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Bill Thayer

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Readings in
Jewish History

The page before you is something of a placeholder for now, although it may expand, as things tend to on my site. Still, each of the two books listed here is important. They are in English, and shown in chronological order by subject.

[image ALT: משה בן מימון, that is, Moshe ben Maimûn, the Hebrew name of the philosopher Europeans call Maimonides. The image serves as the icon on my site for Yellin and Abrahams' book biography of the man.]

The Rambam — rabbi, philosopher, physician — was born and raised in Spain, went into exile in Morocco, and ended his days in Egypt, greatly honored by the Fatimid government. David Yellin and Israel Abrahams' Maimonides gives us an essential biography of the man, simply and elegantly written.

[ 14 webpages
— 234 pages of print, unillustrated ]

[image ALT: The Hebrew phrase 'Sefer Yeven Metzulah', in Hebrew characters. The image serves as the icon on this site for the book 'Abyss of Despair' by Rabbi Nata Hanover.]

Abyss of Despair, by Nathan Hanover, a native of Ostroh and a rabbi of Iziaslav (both towns now in Ukraine), chronicles sometimes as an eyewitness the appalling pogroms perpetrated in 1648‑1649 in Podilia and Volynia, and parts of modern Poland and Belarus as well, by the partisans of the Cossack hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

[ primary source (in part): 22 webpages
— 128 pages of print, 5 engravings, 1 map ]

Onsite link

I will also be adding a few journal articles from time to time. Here are the first:

Cochin in Jewish History

The Number of Jews in Dutch Brazil

[image ALT: A Magen David on a plain field. This design serves to represent the section of my site on Jewish history.]

The icon I use for this subsite is as natural as can be: the Magen David that has long symbolized the Jewish nation, and is found today on the flag of Israel.

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Site updated: 28 Dec 22