Join us as we take a deep dive into a topic from the Daf Yomi, the daily page of Talmud, with modern-day Sages of Torah and the world who can draw from their unique expertise to share modern and creative perspectives on the text. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or however you find podcasts!
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Sukkah No.1: The Schach’s the Limit
In the first chapter of our new Tractate the laws seem restrictive — but what if we looked at these limitations as an opportunity for creativity? Hear architect Noah Resnick reimagine the Sukkah on the season’s first episode. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved A Talmudic Podcast: S07E01. Listen here:
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Yoma No.6: Scroll Play
How did the Torah reading ritual evolve from its origins in the Temple service on Yom Kippur to its familiar form as we perform it today? What can Talmud-era synagogue ruins tell us about how ancient Jews performed the ceremony? Hear Rabbi Dr. Ruth Langer of Boston College discuss the history and laws surrounding this prolific ritual. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S06E06. Listen here:
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Yoma No.5: If I Were a Ritual Man
What did sacrifice mean to ancient Jews? Where do the meanings of our rituals that we are taught in school come from? Hear Professor Jonathan Klawans, Professor of Religion at Boston University’s Department of Religion and the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies and prolific author, discuss symbolism, sincerity, sin and sacrifice. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S06E05, listen here:
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Yoma No.4: Goat Yoma
What lessons can we take from the Yom Kippur scapegoat to the work of social justice? How can our understanding of justice inform how we practice teshuva? Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg has worked as a national organizer at Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a movement of progressive Jews across the country who are fighting for justice and equality for all, and as a collective member of the Radical Jewish Calendar project. She is also the author of “An Introduction to Trauma, Healing and Resilience for Rabbis, Jewish Educators and Organizers”, published by Reconstructing Judaism. This Sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S06E04, listen here:
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Yoma No.3: Poetic Jurisprudence
Hear from Professor Michael Swartz of the Ohio State University about how the narrative structure Tractate Yoma heavily influenced these piyutim, and how some rabbis never wanted them to be a part of Yom Kippur at all. This sheet is made to accompnay Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S06E03. Listen Here:
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Yoma No.2: Most High Resolution
Tractate Yoma begins as one would expect a book about the holiest day in the Jewish calendar to begin: ritual purity, sacrifice, and repentance fill the pages. Then, in the second chapter, things take a turn: In the holiest place on Earth, on perhaps the holiest day of the year, by a member of what is supposed to be the holiest class of Jews, a gruesome murder. It is not the only fatal conflict brought to light by the Talmud, but it is perhaps the most disturbing. But as with any problem--or most of them, anyway--the Talmud has a solution. Hear Rabbi Dr. Howard Kaminsky, expert on Jewish conflict resolution, teach us what the Talmud has to say about our own disputes and how to sort them out. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S06E02, listen here:
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Yoma No.1: King of Priests
Tractate Yoma begins with discussions of ritual purity, sacrifice, and repentance. However, it is not the average person that fills the first chapter, instead the primary concern is with the preparations of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest, for the sacrificial service of Yom Kippur. But who filled this role and how did this lineage come to be? Hear Dr. Yonotan Miller of The University of Toledo trace the story from Bamidbar to the Beit Hamikdash. This sheet is meant to accompany S06E01, listen here:
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Shekalim No.1: Charitable Giving
The language and Rabbis might seem different, and the text appears to be littered with missing letters and words — but the daf does not stop! We have arrived, if only briefly, in the Talmud Yerushalmi, otherwise known as the Palestinian Talmud or the Talmud of the Land of Israel, to study Masekhet Shekalim, a tractate all about contributions to the Temple. It’s a strange intermission in the middle of a series of tractates that deal with Jewish holidays. Hear from Dr. Alyssa Gray about how these discussions of donations have meaning for our own giving habits and our lives more generally. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast, listen here:
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Pesachim No.8: Seder Up!
Over the past tractate we’ve gotten to hear from all different kinds of experts and thinkers, and the timings couldn’t be more perfect — as we celebrate our completion of Pesachim, we are days away from practicing so much of what we have learned, with the holiday of Pesach this coming weekend. While we are delighted to share the voices from our modern day Sages with you, in every interview there is tape that doesn’t make it to the final episode cut — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t what to learn from it. So we’ve dove back into our own audio archives to put together ideas, some we’ve shared before and some we’re excited to share for this first time here, to enhance your seder. This sheet is meant to accompany S04E08: Seder up! Listen here:
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Pesachim No.7: How the Other Side Lives
Demons who hide behind palm trees, witches who make people explode — the last chapter in Pesachim would make even the most seasoned Talmud explorer nervous. Not to worry, the Sages are mounting the strongest defense against these otherworldly forces by doing what they do best: creating new laws. Listen as Dr. Sara Ronis sheds some light on the things that go bump in the night on our latest episode. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S04E07. Listen here:
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Pesachim No.6: Every Spring is Illuminated
What’s the deal with the Birds’ Head Haggadah? How were illuminated Haggadot from the Middle Ages created, and why does everyone make such a big fuss about them? Dr. Marc Michael Epstein is Professor of Religion and Visual Culture and Director of Jewish Studies at Vassar College. He is the author of, among other books, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination and Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S04E06. Listen here:
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Pesachim No.5: Paschal History
Why is so much of Tractate Pesachim devoted to discussing the Korban Pesach, a ritual that most of the Sages never participated in? What does the modern Samaritan ritual look and feel like? Hear from Dr. Rachel Scheinerman, associate editor at My Jewish Learning where she edits the Daily Dose of Talmud newsletter. She holds an MA in Scripture & Interpretation from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Rabbinic Literature from Yale University with a dissertation about The Tannaitic Passover Ritual. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved A Talmudic Podcast S04E05. Listen here:
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Pesachim No.4: Initial Pesach Offering
What makes a korban, a Jewish ritual sacrifice, a korban? What does desire have to do with atonement? Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Zuckier brings over a decade of experience of studying Temple sacrifice to help the conversation. This sheet is meant to accompany S04E04 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast Listen Here:
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Pesachim No.3: The Custom is Always Right
How do you define a ritual? Somewhere at the intersection of autonomy and creativity, improvisation and adaptation, custom is created. And then, as a mimetic tradition, it is passed down the generations, not through text, but through people. So in some sense, it is strange to see the Talmud, the defining text of the rabbinic tradition, devote an entire chapter to the laws of custom, as it does with the fourth chapter of Tractate Pesachim. In fact, it is strange to talk about custom in any terms of law, let alone normative terms. Rabbi Dr. Vanessa Ochs, professor of Jewish studies at the University of Virginia and expert in Jewish custom, joins us at in on the newest episode of Interleaved to help us disentangle the roots of ritualization. This sheet is meant to accompany S04E03 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast. Listen here:
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Pesachim No.2: A Leaf of Faith
According to the Haggadah, the commandment to eat marror is supposed to remind us of how the Egyptians made the lives of our ancestors bitter with slavery and oppression, both physical and spiritual. But there are a lot of bitter foods out there, so clearly plant life is central to the ritual. How so? Hear ethnobotanist and author Dr. Jon Greenberg explore the history of how horseradish became a seder staple, the properties of woods for korban roasting, and the aphrodisiac implications of karpas and more! This sheet is meant to accompany S04E02 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast, to listen:
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Pesachim No.1: This American Light
What? An episode on Chanukah for the first chapter of a tractate all about Passover? Well, Chanukah doesn’t have its own tractate, and you deserve something fun before you spend 4 months learning everything about the official holiday of Jewish anxiety. So, how was Chanukah celebrated in America before Adam Sandler and Full Court Miracle? Why was the word “presents” the first English word to be printed in Yiddish-language newspapers in America? —and more with Dr. Dianne Ashton, author of Hanukkah in America: A History. This sheet is meant to accompany S04E01 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast, listen here:
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Eruvin No.4: Yes In My Eruv
Why is it so hard for Jewish communities to sympathize with other communities, many of which are very similar to them? Professor, writer, and community activist Hannah Lebovits has a theory, and it involves those stories from your childhood about the “evil poritz”. But she’s also more hopeful for change now than she’s ever been before.This sheet is meant to accompany S03E04 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast
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Eruvin No.3: Shabbat at the Museum
How many of us have taken the time to consider how the Eruvin of our cities, towns, and neighborhoods--many of which consist of little more than telephone poles and fishing wire--were pulled together? The fifth chapter of Tractate Eruvin takes a lot of the theoretical discussion of the preceding chapters and makes it relevant to the 21st century Eruv, particularly when it discusses the boundaries of cities. Hear museum curator Zachary Paul Levine talk about how his exhibit “It’s a Thin Line” uncovered precious artifacts and priceless secrets related to the Manhattan Eruv. This sheet is meant to accompany S03E03 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast
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Eruvin No.2: The Beruriah Test
We know Beruriah was the Talmud’s only woman Torah scholar, that she was the daughter of R. Chananya ben Teradyon, and that she was the wife of Rabbi Meir. But who was she? And how does our understanding of her influence how we understand the modern project of women’s Torah study? Hear Torah scholar and rabbi-in-training Avigayil Halpern discuss these topics and more. This sheet is meant to accompany S03E02:
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