Madlik Podcast – Torah Thoughts on Judaism From a Post-Orthodox Jew-logo

Madlik Podcast – Torah Thoughts on Judaism From a Post-Orthodox Jew

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

Madlik – Torah thoughts from a post-orthodox Jew with a life-long love and appreciation of Jewish texts and a fresh and sometimes heterodox perspective on their meaning, intent and practical (halachic) implications.

Madlik – Torah thoughts from a post-orthodox Jew with a life-long love and appreciation of Jewish texts and a fresh and sometimes heterodox perspective on their meaning, intent and practical (halachic) implications.


United States


Madlik – Torah thoughts from a post-orthodox Jew with a life-long love and appreciation of Jewish texts and a fresh and sometimes heterodox perspective on their meaning, intent and practical (halachic) implications.








Finding the Stranger in the Seder

Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz as we discuss: “You shall not oppress a stranger, … having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt” and wonder why the motif of loving the stranger is not found in the Haggadah. Along with other members of the Madlik family we discuss whether this is a valid question or not and we also explore where in the Haggadah a discussion of loving the stranger is appropriate. Finally, we follow the advise of the Mishnah and read the parsha of Bikurim...


Let The Sunshine

Let the Sun Shine Source Sheet by Geoffrey Stern Bereishit Rabbah 11 (2) "And Elokim blessed the seventh day and sanctified it"- .... R' Elazar says: "He blessed it" with a candle and this occurred to me, one time I lit a candle on the eve of Shabbat and I came and I found it [still] lit at the end of Shabbat and it wasn't diminished at all. "He blessed it" with the light of the face of man, "He sanctified it" with the light of of the face of man. The light of man's face throughout...


A Passover Makeover

Link To Source Sheet on Sefaria: Passover at a time of Corona: What the biblical provision for celebrating a second Passover teaches us about celebrating Passover under extenuating circumstances. 2. Numbers 9:2-13 (2) Let the Israelite people offer the passover sacrifice at its set time: (3) you shall offer it on the fourteenth day of this month, at twilight, at its set time; you shall offer it in accordance with all its rules and rites. (4) Moses...


The Audacity of Torah

The Audacity of Torah GS by Geoffrey Stern An exploration of the fine line between expressions of piety in the service of the Divine and the seduction of self-pride. Using biblical, Talmudic, liturgical and Maimonidian texts and anecdotes from the Novardok school of Mussar we come to a surprising conclusion. The Torah not so much commands us to worship the Lord as it does give us permission or license. We call this the audacity of Torah. ----- Link to Source Sheet on Sefaria...


Clueless about Avoda Zarah

Sanhedrin 63b: § Rav Yehuda says that Rav says: The Jewish people knew that idol worship is of no substance; they did not actually believe in it. And they worshipped idols only in order to permit themselves to engage in forbidden sexual relations in public, since most rituals of idol worship would include public displays of forbidden sexual intercourse. Rav Mesharshiyya raises an objection to this statement from the following verse: “Like the memory of their sons are their altars,...


Re-imagining God and Man for a New Year

If the rejection of idolatry is the essence of the Biblical project, why does it not appear in the Genesis account of the founders? But Didn't Abraham destroy his father's idols? בראשית רבה ל״ח וַיָּמָת הָרָן עַל פְּנֵי תֶּרַח אָבִיו , רַבִּי חִיָּא בַּר בְּרֵיהּ דְּרַב אַדָא דְּיָפוֹ, תֶּרַח עוֹבֵד צְלָמִים הָיָה, חַד זְמַן נְפֵיק לַאֲתַר, הוֹשִׁיב לְאַבְרָהָם מוֹכֵר תַּחְתָּיו. הֲוָה אָתֵי בַּר אֵינַשׁ בָּעֵי דְּיִזְבַּן, וַהֲוָה אֲמַר לֵהּ בַּר כַּמָּה שְׁנִין אַתְּ, וַהֲוָה...


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 visions...


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 תוּכַל...


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 Google...


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.