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● History Lectures - Downloadable
  Series I : From Exile to Herod
  Series II: From Yavneh to Betar
  Series III: From Betar to the Mishna
  Series IV: Creation of the Talmud
  Series V: The Gaonic Era
  Series VI: The Golden Age of Spain
  Series VII: Ashkenazic Jewry
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  Series X: The Early Hasidic Masters
  Series XI: The Epic of Creation
  Series XII: The Epic of Creation - Part 2
  Series XIII: Epic of the Eternal People - Genesis
  Series XIV: Epic of the Eternal People - Exodus
  Series XV: From Sinai to Shiloh
  Series XVI: From Shiloh to Jerusalem
  Series XVII: Solomon to the Temple's Destruction
  Series XVIII: From the Ghetto to Emancipation Pt 1
  Series XIX: From the Ghetto to Emancipation Pt 2
  Series XX: The Return to Zion Pt 1
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Rav Mendel of Vitebsk & the Founding of the Hasidic Communities   $5.00

For the most part, life in Eretz Yisrael during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was very challenging. Besides the extreme poverty and persecution that was the lot of the Jewish community, two events in particular shook Eretz Yisrael to its core. The first was the appearance of the false Messiah, Shabbtai Tzvi in the year 1665. The euphoria that initially marked his emergence was soon followed by feelings of remorse and embarrassment in the wake of Shabbtai Tzviís conversion to Islam together with hundreds of his followers. The beginning of the eighteenth century witnessed the mass migration of some 1,500 men women and children to Eretz Yisrael led by Rav Yehudah Chasid and R. Avraham Malach, an avowed Sabbatian. This too ended in failure with the death of Rav Yehudah Chasid, soon upon his arrival, with the last of his poverty stricken followers chased out of Jerusalem some twenty years later, leaving all of their property and synagogue in ruins. The end of the eighteenth century saw another attempt at resettling the land. This migration was led by Rav Mendel of Vitebsk and Rav Avraham of Kalisk, disciples of the famed Magid of Mezrich, the successor of the Baal Shem Tov. This migration, too, met with severe difficulties. These stories are the subject of this lecture.

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