The Maggid of Melbourne: Torah Insights from Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper

Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper, the Maggid of Melbourne, invites us to join him on an exploration of a wide array of Jewish ideas and their relevance in our contemporary Jewish lives.

The Maggid of Melbourne features both written and podcast series, each taking an in-depth look at a different Jewish topic. Whether you are interested in the laws of government according to halakha or learning about the spiritual practices of the Hasidic masters, you are sure to find inspiration with the Maggid of Melbourne, Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper.

Ongoing Series
As the Jewish world waits and prays for news of the hostages held by Hamas, the Maggid of Melbourne takes an in-depth look into the mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim, redeeming captives, in his newest podcast series.

All Series

October 2023
On October 7, as Jews around the world were celebrating Simchat Torah, terrorists crossed into Israel attacking communities across southern Israel. While left reeling from the pain of this tragedy, many of us are wondering, how do we pray during a time such as this? What guidance does the Torah have for us during such tough times?

All Series

July 2023 – August 2023
What makes a physical space fit for sacred action?
What intentionality actually goes into the design of our synagogues and other prayer spaces?

Engaged in both the building of Pardes’s new home, Beit Karen, and the construction of a new synagogue in his community at Zur Hadassah, the Maggid of Melbourne has been pondering these questions. Embark on an intellectual journey with Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper, as he delves into these questions and explores the meaning and purpose behind sacred spaces in this new summer learning opportunity.

All Series

January 2023 – March 2023
The Maggid of Melbourne was recently on a research trip to Frankfurt am Main, Germany. While in residence at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Levi Cooper delved into various aspects of pigs in Jewish law and Jewish lore. Thanks to guidance from the local rabbinic leadership and the KosherScan app, Levi had no problems keeping kosher, but this did not stop him embarking on an intellectual voyage of discovery.

All Series

March 2022 – April 2022
Fruit and vegetables are part of healthy living. In this series, the Maggid of Melbourne looks at some of the halakhic issues associated with defining what is a fruit and what is a vegetable.

Join Levi – the apple of Pardes’ eye – on this worldwide tour of exotic plant life, as he goes bananas, cherry-picking different topics, comparing apples and oranges, and trying to plumb the depths of different fruit and vegetables, while occasionally finding himself in a pickle.

A special podcast series in honor of the Shemitta year, albeit looking at an entirely different angle of agriculture and Jewish law. A series that promises to bear fruit. 

All Series

February 2021 – December 2021
The Maggid of Melbourne addresses important questions of Jewish law and custom that came up during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All Series

November 2018 – August 2019

As Israel strives to form a new government, elected leaders jockey for position, and the people pine for stability – Levi Cooper explores aspects of government from the perspective of Jewish

All Series

Meet the Host: Rabbi Dr. Levi Cooper

Originally from Australia, Levi currently teaches Hasidut, Maimonides, Midrash, and Halakhic History at Pardes. Levi holds an LL.B, LL.M. and Ph.D from the Law Faculty of Bar-Ilan University and has been awarded numerous post-doctoral research grants from universities across Israel and abroad.

Levi is also the spiritual leader of Kehillat HaTzur VeHaTzohar in Zur Hadassa, a mixed religious and secular neighborhood out of Jerusalem. In addition, he is a Teaching Fellow in the Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University. He served as a commander of an infantry unit in the IDF Reserves, and has a long history of communal work with organizations such as the National Library of Israel, Tzohar, and the Jewish Community of Istanbul.

Levi is the author of the two-part book series Relics for the Present, and his newest publication, Hasidic Relics.