Oxford Jewish Thought

Lectures, essays, questions & articles

by Rabbi Eli Brackman

Maimonides' view of the Temple according to an Oxford manuscript: A defence

Oxford’s Bodleian library is known for its rare collection of Hebrew manuscripts including some of the most important manuscripts of the great Jewish legalist and philosopher Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, known as Maimonides or by his Hebrew acronym Rambam (1138-1204). One of these Oxford manuscripts includes Maimonides’ own handwritten work of his Commentary to the Mishnah, known as Pirush Hamishnayot, written in Judea Arabic (MSS 1655).


This manuscript was brought to Oxford by the great collector of Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts in the East, Professor Edward Pococke, who was born and passed away in Oxford (1604-1691). Prof. Pococke was appointed to the professorship of Hebrew at Oxford in 1647 and had a valuable c… Read More »

In support of Soviet Jews by Oxford Professor Michael Yudkin

From Professor Michael Yudkin, University of Oxford, in honour of the visit of renowned Soviet Jewish Refusenik Rabbi Yosef Mendelevich to the Oxford University Chabad Society

Yosef Mendelevich is one of the heroes of the movement for Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union during the 1970’s and 1980’s.  I thought it might be interesting for those who’re having dinner at Chabad this evening to find out something about the way in which we in the West helped Soviet Jews to get exit visas.


As Yosef will, I am sure, explain, it was both difficult and dangerous for Jews in the Soviet Union to apply for permission to emigrate.  Difficult, because one had to jump through a number of hoops even to make an a… Read More »

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