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Misfit Torah

Misfit Torah

By Akiva Weisinger

Who the Heck Is This Guy?: Akiva Weisinger goes through the Jewish Library telling who the heck is that guy, what he does, and when you'd use his book. Come for the Torah, stay for the Ibn Ezra jokes.

Judaism From The Ground Up: An attempt to work out a vision of what Judaism is supposed to accomplish.
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Judaism From The Ground Up: Man is Created Alone
Judaism From The Ground Up: Man is Created Alone
Episode One of my "Judaism from the Ground Up" series, an attempt to articulate a philosophy of Judaism for those who, like me, have had a lot to rethink over the past 6 years or so. In this episode: Order vs. Chaos, Tzimtzum, Division of Labor in society, words I may or may not have pronounced correctly. 
27:50
November 23, 2022
Podchad Yitzchak: Purim 4
Podchad Yitzchak: Purim 4
A New Podcast Series, with guests (hopefully). This episode with me, Akiva Weisinger, talking about Purim 4
24:52
November 20, 2022
The Kli Yakar: On The Non-Binary Nature of Reality
The Kli Yakar: On The Non-Binary Nature of Reality
The Kli Yakar and his commentary are discussed. Heinreich Graetz is dragged. The ramifications of secret chavrutas in the Moreh Nevuchim are explicated. Future episodes are alluded to. Paternity is hedged. Manichaeism is too briefly mentioned. The line between mysticism and rationalism is blurred. The color red becomes important at one point. Half-measures are accepted as the best we're gonna get from the 1600's. The nature of the corrupting influence of wealth is pondered. 
01:09:04
June 23, 2022
Judaism From The Ground Up: Intro
Judaism From The Ground Up: Intro
Why have I had a religious crisis? What is this series trying to do? 
15:40
February 04, 2022
Seforno: On Embracing Your Context
Seforno: On Embracing Your Context
Binaries are proposed and rejected. The author's alma mater is briefly mentioned. Italians' rationality is defended. Historical headcanons are proposed. Context is continuously provided. Quotes are read in a haughty voice. Aesthetics become spiritual, but are clumsily explained. The limits of ethical apologetics are pondered.  The ability to step outside one's context is questioned, both practically and prescriptively. 
52:16
June 28, 2020
Abravanel: The First Modern Biblical Commentator
Abravanel: The First Modern Biblical Commentator
Part 10 of the "Who the Heck is that Guy" series. Modernity is discussed, existence is pondered, paths around the sun are considered. Comparisons to hit musicals are made, prolific writing is marveled at, our protagonist rapidly gain power and just as rapidly loses it, rabbinic jokes are made and explained, the utility of questions is explained lines to the American Revolution are drawn, revolutionary zeal is pondered. 
52:16
February 18, 2020
Medieval Roundup:
Medieval Roundup:
Part 9 of the "Who The Heck is that Guy" series Akiva wraps up the unit on medieval commentators with a roundup of commentators that are important but didn't get their own episode. Authors are thanked and remembered. Listeners are urged to read. Saadia Gaon is called a badass. Mahari Kara's name is mispronounced, maybe. Bechor Shor's astuteness is applauded. Radak is complimented as boring. Ibn Kaspi's character is pondered. Rabbeinu Bahya's role model is revealed. Mental flowcharts are explicated. Promises about future episodes are made. 
53:08
July 22, 2019
In Defense of a Larger Toolbox: The Zohar and Mystical Biblical Commentary, Part 8 of the "Who The Heck is That Guy?" Series
In Defense of a Larger Toolbox: The Zohar and Mystical Biblical Commentary, Part 8 of the "Who The Heck is That Guy?" Series
The Zohar is discussed. Stories of young firebrands getting shut down are told. Hearts are warmed. Things get a little raunchy. The limits of rationalism are probed. The word "theosophy" presents some trouble. Promised edits never arrive. The significance of sea monsters is discussed. Gaps appear between vocabulary and pronunciation. Davidic improprieties are pondered. Communal priorities are thought over. Paths forwards are hesitantly pointed towards.
01:00:53
February 26, 2019
What I Know vs. What I Believe: The Ralbag and Rationalist Commentary
What I Know vs. What I Believe: The Ralbag and Rationalist Commentary
The relationship between religion and truth is pondered. The Ralbag is introduced. A joke about Maimonidean esotericism is clumsily made. An article is promoted. Stories are rationalized, naturalized, and reinterpreted. The podcast becomes PG-13. Some wacky comments of The Ralbag are read. Light misogyny and body shaming is awkwardly handled. Death stares become literal. Exhortations to never give up are made. 
01:01:50
December 27, 2018
The Baal Haturim: The Shallow End of the Pool
The Baal Haturim: The Shallow End of the Pool
The Baal Haturim is discussed, and defended. Our host's origin story is recounted. Codes are explained. Diagrams are needed but not provided. Names of siblings are revealed and interpreted.
25:22
August 23, 2018
The Advantages of Intellectual Diversity: The Brilliance of the Ramban
The Advantages of Intellectual Diversity: The Brilliance of the Ramban
The Ramban is discussed. Diversity is extolled. Sephardic and Ashkenazi learning styles are oversimplified. Genius is asserted. Pulp Fiction is quoted. The moral decay of strongmen is analyzed. Rainbows are directly observed. Christopher Lee is mentioned positively.
01:22:01
July 17, 2018
A Dinner with Ibn Ezra
A Dinner with Ibn Ezra
Ibn Ezra is discussed. Stars are railed against. Riddles are puzzled over. Palindromes are given and taken on faith. Bovine-based insults are explicated. Hamilton is invoked and millenials are pandered to. The nature of inconsistency and doubt are probed.
01:15:20
July 06, 2018
Is Creativity Possible in a Religious Tradition? The Paradigm Busting Rashbam
Is Creativity Possible in a Religious Tradition? The Paradigm Busting Rashbam
In our latest episode, Akiva talks about the Rashbam, what makes his commentary so out there, why Artscroll censored a rishon, and why Jack White's solo albums suck. Ancient Crimes are re-examined and new evidence is considered.
50:49
June 29, 2018
Rashi
Rashi
Rashi is cool. Let me tell you why.
39:10
June 21, 2018
Humpty Dumpty in Peshat and Derash: An Intro to Biblical Commentary
Humpty Dumpty in Peshat and Derash: An Intro to Biblical Commentary
We introduce our series about Biblical Commentators with an analysis of Humpty Dumpty and an outlining of the goals of biblical commentary.
35:33
June 14, 2018