TanakhCast: The What Comes Around Goes Around Edition!


In this week’s episode: Genesis 28-31.  Alongside with numerous Beastie Boys references, we consider a popular corollary to the notion of biblical justice and ponder the role of commentaries in our understanding of Tanakh.  So here’s a-nother one for y’all to peep.  It’s called T-A-N-A on the K-H-C.

BTW, the link to the New York Times article about the near-toppling of an Israeli government because of a “disparaging” comment about King David can be found here.

TanakhCast: The Unconscionably Contracted Hairier Than You Edition!


In this week’s episode: Genesis 24-27.  We examine the rivalry between Yaakov and Esav from the perspective of bad names, bad contracts and bad blood.  Though free-marketeers cry Caveat Emptor, we consider the raw deal Yaakov offered Esav and the further raw dealing (and goat-hair-wearing) implicating Rivkah and Yitzhak at the expense of Esav.

BTW, the link to the Freakonomics episode about names can be found here.

TanakhCast: The Sandy, Spock and Babs Pantheon Edition!


In this week’s episode: Genesis 20-23.  We decide once and for all whether Avraham deserves a spot alongside Sandy Koufax, Leonard Nimoy and Barbra Streisand in the Jewish pantheon.  We consider Avraham’s track record in the run-up to his biggest moment in the Tanakh: the Akkedah, or binding of his son Yitzhak – and conclude that his place in the Hall of Fame might merit another round or two of voting.

TanakhCast: The Laughter and the Fear Edition!


In this week’s episode: Genesis 16-19.  We examine two very powerful human emotions: laughter and fear.  Though laughter might bring life to the party, fear insures that life will go on.  (Now that’s a scary thought…)  We will also consider why our biblical forebears laughed in God’s face and how the real sin of Sodom had nothing to do with naughty bits.

BTW, the Radiolab podcast can be found here.  This American Life on tribes can be found here.  You can buy Inside Jokes: Using Humour to Reverse Engineer the Mind by Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and Reginald Adams Jr. here or Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? here.  And Jay Michaelson’s book God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality can be found here.

TanakhCast: The Time Traveling Deeply Flawed Heroes Edition!


In this week’s episode: Genesis 12-15.  We examine the not-so-heroic behaviour of the First Father Avram during his sojourn in Egypt as we ponder the nature of biblical heroes.  We also consider the ramifications of time travel on choice, free will and the fate of Avram’s descendants in Egypt as Avram shoos away vultures in the “Covenant of the Pieces”.  Will Skynet prevail?