127 episodes

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.

Encounter leaders, visionaries, spies, heroes & traitors and unpack 2,000 years of Jewish heritage.
Go back to the story of Jews in the Temple of Jerusalem. Confront the dilemmas of the Holocaust. Visit Paris, Prague, Vilna, London, Venice, New York & the Cairo Geniza. Meet The Russian Czar, Ramchal, Maharal, Maimonides, Churchill, Shabbetai Zvi and the Hapsburgs.

History for the Curious - The Jewish History Podcast JLE

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

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.

Encounter leaders, visionaries, spies, heroes & traitors and unpack 2,000 years of Jewish heritage.
Go back to the story of Jews in the Temple of Jerusalem. Confront the dilemmas of the Holocaust. Visit Paris, Prague, Vilna, London, Venice, New York & the Cairo Geniza. Meet The Russian Czar, Ramchal, Maharal, Maimonides, Churchill, Shabbetai Zvi and the Hapsburgs.

    Kabbalah II - Heresy : Spain 1290-1350

    Kabbalah II - Heresy : Spain 1290-1350

    Unraveling the Mystery  - Who was Moshe de Leon? How did the Zohar impact Jewish history? Is there a deep divide between Academics & Kabbalists. What did Rav Yaakov Emden write? And how was Marriage seen in 13th century Spain?
     
    Chapters
    00:00 Introduction: The Mystery of the Zohar
    13:09 The Historical Context of Spain in the 13th and 14th Centuries
    30:42 The Impact of the Zohar on Jewish History and Thought
    31:12 The Complexity of the Zohar
    34:01 Geographic References in the Zohar
    36:48 Questioning the Existence of Places in the Zohar
    38:14 The Enigma of Moshe de Leon
    41:02 Possible Origins of the Zohar
    44:17 The Role of Roshun Beychai in the Zohar
    49:00 Different Perspectives on the Zohar
    52:22 Understanding the Entire Torah
    54:19 The Beliefs of a Believing Jew
    58:59 The Laws of Shmita
     

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Kabbalah I - Controversy : Spain 1250-1295

    Kabbalah I - Controversy : Spain 1250-1295

    In the 1200s Spanish Jewry faced great challenges within the community including Murder, Immorality & Defection.
     
    This was exacerbated by dangerous teachings within Kabbalah which had to be rooted out by the Rashba and banned.
    But 700 years later a pathway was found to Redemption. 
     
    Chapters
    00:00 Challenges of 13th-Century Spain: Tensions, Wealth, and Power
    03:06 Controversies in Jewish Scholarship: Philosophy and Kabbalah
    08:20 Internal Conflicts and Legal Authority
    15:03 Religious Challenges and the Ban on Philosophy
    26:50 The Legacy of Rabbi Avraham Abulafia
    48:26 Kabbalistic Techniques and Mathematics

    • 53 min
    Spanish Jewry III - Targets of Resentment: Prominent Jewish Figures in Spain

    Spanish Jewry III - Targets of Resentment: Prominent Jewish Figures in Spain

    The Golden Age was over but what drove Jews to settle in Christian Spain?
    What is the true story of the pirates in Cordoba?
    Why was the commentary of the Rif so vital and why did the Ba’al HaMaor critique it?
    Who controlled the Jews: The Church or The Kings?
     

    Chapters:
    00:00 Introduction and Background
    03:05 Legends and Stories in Jewish History
    08:50 Prominent Jewish Scholars and Physicians
    16:30 Transition from Muslim to Christian Rule
    24:48 Power Dynamics: Kings and the Church
    29:00 Challenges to Jewish Authority
    31:58 Clothing and Distinguishing Marks
    36:12 Freedom and High Profile
    39:01 Tensions and Uncertainty

     
     

    • 41 min
    Spanish Jewry II - The Golden Age : Poetry, Power and Politics

    Spanish Jewry II - The Golden Age : Poetry, Power and Politics

    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
    00:00 Introduction to the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry
    14:18 The Achievements and Influential Figures of the Golden Age
    35:58 The Cultural Significance of Poetry and Literature
    39:21 Emergence of Jewish Literary Works in Muslim Spain
    41:37 The End of the Golden Age
    43:28 Disputes Among Jewish Grammarians

    • 45 min
    Spanish Jewry I - The Dark Ages: The Forced Conversion of the Jews

    Spanish Jewry I - The Dark Ages: The Forced Conversion of the Jews

    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 Visigothic Period: Anti-Jewish Legislation and Forced Conversions
    15:40 The Muslim Invasion: The Golden Age of Spain for Jews
    33:43 Uncovering the Forgotten History: The Jews of Spain

    • 34 min
    Responsa in History III

    Responsa in History III

    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 Insights from Historical Responsa

     



     

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Berish Winky ,

Fascinating

Absolutely love
So informative and interesting- we eagerly wait for each new episode!

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