Join Rabbi David Sedley as he explores the life and writings of Isaac ben Judah Abarbanel, simply known as Abarbanel or Abravanel. Much like a pulpit rabbi of today may discuss issues of the time when giving a dvar Torah, he took great care to incorporate issues of his time into his writings. He was incredibly influential in Spain prior to the expulsion of Jews in 1492, yet with all of his influence and power, he could not convince the leadership to cancel the decree and left with his people in July of that year.
This class focuses primarily on the life of Don Isaac Abarbanel, who went from being a wealthy adviser to King Alfonso V of Portugal, to being penniless and homeless, to becoming a wealthy adviser to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain, to being penniless and homeless again. And again. And again.
While he was wandering from place to place Abarbanel managed to write commentaries to the Five Books of Moses and the Prophets. He also wrote several other books of philosophy and apologetics.
Rabbi David Sedley lives in Jerusalem with his wife and six children. He was born and raised in New Zealand before making Aliya in 1992. He left Israel temporarily (for eight years) to serve as a communal Rabbi in Scotland and England and returned to Israel in 2004. He has translated Rabbeinu Yonah's commentary on Pirkei Avos and is the co-author of Sefiros: Spiritual Refinement Through Counting the Omer (both Judaica Press). Over the years Rabbi Sedley has worked as a journalist, a translator, a video director and in online reputation management. He also writes a weekly Torah blog on the Times of Israel - https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/author/david-sedley.