From Talmud to Thomas Paine: Introduction (06:00)
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik will discuss Thomas Paine’s famous pamphlet “Common Sense” and how it relates to the Hebrew Bible and Judaism as a whole. Many, even outside of the Jewish community, were studying Hebrew texts, and Paine was aware of this and wrote to compel these people into a revolution.
A Rapid Change of Opinion (12:11)
Hear reading from "Angel in the Whirlwinds" about the drafting and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and what the Americans did to the statues of King George III after the Colonial Assembly. America went through a huge philosophical and spiritual transition about how they viewed the King.
Thomas Paine (12:33)
After Paine arrived in America from Britain, he quickly threw himself into the anti-monarchy conversation utilizing a profoundly religious argument despite his aversion to Judaism and Christianity. In his work “The Age of Reason” Paine writes about his true opinion of the Hebrew Bible.
The Power of Political Hebraism (17:55)
There is a confusion history within Judaism of people using Hebrew texts to argue for as well as against monarchies and whether or not they are divine or idolatrous. John Milton wrote his “A Defense of the People of England” in opposition to the divine right of kings, and this later inspired Paine’s “Common Sense.”
The Legacy of Political Hebraism (12:32)
John Adams wrote extensively about the effect Paine’s writings had on American culture at the time of the American Revolution, and Adams himself disagreed with Paine that all monarchies are inherently negative. Intellectual and political thought from the Talmud to Milton to Paine utterly reorganized equality.
From the Talmud to Thomas Paine: Conclusion (09:49)
Paine takes from Milton’s argument simply because it worked for him in the political message he was attempting to convey in his writings; the Jewish tradition has frequently embraced monarchy, according to Rabbi Soloveichik. Adams tells the other side of what Paine’s pamphlet argued.
Credits: From the Talmud to Thomas Paine (00:07)
Credits: From the Talmud to Thomas Paine
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