Moshe Aberbach (1924-2007) was a leading educator and scholar in Jewish studies, specialising in the field of Jewish education in the talmudic period. This book draws on a representative selection of his writings over a fifty year period, and includes essays on Saadia Gaon and Maimonides, coverage of biblical and talmudic studies, and discussions of the roots of religious anti-Zionism and of the Lubavitch messianic movement in the context of similar movements in Jewish history.

Focusing on the history of Jewish education and linking the Roman destruction of the Jewish state in 70 CE with Jewish survival after the Holocaust, and how survival of both depended on a strong system of education and the moral example set by teachers, the book explores the vital importance of education to Jewish survival from biblical times to the present. The book includes an autobiographical memoir of Moshe Aberbach’s childhood in Vienna, as well as a biographical Foreword by his son, David. It will be of great interest to Bible scholars and students of Jewish Studies, History, the Holocaust and Jewish social psychology.

chapter |15 pages


Origins of Jewish education in the ancient world

part I|98 pages


chapter 1|5 pages

Aaron, Jeroboam and the golden calves *

chapter 3|3 pages

Anti-Hellenism in the book of Daniel *

chapter 5|10 pages

Herod and Josephus

Patriots or traitors? *

chapter 8|5 pages

King Hezekiah and Judah Hanasi

Messianic links *

chapter 12|6 pages


Myth and reality *

chapter 14|5 pages

Abraham Geiger and Samson Raphael Hirsch *

chapter 15|5 pages

On being a Jewish historian *

chapter 16|6 pages

The roots of religious anti-Zionism *

chapter 17|4 pages

Halakhah and modern education

The question of smoking *

part II|56 pages

Viennese memoir 1924–1938

chapter 1|4 pages

A Viennese upbringing

chapter 2|4 pages


chapter 3|5 pages


chapter 4|4 pages

Family history and legend

chapter 5|4 pages

My parents and me

chapter 6|3 pages

Hebrew teaching and holidays

chapter 7|4 pages

Relatives and friends

chapter 8|3 pages


chapter 9|9 pages

The Chajesrealgymnasium(1934–1938)

chapter 10|3 pages

My schoolmates

chapter 11|7 pages

Under Nazi rule (March–December 1938)

chapter 12|4 pages