm x 130 cm, oil on canvas, 2010, R. David S.pai. Creative Commons.

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#28 Kabbalah ‘in one hour’

De-mystifing the mystical: in this podcast episode David Solomon explores the complex and profound field of Kabbalah to provide an overview of its texts and ideas, together with their historical background. David also explains exactly where popular Kabbalah comes from and provides the one thing that it is missing: context.
Image by Eliak: Version of the Tree of Life based on that which appears in the Bahir, but with the Sephiroth labelled with Latin letters, and showing both Keter and Da’ath (properly, only one would be shown, and the number of Sephiroth would therefore be ten). Public Domain.

 

 

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#27 Women of the Second Temple Period

David discusses the lives and contributions of several remarkable women who lived during the time of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Their stories are not only fascinating in themselves, but they shed a light on the era in which they lived. This podcast episode, released in advance of Purim, a festival based in a tale of female leadership and courage, comes from a recorded lecture to Jewish Studies teachers in 2019.

John William Waterhouse: Mariamne Leaving the Judgement Seat of Herod

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#26 Dinkum Diaspora: Highlights of Australian Jewish History (part 4)

This final lecture in the Highlights of Australian Jewish History series examines the years between the 1930s to 1960s. In this podcast episode, David Solomon discusses the contributions made by a number of the key rabbis of this period. He also explores the debate within the Australian Jewish community around Zionism; its response to Jewish migration from Egypt and Eastern Europe; and the remarkable impact of the Jewish day school movement on the community.

Moshe Vilenski playing piano and Shoshana Damari singing at DP camps in Cyprus (ca. 1947–48). Public Domain.

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#25 Dinkum Diaspora: Highlights of Australian Jewish History (part 3)

The ‘Golden Age’ of Jewish life in Australia began, appropriately, in the 1850s with the start of the gold rushes, a phenomenon that was to triple the size of the Jewish population in the colonies. This podcast episode, the third in this series on Australian Jewish History, explores the stories of Australian Jews over the 80 years that followed – including their involvement with the growth and federation of this new nation; participation in its civic and cultural expansion; and the enormity of the First World War. David focuses on a range of remarkable Jewish figures who made significant – and sometimes extraordinary – contributions to the building and development of Australian society and nationhood.

Inspection of the Royal Marines Guard of Honour; with Governor General Sir Isaac Isaacs. 1936. Public Domain.

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#24 Dinkum Diaspora: Highlights of Australian Jewish History (part 2)

The beginnings of community and the rise of independent colonies are the underpinning themes of this podcast episode, the second of David Solomon’s four-part series on Australian Jewish History. In this episode, David examines a period of 22 years, between 1828 and 1850. He looks at the impact of Jewish free settlers with means and ideas on the new colonies of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, and the emerging Jewish communities within these colonies. David also provides a fascinating insight into a selection of influential and notorious characters whose reputations and contributions loomed large in the new settlements.

Melbourne Hebrew Congregation, Shearith Yisroel, Remnant of Israel, Bourke St West Congregation. Watercolour from an illuminated address presented by the Victorian Jewish Community to Sir Benjamin Benjamin, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, in honour of his Knighthood in 1889. Publisher: Valentine Sands, Melbourne. Flickr. Creative Commons.

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#23 Dinkum Diaspora: Highlights of Australian Jewish History (part 1)

After a short break, David’s podcasts are back! We are very excited to share the upcoming lectures with you.

The story of Australian Jewry begins with the First Fleet and the earliest moments of European settlement of the Australian colonies. In this podcast episode, the first of a four-part series on Australian Jewish History, David Solomon maps out the historical conditions that led to the transportation of convicts to the penal colonies, including a number of Jewish prisoners, and the early days of European settlement. David explores the remarkable stories of some of the first Jewish Australians and the contributions they made to the creation of this new society.

Sydney Cove by John Lewin. Public Domain.

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