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.








Shema Yisrael and the struggle against Cheap Faith

Parshat Vetchanan (Deuteronomy 6) Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Roy encounter the iconic call to Faith of the Shema Yisrael to explore the complexity of faith and especially the contribution of the Musar Movement Sefaria Source Sheet: Transcript: Geoffrey Stern And today, we are going to discuss the one sentence that pretty much I think every Jew knows about has heard is our calling card and it is this Shema Yisrael that's found in in Deuteronomy 6: 4. And I'm...


Tisha B'Av and the Birth of Anti-Semitism

A conversation between Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse where we explore the sanctification of powerlessness in Rabbinic Judaism and the internalization of failure. We discuss the tendency of Jews to seek fault in themselves as individuals and as a people as part of a harmful pattern that gave rise to anti-Semitism. Source Sheet: Transcript: Geoffrey Stern What are you going to be talking to your congregation about? Either on Shabbat or Tisha...


The Compromised Land

Parshat matot - This week, along with Rabbi Adam Mintz and Rabbi Raphael Davidovich we discuss compromises and differences of opinion relating to the Biblical borders of the promised land and the modern State of Israel. We explore how these discussions might actually be the only way out of the current conflict. So throw away your maps and pull out your sacred texts and lets discuss the Compromised Land. Link to Sefaria Source Sheet here: Transcript: Geoffrey...


Zelophehad’s daughters and Who’s a Jew

Parshat Pinchas - A live recording of Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz on Clubhouse as we use the intriguing case of the Daughters of Zelophechad to explore Patrilinear and Matrolinear decent in Judaism. Sefaria Source Sheet: Transcript: Geoffrey Stern Welcome, everybody. This week's portion has a story that is typically referred to as Zelophehad's daughters. And you'd figure because they always called daughters that they don't have names. They don't have...


Wonder of Wonders, Miracles of Miracles - God made a Donkey Talk

Join Geoffrey Stern and Rabbi Adam Mintz recorded on Clubhouse Friday June 25th as they identify the miracle of the Talking Ass as a singular gratuitous miracle which serves as neither a sign or lesson, punishes the wicked or provides a victory to the children of Israel. We use this as an excuse to explore the refreshingly ambivalent attitude of the Torah and Rabbinic Judaism to miracles. Link to Sefaria Source Sheet here: Transcript: Geoffrey Stern Welcome...


Salvation through Death - Breaking the Cycle

The Red Heifer purifies the defiled and defiles the pure and is universally taken as a commandment that defies reason and logic. According to science, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction so where's the illogic? Even according to Rabbinic scholars such as Saadia Gaon and modern scholars such as Jacob Milgrom there is nothing unreasonable about this enigma. So why is the ḥoq of the Red Heifer so troubling. Why does it keep God up at night? Sefaria Source Sheet:...


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...