In this class we will look at the history of the Jews during the Middle Ages. After the rise of Islam circa 600 C.E., Jewish communities in the ancient Near East found themselves living under laws of the Pact of Umar. We will examine how these communities coped with their political reality and compare it to how European Jewish communities living under Christianity fared. As we move through the Middle Ages, we will learn about Rashi and his contributions to our tradition. We will also learn about the schools of Kalam (Islamic philosophy) and their influence on Jewish philosophy. We will look at the life of Maimonides, the most famous medieval Jewish philosopher, and learn about some of his most notable teachings, including the Mishneh Torah. We will also look at the rise of Kabbalah and its influence on Jewish tradition. Join us for 8 weeks of lively discussion and learning.
Rabbi Mark Goodman is the rabbi and cantor of Valley Beth Israel, where he has served since 2000. He teaches adult education at the Whizin Center for Continuing Education at AJU. He is currently working on his Doctorate in Jewish Studies.