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Herald of Destiny
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The story of the Jews in the medieval era 750-1650
The second book in the series weaves an informative and provocative tapestry out of the events of the Jewish Middle Ages, 750 - 1650. Rabbi Wein tells of the Jewish achievements of power, wealth, and scholarship during the Golden Age of Spain, of Rashi and the Tosafists, Rabbi Yehuda Halevy and Maimonides. He relates the strong role that the Jews played in the Renaissance and the Reformation as patrons of arts and sponsors of exploration and commerce. But, he also tells of the Almohad persecutions, the Crusades, the Black Death, the burning of the Talmud in Paris, the divisive and bitter rivalries, and the quarrels and violence within the Jewish community itself.

Through his hundreds of lectures, Rabbi Wein has brought the Torah perspective on history to thousands of listeners. In this original work, he paints a magnificent, panoramic picture of our people in the centuries that shaped us and our world. This major work has the touches of luxury you expect in books of this magnitude, including a ribbon place-marker and embossed foil-stamped jacket. Large 8-1/2" x 11" "coffee-table" format. Beautifully written and illustrated, it is accurate and incisive, yet personal and passionate. It is informative, provocative, and inspiring. Seldom is must reading so enjoyable.

Table of Contents

Section I: Transition 750-1000
  • Babylonia
  • Geonim / Decline of Babylonian Jewry / Rav Saadya Gaon / The Jewish Center of Babylonia Ends / The Four Hostages
  • The End of the Geonic Period
  • Rabbis Sherira and Hai Gaon / Changing of the Guard - Rav Hai Gaon / New Leadership
Section II: New Roots 700-1150
  • The Jews Come to Spain (700-1100)
  • Chisdai Ibn Shaprut / The Jewish Khazar Kingdom / Chisdai's Proteges / Shmuel HaNagid / Yosef HaNagid / Ibn Gabirol / Rabbi Yitzchak Alfasi
  • The Jews in Western Europe
  • The Kalonymus Family / Rabbeinu Gershom / Italian Jewry / Provence
  • The House of Rashi
  • Rashi's Commentary to the Talmud / Rashi's Commentary to the Bible / The Tosafos / Commentary to the Talmud / Rabbeinu Tam / Other Major Tosafists
Section III: Society 900-1200
  • Life in the Middle Ages
  • Moslem Society / Christian Society / Feudal Society / Fun and Childhood / Towns
  • Poetry, Liturgy, and Prayer
  • Piyutim and Paytanim / Rabbi Elazar Hakalir / The Poets of Spain / The Poets of Italy / The Poets of Provence / Ashkenazic Poets
Section IV: Giants in the Land 1050-1300
  • The Golden Age Wanes
  • Golden Age for Torah / Rabbi Moshe Ibn Ezra / Poet and Philosopher / Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra / The Almohads
  • Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon
  • Spanish Roots / The Pen of Moshe / In Defense of the Weakened / In the Emperor's Court / Mishneh Torah / Court Intrigue
  • The Wise Men of Provence
  • Heirs to the Geonim / Provence Develops / Rabbi Yosef Kimchi / Provence's Philosophers / Philosophical Greatness
Section V: Instability and Disaster 1100-1600
  • The Age of the Crusades
  • The First Crusade / The Second Crusade / The Third Crusade / The Fourth and Fifth Crusades / Scholarly Achievements / Ashkenazic Jewry After the Crusades
  • The Black Death
  • Rabbinic Enactments / German and Austrian Jewry after the Plague
  • The End of Jewish Spain
  • The Cristian Reconquest of Spain / Debating the Faith / The Controversy Regarding Rambam / Rambam's Works are Burned / The Burning of the Talmud / Reconciliation / The End of Jewish Spain
  • Rashba / Rosh / The Great Schism / The Beginning of the End / The Ran and His Disciples / Apostates / The Great Debate at Tortosa / The End Draws Near / The Inquisition / Abarbanel / The Expulsion of 1492
  • The Bitter Aftermath
  • Expulsion from Portuagal / Dovid HaReuveni / Resettlement of the Sephardim
Section VI: Kabbalah and Renaissance 1350-1650
  • Kabbalah
  • Kabbalah Among the Sephardim and Provencal Jews / Kabbalah in Germany / The Ari and Lurianic Kabbalah / The Influence of Kabbalah
  • Jews in the Renaissance
  • Italy / The Printing Press / Discrediting of Aristotle / Don Yosef Nasi
  • The Reformation
    Section VII: New Realities 1500-1650
    • Shulchan Aruch
    • Rabbi Yosef Caro / Rabbi Yaakov Bei Rav / Shulchan Aruch / The Rema
    • Diaspora East
    • Rabbi Yaakov Pollak / The Jews in Polish Society / Torah Scholarship / Persecution by the Church
    Section VIII
    • Epilogue
    Appendix
    • Time Line
    Bibliography
    Index

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