Religion & Spirituality Podcas >

More Information


United States








Why do Jewish Women Rule?

In this Mother's Day episode of the Madlik Podcast we explore the emergence and stature of matrilineal descent within Judaism, an otherwise male dominated and patrilineal religion and legal society. Recorded live at TCS, The Conservative Synagogue of Westport Connecticut we come to the surprising conclusion that the introduction of matrilineal descent might have more to do with removing any stigma attached to a captured and redeemed single-mother and less to do with the status of the...


Sinning for God

Sinning for God Esther Esther sent a message to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night and day; I also and my maidens will fast likewise, and so will I go in to the king, not according to the custom” (Esther 4:16). Rabbi Abba said: It will not be according to my usual custom, for every day until now when I submitted myself to Ahasuerus it was under compulsion, but now I will be submitting...


The Tisha B’Av Syndrome

The Tisha B’Av Syndrome[i] - Podcast notes 1. Humor “the Frenchman, the German and the Jew who are walking in the desert. They trudge in the heat for days, gasping for a drink. The Frenchman says: "I am hot, I am tired, and I am thirsty. I must have some French wine." The German pipes up: "I am hot, I am tired, and I am thirsty. I must have some German beer." The Jew says: "Oy! Am I tired! Am I thirsty! I must have diabetes." Howard Jacobson's Booker-prize winning novel, The Finkler...


Pour out Thy Wrath on my Hametz

An analysis of the Curse Formula Pour Out Thy Wrath upon the Nations recited at the climax of the Passover Seder and suggested alternative texts including the questionable text of "Pour out your Love" discovered by Chayyim Bloch and a stylistically similar piyut of R. Shimon b. Yitzhak which curses the evil inclination instead of the Nations. Complete notes are available at --------- - An exploration of the prayers and...


Entitlement Reform - Chosen Children and People

An exploration of the meaning of Choseness in the Hebrew Bible, Rabbinc and Christian texts.


Life is with People – Immortality in the Hebrew Bible

Notes Intro the Sefer ha-Chinuch was published anonymously in 13th century Spain and was written by a father to his son, upon reaching the age of Bar Mitzvah. See כג כִּי נֵר מִצְוָה, וְתוֹרָה אוֹר; וְדֶרֶךְ חַיִּים, תּוֹכְחוֹת מוּסָר. 23 For the commandment is a lamp, and the teaching is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life; (Proverbs 6: 23) כז נֵר ה’, נִשְׁמַת אָדָם 27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD (Proverbs 20: 27) ----------- The only word that...


The Hanukah Dilemma – The Birth of Judaism

The Hanukah Dilemma – The Birth of Judaism How the Rabbis stole Hanukah and gave Judaism a new life notes ------------- They celebrated it for eight days with gladness like Sukkot and recalled how a little while before, during Sukkot they had been wandering in the mountains and caverns like wild animals. So carrying lulavs [palm branches waved on Sukkot]…they offered hymns of praise (perhaps, the Hallel prayer) to God who had brought to pass the purification of his own place. (II...


A Sabbath Bride – Marriage on Shabbat

An exploration of traditional Jewish sources regarding weddings held on or before the Sabbath and how they might guide us as we recreate Jewish wedding rituals for contemporary times and culture. Sources: לא חולצין ולא מיבמין ואין כונסין ולא מקדישין ולא מעריכין ולא מחרימין ולא מפרישין תרומות ומעשרות ואין פודין הבן ואין מגרשין אלא אם כן הוא גט שכיב מרע {{רמ"א|(דתקיף ליה עלמא)}}. וכולם אם נעשו שוגגין או מזידין או מוטעין מה שעשוי עשוי שולחן ערוך אורח חיים שלט The following is a...


Mixed Marriages – In or Out?

Mixed Marriages – In or out? Join us as we imagine how Jewish Law and accepted practice could adjust to the alarmingly high rate of intermarriage in the USA and the subsequent loss of households identifying with the Jewish people. ---------------- Notes The Pew Survey Reanalyzed: More Bad News, but a Glimmer of Hope It's time to allow Conservative rabbis to officiate at interfaith weddings נָבֹל תִּבֹּל גַּם אַתָּה גַּם הָעָם הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר עִמָּךְ כִּי כָבֵד מִמְּךָ הַדָּבָר לֹא...


It’s just a Dream – Vayetze

What if the Hebrew Bible was just a dream? What happens if not only the narrative elements, but even the development of the law is taken as a dream sequence…. An unending imaginative visitation with ideas, concepts and laws that continue to challenge us? How would that change its meaning and relevance? Would we study it differently? Let's take our ques from the great Maimonides and the Rabbis of the Talmud.... --------------------- Notes: Guide for the Perplexed 48...


Lost in Translation - Toldot

Lost in Translation - Parsha Toldot Notes "Reading the Bible in translation is like kissing your new bride through a veil." famously quipped Haim Nachman Bialik. I would love to see this quote from Bialik as published or documented verbatim and in the original Hebrew. I'm suspicious that what I find attributed to Bialik as it may just be a translation or paraphrase: תרגום דומה לנשיקה מבעד לצעיף I’m sure that reading Bialik in translation is a similarly less-than sensual experience....


A Thanksgiving Meal – סעודת הודיה

A Thanksgiving Meal – סעודת הודיה This week in the US we will be sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal, so what better opportunity to explore the sources and traditions of a Seuda Hodaah – סעודת הודיה a thanksgiving meal in the Jewish tradition… and survey a collection of Thanksgiving sermons…. We’ll even explain why turkey is called Hodu… which means “thanks” in Hebrew… If you like the madlik podcast please subscribe at iTunes. And for your Andoids, the podcast is now available on ...


Abraham's Lost Election - Vayeira

Why did God grow weary of Sodom and what solace and instruction can we take from the Jewish texts that deal with Abraham; this edifying biblical social activist. What can we learn from the Talmudic notion of Midat Sodom מִדַּת סְדוֹם - the character of Sodom and Melech Sadomit - the salt of Sodom. What can we learn from the traditional contrast between Noah, a Tzadik in Peltz (a fur coat) and Abraham who walked in front of God? How can we pull ourselves together and move forward?


The land that never has been yet - Lech Lecha

A journey through Freud, the Hebrew Bible, the classical commentators and modern Near Eastern linguistic scholarship to discover the meaning of the radical Hebrew message of destiny and people-hood.... with a tribute to Leonard Cohen.


Jewish Boats - Noach

Jewish Boats - Noah A dialog with dramatist, playwright and philosopher Michael Posnick on the motif of a ship, a place and a time of refuge in the Hebrew Bible, in the poetry and songs of Yehuda Halevi and in the Yiddish poetry of Asher Penn. Notes: The ark-teva as the first temple Rav sacks: In one other place in the Torah there is the same emphasis on precise dimensions, namely, Noah’s ark: “So make yourself an ark of cypress wood. Make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and...


Tales of our Fathers - Bereshit

Genesis is the narrative of our origins. How do we moderns read it? How do we approach the past and how do we approach our elders? מעשה אבות סימן לבנים The stories of our patriarchs are signs for their children. הפתגם מבוסס כנראה על דברי חז"ל בבראשית רבה: "אמר לו הקב"ה (לאברהם): שב, אתה סימן לבניך In Bereshit Rabba 48: As he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day. Rabbi Berekhiah said in Rabbi Levi’s name: It is written: he sat. He wished to rise, but God said to him: Sit—you are...


A Cathedral in Time - A Tabernacle in Space

it all started when two rebbes sat in a sukkah .... Source Notes -------------------- a cathedral in time – a tabernacle in space 1. Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time. Unlike the space­minded man to whom time is unvaried, iterative, homogeneous, to whom all hours are alike, quality­less, empty shells, the Bible senses the diversified character of time. There are no two hours alike. Every hour is unique and the only one given at the moment, exclusive...


The Death of Compromise – The Fast of Gedalia

Source Notes 1. The Messiah will come only in an age which is either totally pure or totally guilty and corrupt. אין בן-דוד בא אלא בדור שכולו זכאי או כולו חייב סנהדרין צח,א 2. The Messianic Idea in Judaism by Gershom Scholem 1971 pp 10 -17. Apocalyptic Jewish Messianism The elements of the catastrophic and the visions of doom are present in peculiar fashion in the Messianic vision. On the one hand, they are applied to the transition or destruction in which the Messianic...


What's New in the Jewish New Year

An exploration of the major themes of Rosh Hashanah; Malchiot, Zichronot and Shofarot in the context of Ancient Near Eastern New Year festivities and rites. Source Notes: What’s new about the Jewish New Year The three components of Rosh HaShannah Malkhiot – Kingship - מלכיות Zikhronot - Remembrances - זכרונות Shofarot – Shofar Blast - שופרות 1. Source in the Mishnah one says avot and gevurot and kedushat Hashem, and [then] includes malkhiot with kedushat hayom, and [then] blows...