TanakhCast: The Everything Old is New Again Edition!


korban-pesach-seminar (1)In this week’s episode: Numbers 8-11.  Among other desert-wandering religious matters, we explore the commemoration of the first Passover after the Exodus and how one of the most popular Jewish religious observances came into existence in a moment of crisis and creativity.  We conclude with a thought about what happens when we make the old new again.

ICYMI, the full Sanhedrin Initiative position on the revival of the Korban Pessah is here.

TanakhCast: The Six-Thirteen-Six-Point-Nine Edition!


1778314In this week’s episode: Numbers 1-3.  We consider the age-old tradition of counting Jews in benign and malign contexts and how one man’s count is another man’s kerfuffle.

ICYMI, have a look at the Eichmann document from the Wannsee Conference here.  There’s also Timothy Noah’s piece at Slate about Nixon’s Jew Count and the transcripts at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia Presidential Recordings Program.   And finally, the complete Pew Research Centre’s “A Portrait of Jewish Americans” as well as the eye-crossing sidebar on “Who is a Jew?” and the fun for the whole family Jewish population calculator!


TanakhCast: The Rivalry and Pejoration Edition!


In this week’s episode: Genesis 4-7.  We explore what we think we know about those first generations after the expulsion from the Garden, as well as some killings, a lot of couplings and how a shield can linguistically transform into a stigma.  We’ll also consider the wacky story of Metatron and the symbolic significance of numbers in these fanciful tales.

UPDATE:  Thanks to @PonyRoy for correcting my Transformer-related gaffe.  Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons, not the Autobots.  #AllHailMegatron!