Great Debates in Jewish History

Debate is not only encouraged within Judaism but resides at the very heart of our history and theology. Great Debates in Jewish History explores six fundamental conflicts that pitted the greatest Jewish minds against each other—six instances of divergent perspectives, including several that are still debated today.

Discover stirring and surprising accounts that span two millennia of Jewish disputation, reflecting the panorama of Jewish history and its monumental political, ethical, and spiritual challenges. Encounter the gripping narratives of six fascinating eras, the intellectual tension and points of view they unearth, and the light they shed on the most fundamental of Jewish beliefs.

Lesson 1: Dead Sea Scrolls - Dead Sea Sect vs Rabbinic Interpretation

Lesson 2: Suicide at Masada - Militant Nationalism vs Religious Institutionalism

Lesson 3: The Maimonidean Controversy - Faith vs Reason

Lesson 4: Renewal of The Sanhedrin - Active Messianism vs Passive Messianism

Lesson 5: Chasidism - Divine Transcendence vs Divine Immanence

Lesson 6: Separation of Church and State - Religion in Public vs Religion as a Private Affair