TanakhCast #58: The Token Counter-Hegemonic Feminine Intervention Edition


In this week’s episode: Judges 4-7. We are joined by provocateur and rabbinic trickster Caryn Aviv as we consider the anomalous stories of Devorah and Yael who literally and figuratively stick it to the Man.

And, as promised, here’s the link to more information about biblical women at the Jewish Women’s Archive.

TanakhCast #57: The Circle of Strife Edition


In this week’s episode: Judges 1-3.  We begin the Book of Judges with an examination of that famous dictum “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” as we consider the forgetfulness of the Jews after their oppression is lifted by God’s elected judge.

TanakhCast #56: The Adieu Adieu Adieu Edition


sound_of_music_goodbyeIn this week’s episode: Joshua 20-24.  We conclude the Book of Joshua with a look at farewell speeches and what Yehoshua should have said but didn’t.

TanakhCast #56 is coming soon!

fluApologies for the extended silence, but the next episode of TanakhCast is coming as soon as I firmly find my lost voice.

TanakhCast #55: The Bulwark Against Injustice Edition


lotteryIn this week’s episode: Joshua 16-19.  We consider how, sometimes, pulling a pebble out of a hat is a much fairer way to make a decision about who gets to pick the restaurant or who gets to settle in the hill country or who gets to run our democracy.  Yes.  Democracy.  Even that quack Aristotle thought so too.

Third Temple Indiegogo Update

The word is… GO.

The Third Temple Institute met its funding goal on Indiegogo and now, as promised, must begin construction of the Third Temple.

This should be good.Popcorn-02-Stephen-Colbert




TanakhCast #54: The Nina and A113 Edition


tumblr_m22oqu20PD1rpe27fo1_500In this week’s episode: Joshua 12-15.  In the shortest TanakhCast episode to date, we catch up with an old friend from the Spying days (and his nephew) as we uncover an easter egg omelet in Joshua 15.

And here are some samples of Al Hirschfeld’s work and the list of A113 references in every Pixar film – as promised.

TanakhCast #53: The War is Hell Edition


MTE1ODA0OTcxNzg0NjM1OTE3In this week’s episode: Joshua 8-11.  We explore life during wartime and conquest in Kena’an and consider how William Tecumseh Sherman and Yehoshua sought to make the best of a bad situation.  And when I say “best”, I mean “best” for the winning side and utter annihilation for the losers.

And, as promised, a link to the top ten battles in history, compliments of historian and retired Lt. Colonel Michael Lee Lanning.

TanakhCast #52: The WMD and AAH Edition


Raiders-of-the-Lost-Ark-indiana-jones-23709035-843-366In this week’s episode: Joshua 4-7.  We explore how the Ark of the Covenant, which inspired Jewish warriors, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, also functioned as a weapon of mass distraction – and how, perhaps, it could have been inspired by extraterrestrial technology.

The ever-compelling Radiolab episode on the walls of Jericho can be found here.

As well as the piece I came across from io9 about how mainstream Christian theology would react to extraterrestrial life. 

In a word, BADLY.

End Of The Jews in the News, Part 23

In case you haven’t seen this piece shared dozens of time in your Twitter feed, the New York Times reports that many rabbis will not speak out about Israel because of the divisive nature of the topic.

The handful of examples brought up in the piece, however, represent a larger trend which has been building up steam for years.

I know of at least two congregations in TO where all sermons and d’var torahs have to be vetted before delivery in fear of roiling the laity.  I am sure there are more with more informal “arrangements”.

Although many folks are only now tsk-tsking this unfortunate trend because it is has steamrolled over a handful of beloved congregational rabbis, as I wrote in Chapter 9 of End Of The Jews, Israel has stopped serving as a rallying point for the Jewish community for years.

Coupled with the flailing of the right-tilting establishment who try to force the dichotomous “Either you’re with us or against us” party line (especially in times of trouble in Israel), what we are seeing in the mainstream media (finally) is a bubbling up of that ubiquitous disaffection and perhaps a little soul-searching.

Nonetheless, no one likes being presented with ultimatums, but if forced to choose, many fair-minded folks who cherish Jewish values might sadly choose the door.  Some, like suburban Chicago’s Rabbi Brant Rosen, have already hit the bricks.

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