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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#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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#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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#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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#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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#12 Worlds in Transition: Jewish History of the 16th Century (part 1)

In the first of this podcast series looking at Jewish History of the 16th century, David Solomon examines fascinating religious and secular developments of the early 1500s in Europe and Asia and the consequences they would have for Jewish populations – both positive and negative.  David also discusses the emergence of a range of remarkable Jewish figures during this period as well as influential new texts in Jewish mysticism, history, law and commentary, and science – and an explosion in the printing of Jewish books which would have significant impact on the spread of learning and ideas across the world.

“Göke” (1495) was the flagship of Kemal Reis to save the Sephardic Jews of Spain from the Spanish Inquisition and granted them permission to settle in the Ottoman Empire. Public Domain

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#10 From the Rambam to the Zohar: Jewish History of the 12th & 13th Centuries (Part 4: 1250-1300)

Throughout Europe, Jewish life in the second half of the 13th century existed under economic and theological oppression. There were national expulsions; country-wide promotions of the blood libel; sermons to convert Jews; papal bulls; forced disputations; massacres; and organised kidnappings. However, this fifty-year period also saw profoundly important developments in Jewish mysticism, law and commentary. Surroundings these elements are the fascinating stories of individuals and communities whose lives and works shaped the Jewish narrative of the future as well as the broader world.

Rembrandt: Philosopher in Meditation. Public Domain

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