Understanding the World
through the Prism of Jewish History
Rabbi Spiro is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher for Aish HaTorahs Discovery Seminars. In addition, he is a licensed tour guide from the Israel Ministry of Tourism. Rabbi Spiro graduated from Vassar College with a BA in Russian Language and Literature and did graduate studies at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow.
He has an MA in History from The Vermont College of Norwich University and Rabbinic Ordination from Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem.
He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs such as B.B.C. Radio and TV., The National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, Channel 4 England and Arutz Sheva-Israel National Radio. He is the author of WorldPerfect – The Jewish Impact on Civilization published by HCI books and Crash Course in Jewish History published by Targum Press. His writings and seminars can be accessed on this website and www.aish.com.
Born and raised in the U.S. Rabbi Spiro has lived in Israel since 1982. He served in a combat infantry unit in the IDF. A father of five children, he currently lives near Jerusalem in Givat Zeev.
Crash Course in Jewish History Book
From Abraham and the birth of monotheism to the Holocaust and the creation of modern Israel-Crash Course in Jewish History explores 3,800 years of Jewish existence. Ken Spiro takes the reader on a fascinating and informative journey through time, highlighting the key lessons of Jewish and world history and the profound relevance that the past holds for the future of both the Jewish people and humanity.
In a seemingly suicidal move, the Jews take on the mighty Romans. A rebellion against Rome in the 1st century CE would be the equivalent today of Israel declaring war on NATO. That’s how mighty Rome was. So how did the Jews decide to take on such a seemingly suicidal challenge? This question has a […]
Jews gained untold riches in America, at the cost of their heritage and spirituality. When we last left off the Jews of America ― at the beginning of the 19th century ― there were only about 6,000 of them. The idea that there was freedom in America as long as you were not “too Jewish,” […]
Germans emphasized their loyalty to the “fatherland” in order to be accepted in mainstream society. Author’s note: This section on the Reform Movement (and part 58) is meant as an overview of the origins and history of the movement. It is not meant to reflect the modern attitude of the Reform Movement nor its present-day […]
Hitler implemented his goal to eliminate all Jews from the planet. By the beginning of 1942 the Germans had close to 9 million Jews under their control (out of a total of 11 million Jews living in Europe and the Soviet Union). And, of course, it was their plan to murder them all. Already, the […]
Herzl launched the political framework for the modern State of Israel. We cannot study Zionism without studying Theodor Benyamin Ze’ev Herzl (1860-1904). We already saw in Part 59, as a correspondent during the Alfred Dreyfus affair, he was shocked to hear the civilized French screaming “Death to the Jews!” He determined then and there that […]
To remedy the family animosity, Joseph sets the stage for a great test. An interesting thing happens in the Bible right in the middle of the Joseph story. Suddenly the story stops. We leave off Joseph and return to the land of Canaan to pick up the story of Judah, the fourth oldest of the […]
Christian accusations leveled against the Jews were extreme and irrational. We are about to begin discussing an excruciating period of Jewish history that is marked by constant and unrelenting Christian persecution. During this period we will see: the Jews expelled from England (1290) the Jews expelled from France (1306 and 1394) the Jews expelled from […]
Despite the disastrous results of the Great Revolt, the Jews revolt yet again. The Temple was no more. Jerusalem had been conquered. Rome had asserted its might and crushed the Great Revolt of the Jews. Now there could be quiet. Hardly. Virulent anti-Semitism continued unabated in the Roman Empire, generated by the Hellenists who, not […]
The Assyrians conquer northern Israel and vanquish the nation with exile. At a time when the Jewish people of the northern kingdom of Israel are weakening spiritually, as well as physically and militarily, the Assyrians are growing stronger. The Assyrians at this time occupy the territory immediately north — what is today’s Syria, Iraq, and […]
This is no typical war of conquest. The Book of Joshua begins: And it was after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, that the Lord said to Joshua the son
King Solomon, the wisest of all men, built the Temple in Jerusalem and reigned over Israel’s golden age. Before David dies, he appoints as king his son Solomon, who is 12 years old at the time, with these words: “I go the way of all the earth. You shall be strong, therefore, and show yourself […]