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A Jewish podcast experience like no other. David Solomon’s “enlightening and engaging” talks on the Hebrew Bible, Jewish History, Kabbalah, and Jewish Philosophy and Thought will leave you immersed in information and inspired to learn more. Collected Talks of David Solomon is a podcast of lectures by internationally renowned educator, writer, translator, and scholar David Solomon. With the skill of a seasoned story-teller, David delivers dynamic and entertaining lectures filled with volumes ...
 
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show series
 
In this fifth instalment of his Jewish Philosophy lecture series, David explores two significant Jewish thinkers living in Spain in the 14th and 15th centuries: Hasdai Crescas Yosef Albo. Watch the lecture here: https://youtu.be/uZ0C8w28boc He examines the philosophical contributions of Hasdai Crescas, including his ideas on: Divine knowledge repla…
 
The fourth part of David’s Jewish Philosophy lecture series considers three giants of Jewish thought from the Medieval Period: Maimonides, the Rambam Avraham ibn Daud Rabbi Levu ben Gershon, also known as the Ralbag. David explores the centrality of Aristotelianism for these thinkers as well as the influence of Islamic culture on Western theology a…
 
This Jewish Philosophy lecture explores the emergence of Neoplatonism in Jewish philosophical thinking. David examines the ideas and works of three Jewish philosophers living during the later years of the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry: Shlomo Ibn Gabirol Baḥya ibn Paquda Yehudah haLevi. Going in-depth into the contributions of Shlomo Ibn Gabirol, Dav…
 
This talk is the second instalment of David’s Jewish Philosophy series. In this episode, David examines the philosophical ideas and innovations of a towering figure of the early Middle Ages, Sa’adya ibn Yusuf al-Fayumi, commonly known as Sa’adya Gaon. Watch the lecture here. He discusses Sa’adya Gaon’s exploration of: – Reason and revelation, inclu…
 
This podcast episode launches David’s eight-part series on Jewish Philosophy. In this first lecture, David explores the earliest Jewish responses to the ancient Greek philosophers. Beginning by providing a summary of the early Greek philosophers, David defines Jewish Philosophy and how it fits within the overriding framework of Judaism. Watch the l…
 
The mystical interpretation of the festival of Passover (Pesach) is the focus of David’s latest podcast episode, a concentrated Kabbalah lecture delivered this week during chol hamoed Pesach. Kabbalistically, Pesach marks the birth of a nation, following its liberation from slavery. But it also represents the beginnings of the creative project of t…
 
Although many of the remarkable developments in 18th-century Jewish life were set within the boundaries of Europe and Ashkenazi Jewry, so much was happening beyond this region. In this fascinating podcast episode, David explores some of the most remarkable events, personalities, and contributions of Jews in the Sephardic communities of the 1700s, c…
 
In this podcast episode, David examines a phase in 18th century Jewish history that he calls the ‘zenith of rabbinics’ for its extraordinary collection of learned rabbis. Among this ensemble of remarkable figures, one man towered over the rest – Elijah, the Vilna Gaon. The Gra, as the Gaon of Vilna was also known, was … Continue reading "#76 Revela…
 
This week David examines the beginnings of Chassidism, one of the most influential Jewish spiritual movements to emerge in the modern Jewish world. He discusses key individuals who launched – and developed – this extraordinary revolution and explores the central ideas and contributions of Chassidism to Jewish history, practice, religion, and life. …
 
In this Jewish history lecture, David explores the early years of the 18th century, heavily overshadowed by two significant and difficult events of the 1600s – the cataclysm of the Khmelnytsky Massacres and the enormous reverberations of disappointment that followed the false messiah, Shabtai Tzvi. He discusses Jewish communities of importance in t…
 
In this absorbing Jewish history lecture, David examines the stories and contributions of nine remarkable, often powerful, Jewish women from the period of the second temple in Jerusalem, including: Queen Esther Judith (Yehudit) Hannah and her seven sons Hannah Maccabee Queen Salome (Shlomtzion) Queen Miriam Queen Mariamne Berenice Drusilla. David a…
 
For centuries, Jewish communities were known for producing doctors of the highest order. Even in the most profound climates of anti-semitism, kings and nobles sought the care of Jewish physicians. In this podcast episode, David examines the period he refers to as the “century of the Jewish doctor” for its examples of remarkable figures who … Contin…
 
In the first millennia BCE, the prophets of Israel launched an unprecedented spiritual revolution, the impact of which has resonated throughout the ages and across the world. In this fascinating lecture, David presents an overview of the twelve ‘minor’ prophets of Israel. Although their messages contained profound insight, analysis, and inspiration…
 
Although the Holocaust looms large as the defining feature of Jewish life in Germany, it was not an isolated historical event for German Jews. The Shoa followed a long and tragic trail of massacres, pogroms, and persecutions. However, the historical relationship between the Jewish and German peoples consisted of more than bloodshed and hardship. As…
 
In the 20th century, the Jewish people once again found themselves battling for survival and control of the land of Israel. In this podcast episode, the final part of this four-part series on Great Battles in Jewish History, David examines two military episodes from the past century – the Battle of Latrun in 1948 and … Continue reading "#69 Great B…
 
Beginning in the year 66 CE, the Jewish Revolt in the land of Israel launched a decades-long conflict with the Roman Empire. In this podcast episode, David examines three Roman sieges of Judean fortified towns and cities, culminating in the devastation of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70CE. He describes the key characters during this … Continue r…
 
The early victories of the Maccabees over the Seleucid armies have been etched into Jewish memory in the form of the festival of Hanukkah. In this podcast episode, David examines the first four of these Maccabean victories with a focus on the insight, bravery, and military ingenuity of Judea’s guerrilla fighters. Continuing with his exploration … C…
 
The earliest detailed accounts we have of military contests between the Jewish people and their enemies are found in the Bible. In this podcast episode, the first in a four-part series on great battles of Jewish History, David examines three events from the books of Judges and Samuel in which the Jewish people experience war. … Continue reading "#6…
 
Kefitzat haderech, roughly translated as instant travel, is an idea in Judaism that a person can travel from one location to another in a moment – a type of Jewish teleportation. In this podcast episode, David discusses this fascinating concept and its place in Jewish life and texts. He explains four methods for achieving instant … Continue reading…
 
The 1400s in Jewish history was a time of turbulence and uncertainty while also a period of tremendous Jewish intellectual and mystical exploration. In this podcast episode, the last of the three-part series ‘Hope in Darkness: Jewish History of the 14th and 15th Centuries’, David examines the lives of several fascinating figures and their contribut…
 
The second half of the 14th century saw tremendous economic and theological pressure placed on the Jews of Europe. In this podcast, David explores a series of compelling and poignant historical events that captured the trying circumstances of Jewish life in the Middle Ages in Europe. David also discusses the remarkable tenacity of Jewish communitie…
 
In the wake of the global upheaval and transformation of the previous century, Jewish history of the 1300s unfolded as a mix of controversy, uncertainty, and innovation. In this podcast episode, David examines the early years of the 14th century for Jews in Europe and Asia with its many dark episodes – including expulsions, forced … Continue readin…
 
Chassidism marked a moment of revolutionary change in Jewish life and spiritual engagement of the 18th century. Heavily influenced by the teachings of the Ari, early Chassidic thinkers explored and contributed to the development of Jewish mysticism. In this podcast episode, David discusses the lives and work of several early influential Chassidic f…
 
The teachings of Rabbi Isaac Luria, the Ari (AR”Y), have been profoundly influential on Jewish mystical thought of the past five hundred years. In this episode of the podcast, the second lecture in a series exploring post-Lurianic Kabbalah, David discusses the historical background, lives, and ideas of two iconic Jewish intellectual and spiritual f…
 
While the roots of Jewish mysticism can be found in the Torah, the past millennia have contributed numerous extraordinary developments and revelations in the field of Kabbalah. In particular, the teachings and ideas of 16th century kabbalist, Rabbi Isaac Luria, also known as the Ari, have been profoundly influential on Jewish mystical thinking, lit…
 
The messianic idea has been part of Jewish thought since the writings of the prophets who developed the notion that a restored Israel, housing the presence of the Divine, could lead to a transformed world. In this podcast episode, David explores the idea and manifestation of messianism in Judaism and examines several fascinating examples of … Conti…
 
Wine has played a central role in Jewish life from the very beginning. In this podcast episode, David draws together the themes of wine, the High Holidays, Kabbalah, and the natural world in a talk given in New York in 2008. David explores the significance of wine in Jewish culture and spirituality, its status and … Continue reading "#57 Wine and t…
 
The concept of teshuva – usually translated in English as “repentance” but literally meaning “return” – is, as David discusses in this episode, a phenomenal idea in Judaism that a person can be defined, not simply by what they do, but by their ability to change. This podcast episode, coming in advance of Yom Kippur, … Continue reading "#56 The Powe…
 
A Podcast on the Prophets of Israel in Tanach (Hebrew Bible) The Trei Asar, known in English as the twelve ‘minor’ prophets, have been fundamental to the transmission of ideas and moral perspectives through the past two and a half millennia. In this podcast episode, the final instalment of this four-part series on the prophets … Continue reading "#…
 
A Podcast on the Prophets of Israel in Tanach (Hebrew Bible) The Book of Ezekiel has been enormously influential on Jewish spirituality for two-and-a-half millennia, including as the foundational inspiration for subsequent Jewish mystical ideas and texts. In this podcast episode, David examines the life and work of the Prophet Ezekiel (Yechezkel), …
 
A Podcast on the Prophets of Israel in Tanach (Hebrew Bible) It is impossible to understand the impact of the prophets of Israel without placing them in their historical and cultural contexts. In this podcast episode, David sets the fascinating historical background to the emergence of the second of the ‘major prophets’, Jeremiah (Yeremiyahu). He ……
 
A Podcast on the Prophet Isaiah in Tanach (Hebrew Bible) The Prophets of Israel were a unique and revolutionary spiritual phenomenon with profound impact across the ages. In this podcast episode, the first of a four-part series on the prophets scheduled for Elul, David examines the context, character, and inspirational message of the Prophet Isaiah…
 
A Podcast on Women in Jewish History Recent decades have seen many examples of Jewish women who have significantly influenced Jewish history and, more generally, world history. In this podcast episode, David examines the characters and contributions of more than 20 extraordinary Jewish women from the past hundred years. He explores their fascinatin…
 
A Podcast on Women in Jewish History From mystics and messianic figures to writers, activists, and politicians women made enormous contributions to Jewish and world history during the four centuries examined in this lecture. In this podcast episode, David explores the characters and contributions of a collection of “remarkable and extraordinary” wo…
 
A Podcast on the Book of Job in the Hebrew Bible The Book of Job (Iyov) is a philosophical discussion on the nature of divine justice in relation to human suffering. In this podcast episode, David provides a fascinating overview of the story of Job whose tragic circumstances cause him to demand an explanation from … Continue reading "#49 When Being…
 
A Podcast on Tanach (Hebrew Bible) and Jewish History The arrival of General Pompey into Jerusalem heralded the beginning of the end for the Second Temple and Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel. In this podcast episode, timed to coincide with Tisha B’Av, David explores the fascinating drama of the reign of Herod; the … Continue reading "#48 T…
 
A Podcast on Tanach (Hebrew Bible) and Jewish History When the Persian King Cyrus the Great sponsored a Jewish return to the Land of Israel to rebuild a temple in Jerusalem he launched an era in Jewish History known as the Second Temple Period. In this podcast episode, David explores the first four centuries of … Continue reading "#47 Two Temples (…
 
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