TanakhCast #51: The Meaningful Echo Edition


In this week’s episode: Joshua 1-3.  We launch the “Prophetic” middle section of the Tanakh and pick up right where things left off at the end of the Torah.  We consider the use of the meaningful echo and the ironic echo as Yehoshua prepares the Jews for crossing the Jordan River … and boy, are their arms going to be tired!

And here’s that piece by Jesse David Fox about Mad Men’s comedic side.


TanakhCast #50: The Siyum Special Edition!


Jewish-Coloring-Pages-for-Kids-Simchat-Torah-_30In this week’s episode: a special Siyum – or “completion”- where we celebrate TanakhCast’s conclusion of the Torah.  I look back with great nostalgia on all those good times in the Five Books with raconteur and amateur Torah nerd Dan Friedman and a “Best of…” listicle-a-ganza. 

I would say “Remove thy earbuds for the sound which you hear is holy!” but then you would miss all the outrageous merrymaking.

Also, the compendium of “completist” pieces at Slate can be found here.


TanakhCast: The Taxonomy of Endings Edition!


hqdefaultIn this week’s episode: Deuteronomy 32–34.  We look at how television series wrap things up and consider whether Moshe’s departure from the people proves to be a fitting end to the Torah.

And here’s the piece by Jason Mittell about The Wire and Lost.

And here are the endings for Newhart, St. Elsewhere, Cheers and Six Feet Under.

TanakhCast: The I’ma Get Medieval on Your Ass Edition!


movie-jerks-Marsellus-WallaceIn this week’s episode: Deuteronomy 28-31. We consider the blessing and the curse in light of choice architecture and wonder what might have happened if Moshe did a little more nudging instead of threatening people’s tushies with harsh medieval treatments. 

The paper by Thaler, Sunstein and Balz about “choice architecture” is here and the Nudge blog is here.

Next Judaism at its Best: The Third Temple Indiegogo Campaign

In Chapter 1 of End Of The Jews, I wrote about the Temple Institute and their drive to rebuild the Temple of Solomon on Mount Moriah.  As part of their state of constant vigilance, Institute artisans have prepared all the vestments, implements and ritual objects so when the time comes, members of the organization will be ready to assume all the duties, responsibilities and functions of that institution – including animal sacrifice.   Though calling back to a Judaism that predates the common era, the folks at the Temple Institute also employ 21st century tools, namely the internet and the power of social media.

In other words, even the Temple Institute folks are NEXT JEWS!

And like many a thoughtful Next Jew in need of financial support for their project (see also Jewcer), the folks over at the Temple Institute have launched an Indiegogo campaign.

This piece in the Forward brought a smile to my face almost as wide as the old man’s at the end of the YouTube clip below.

You can read the details of the campaign here.

My favourite: If you donate $1,800, you get an autographed headshot of the Kohein Gadol!

Okay, that was a joke.  But for $5,000 you can get a VIP tour of the Temple Mount and the Temple Institute led by the Institute’s director!

I wonder what will happen if they reach their modest goal.  Will they have to build the Third Temple within a set period of time or merely break ground or… ?

And I also wonder: Was Kickstarter not mehadrin enough for this campaign?  …Because going with Indiegogo makes a definite statement about taste and affiliation.

What remains now is the ol’ “wait and see” until September 25, Rosh HaShanah 5775 which, if the campaign launches, could be a really interesting year.

TanakhCast: The Redeem My Blood Edition!


reddawn-avenge-meIn this week’s episode: Deuteronomy 16-19.  We explore the novel legal construct of “home free” for accidental murderers, and how a sanctuary system once set up for unintentional killers has been employed to shelter asylum seekers from persecution.  And, last, we consider the practicality of private revenge and the rights of the blood-redeemer in the present day. 

TanakhCast: The Moral Hazard Edition!


istock_000003834478mediumIn this week’s episode: Deuteronomy 12-15.  We look at the Shemitta or “Release” and consider the arguments for and against debt forgiveness before concluding that besides being the right thing to do, it might stimulate economic growth and make our lives better!

And if you’re curious about the millennium debt forgiveness movement, click here.

%d bloggers like this: