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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Yevamot No.1: All in the Family
What can levirate marriage teach us about ancient Jewish family structures? Why start Seder Nashim with death? Hear from Dvora Weisberg, the Rabbi Aaron D. Panken Professor of Rabbinics, HUC-JIR Rabbinical School Director and Rabbinical Program Director in Los Angeles. She is the author of Levirate Marriage and the Family in Ancient Judaism, which explores the ancient rabbis’ understanding of family and familial relationships. Rabbi Dr. Weisberg also teaches frequently in informal settings, including adult education programs in congregations, several summers at the URJ Kallah and sessions for the CCAR and its regional conventions. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S14E01, listen here:
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Chagigah No. 2: Out of the Orchard
Who really was Elisha ben Avuyah, and why was he a mistake of rabbinic interpretation? How did he become a blank canvas for the Rabbis’ heretical anxieties? Hear from Rabbi Dr. Alon Goshen-Gottstein, the founder and director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute, a nonprofit, international, UNESCO-sponsored interfaith organization. A noted scholar of Jewish studies, he has held academic posts at Tel Aviv University and has served as director of the Center for the Study of Rabbinic Thought, Beit Morasha College, Jerusalem. Rabbi Dr. Goshen-Gottstein is the author or editor of many books including The Jewish Encounter with Hinduism, Jewish Theology and World Religions, and most recently, Interreligious Heroes: Role Models and Spiritual Exemplars for Interfaith Practice. His book, The Sinner and the Amnesiac: The Rabbinic Invention of Elisha ben Abuya and Eleazar ben Arach was published in 2000 by Stanford University Press.
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Chagigah No.1: Talmudically Accurate Angels
How did ancient Jews relate to angels? Who were these beings that inhabit the angelic realm? Hear from Dr. Mika Ahuvia, associate professor of Classical Judaism in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her book On My Right Michael, On My Left Gabriel: Angels in Ancient Jewish Culture investigates conceptions of angels in foundational Jewish texts and ritual sources. Mika also co-edited the volume Placing Ancient Texts: the Rhetorical and Ritual Use of Space and has published book chapters and articles on ancient ritual-magic, gender and rabbinic literature, and late antique archeology. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S13E01. Listen here:
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Moed Katan No.1: People of the Black Book
When, why, and how did the rabbis of the Talmud excommunicate people? How did they craft a narrative of powerlessness to invest themselves with more power? Hear from Rabbi Dr. Meesh Hammer-Kossoy, Director of the Pardes Year Program at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem. Meesh has a PhD in Talmud from New York University, and her dissertation explored the ways in which the rabbis of the Talmud created a criminal punishment system. This sheet it meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S12E01. Listen here:
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Taanit No.2: Tu B'Shvat or Not Tu B’Shvat
How is the climate a divine language? Why should you get to know a tree? Hear from Rabbi Shoshana Meira Friedman, a writer, activist, and song-leader in Boston. She serves as the Director of Professional Development at Hebrew College, and as a rabbinic consultant to Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action. She is a contributing author to Rooted & Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, and her song “The Tide Is Rising”, which she co-wrote with her husband Yotam Schachter, has spread as an anthem in the climate movement. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast (Bonus) S10E02:
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Megillah No.2: Layn Change
What does an inclusive Megillah reading sound like? What could the future of layning be? Hear from Rabbanit Bracha Jaffe, Associate Rabba at the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale in Bronx, NY. A 2017 graduate of Yeshivat Maharat, she has taught many people women and girls to layn and is the voice of the JOFA Megillat Esther and Megillat Rut apps.
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Megillah No.1: The Whole Megillah
Why is the Sages’ exposition of the Book of Esther so imaginative? How do we avoid blurring the lines between Midrashic homilies and what’s actually written in the text? Hear from Dr. Eliezer Segal, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Classics and Religion at the University of Calgary. He is widely published and some of his recent books include From Sermon to Commentary: Expounding the Bible in Talmudic Babylonia and Sanctified Seasons. Additionally he is the author of “The Babylonian Esther Midrash: A Critical Commentary.” This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic podcast S11E01. Listen here:
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Taanit No.1: Prayin' for the Rain
How did the Sages of the Talmud understand the connection between rain and the Divine? How do talmudic stories impart ethical value? Dr. Jonathan Schofer is Associate Professor of Religious Studies, with affiliation in the Schustermann Center for Jewish Studies at The University at Texas at Austin. He has published work on the connections between law, theology, and ethics in canonical Jewish sources of late antiquity, including his first book is The Making of a Sage: A Study in Rabbinic Ethics. His essay “Theology and Cosmology in Rabbinic Ethics: The Pedagogical Significance of Rainmaking Narratives” is the groundwork for a chapter in another book of his, titled Confronting Vulnerability: The Body and the Divine in Rabbinic Ethics. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S10E01. Listen here:
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Rosh Hashanah No.2: Shofar, So Good
What makes the shofar unique among Biblical instruments? How can a commandment to hear teach us to listen? Hear from Dr. Jonathan L. Friedmann , a scholar and practitioner of Jewish music. He serves as a pulpit cantor, he composes and arranges music, is a researcher in the area of the history and functions of synagogue song, and teaches at the Academy for Jewish Religion California. He has numerous books on music and religion and was co-editor of “Qol Tamid: The Shofar in Ritual, History, and Culture.” This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S09E02. Listen here:
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Rosh Hashanah No.1: Yidden in the Stars
Is there mazal for the people of Israel? How did the Sages relate to the stars? Hear from Lorelai Kude, Jewish astrologer and scholar of astrology about signs, sefirot, and knowing your self. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S09E01. Listen here:
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Beitzah No.2: Meat Your Maker
What exists at the intersection of farming, rabbinics, and slaughterhouses? How can we care about where our food comes from? Hear from Naf Hanau, CEO and co-founder of Grow & Behold, a purveyor Glatt Kosher meat and chicken raised on pasture on family farms. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S08E02. Listen here:
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Beitzah No.1: Kol Nidre Reveal
How did the Yom Kippur Machzor come to be? What’s the real story of Kol Nidre and U’Netaneh Tokef? Hear David Stern is the Harry Starr Professor of Classical and Modern Jewish and Hebrew Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature and the Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University discuss the machzor, minhag, piyyut, and prayer. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S08E01. Listen here:
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Sukkah No.4: A Song of Water and Fire
What is the Torah of music? How can we express our individuality through song while simultaneously singing together? Hear musician, song leader, and award-winning author Joey Weisenberg of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute discuss what this chapter has to teach us about music- both how to listen to the songs of our own hearts, and how to sing them together. This sheet is meant to accompany S07E04 of Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast. Listen here:
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Sukkah No.3: Lulav Languages
The four plant species of the lulav ritual, as interpreted by the Talmud, often come to us across long distances and from lands inhabited by indigenous peoples. Hear from Gabi Kirk, Ph.D. student at UC Davis explain why she and others see more in the ritual than these species. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S07E03. Listen here:
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Sukkah No.2: Equal Protection
Is the housing crisis really that complicated? How can we cultivate compassion within ourselves for our neighbors experiencing homelessness and displacement? Hear from Aaron Berc, a community organizer at Jewish Community Action. This sheet is meant to accompany Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast S07E02. Listen here:
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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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