Madlik Podcast – Disruptive Torah Thoughts on Judaism-logo

Madlik Podcast – Disruptive Torah Thoughts on Judaism

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

Madlik – Disruptive 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 – Disruptive 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 – Disruptive 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.








Not Holier Than Thou

Parshat Korach, Numbers 16 A “Talit that is wholly blue” (טלית שכולה תכלת); arguably the first fashion statement, has entered popular Jewish and Israeli folklore and culture. We use this popular account of the Korach rebellion to continue our exploration of the Bible’s rejection of class privilege, pride, entitlement, and the corruption that they invite and a democratized vision for Judaism and Israel. Sefaria Source Sheet: Transcript: Geoffrey Stern So this...


Get Guts

Parshat Shelach - Geoffrey Stern with Rabbi Adam Mintz, visit with Rav Abraham Isaac Kook, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg and listen to a live recording or Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. We explore what the story of the Biblical Scouts teaches us about whining, Jewish Power, Jewish Nationalism, Zionism, Jewish Renewal, love and respect for authority? So gird your loins and take a deep breath as we Get Guts. Sefaria Source Sheet: Transcript: Geoffrey Welcome, everybody, to...


The Jewish Calendar - Hacking the Universe

Parshat Beha'alotcha - (Numbers 9: 2-13) Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz recorded on Clubhouse Friday May 28th 2021 as we uncover the relationship between the Biblical Pesach Sheni (2nd Passover) and the later instituted Shana M'Uberet (Leap year). We hypothesize regarding the theological and social ramifications of correcting an irregular calendar based on a seemingly imperfect planetary system. Source Sheet on Sefaria: Transcript below: Welcome to...


The Biblical Nazarite – lessons in addiction, sobriety and joyful living

Join Geoffrey Stern, Rabbi Adam Mintz and Rabbi Hirsh Chinn on Clubhouse Friday May 21st at 4:00pm (ET). The Torah is ambivalent with regard to the sobriety of the Nazarine. Is the Nazir a holy man striving for greater spirituality or an addict seeking rehab for a moral shortcoming… or both? Rabbi Hirsh Chinn was Geoffrey’s roommate at Yeshivah Torah Vodaath. He was a student of the recently deceased Rabbi and Dr. Abraham J Twersky, who according to his obit in the New York Times was “the...


A Peoples Army

Parshat Bamidbar - Was Ben Gurion's vision of a People's Army which united the country and created a melting pot for Israeli Society foreshadowed in the Bible? Does the elimination of a militant and ideologically pure Priestly cast from the Biblical army have lessons for us today? ------------- Ben Gurion's Peoples Army (From Wikipedia) The model is based on David Ben Gurion’s belief that the universality that would derive from this “melting pot” ideal would help create cohesion among...


Judaism for the Accidental Tourist

Parshat Bechukotai - Judaism, along with most religions, favors consistency in practice and steadfast faith… or does it? Focusing on a single verse that has been used to support this position (Leviticus 26: 21) we argue for an alternative. Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz explore happenstance, serendipity, temporarily fealty, chance, accident, the unintentional, the unexpected, or as the King James translators have God put it ”adventures with Me”. We contrast those who acquires their...


Handicapping the Torah

Parshat Emor - When are we permitted or even obligated to update the ethical aesthetic of the Torah? If the Torah reflects a common bias of its cultural milieu such as the inferiority of the physically maimed or handicapped when and how are we to update this for an evolved perspective? Recorded live on the Madlik Friday a 4:00 Eastern Disruptive Torah Clubhouse group. Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz discuss Leviticus 21; 18-23 and the disenfranchisement of the handicapped and deformed...


Thou Shalt Not Lie Alone

Acharei Mot-Kedoshim (Leviticus 16-20) A live recording of Madlik Disruptive Torah on Clubhouse every Friday at 4:00pm. Today we have a spirited discussion with Rabbi Adam Mintz on the Bible’s first commandment to mankind that it is not good to be alone. We discuss how this relates to gender definition and gender preferences. Link to Sefaria Source Sheet: ויקרא י״ט:א׳-ב׳ וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר ה' אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר דַּבֵּ֞ר אֶל־כָּל־עֲדַ֧ת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל...


Home Alone no more

Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz in conversation of Madlik Clubhouse. Recorded on the weekly 4:00pm Eastern disruptive Torah group and a continuation of re-evaluating Jewish institutions with fresh eyes after the plague of Covid-19. This week we look at the home and towards the time when we will re-open our home as we re-open our temples. We explore the relationship between the home and the temple. The Mishkan and the Mishkan Ma'at. Which came first. Which holds the secret to the...


Prayer and Services and the Sickness unto Death

ויקרא י׳:א׳-ב׳ וַיִּקְח֣וּ בְנֵֽי־אַ֠הֲרֹן נָדָ֨ב וַאֲבִיה֜וּא אִ֣ישׁ מַחְתָּת֗וֹ וַיִּתְּנ֤וּ בָהֵן֙ אֵ֔שׁ וַיָּשִׂ֥ימוּ עָלֶ֖יהָ קְטֹ֑רֶת וַיַּקְרִ֜בוּ לִפְנֵ֤י ה' אֵ֣שׁ זָרָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹ֦א צִוָּ֖ה אֹתָֽם׃ וַתֵּ֥צֵא אֵ֛שׁ מִלִּפְנֵ֥י ה' וַתֹּ֣אכַל אוֹתָ֑ם וַיָּמֻ֖תוּ לִפְנֵ֥י ה'׃ Leviticus 10:1-2 Now Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu each took his fire pan, put fire in it, and laid incense on it; and they offered before the LORD alien fire, which He had not enjoined upon them. And fire...


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...