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Ep.35 Parshat Ha’azinu: Is This The Song of Doom?

In Parshat Ha’azinu, the Israelites receive a frightening prophetic “song” about their future failure to follow God’s will, and the punishment they receive as a result. When Moshe introduces this prophecy, he states that he hopes his speech will fall “ke-se’irim alei desheh” -- like some sort of ‘rain upon grass.’ What does that mean? And why is it stated as an introduction to the song? Join Daniel Loewenstein and Ami Silver as they explore the hidden layers of meaning in Ha’azinu, and the...


Ep.34 Parshat Vayeilech: What's Wrong With Moses’ Leadership?

Parshat Vayeilech records Moses’ farewell speech on the last day of his life. In the opening of this speech, Moses reminds the people that he won’t be leading them into Israel and that Joshua will take over his position. But when you look closely at what Moses says about Joshua, you can’t help but ask, was Moses trying to sabotage Joshua's leadership? Or was Moses trying to warn the people about something? Join Beth Lesch and Daniel Loewenstein as the re-examine the text and discover a...


Ep.33 Parshat Nitzavim: What Is the 'Hidden Sin' In This Week's Parsha?

Parshat Nitzavim states, “The hidden things are for God but the revealed things are for us,” which suggests perhaps that only God can punish for sins done in private. Could the parsha be alluding to a specific hidden sin in our history? Join Beth Lesch and Ami Silver as they re-examine the text of Nitzavim and its references to the story of the Sale of Joseph, and never think about Parshat Nitzavim the same way again.


Ep.32 Parshat Ki Tavo: What Are Blessings And Curses, Really?

In Parshat Ki Tavo, the Israelites are told that when they enter the land they must publicly bless those who keep the commandments, and curse those who violate them. And they have to proclaim these blessings and curses on two mountains -- Mount Gerizim and Mount Eval. But why? What's so special about these mountains? And why must the blessings and curses be reviewed in such a public way? Join Daniel Loewenstein and Beth Lesch as they use the gematria, grammar and topography hidden in Ki...


Ep.31 Parshat Ki Teitzei: Remember Amalek; Don't Forget

This week’s parsha includes the commandment to wipe out the memory of Amalek, the nation who attacked the Israelites just weeks after the Exodus from Egypt. It’s the kind of mitzvah that makes our skin crawl in the 21st century. Why would God command wiping out an entire people? What did they do that was so evil that they deserve to be completely erased from history? And why does the Torah use this cryptic language of memory and forgetting to give this command? Our parsha holds a...


Ep 13. Tazria-Metzora: What Does Childbirth Have In Common With Leprosy?

In this weeks double parsha, Tazria-Metzora, we learn about the different ways that one can became “tamei,” spiritually impure -- such as giving birth, to someone who has contracted leprosy. But how do these radically different ways of becoming tamei actually connect? Are we meant to believe that the miracle of birth is similar to a plague of deformity? Join Rabbi Fohrman and Imu as they reexamine the text of this weeks parsha, and find thematic connections to explain how these strange...


Ep 12. Shemini: What Does The Induction Ceremony For The Priests Have To Do With...Purim?

We learn in Shemini about the induction of Aaron and his sons into the priesthood. Interestingly, there are bunch of similarities - in language, and in theme - between this story, and the story of Megillat Esther. But what does the induction of priests have to do with Esther?? Join Rabbi Fohrman and Rivky as they examine this puzzle - and never think about the priesthood, or Megillat Esther - the same way again.


Ep 11. Tzav: What Does The Mincha Offering Teach Us About Passover?

We learn in Tzav that one is not allowed to mix Chametz with the sacrificial Mincha offering. But what does the Mincha offering have to do with Chametz? Or by extension, Passover? Join Imu and Rivky as they re-examine the offering text and learn the deeper meaning behind Chametz — a symbol of over-processing and separation from the creator — and never think of the Mincha offering, and Chametz, the same way again.


Ep 10. Vayikra: Is It More Than Just Laws About Korbanot?

We learn in Vayikra about the laws of the Korbanot — sacrifices to God. But there’s something very difficult about studying Vayikra. It can be incredibly boring. There’s no storyline, just a lot of very specific rules. So, how can we approach Vayikra in a more engaging way? Join Rabbi Fohrman and Imu as they reexamine the two narratives surrounding Vayikra — the story of God’s cloud directing the Israelites — and discover a new narrative, with insights about how to become closer to God.


Ep 9. Vayakhel-Pekudei: What Do the Tabernacle and Creation Have In Common?

We learn in Vayakhel-Pekudei about the appointment of Betzalel as the architect of the Tabernacle. But there’s something very striking about the language describing this appointment. It sounds eerily similar to the language in the Creation story. What do Betzalel’s appointment and creation have in common? Join Rabbi Fohrman and Imu as they explore the commonalities between God creating the world for man and man creating the Tabernacle for God, and never think about Betzalel’s appointment...


Ep 8. Ki Tisa: Why Would Anyone Want To Build a Golden Calf?

We learn in Parshat Ki Tisa about the infamous sin the Israelite’s committed by creating the Golden Calf. But there’s something very unclear about this story — why would the Israelite’s want to build a Golden Calf? It's not like people today want to build and pray to idols, so why would the Israelite’s? Join Rabbi Fohrman and Imu as they explore the text of the Golden Calf and debate the real reason the people wanted to build a new “godly” figure. You’ll never think of the Golden Calf the...


Ep7. Tetzaveh: What Do the Laws of Choshen Mishpat Teach Us About Our Relationship To God?

We learn in Parshat Tetzaveh about the specific laws relating to the Kohen Gadol’s Breastplate — the Choshen Mishpat. But why should we care about these esoteric and seemingly inapplicable laws? Join Rabbi Fohrman and Imu as they take a look back at Parshat Mishpatim and find an intriguing relationship to the laws of the judges. You’ll never think of Choshen Mishpat the same way again.


Ep6. Terumah: What's So Special About The Tablets?

We learn in Parshat Terumah that the tablets of the 10 Commandments have a central place in the mishkan, the Tabernacle. But why? A clue might come from the Torah's constant use of the word "edut," testimony, and "moed," a place of meeting. Come join Rabbi Fohrman and Imu as they puzzle it out.


Ep5. Mishpatim - The Ten Commandments… The Sequel?

This week, Imu guides Rabbi Fohrman into the myriad of laws of Mishpatim. He points out some subtle connections - both in theme, and in language, between these laws and the Ten Commandments, we just heard last week, and asks, why? Why is there a replay of the Ten Commandments?


Ep4. Yitro: Fowl Play? The Significance of Birds in the Torah

This week, Rabbi Fohrman tests Imu - where do birds appear in the Torah? How do they connect to each other? Is there some sort of theme that connects the birds together? And how does any of this relate to Parshat Yitro, the parsha in which God gives the Torah to the Israelite people at Sinai?


Ep3. Beshalach - Why Is God Testing The Israelites?

When the people first enter the wilderness, God withholds test the people? In fact, this idea of God "testing" the nation shows up in every single story of this parsha! What is God really testing, and why test the people? In this podcast, Rabbi Fohrman and Imu Shalev discuss this pattern, and try to get to the bottom of the subtle connection between these stories.


Ep2. Bo - Arbeh the Plague…and Arbeh, the Blessing?

This week, Rabbi Fohrman and Imu do a deep dive into the plague of arbeh, locusts, in Parshat Bo. They ask, why does the Torah use language “eye” and “seeing” here? Could it connect to the word “arbeh,” used back in Genesis, which connected to the blessing of Israel? For Rabbi Fohrman's book: For more Aleph Beta, try our app: iTunes:…id598939260?mt=8 Android:...


Ep1. Va'era - What's With The Plagues?

This week, Rabbi Fohrman and Imu tackle Parshat Va'era and ask - are the plagues just arbitrary? Or do they mean something real, to the Israelite, the Egyptians, and to us, today? For more Aleph Beta, try our app. iTunes: Android: