TanakhCast: The Mortgage Backed Securities Edition!

LEHMAN/GEKKOIn this week’s episode: Leviticus 24-27.  We conclude Leviticus with a foray into the world of complicated financial products and the ins and outs of the free market as we address the question:  Why regulate?

ICYMI, a paper on the origin of mortgage backed securities, the section of Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium where he tears Reaganomics a new one, and an episode of the always interesting Freakonomics podcast discussing Pope Francis’ broadside:


TanakhCast: The Who Moved My Kodashim Edition!

who-moved-my-cheeseIn this week’s episode: Leviticus 20-23. We examine some more commandments that relate to tum’ah and taharah and how a kohein has to be like the animal he sacrifices.  And in between talking about holydays and their food traditions, we take another look at the kohein, his martial options, the kohein economy and, most importantly, how much work he is allowed to bring home.

ICYMI, some information about poutine for all y’all Non-Canadians, the complete episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” about Jerusalem and Palestine, and, most important, Yotam Ottolenghi’s shakshouka recipe!



TanakhCast: The Am I Engaging in a Cultic Idolatrous Ritual Edition!

jaybooksIn this week’s episode: Leviticus 16-19.  Thanks to the miracle of Skype, Dr. Jay Michaelson, author of God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality and the recently published Evolving Dharma: Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment guests on TanakhCast to explain why context matters in the Holiness Code, and how an obscure verse about to’evah or “abomination” has become one of the most infamous in all of the Torah – and how it has been completely and practically misunderstood.

TanakhCast: The Uncle and Aunt Flow Edition!

2010-04-24-flowIn this week’s episode: Leviticus 12-15.  We get into the flow of things with an in-depth examination of various impurifying skin flakings and discharges and the measures taken to correct them.  We also consider, but just for a minute, the behaviours that lead to all the impurifying discharges and wonder, but just for a minute, why folks are more interested in the cure instead of prevention.

ICYMI, the piece by Professor Yishayahu Nitzan who is absolutely convinced that the condition referred to as “zav” is really gonorrhoea and the wonderful Flow: the Cultural Story of Menstruation by Elissa Stein and Susan Kim – which you can pick up from Amazon here. 

TanakhCast: The Big Doughnuts and Fish Edition!

Bagel Spice Lox BagelIn this week’s episode: Leviticus 8-11.  We begin puzzling out the vagaries of kashrut law and Jewish eating and end up with Chabad and Aish HaTorah trying to justify why we should marry only Jews when, technically, all of the patriarchs, Joseph, Moses, Boaz, David and Solomon and even the founders of Ashkenazi Jewry didn’t… And yet, despite the notorious Pew Report, the Jewish people keep on keeping on… or do they?

And ICYMI, the paper in Nature about how European women and NOT women from the Near East were the principal female founders of the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Europe.  You’ll want to read this with a cup of hot cocoa.