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.
This area of Russia where Jews were most oppressed gave rise to amazing achievements. The Napoleonic Enlightenment, which emancipated the Jews of Western Europe, did not make it to Eastern Europe where most Jews lived in the 18th-19th centuries. The largest concentration of Jews ― about 5 million ― was located there, representing 40% of […]
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 […]
Since its founding in 1948, Israel has been in a constant state of war, and yet has achieved great economic success. “The Arab world is not in a compromising mood… Nations never concede; they fight. You won’t get anything by peaceful means or compromise. You can, perhaps, get something, but only by force of your […]
Spain was the Medieval golden land of opportunity for Jews. As the armies of Islam conquered larger and larger swaths of Europe, the Jews of the Middle East saw new opportunities opening up for them in Muslim Europe. One of the best opportunities proved to be Spain, starting with the Muslim conquest of 711. Indeed, […]
Four thousand years of Jewish history at a glance. Easy print PDF version of this timeline 12k We have now reached the conclusion of this series and before we wrap up it is fitting for us to put into perspective the ground that we have covered. Note that we are following the Jewish calendar for […]
Jewish tradition maintains the Romans were descendants of Esau, the bloodthirsty brother of Jacob. Before we tell the story of how the Second Commonwealth of Israel met its sad end at the hands of the Roman Empire, let us step back in time and delve into what Rome was about, and how it became a […]
King Boleslav of Poland invited the Jews, granting them unprecedented rights and privileges. The period of history we are looking at is known as the Renaissance which historians generally date from about 1350 to about 1650. Renaissance means “rebirth.” Rebirth of what? Of knowledge. We have now left the Dark Ages dominated by the repressive […]
The United States was the first country to be created, from its inception, as a democracy. And the Bible played a major role in the process. The creation of the United States of America represented a unique event in world history. Unlike other countries where democracy evolved over a period of hundreds of years, the […]
The 10 northern tribes secede, splitting Israel in two. When King Solomon dies in 796 BCE, Israel is still a united country, but there is some tension between the north and the south. We have to keep in mind that the Biblical State of Israel was comprised of tribes but the king always came from […]
This is the 36th installment of this series and it is fitting for us to put into perspective the ground that we have covered, before we begin the story of the next exile of
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 […]