#36 Chazal in the Age of Empires: An Overview of the Talmudic Period (part 3)

The period of the 3rd to 5th centuries (CE) saw a different type of world emerging from one that had, for centuries, been controlled by two empires: Rome and Parthia. In this podcast episode, David explores the new Jewish reality and the revolutionary innovations that resulted. In particular, he examines the extraordinary project of the Talmud, its remarkable later contributors, and allows us to understand the significance of these developments within the context of Jewish and world history.

Rabbi Ashi teaching at the Sura Academy. From Diaspora Museum, Tel Avi. Image used under Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en

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#35 Chazal in the Age of Empires: An Overview of the Talmudic Period (part 2)

The consequences of the Roman destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem were devastating and yet Jewish life continued in fascinating ways. In particular, the years that followed saw Jewish spiritual and intellectual endeavours developing in profound and impactful directions. In this podcast episode, David examines the second century CE, exploring the enormous contributions of some remarkable Jewish men and women from the period. He also discusses several extraordinary events, including the conquering of Adiabene, the Kito Wars, and the second Jewish revolt.

This episode has particular resonance today as it explores the historical period which saw a brutal end to aspirations for Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel for almost two millennia. As we celebrate Yom Haatzmaut, Jewish History allows us to see, in context, the true impact of this event and the enormity of the establishment of the State of Israel.

 

Arthur Szyk,1927, Bar Kochba, watercolor and gouache on paper. Public Domain.

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#34 Chazal in the Age of Empires: An Overview of the Talmudic Period (part 1)

The rise of the influence of Chazal, the sages of the Talmud, emerged during the early phases of Roman rule over the Land of Israel.  In this podcast episode, David examines the key characters and events of the early phase of the Talmudic Period. He explores the changing focus of Jewish existence from one based on Temple worship to textual learning and laws. David also offers a range of fascinating stories preserved from the time in the fundamental texts written during this period.

Ephraim Moses Lilien, The Talmud Students, engraving, 1915. Public Domain.

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#33 The Geonic Period: Jewish History of the 6th to 10th Centuries (part 3)

The tenth-century of Jewish History is the focus of this final part of David’s series on the Geonic Period. In this podcast episode, David explores the life, characters, and contributions of some of the towering intellectual and rabbinical authorities of that period. He also discusses the incredibly influential translations, texts and Jewish resources developed by these Geonim which became central to Jewish life until today.

Manuscript of Sughrat (Socrates) belongs to a 13th century Seljuk illustrator. It is currently kept at Topkapi Palace Library, Istanbul, Turkey. Public Domain.

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#32 The Geonic Period: Jewish History of the 6th to 10th Centuries (part 2)

Jewish life of the 8th and 9th centuries is the focus of this podcast episode. In examining this period, David Solomon explores the impact of the battle for control of Spain on Jewish life; the emergence of profoundly influential Jewish legal codifications and spiritual resources; the reputed mass conversion of the kingdom of the Khazars; the beginnings of the Karaite movement; and the tussle for primacy between the rabbis of Palestine and Babylonia. David also discusses a number of extraordinary thinkers, explorers, and merchants.

13th century illustration depicting a public library in Baghdad, from the Maqamat Hariri. Bibliotheque Nationale de France. Public Domain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#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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