308 episodes

Listen to noted Tour Guide, Lecturer and Yad Vashem Researcher of Jewish History Yehuda Geberer bring the world of pre-war Eastern Europe alive. Join in to meet the great personages, institutions and episodes of a riveting past.

For speaking engagements or tours in Israel or Eastern Europe
Yehuda@YehudaGeberer.com

Jewish History Soundbites Yehuda Geberer

    • Religion & Spirituality

Listen to noted Tour Guide, Lecturer and Yad Vashem Researcher of Jewish History Yehuda Geberer bring the world of pre-war Eastern Europe alive. Join in to meet the great personages, institutions and episodes of a riveting past.

For speaking engagements or tours in Israel or Eastern Europe
Yehuda@YehudaGeberer.com

    10th Yahrtzeit Special: Memories of Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel

    10th Yahrtzeit Special: Memories of Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel

    To commemorate the 10th yahrtzeit of the Mir Rosh Yeshiva Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel (1943-2011), here is another installment of impressions and recollections of this great man and his impact on the larger Torah world. Viewing his great accomplishments over the course of his 22 year tenure at the helm of Mir Yeshiva, one is tempted to see them in the greater context of the rebirth of the Torah world in the postwar era. His projects can be seen as launching an era of expansion, following decades of modest rebuilding.


    From his modest beginnings as a youth in Chicago, the young Rav Nosson Tzvi travelled after high school to his great uncle, Rav Leizer Yudel Finkel in Mir Yeshiva in Jerusalem. During his years as Rosh Yeshiva, he was beloved for his love which he exuded to his talmidim, and awed by all for his dedication despite the effects of his debilitating illness.


    Listen to our previous episodes about the life of the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel:


    https://jsoundbites.podbean.com/e/the-kid-from-chicago-the-life-of-rav-nosson-tzvi-finkel-part-i/

    https://jsoundbites.podbean.com/e/to-live-a-life-of-torah-the-life-of-rav-nosson-tzvi-finkel-part-ii/

     


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    You can email Yehuda at yehuda@yehudageberer.com

    • 26 min
    Great American Jewish Cities #23: Houston Part II

    Great American Jewish Cities #23: Houston Part II

    In this second installment on the Jewish history of Houston and South Texas, the renaissance of Orthodox through the pioneering efforts of Rabbi Joseph Radinsky of the United Orthodox Synagogue, Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff of Chabad and Rabbi Yehoshua Wender of the Young Israel of Houston. The development of air conditioning led to a population explosion in Houston in 1960’s, and the S&L scandal led to its reduction in the late 80’s. Nevertheless, institutions were built, schools grew and a Kollel was founded in recent times as well.


    40 miles to the west lies the town of Hempstead. Its rise and decline as a Jewish community is through the story of the Schwartz family and its patriarch Rabbi Chaim Schwartz. The port of Galveston was home to a prestigious community, as well as the oldest established Jewish community in Texas. With Rabbi Henry Cohen’s arrival in 1888, he’d leave his imprint on Texas and American Jewish history through his activities over the ensuing more than six decades. The most prominent role played by Galveston was with the ‘Galveston Plan’, an attempt to reroute Eastern European Jewish immigrants to Galveston due to the overcrowding of New York. With a direct Bremen-Galveston route in place, over 10,000 Jews arrived in the port between the years 1907-1914.


     


    For sponsorship opportunities about your favorite topics of Jewish history contact Yehuda at:  yehuda@yehudageberer.com


     


    Subscribe To Our Podcast on: 


     


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    You can email Yehuda at yehuda@yehudageberer.com

    • 36 min
    Great American Jewish Cities #23: Houston Part I

    Great American Jewish Cities #23: Houston Part I

    Jewish roots in southern Texas precede the Civil War. Jewish communities emerged in Houston, Galveston and other cities and towns across the Texan frontier. As commerce developed in the second half of the 19th century, the Jewish population grew and established synagogues. 


    From the Reform Beth Israel - which started out as Orthodox - to the Orthodox Adath Israel, the immigrants from Germany and later Eastern Europe left an imprint on Jewish and general Houston society. Rabbi Yaakov Geller was a rabbi from Galicia, and Max Goodman was a shochet from Lithuania. Pioneers in recent history include the United Orthodox Synagogue of Rabbi Joseph Radinsky, Rabbi Shimon Lazaroff with Chabad and Rabbi Yehoshua Wender of the Young Israel of Houston.


    As South Texas’s Jewish history is explored, Houston, Galveston and other towns play their part in the unfolding Jewish story.


     


    For sponsorship opportunities about your favorite topics of Jewish history contact Yehuda at:  yehuda@yehudageberer.com


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    You can email Yehuda at yehuda@yehudageberer.com

    • 32 min
    Romanian Revival: Interwar Romanian Rabbinical Leadership

    Romanian Revival: Interwar Romanian Rabbinical Leadership

    Rav Yehuda Leib Tzirelson (1859-1941) and his younger compatriot Rabbi Moshe Yosef Rubin (1895-1980), were but two examples of the unique rabbinical leadership enjoyed by the Romanian Jewish community during the tumultuous first half of the 20th century. With the outer districts of Bukovina and Bessarabia being absorbed into the new nationalistic and increasingly anti Semitic Romania, it took courageous leadership to provide an anchor of tradition during that time period.


    What made the story even more unique was their leadership in the Romanian Agudas Yisroel organization, while maintaining Zionistic positions on settlement of the Land of Israel and the future founding of a State. Rabbi Rubin was able to escape to Bucharest following the war's outbreak and continued his rescue activities and Agudah leadership from the capital. Following the war, he immigrated to the United States, where he later founded the Geder Avos organization to protect and maintain Jewish cemeteries in Europe.
     

    For sponsorship opportunities about your favorite topics of Jewish history contact Yehuda at:  yehuda@yehudageberer.com

     

    Subscribe To Our Podcast on: 
     
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    Follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @Jsoundbites


    You can email Yehuda at yehuda@yehudageberer.com

    • 35 min
    Sale or No Sale? Shemitah in Modern Times Part II

    Sale or No Sale? Shemitah in Modern Times Part II

    With the passing of Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor in 1896, his true opinion of the 'Heter Mechira' which he had authored became a matter of everlasting dispute. In the ensuing shmittah years, other rabbis weighed in on the issue, with some supporting the heter mechira, while others remained opposed.
    With the rise of settlements during the Second Aliyah in the early 1900's, as well as the more secular nature of the colonists, the shmittah issue came to the fore again with the upcoming shmittah year of 1910. Rav Yaakov Dovid Wilovsky - the Ridbaz - was the most vocal opponent of the heter mechira, and he disputed the then rabbi of Yaffo, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook. This sharp dispute defined the heter mechira issue during that year, though the two maintained a close personal friendship.
     
    For sponsorship opportunities about your favorite topics of Jewish history contact Yehuda at:  yehuda@yehudageberer.com

     

    Subscribe To Our Podcast on: 
     
    PodBean: https://jsoundbites.podbean.com/
     

    Follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @Jsoundbites


    You can email Yehuda at yehuda@yehudageberer.com

    • 34 min
    Land on Sabbatical: Shemitah in Modern Times Part I

    Land on Sabbatical: Shemitah in Modern Times Part I

    With the onset of the First Aliyah in the 1880's, and the beginnings of Jewish agricultural settlements as a result, the issue of how to observe Shmita came to the fore. Most of the original colonies were funded and managed by Baron Edmund De Rothschild, and he and his managers weren't too keen on having the farmers disengage from agricultural activities for an entire year.
    The leaders of the Chovevei Zion movement sought a way to resolve the issue and the original 'Heter Mechira' was formulated. With the tacit support of Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor, the land was sold to a non-Jew for the duration of the shmita year. Most of the colonies availed themselves of the Heter Mechira. The Ekron-Mazkeret Batya settlement decided to follow the ruling of the Jerusalem rabbinate and observe shmita in its ideal form. The Baron and his managers saw this as a revolt, and accused them of being lazy, but they held steadfast.
    The ensuing tension and struggle would set the stage for both shmita observance as well as the overall religious-secular tensions of the Yishuv for decades to come.
     
    For sponsorship opportunities about your favorite topics of Jewish history contact Yehuda at:  yehuda@yehudageberer.com

     

    Subscribe To Our Podcast on: 
     
    PodBean: https://jsoundbites.podbean.com/
     

    Follow us on Twitter or Instagram at @Jsoundbites


    You can email Yehuda at yehuda@yehudageberer.com

    • 36 min

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