Category Archives: History

Ep. 35: Emancipation, Haskalah, and Reform: The Zeitgeist of 1800s European Jewry

The 19th Century was a tumultuous time of fundamental change, opportunity, and upheaval for the Jewish people. For centuries, the Jews of Europe were subject to systemic marginalization: They were second-class citizens, were not granted equal rights or protection, were restricted to ghettos. The Age of Reason, alternatively called the Enlightenment, brought about rapid Emancipation for the Jews, that was not without its challenges. How would the nation respond to the doors of ghetto – and the floodgates of assimilation – opening?

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at https://www.torchweb.org/support.php. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

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Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 34: Great Jewish Personalities: The Gaon of Vilna

Rabbi Eliyahu the son of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Kramer (1720-1797), known to all as the Gaon (genius) of Vilna, or simply the “Gaon”, was a legendary and towering figures of Jewish history. While he never headed a yeshiva, held rabbinic office, or publish in his lifetime, he was universally recognized as the undisputed leader of the nation, and his impact towered above all others in his generation and continues to mold the nation until this day.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at https://www.torchweb.org/support.php. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 33: Great Jewish Personalities: Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (Ramchal)

Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto (1707-1746) was a transformative paragon of Kabbalah, Mussar and Jewish theology. Despite living a short and tumultuous life, Ramchal’s writings and teachings were astonishingly prolific, and many of his books became indispensable classics that redefined their genre. In this podcast, we meet a precocious and prodigious youth teaching and practicing Kabbalah; we go on to marvel at Ramchal’s relentless literary output while subject to and fleeing from unforgiving persecution; and we read some samples from his vast library of magisterial works.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at https://www.torchweb.org/support.php. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 32: A History of False Messiahs

Belief in the coming of Messiah is a critical component of Jewish faith that is enshrined in Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles of Faith. Sadly, ignorance of what exactly Messiah is, what he supposed to do, and how to vet him, coupled with people’s naiveté, gullibility, and vulnerability, has allowed for several imposters to make false Messianic claims, with disastrous consequences to their adherents and the nation at large. In this podcast, we attempt to clear away some of the misconceptions about Messiah that enable False Messiahs to thrive, define what/who it is and how Messianic claims are verified, and also tell the story of the most harmful False Messiahs in Jewish History, and their aftermath. 

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at https://www.torchweb.org/support.php. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 31: The Six Day War Part 2

In the morning of June 5, 1967, the Israeli Air Force launched Operation Focus, an all out assault on Egyptian air bases. 50 minutes later, Israel began a massive coordinated ground attack on the entrenched Egyptian fortified positions in Sinai. Thus began the war that spanned a mere six days but changed the face of the Middle East. In this podcast, we tell the story of the remarkable Israeli triumph against the Egyptians, the capture and unification of Jerusalem from the Jordanians, and the fierce Golan Heights battles with the Syrians.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at givetorch.com. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 30: The Six Day War Part 1

In June of 1967, the third Arab-Israeli war, a conflict that shaped the modern Middle East, erupted. The Arabs had advantages in terms of numbers of troops, tanks, planes; they had a broad coalition and international support; and their geographical depth gave them a sizeable leg up. The fledgling Jewish State had to fight a multi-front war against powerful enemies committed to its destruction and annihilation. In Part 1 of our telling of the story of the Six Day War, we look at the conditions that led to the war, the progressive escalations that brought the sides to the precipice of war, and examine the ultimate Israeli decision to launch a pre-emptive strike.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at givetorch.com. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 29: A History of Halacha

Halacha is the aspect of Oral Torah that teaches the practical instructions of fulfilling the mitzvos. It addresses questions like: What is allowed what is forbidden? What is kosher what is unkosher? Who is liable and who is innocent? For the Jewish people to exist and flourish, knowledge of Halacha must be ubiquitous. In this podcast we trace its history, and focus on the painstaking efforts to codify, standardize and write Halacha.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at givetorch.com. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 28: A History of Zionism

69 years ago, the State of Israel was declared. For the first time since the arrival of Pompey and the Romans in 63 BC, Jews had sovereignty over their homeland; the Land promised to Abraham Isaac and Jacob, the Land from which they were twice expelled. For Zionists worldwide, it marked the actualization of their hopes and yearnings. It was the fulfillment of a half-century aspirations of Political Zionism conceived by Theodor Herzl in the 1890s, and a major moment in the destiny of Religious Zionism – the millennia-long hope of a spiritual reawakening as foretold in the Torah, perhaps with faint rumblings of the Messianic Era getting underway. What are the origins and tenets of these strands of Zionism? How did they coalesce in the founding of the State? What can the ideaological roots of the State tell us about the current challenges and policy disagreements facing Israel today?

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at givetorch.com. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 27: Great Jewish Personalities: Ramban (Nachmanides)

Rabbi Moshe Ben Nachman was one of the towering figures of Medieval Jewish world, whose impact was unmatched in his lifetime, and whose volumenous and diverse writings continue to educate and inspire – and indeed shape Jewish life – 750 years after his passing.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at givetorch.com. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Ep. 26: A History of Christian Anti-Semitism Part 2

In this podcast we detail a shortened version of the shameful history of Christian anti-semitism over the last 500 years. We learn about the ruthless Portuguese Inquisition; the decrepit ghettos of Italy; the horrific massacres of Chmielnitsky in Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine; the Pale of Settlement and the various gruesome pogroms in Russia, and survey the current landscape of Christian anti-Semitism in Israel and the United States.

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Please consider making a donation to help fund our Jewish outreach and educational efforts at givetorch.com. Thank you!

Contact:

Website: RabbiWolbe.com;
Twitter: @RabbiWolbe;
Facebook: Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe;
Email: rabbiwolbe@gmail.com.

Please SUBSCRIBE, RATE and REVIEW all my podcasts on iTunes and Android:

Podcasts Links iOS:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah

Podcast Links Android:

This Jewish Life – In-Depth Analysis into Critical Torah Topics;
The Jewish History Podcast – Telling the Remarkable story of the Jewish People;
The Parsha Podcast – A Weekly Analysis and Exploration of the Parsha;
TORAH 101 – An Intellectual’s Introduction to Torah