TanakhCast #67: The Counter-Insurgency Edition


CTC-A-COIN-GuidebookIn this week’s episode: Samuel 20-23.

We continue in the Book of Samuel with an examination of David’s flight from Shaul and the effectiveness of using force to defeat a counterinsurgency.

TanakhCast #66: The Spolia Opima Edition


single-combatIn this week’s episode: Samuel 16-19.

We continue in the Book of Samuel with an examination of the age-old tradition of single combat.

And ICYMI, Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker piece on David and Goliath.

TanakhCast #65: The All Apologies Edition


Sad-Puppy-Face-PictureIn this week’s episode: Samuel 12-15.

We continue in the Book of Samuel with an examination of royal missteps and political apologies.

And ICYMI, here’s Jack Marshall’s hierarchy of political apologies.

TanakhCast #64: The Squat, Pear Shaped and Balding Edition


guardianIn this week’s episode: Samuel 8-11.

We continue in the Book of Samuel with an examination of what makes a leader then and now.


Here’s one of Green Lantern’s Guardians of the Universe who, you must admit, does look a lot like David Ben Gurion.

And here’s the piece by Slate’s David Greenberg about the Nixon-Kennedy debate.

TanakhCast #63: The Biblical Bechdel Test Edition


A-stämpel_svart-300x300In this week’s episode: Samuel 4-7.

We continue in the Book of Samuel with an examination of the Tanakh’s attempt to give non-Jewish characters some depth and texture – and inadvertent coarseness.

And ICYMI, “The Rule” from Alison Bechdel’s comic Dykes To Watch Out For.



TanakhCast #62: The Parents in Denial Edition


...Not these parents!

…Not these parents!

In this week’s episode: Samuel 1-3.

We explore the parenting skills of High Priests and wonder who shares the blame when children go off the rails.

TanakhCast #61: The Summum Malum Edition


VIEWPOINT_angry_mob_t_w480In this week’s episode: Judges 17-21.

We conclude the Book of Judges with an examination of two stories which best demonstrate the fraying of the social fabric in a time when “there was no king in Israel [and] Every man did what was right in his own eyes.”


I am still a bit stunned – but in a good way.

If you haven’t heard by now, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Obergefell v. Hodges (and three related cases) that the Constitution guarantees a right to same sex marriage.  Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, concluded that:

[The petitioners’] plea is that they do respect [marriage], respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed. It is so ordered.

Incidentally, the same Roberts court ruled yesterday in King v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act’s insurance subsidies are legal, thus saving Obamacare from yet another legal challenge.

And in the terrible aftermath of a racist/terrorist attack in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, major US retailers as well as folks in almost a half a dozen southern states are questioning (or at least are beginning to question) the public display of the Confederate flag.  (Though I would be even more heartened by a spirited discussion about the ready availability of guns, it’s a good start…)

So with Shabbat coming soon to close out the week, I would say it ended better than it started.

Happy #Pride2015 and Shabbat shalom!


TanakhCast will be returning this summer!

Just a quick note to update y’all about TanakhCast.  Fear not – it will return this summer!

TanakhCast #60: The Signifying Shimshon Edition


SamsonDestroyTempleIn this week’s episode: Judges 12-16.  We consider Shimshon the most unjudgy of judges who carries himself like Hercules but is as tricksy as a monkey all the while outsmarting and sticking it to the Man in Philistia.

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