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History for the Curious The most talked-about Jewish History Podcast History for the Curious features the dynamic historian and famous tour guide & lecturer: Rabbi Aubrey Hersh, live from the JLE in London, hosted by myself: Mena Reisner Join us as we cross continents, sail through the centuries, tracing lives, uncovering events and following epic journeys, to reveal the untold stories, the scandals, and the mysteries, that have impacted our history and shaped us into who we are today. Encou ...
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A unique world existed for two centuries in which a Jewish general lead Moslem armies into battle and authored 1,500 poems while Chasdai, the most famous Jew, discovered the antidote to poison and oversaw the creation of Jewish grammar. Was Yosef Hannagid responsible for the death of an Arab prince? And how did Spain over-rule Babylonia? Chapters 0…
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The history of the Jews in Spain has always been part of our collective memory. But the real story starts 1,000 years earlier. Long before the Rishonim, flourishing communities existed. What were their lives like? Why do we not know more about them? And what happened in 711CE? For the trip, please email: giana.elav@gmail.com Chapters 00:00 The Visi…
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Do synagogues have rights over membership?Why did a Chazan risk excommunication in Perpignan?Why were responsa printed in defiance of the author’s wishes?And the 1708 Chametz glue on a Pesach document… Chapters 00:00 Excommunication and Imposing Bans 06:18 Excommunication and Scholarly Disputes 13:28 The Role of the Chazan in the Synagogue 26:04 In…
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For centuries Jews faced restrictions building their shuls. Halachic questions arose across Europe concerning rights, ownership and use. And closer to our day, when communities split, the assets would often be fought over. For the trip, please email: giana.elav@gmail.com Chapters 00:00 Introduction and Overview 07:41 Shul as a Place of Assembly and…
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In times of war and peace and throughout the centuries, Jews have asked questions. Some became the foundations of halacha, others were forgotten.In this episode we trace back through the ages to find that the new is often very old. To purchase Dayan Hools book, click here -Beth Din Commercial Arbitration: https://amzn.eu/d/hSkOB53 Chapters 00:00 In…
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Unlike the secular worldview, Jewish history looks at individuals and at details. And although we have closely followed the general conflict in Israel, we are at arm’s length from the war. Hearing first-hand some of the challenges that Yona Pinchos Gedalia ben Soroh Chana faced, will thereby give a deeper perspective to what Israel is experiencing.…
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To Watch This Podcast, click here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRbtzDOtBAY&t=2021s A wide-ranging discussion with author & international broadcaster Douglas Murray, on the questions: Why the Media Lie - The Liberal Left - Antisemitism, modern and ancient - The Future in Israel. Chapters 00:00 Introduction and Personal Connection 00:38 Intervie…
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The Karaites arrive in Ponovezh, Lithuania; Seraya Shapshal abruptly changes direction; Ibn Ezra writes Zemirot [link below]; the Nazis preside over a Karaite debate; Voltaire quotes a Karaite scholar; The 21st century reconfigures Karaism. Ki Eshmera Shabbat - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Um8Z5Wdok-WeA7zNmKFkEjG06eH21Sax/view?usp=drivesdk Chap…
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Refugees arrived in Egypt from Toldeo in 1459, with ideas of their own. But as the centuries progressed, the Karaites spread out from the Middle East. Crimea became the headquarters of the movement. However Abraham Firkowitz had his own ideas about history, in which facts did not necessarily feature. Although St. Petersburg owes him a continuing de…
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1,200 years ago, a new form of Judaism was created, and it has lasted through the centuries.How far did Karaism spread? Did the Rambam allow them to be circumcised? Did Islam bring about the new ideology? And why would they observe Rosh Hashana without a Shofar? Please email giana.elav@gmail.com for details on the upcoming Vienna Trip. Chapters 00:…
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When Europe became the battleground between opposing armies, a very unlikely candidate met up with the Pope and proposed a solution. It would involve the Jews, and start in the heart of Inquisition Portugal. But it brought about unexpected results. Ultimately we have a cloak and a flag to reflect upon. Chapters 00:00 Introduction and Trip Announcem…
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A moving, personal first-hand account of trial, tribulation and faith. Recorded live at the JLE. Chapters 00:00 The Kidnapping of Ori Danino 03:29 The Search for Ori 05:24 Ori's Heroic Actions 08:08 The Power of Emunah 09:32 Seeing Hashem in Difficult Times 12:12 The Unexplainable Nature of the War 13:47 Praying and Believing in Hashem 15:53 A Mess…
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In 2004 Israel was prosecuted at the ICJ for building a barrier through the West Bank. But Israel didn’t bother to turn up. What changed in 2024? Why did South Africa in particular, take the lead against Israel? Why does the proportionality argument (regarding civilian casualties) not help Israel’s defense?…
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Why was Sir Moses Montefiore in Malta for Tisha B’Av? Who wrote the poem Bli Mazal (Out of Luck)? Which British politician suggested in 1841, that the Jews create an independent State? What made London famous in 1159? Whom did Rabbeinu Tam bow to?โดย JLE
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How did a small hole in a parchment create Crusader history?What do Chopin, Karl Marx, Alexander Dumas & Goethe have in common?Why would the Barons of Franconia insist that Jews go to Synagogue on Monday & Thursday?What was life like for Jews in Sicily?Listen to fascinating insights from four very different eras in Jewish History.…
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Did a Christian censor help the Jews of Bohemia? Who was Rav Sherira Gaon and why is the letter he wrote over 1,000 years ago, so important today? What brought Jews to America in the 1600s? And why did a Rabbi in Indiana write to the US Secretary of State - in Hebrew!?โดย JLE
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Recorded in Jerusalem, this ground-breaking episode includes testimony based on eyewitnesses, linking together Israel’s Past, Present & Future. Are the Settlements illegal? Does Islam’s monotheism bring any spiritual benefit to the Jews? Is Israel imposing Apartheid on the Palestinians in the West Bank? What does tomorrow hold for Israel? Link to c…
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A must listen! What rights to land did Jews have in Palestine? How does Israel explain the Deir Yassin massacre? Did they engage in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948? Should we regulate free speech of the BBC & Universities?โดย JLE
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Featuring Rav Yitzchok Breitowitz & Rav Osher Weiss. How do we view War, Collateral Damage and Siege in Halacha? Did the Chafetz Chaim think that we can change the minds of non-Jewish governments? What rights do Jews have in Golus and what message should we take from the matzav?โดย JLE
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The fate of 240 Jews still remains unknown… What are our spiritual obligations at this time? What does Jewish Law rule for these situations? And where does Advocacy fit into the equation?โดย JLE
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Experience London in a very unique way by clicking the link below- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wHjkkNGKUk And please consider making a donation to allow us to continue the podcasts' reach and content - https://www.charityextra.com/jle/133970โดย JLE
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Why was the letter to the Jews of Yemen so essential? Who was Guide to the Perplexed written for? How did the Rambam steer his community through turbulent political times? And where does the bullfight in Cordoba fit in?โดย JLE
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Yishamel’s 3rd power is their veneration of martyrdom. Our spiritual antidote, is Mesiras Nefesh. Although this includes self-sacrifice and is often translated as giving up one’s life, it is actually life-giving and forms the pillar of the survival of the Jewish Nation through the ages, as Rabbi YY Jacobson explains.…
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Social Media is alive with facts about Israel, many of which are inaccurate or taken out of context. With the help of International Foreign policy analyst Dr Mitchell Bard, this podcast comprehensively takes the listener through 120 years of Middle Eastern history, pointing out the major events and documented truths about them and dispelling myths.…
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The events of 7th October have left us reeling. How should Jews react? What are our obligations - especially those who are geographically distant? And where are the spiritual origins of this war? The special tefilah to be said in a place of danger has been uploaded to: www.jle.org.uk/podcastโดย JLE
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The Rambam spent 38 years of his life in Cairo. Here, he authored his two most famous works, became involved in Medicine, dealt with hostages, suffered tremendous personal loss, and wrote hundreds of Responsa - some of which challenged the Status Quo.โดย JLE
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Having conquered much of Europe, Napoleon turned his attention to the Jews. Not by request but by demand; to make Jewish law compatible with France’s constitution. The rabbis walked a tightrope to respond. And of course there’s the matter of 10,000s of documents that disappeared. How justifiable was it?…
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How glorious was the Revolution and where does the Tennis Court Oath fit in? Did the Jews actually want to be emancipated? How did they cope with the Year of Terror; Were the Jews victims or collateral damage?โดย JLE
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In 1789, the French proclaimed liberty to all their citizens including the Jews of France. Except that Jews hadn’t been allowed in the country since 1394 – so who was actually emancipated? Why was Metz so important? What happened to Sefardi arrivals into the country? And in the battle between the King and Strasbourg, whose side were the Jews on?…
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When the Holocaust ended, the Jews awaited justice. Sadly it would be denied to them. But one man - a Jew names Ben Ferencz - made it his business to bring at least some of the Nazi murderers to trial and make Germany pay. This is his story, and the untold story of so many others.โดย JLE
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IBM’s partnership enabled the cattle trains to run to schedule, and even after the Holocaust, the spoils were there for the taking. What did the allied governments know? And who else co-operated with the Nazis?โดย JLE
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In pursuit of profit, IBM disregarded all morals and supplied Nazi Germany with the technological capabilities to identify and pursue the Jews. To avoid scrutiny, IBM’s transactions were carried out through neutral countries and veils of corporate secrecy.โดย JLE
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Heroism took on many forms during the Holocaust, collective & individual, spiritual & armed. But the choice to live a double life meant choosing to live with the constant fear of betrayal. This is the story of Helene’s choice.โดย JLE
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In the Western world, academia dismisses the idea that Torah is G-d given. How robust is their theory of Documentary Hypothesis? Who was P? Did Ezra author any of Chumash? Wouldn't a hurricane explain the Sinai experience or perhaps Mass-Hypnosis?โดย JLE
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All religions have a narrative regarding their origins.Judaism states that G-d appeared on Mt Sinai 3335 years ago to communicate with mankind.Is it rational to believe in this history of the divine origin of the Torah?Can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that we encountered G-d?Does Judaism make sense?…
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Featuring special guest speaker Rabbi Shraga Feivel Zimmerman. As the 13th century drew to a close and persecution in Germany increased, one individual gathered together thousands of responsa and rulings: Rabbi Meir of Rotenberg. Who was he? How did his writings influence the next 700 years of Jewish life? And why was he never set free?…
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Celebrating 200,000 downloads! Thank you all! Answering your questions on the Jews in England, Budapest's personalities, the Noda Biyehuda, Shabbetai Zvi in the 21st century, and introducing the life and times of Rabbi Naftali Zilberberg.โดย JLE
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Hungary might forbid Israelites to live in their cities, but the Seven Communities change the rules. Nevertheless, the Jews are still barely tolerated. They join the revolution of 1848, but when emancipation comes their way, the cracks will widen. Be careful what you wish forโดย JLE
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In 1526, Hungarian Monarchy & Christianity was replaced with Moslem law. Jews brought West to East and vice versa. The era was one of communal endeavours, halachic responsa and targeted kidnappings. But how do you spell Buda?โดย JLE
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In the 1630s: The Catholic censors want his writings burnt and the secular authorities want him expelled. Meanwhile the French Ambassador brings him personal regards from the King. But with the spectre of Kol Sakhal looming in the background, his reputation was always going to be challenged.โดย JLE
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Who was this iconoclast? A Rabbi addicted to gambling, who spoke out against Kabbalah. A Halachic authority and expert in Hebrew. Innovator in Jewish music, survivor of a devastating plague and speaker of great acclaim...โดย JLE
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The 17th century provided plenty of Jewish drama - much of it unfortunate. But no individual lived through more personal twists and turns than Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Mi’Modena. Respected and reviled, acclaimed and attacked both during his lifetime and beyond… he remains an enigma to this day.โดย JLE
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Spinoza & Shabbetai Zvi had very different goals, however the historical overlap of their lives initiated a very destructive cycle of events.Jewish Modern History is dated from the mid-1600s but this history contains some very dark corners.Have we learned the lessons of the past?โดย JLE
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In 1665 Shabbetai Zvi is declared the Messiah across the Jewish world. Entire communities and their rabbis eagerly anticipate the final revelation in 1666 - Jewish blood will be avenged. Christians are in shock while the Moslem world awaits instruction from the Turkish Sultan.โดย JLE
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In 1655, two people turned the entire Jewish world on its head. 10,000s of people were swept up in the revolution and the aftermath still echoes.This series will explore the deceptions that permanently changed Judaism & Jews.โดย JLE
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