Human Rights: The Racha On Democracy, The Jewish State And The End Of Days

We’re up to our seventh class, and we’ll now approach the work of Rabbi Chayim Hirschensohn (the Racha). Unfortunately, there is very little in English on the Racha, and almost nothing of his work has been translated into English. For the purposes of this course, I’ve translated a number of sections from his work into English for the first time. These can’t provide a full picture of his world view but I hope that the selections, together with the video lectures, will give you a sense of what the Racha was about.

I’ve broken our study of the Racha into two sections. The first section (this class) will focus on the Racha’s blueprint for the Jewish state and some of his methodology in interpreting Jewish texts. Here we will seek to understand some of the basic values and principles involved in his vision of global justice and human rights. The second section (next class) will build on the first section, and focuses explicitly on international law, human rights and the this-worldly redemption of humanity.

The most extensive work on the Racha in English, as far as I know, is this outrageously priced translation of Eliezer Schweid’s Hebrew book on the Racha which you can find here.

For free, you can also see the English abstract of my doctorate on the Racha here.

You can find the sections of the Racha’s writings translated for this class here.

The lectures on Youtube are here: part one, part two, part three.

Lecture Part 1:

Lecture Part 2:

Lecture Part 3: