About the Course

Journey back in history with Rabbi Dr. Meir Soloveichik in his fascinating exploration of the role of Jews and Jewish ideas in America’s Civil War. As we ponder what it meant to be a Jew during this harrowing conflict, we will walk with the Jews expelled from Tennessee by General Grant, delve into the speeches and writings of Abraham Lincoln, and come to see how Lincoln learned from Hebraic sources to become the theologian of the American idea.

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The Jewish Story of America’s Most Harrowing Struggle

Discover what biblical and Jewish ideas have to do with the Civil War, and how Jews experienced one of the most perilous moments in American history.

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In this opening lecture, Rabbi Soloveichik tells the fascinating stories of Jews who fought in the Civil War and sets the stage for his exploration of how the larger story of Jews in America fits into America’s titanic struggle to vindicate its founding creed.

In 1862, President Lincoln was visited by a group of Christian clergymen, who delivered an earnest sermon citing the Book of Esther to urge the president to free the slaves. Several days later, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Is there a connection between these two episodes?

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