• May 27, 2020
  • 4 5780, Sivan
  • פרשת נשא

Rabbis of the 18th Century

Rabbis of the 18th Century
The 18th century was the Age of Enlightenment. It was a time when the arts flourished and science advanced faster than ever before. Join Rabbi David Sedley as he explores the 18th century in both the secular (western) world and the Jewish world and discuss some of the great Jewish and non-Jewish figures of the age. Each class will cover approximately a decade of the 1700s.

Next Class

June 02, 2020
6
Days
12
Hours
46
Mins

Timezone

Time of Class

Tue 7:00 pm
May 5, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi, Sabbateanism and communal politics
Class description

In this class we begin in the 1660s with the false Messiah Shabbatai Tzvi and the impact he had on the next century. We look at what is going on in Britain and Europe as politics changes the shape of the world and the role of the Jews within in.

We focus on Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi, known by the name of his book, Chacham Tzvi. He was familiar with both the Ashkenazi and Sephardi worlds, and knew only too well the dangers of Sabbateanism.

We end with Rene Descartes, automatons and a golem.

May 12, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Shabtai Bass, author of Siftei Chachamim
Class description

This class is about Shabtai Bass, whose most famous book, Siftei Chachamim — a  collection of commentaries on Rashi’s commentary on Chumash, is well known and used.

He wrote two other books: Siftei Yeshenim — the first bibliography of Jewish books. For this reason Bass is known as the father of Hebrew bibliography.

And: Derech Eretz — a unique, rare, book with advice for Jewish travelers earning a living across Europe. It is part prayer book, part travel guide, and part information for traders.

May 19, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar – Ohr Hachaim
Class description

In this class we look at the life and teachings of Rabbi Chaim ibn Attar, one of the greatest Moroccan-born Rabbis. He wrote Ohr Hachaim on the Chumash, Pri To’ar on Yoreh De’a which are widely used today, as well as commentaries on parts of the Talmud and on parts of the Bible.

He was born and grew up in Morocco, moved to Israel via Italy. But became a favorite of the Polish hasidim (including the Ba’al Shem Tov).

May 26, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Ramchal)
Class description

In this class we look at a small part of the life of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, known by the acronym Ramchal. We discuss his kabbalistic works, and the rabbis who banned him out of fear that he may be a Sabbatean.

Ramchal was a kabbalist and a rationalist, and in his attempt to combine the two, was kicked out of his home town of Padua. He spent 10 years in Amsterdam where he wrote his most famous books — including Derech Hashem (Way of God) and Mesilat Yesharim (Path of the Just).

He and his family moved eventually to Israel where they died a few years later during a plague. Ramchal was aged 39.

June 2, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description
June 9, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
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June 16, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
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June 23, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description
June 30, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description
July 7, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description
July 14, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description
July 21, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description
July 28, 2020 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Rabbis of the 18th Century: Lesson
Class description

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.