An episode of In the Podsha: A Weekly Parsha Conversation
By Sam Reinstein
In the Podsha is a discussion based Parsha podcast. Each week I will discuss two ideas with a guest educator surrounding the weeks Torah portion. They'll bring their own insights and personalities to that week. I hope it is insightful and accessible.
Now it's easier than ever before to learn on the go, Enjoy!
For Parshat Mishpatim, I speak with Lawyer and Law professor at Emory U, Rabbi Shlomo Pill about the purpose of Mishpatim. How do these laws create the society we want? What is the purpose of these laws, and why are they after the Ten Commandments?
Shlomo Pill is a Professor of Law at Emory University. He Specializes in American Law and the intersection between Muslim and Jewish Law. He is the founding Director of the Institute for Jewish Muslim Action (IJMA), a policy-action group building cooperative relationships between American Jews and Muslims through educational programming, policy research, and political and legal advocacy on issues of mutual interest in American public life
I was honored to have on Rabbi Joshua Berman of Bar Ilan University to talk about his book Created Equal. In the conversation he discusses, the purpose of using Near Eastern texts to explain the Torah, what is going on with the Ten Commandments and how we each have a special relationship with G-d.
Rabbi Dr Joshua Berman is a Professor of Bible at Bar Ilan University. He is the author of various Academic books on Torah including Created Equal and Inconstancies in the Torah. You can see more of his work here: https://bible.biu.ac.il/en/node/559
For parshat Bo, I hang out with Zahava Bauer, teacher of Literature and Halakha at Torah Academy of Greater Philidelphia, about the meaning of Firstborns for the Egyptians and the Jewish people and the importance of marking time.
I talk with Miriam Gedwiser, Judaic studies teacher at Ramaz upper school, about Moshe's job is a communal one, how we learn things even if we dont realize it, and why all the plagues had to happen.
Miriam Gedwiser teaches Talmud and Tanakh at the Ramaz Upper School and is on the faculty at Drisha. She has a B.A. in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from N.Y.U. School of Law. She also serves on the board of the Center for Modern Torah Leadership and is a consulting Editor at the Lehrhaus.
For Parshat Shmot, I chat with my dad about his Bar Mitzvah Parsha. We talk about why Moshe was chosen as a leader for the Jewish people, while going through buts of Torah along the way, and detail some of the Hero's journey Moshe goes through this week.
Yes, my dad and I were really in smicha together, you can see more about that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SbY0S5nldQ
For Parshat Vayechi, I chat with Roy Feldman, Rabbi at Congregation Beth Abraham-Jacob in Albany, NY, about the purpose of the book of Genesis, what Joseph's brothers must have felt and some musings on the Rabbinate.
For Parshat Vayigash, I chat with Eli, an Orthodox stand up comedian, about the nature of Yehuda's change and what Yosef knew and didn't know, while making a whole bunch of jokes throughout.
See more of eli at elicomedy.com
In this week's Podsha I hang out with Dan Margulies, Rabbi at The Riverdale Minyan, where we talk about how Yoseph interpreted the dreams, how Yoseph could solve alot of our problems wether personally, financially or religiously, and why Yoseph did all the tricking of his brothers.
Dan Margulies very recently became the Rabbi at The Riverdale Minyan in Riverdale, NY. He also writes monthly for Morthodoxy, and is a guest writer at the Lehrhaus.
(Apologies for static in parts of the episode, tried to get rid of it and it is only there for parts)
This week for Parshat Vayeshev, I have Gershon Albert!
Gershon is the Rabbi at Beth Jacob Congregation in Oakland, and was in my class at Yeshiva University!
Here we talk about what Yosef was thinking when he was telling his brother the dreams, what they actually might have meant, and who actually sold Yosef.
In the Podsha is back! Thanks for being patient, I had to take a break to work on an actuarial exam and the holidays.
This week I chat with Sara Wolkenfeld about all the good thing Sefaria.org is doing, Yaakov's name change's odd formulation, and Esav's and Yaakov's intentions while meeting again.
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Sara Tillinger Wolkenfeld is the Director of Education at Sefaria.org. She has taught Talmud and Jewish Law at the Drisha Institute, and served as JLIC educator and Director of Education at the Center for Jewish Life - Hillel at Princeton University. Sara has taught at The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, NY, at United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston, TX, where she was an intern for two years, and as a Beit Midrash Fellow at S.A.R. Academy in Riverdale, NY. She lectures in synagogues and Hillels on a variety of topics, and also teaches Hilkhot Nidah to brides and engaged couples. Sara holds a BA in Judaica and Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, and has studied Talmud and Jewish Law at Midreshet Lindenbaum, Drisha, Pardes, Nishmat,and Beit Morashah. She lives in Chicago, IL with her husband and four children.
In this week's Podsha, I talk to Rivka Herzfeld about being grateful for our bad history, and we let everyone know a secret about the curses promised if we don't listen.
Rivka got her MA in Bible from Revel, and has taught in a variety of Jewish settings.
In this week's Podsha, I talk with fellow Crown Heights resident Jon Leener about the nature of all the interpersonal commandments in Ki Teitzei, and how one thing leads to another in our personal and spiritual lives.
Jon, with his partner Faith, run BASE BKLN in crown heights, Brooklyn.
BASE is the home of a Rabbinic family which serves as a home-base, a grounding point for students, young adults, and their friends. While each Base reflects the personality of the Rabbinic couple and embodies their vision for a vibrant Jewish community, every Base is committed to pluralism and is founded upon three core values: hospitality, learning, and service.
Enjoy this free flowing conversation with Tzipporah Machlah from the Center for Modern Torah Leadership about the responsibility of our leaders to be part of the community, how those responsibilities are split up, and how our actions influence our personalities.
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In this week's Podsha, I talk with Josh, Co-director of JLIC in Herzeliya, about how the rules of Avodah Zarah (foreign worship, usually understood as idol worship) can be relevant today, and how limiting can be a holy practice.
This week, I have some family time with an excellent Journalist, Hannah Dreyfus.
We talk about how the abuses of power that happen in the Jewish community (and beyond), the power of love over fear, and what Hannah should do with all the cattle she has.
Hannah Dreyfus is a Staff Writer for the Jewish Week. Check out her writing (hannahdreyfus.com) and her podcast (The Chutzpah Podcast)
This week brings Dovi Nadel, the coordinator for the Chidon HaTanach in the US, to talk about whats so special about Jewish people/Torah, what's up with the beginning of a really famous prayer, and we reminisce about an old teacher of his.
Dovi is also a Judiac studies teacher. You can read more about Chidon here: https://chidonusa.wordpress.com/coordinator-%D7%A8%D7%9B%D7%96/
This week I talk to Rabbanit Dasi Fruchter, Assistant Spiritual Leader at Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah in Potomac, MD. We talk about people's responsibility to be honest when asking for things, some guy that sounds like Dumbledore, and Dasi's love for Feminist documentaries.
Tal Attia, director of JLIC at Brandeis, joins me to talk about Pinchas, what it means to be zealous for G-d, whether Pinchas did the right thing, and why we should aim to be more like Joshua and less like Moshe
For Parshat Balak, I talk with Sarah Robinson about how we should relate to Balak as a character, why there is an entire Parsha from a non-Jewish perspective, how different challenges deserve different approaches, and Karma throughout the Bible.
Sarah graduated from Stern and GPATS (YU's Graduate Program for Advanced Talmudic studies), and now teaches Judaics in High School MDS, and previously Kushner, and has had a variety of teaching opportunities in MJE and Merrick, NY.
This week, I got to sit down with MaNishtana, from MaNishtana.net, where we talk about Miriam's death and her integral place in our story, how we have to understand each of our power, and how we need to be careful at reacting even when people do things that are wrong.
Loved spending some time with Isaiah, Rabbi at Hazon, Bechol Lashon, and Zayah and a whole bunch of other stuff. We speak about Korach's rebellion and how we each find our value in a world where we don't feel counted.
In this week's Podsha, I talk to Willie Balk, Academic Advisor at YU, about the meaning of the blue string added to the fringes of garments, who was actually at fault in the spies episode and G-d's place in our lives.
In this week's Podsha, I speak with Rachel Weber Leshaw, teacher at WebYeshiva and Torah V'Avodah and a graduate at the Yoetzet program, about how Judaism feels about making up lost chances, and how being humble is an essential Jewish trait.
In this week's Podsha I talk to Jeremy Borovitz, creator of the Brooklyn Beit Midrash, about why we don't practice the Sotah ritual today, some Holocaust controversy, and the ethics of donating to institutions.
Welcome to episode #1 of IN THE PODSHA!
This week I talk with Margot Botwinick (Reinstein) about what the Jews are doing in the desert, what is the Levites role, what it means to be an educator, and a bit about our parents and Margot's Aliyah adventure