#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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#22 Priests and Princes, Power and Politics: the Rise and Fall of the Hasmonean Dynasty (Part 2)

While the period of the Hasmonean high-priest rulers saw the return of Jewish control over the Land of Israel, it was also a time of bloody conflict and brutal factionalism. In this podcast episode, David Solomon explores the fascinating reigns of the Hasmonean kings and queens, from John Hyrcanus to Shlomtziyon. He examines the bitter tensions between the proponents of a temple-centric Judaism and those who supported rabbinical Judaism; the ruthless conflicts within the ruling family; and the eventual intervention of Rome in the region – a monumental turning point in the history of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel.

Pompey enters the Jerusalem Temple. Painting by Jean Fouquet, after an event recorded by Flavius Josephus in The Antiquities of the Jews. Public Domain.

David provides an in-depth discussion of a number of the battles occurring during the period examined in this series. The video below may help listeners gain a clearer picture of the information provided, particularly in relation to the geography and topography of the Land of Israel and how it impacted on military campaigns.

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#21 Priests and Princes, Power and Politics: the Rise and Fall of the Hasmonean Dynasty (Part 1)

Released in advance of Chanukah is David Solomon’s exciting exploration of the extraordinary (and miraculous) religious revolt led by the Maccabees between 167 and 160 BCE against the Seleucid Empire – the first installment of a two-part series on the rise and fall of the Hasmonean Dynasty. In this episode, David discusses the key figures of the time and examines the revolutionary military tactics used by Jewish guerrilla fighters to defeat an army that was viewed as invincible.

Bernard Picart: Eleazar’s exploit as described in the Bible. Public domain.

David provides an in-depth discussion of a number of the battles occurring during the period examined in this series. The video below may help listeners gain a clearer picture of the information provided, particularly in relation to the geography and topography of the Land of Israel and how it impacted on military campaigns.

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#20 Revelation in Exile: the Book of Ezekiel

From deep within the Babylonian exile, the prophet Ezekiel became the extraordinary conduit for the voice of Gd outside of the Land of Israel. In this podcast episode, David Solomon explores the life and setting of the prophet Ezekiel; his profound messages of teshuva and the importance of individual responsibility; and his remarkable visions – including those of the divine chariot, the Temple, and the valley of the dry bones – which have been a source of fascination and controversy for two and a half thousand years.

Ezekiel and the hand of God. Dura Europos synagogue wall painting. Public Domain.

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#19 Visionaries, Reformers and Agitators – the Rise of the Prophets of Israel (part 4)

Building the dream

Following the return to the Land of Israel from the Babylonian exile, the Jewish nation found itself grappling with issues associated with the reconstruction of a society and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Two extraordinary figures to emerge at this crucial juncture in Jewish history were the prophets Ḥaggai and Zechariah. In this podcast episode, the final instalment in his series on the Rise of the Prophets of Israel, David Solomon looks at the incredible lives and messages of Ḥaggai and Zechariah; their historical and geopolitical contexts; and the powerful words they uttered to the Jewish people during the period of the return to Zion – many ideas and insights which continue to resonate for us today.

Image: Gustave Dore – The Rebuilding of the Temple Is Begun. Public Domain.

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#18 Visionaries, Reformers and Agitators – the Rise of the Prophets of Israel (part 3)

Israel’s true destiny is not about nationalism or religion

The third instalment of David Solomon’s podcast series on the rise of the prophets of Israel focuses on Jeremiah whose extraordinary life and powerful messages have inspired and resonated with audiences until today. David examines the geo-political reality of the region during Jeremiah’s life and its reflection in the Jewish people’s relationship to Gd, to power and justice, and to the Land of Israel.

Horace Vernet, Jeremiah on the ruins of Jerusalem (1844). Public Domain.

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#17 Visionaries, Reformers and Agitators – the Rise of the Prophets of Israel (part 2)

The great prophets of the southern kingdom

The destruction of the northern kingdom left the Kingdom of Judah as the remaining sovereign home for the Jewish people. Out of that new historical reality emerged extraordinary prophets who transformed the concept of Gd and promoted ideas of peace, justice and teshuva. In this podcast episode, David Solomon explores the powerful messages of the prophets Isaiah and Mikhah, their geo-political setting, and their influence on the character and destiny of the nation of Israel and the world.

Edward Hicks – Peaceable Kingdom. Public Domain.

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#16 Visionaries, Reformers and Agitators – the Rise of the Prophets of Israel (part 1)

The beginnings of literary prophecy

The prophets of Israel emerged into history with positions and authority unprecedented across the ancient world. In this podcast episode, the first of a four-part series on the rise of the prophets of Israel, David Solomon examines this extraordinary social and spiritual phenomenon. Providing comprehensive historical background to the societies into which these prophets emerged, he explores the beginnings of literary prophecy through the extraordinary lives and inspiring words of the early prophets, Amos and Hoshea.

The Prophet Hoshea and his wife Gomer. Public Domain.

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#15 Worlds in Transition: Jewish History of the 16th Century (part 4)

Scholars, doctors and adventurers are the focus of this podcast episode, the final talk in David Solomon’s series on the 16th century. David explores figures of the second half of the 1500s, from Europe to the Americas, who made extraordinary contributions in science and medicine, mysticism and rabbinic literature, commerce and politics, and global exploration. These remarkable people and their works influenced contemporary and future Jewish life and helped shape the world that was to emerge in the following century.

Marranos: Secret Seder in Spain during the times of inquisition, an 1892 painting by Moshe Maimon. Public Domain.

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