That's So Kvetch!
By Rebecca Kerzner
That’s So Kvetch is a podcast about Jewish dating, Torah texts, feminism, and more. Featuring Jewish change-makers that open up a conversation around taboo topics in the Jewish community.
My Personal Lech Lecha and The Story of a Jewish Femme Fatale
I moved to Jerusalem in Israel - to a land that Hashem will show me the way - my own personal Lech Lecha journey. In this episode, I chat about the recent move, and the big and little adjustments that I’ve dealt with in the two weeks I've been here. Then, I share a story from the Gemara about a woman named Homa and R’ Hisda’s daughter. (Which I learned at Pardes from Gila Fine!) In the story, Rabba becomes aroused by the skin of his dead friend’s wife and runs home to consummate his urge with his wife. You’ll have to listen to hear what happens next and learn about ironies and hypocrisies within the story. This is a juicy one. Happy listening! (0:00-12:37) - Little and big adjustments (12:37-17:32) - What transcends language? (17:32-26:00) The story of Homa, the femme fatale (26:00 -29:00) Hasidut question: Should love come from the mind or the heart? (29:00 -end) My blessing to you!
October 15, 2021
Feeling Like “Too Much”, Breakups, and Summer Memories
This episode is for the sensitive people out there! In this reflective episode, I chat about a variety of topics, from some announcements in my personal life to the story of Chana’s prayer, feeling like “too much”, breakups and more. The concept of being “too much” has come up for me in a variety of aspects of life, and I wanted to talk about the struggles behind feeling this way, the beauty of feeling, and why it is good to stay soft and open. Then, I share two moments when I felt the connectedness of everyone dealing with something. Then I chat about how Chana from the Torah was seen as “too much” in her story and what we can learn from that story. Then we talk about breakups, and I share some tips from a recent one I experienced, and end with a blessing, as always. This episode was cathartic and calming and I hope you enjoy listening! (0:00-9:16) - Announcements (9:16-13:52) - What does it mean to be “too much”? (13:52-17:14) Examples from life (17:14-20:09) Summer reflections and the time of transition (random tangent?) (20:09-26:50) The story of Chana, and some halakhot of prayer (26:50 -end) Breakups!
September 17, 2021
Boris Kerzner: How To Be More Sustainable
In this episode, I chat with my older brother Boris, all about sustainability, Jewish journeys, parenting, and more! I’m always looking to improve environmentally, and Boris shared some of his best tips with me, on how to be kinder to our planet. Boris shares his career journey from software engineering to sustainable landscape design and we learn all about the wonders of growing your own food. Also, when Boris was my age, he quit his job and moved to India for four months, and we hear more about why he chose that adventure! Then, on parenting, we talk about how Judaism plays a role and the beauty of the rituals and ethics that it provides. Boris knows what he’s talking about and his calming and educational voice is sure to bring you some peaceful vibes as well as teach you something new along the way! Happy listening!
August 31, 2021
Elena Potek: What’s the Deal with Sexual Energy?
In this episode, I chat with sex educator and coach Elena Potek. Elena works one-on-one with clients to help them harness their sexual energy, reframe old narratives around sexuality, and get in touch with their most authentic selves. I am fascinated by this concept of sexual energy and what it means and how we can tap into it and Elena helps answer all my questions. Then we talk about ideas surrounding sexuality that Elena learned growing up in an Orthodox environment and Elena shares her journey on how she moved away from that mindset. Along the way, we discuss the virginity construct, Elena shares some funny stories from her travels, and we finish off with a conversation about self-confidence and battling self-doubt. I especially loved Elena’s point about how people mirror each other’s energy and how the energy you put out into the world is the energy you will get back. Happy listening! Follow Elena on Instagram at @Elena_potek and check out her website to find out more! Sexual energy playlist curated by Elena: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4sDM6klCjjDCQkD9OtzTR0?si=b562b52ba2834a07 (0:00-5:58) Intro (5:58-12:00) sexual energy FAQ (12:00-18:06) Growing up orthodox and how that impacted Elena (18:06-25:50) the stigma of losing virginity (25:50-29:57) lessons learned from backpacking in South America (29:57-34:48) What do people struggle with most? (34:48- 39:30) Issues in sex ed and dealing with shame (39:30-end) some positive dating related advice
July 29, 2021
Alan Avitan: How To Get Excited About Dating Again
In this episode, I chat with friend of the pod, Alan Avitan, low-key dating coach, upper-west sider, and great advice giver. We chat about how to make the first move in big group scenes, both from the girl's and guys' perspectives. Then we talk about how the dating system favors men and why that is. Alan really speaks to the difficulties women face and the reality of the unequal nature of the dating game. It’s definitely not smooth sailing out there, but we’re all in it together. Alan’s positive attitude will surely inspire you. Happy listening! (00:00-6:21) Intro and catch up (6:21-13:35) making the first move (13:35-16:33) post-pandemic carpe diem spirit (16:33-23:51) different tactics and taking risks (23:51-34:21) how the shidduch system is geared towards men (34:21-37:48) Are there more girls than guys out there? (37:48-end) Don’t be shy! It’s 2021 baby
July 15, 2021
All About Self-Sabotage
In this episode, I chat all about the ups and downs of self-sabotaging, both in the Torah and in my own experiences. Before we dive in, I share some changes I’ve felt in myself since we have started returning to “normalcy”. Then, I discuss the ways self-sabotage manifests and how it relates to me. I share a tragic yet entertaining story with an ex from college and reflect on my patterns in dating. Then, we bring in the good ol’ Torah characters to share their self-sabotaging stories. This is an intense topic, and yet still, I manage to laugh and have a good time while discussing, so I hope listening to this episode is cathartic and fun for you! (0:00-7:25) The carpe diem vibe of June (7:25-11:12) social anxiety and dating break (11:12-15:20) the psychology of self-sabotage (15:20-25:40) ex story (25:40-29:09) why we do it (29:09-38:36) Shimshon the womanizer and others (38:36-end) reframing the narrative
July 1, 2021
Shot Girl Summer and Social Exhaustion
This episode is about the recent influx of socialization in life and reflecting on the mental health effects of the pandemic. I unpack the overwhelming feelings that come with adjusting to a busier life post-vaccine. I start off by sharing a funny story from my adventures on the Clubhouse social media app and then move to a larger conversation about mental health. I reflect on a recent party I threw, CDC’s new guidelines, and how I want to hold on to all my recent awesome memories. Then I dive into the larger picture of mental health effects of the pandemic worldwide, both negative and positive, to give space to all the trauma and pain our world has and continues to suffer through. I reflect personally on the past year and a half and the different waves of emotion I’ve gone through. Lastly, I end off by sharing some encouraging words to remind us to slow down and be patient and kind with ourselves as we process all of these feelings. (0:00-6:10)-Intro and updates (6:10-12:17) my embarrassing Clubhouse story (12:17-18:05) Recent fun parties memories (18:05-19:46) reflecting on worldwide mental health during the pandemic (29:46-31:28) why socializing has been harder post-pandemic (31:28-end) The final takeaway
June 11, 2021
Dr. Batsheva Marcus: Why Sex Fantasies are a Good Thing
In this episode, we return to chat with Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, certified sex therapist and the Clinical Director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health, host of the podcast “Joy of Text”, and awesome woman. We talk about her new book Sex Points, the importance of fantasy, and how to tackle the guilt and shame that surrounds sex. Happy listening! Buy the book anywhere books are sold from Barnes and Noble to Amazon by searching Sex Points by Dr. Batsheva Marcus.
June 4, 2021
Shira Lankin Sheps: Living Through Pain
In honor of mental health awareness month, I chat with Shira Lankin Sheps, editor-in-chief of the Layers Project Magazine. The Layers Project is an online magazine for Jewish women focusing on the challenges and triumphs of their lives. The magazine focuses on breaking the stigma to create a community that is centered around healing and connection. We talked about the process of catharsis that undergoes when people share these stories online. Then, our conversation took a spiritual turn to discuss the role of God and faith in dealing with mental health issues. We ended off with Shira sharing some interesting thoughts about Kabbalah, the expansion of women’s power through history, redemption, and the many challenges that come with advocating for feminism in the Orthodox world. Check out The Layers Project Magazine at thelayersprojectmagazine.com FB and Instagram: @thelayersproject Order Shira’s new book “Layers” at Koren publishers online at korenpub.com (0:00-13:42) Intro and the recent war in Israel (13:39-17:30) What is the Layers Project? (17:30-25:00) Meaning-making and narrative therapy (25:00-34:00) Life lessons from running the magazine and the role of faith in dealing with mental health issues (34:00-end) The changing roles of women and feminism
May 26, 2021
Shira Feen: How To Travel Solo and Own The City
In this episode, I chat with a dear bestie of mine, Shira Feen, a fellow Jewess and design professional currently residing on the Upper West Side. We talk about the origin story of Shira’s famous catchphrase, “own the city” Then, we hear more about Shira’s recent solo trip she took to the Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona. She shares some valuable travel info, from Airbnb experiences to hiking alone, selfie sticks, and more! To reach Shira, you can dm her on Instagram @shirafeen (0:00-2:59) Intro (2:59-9:00) Miguel concert, hype girls, and how to own the city (9:00-25:14) Travel tips! (25:14-end) Our favorite memories together
May 14, 2021
Rabbi Scott Kahn: Does God Judge Us?
In this episode, I chat with Rabbi Scott Kahn, co-host of the Intimate Judaism and Orthodox conundrum podcast. Intimate Judaism deals with intimacy and healthy sexuality in the context of Jewish family while remaining firmly in the bounds of halacha and the Orthodox conundrum podcast focuses on major issues that affect the Orthodox word. Together, we dive into a serious conversation to address some tough questions about how to deal with the tensions of Jewish law and today’s realities: Does God judge us? Are there certain cases when it is ok to violate Jewish law? What is the role of halachic authorities in dealing with the emotions of others? How can we understand the difference between acceptance versus approval? Rabbi Kahn shares his thoughtful approach through examples from the Torah, allegories, and personal reflections. This thought-provoking episode is sure to get your mind buzzing. Happy listening! (0:00-11:34) Toxic masculinity, but mostly how people don’t talk about sex enough in the Orthodox community (11:34-25:00) Shomer negiah, but mostly does God Judge us? (25:00-30:44) Finding space in the Jewish world for LGBTQ folks (30:44-41:23) Porn, but mostly what is the role of halachic authorities? (41:23-end) Is saying “we don’t know what God wants” always a good enough answer?
May 6, 2021
Rena Levene: Erotic Foods, IBS, and Self Esteem
In this episode, I chat with Rena Levine, a dear friend of mine to chat about all things food-related with dating. We discuss everything from our worst food date stories, to dealing with IBS, to food anxiety. Then we share some general dating insecurities and analyze a text conversation together. Rena is a natural podcast host and this episode is sure to bring you lots of laughs and good vibes. Happy listening! (00:00-12:10) food themed worst date stories) (12:10-17:10) dealing with IBS and how it affects dating (17:10-25:21) Food anxiety and favorite recipes (25:21-30:52) erotic foods, self-esteem with food (30:52-36:50) self-esteem in dating (36:50-end) Do you need a spark right away in dating?
May 4, 2021
Zak Benarroch: How Do You Know If You Are In Love?
In this episode, I chat with next-door neighbor Zak about *drum roll please* dating! In the Modern-Orthodox world — how exciting! We talk about breakups, stigmas, red flags, and the struggle of trying to find someone who matches you religiously. Hope you enjoy this fun light-hearted episode! (0:00-3:40) Intro (3:40-9:23) Guys and breakups (9:23-11:40) Covid has changed dating (11:40-22:00) Red Flag or dealbreaker game (22:08-28:00) How to know if are in love (28:00-end) Getting feedback and dating at the same religious level
April 26, 2021
The Soon By You Stigma
In this reflective episode, I chat about the oft-quoted phrase “soon by you” that is occasionally said to singles at Jewish weddings and engagements. I dig deep into the origin of this phrase and talk about the pressure society places on young people to reach that next step in life, whether it be getting married, having a kid, or buying a house. I reflect on some difficult feelings of inadequacy and dive into why people say “soon by you”. People love order and stability and when someone seems to have it all together, they can rest comfortably. Lastly, I reflect on the truly special moments in my life when I look back. If you are looking for a meditative pep talk of sorts, this episode is for you. Happy listening! (00:00-3:47) Intro (3:47-8:29) Social media as a trigger (8:29-10:26) analyzing the cycle of self-deprecation (10:26-14:33) Why do people say “soon by you”? (14:33-22:53) Kimmy Schmidt taught me how to be single and happy + some special memories (22:53-end) 3 final lessons
April 8, 2021
Mandie Peled: Pelvic Health, Orgasms, and Destigmatizing Body Shame
In this episode, I chat with Mandie Peled, pelvic physical therapist and fellow neighbor in the Heights! Mandie specializes in everything from pelvic pain, to fecal/urinary incontinence, constipation, urinary urgency, prolapse, sexual dysfunction, and musculoskeletal impairments that can occur during and after pregnancy. Together, we talk about how to heal from all kinds of women’s health issues with pelvic physical therapy. Mandie debunks misconceptions about anatomy and discusses how to create a more open world when discussing pelvic health. See below for more specifics. Happy listening! (0:00-18:00) all about pelvic floor therapy (18:00-28:40) Closing the orgasm gap and pain with orgasms (28:40-36:00) working with the Jewish Orthodox community (36:00-40:00) similar customs from other religions and normalizing pelvic health (40:00-43:00) How to help a partner struggling with pelvic health (43:00-end) making patients feel comfortable
April 2, 2021
101 Bad Dates
In this episode, I compiled a bunch of stories from you all about one of my favorite “That’s So Kvetch” topics, bad date stories! From accidentally hitting a 3-year-old at a mini-golf place, to non-stop conversation about exes, to live performances of original songs, these bad date stories will bring you many laughs guaranteed. Hopefully, you haven’t been there, but some of us definitely have. Happy listening and thank you for contributing!
March 24, 2021
Maia Groman: On Defining Feminism
In this episode, I chat with my friend and neighbor Maia Groman, assistant media planner by day and marketing freelancer by night. Maia is the marketing manager of Basheret, a Jewish dating app that caters to young Jews across a religious spectrum. Not a shidduch app or a hookup app, Basheret meets people where they are at in their Jewish journey and finds matches for you! We talk about dating (of course) from our favorite Hinge prompts, to dealing with dating burnout, to top break up tips, and more. Then, in honor of women's history month, we dive into a deeper discussion about what feminism means. Not all feminists burn bras or yell, and everyone can show up in their own unique way. Maia’s inspiring voice is sure to boost your day. Happy listening! Download the app here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/basheret-jewish-dating/id1486274771 (00:00-2:30) Intro (2:30-12:30) dating chatter and breakup tips (12:30-20:12) The Basheret dating app (20:12-23:58) Covid was a break from social anxiety (23:58-30:16) all feminists look different (30:16-end) struggles in our feminist journeys
March 18, 2021
Homosexuality in the Torah
Season 2 of That’s So Kvetch is in full swing! In this episode, I journey into the terrain of dealing with homosexuality in the Torah. First, I share the scandalous story where Resh Lakish mistakes Rav Yochanan for a woman and is enchanted by him. Then I dive into Judaism’s general attitude towards homosexuality. I listened to a super right-wing shiur to get a different perspective and contemplated some big questions like: Why are some Jews against homosexuality? What do Jews value most in Judaism? Should the Torah be a rule book or a lesson book? This episode is just the tip of the iceberg of part of a developing conversation as I attempt to deal with the cognitive dissonances in Judaism. (0:00-4:07)- Intro (4:07-10:53) The Story of Resh Lakish and Rav Yochanan (10:53-13:58) Commentary on the story (Daniel Boyarin) (13:58-17:20) Different Jewish approaches to homosexuality (17:20 -20:28) Is adding to the Torah corrupting it? (20:28-end) My cognitive dissonance
March 12, 2021
The Quarter-life crisis
In this episode, I chat about the concept of a quarter-life crisis. If you are feeling lost or inadequate or doubting yourself, this episode is for you. I share my feelings about my insecurities, particularly my intellect anxiety and feeling not good or capable enough to accomplish my goals. (Or even knowing what those goals are!) The biggest truth I’ve realized so far is that nobody really has it together. Lastly, I talk about some helpful mentalities I’ve used to cope with these feelings and basically finish off with a serious pep talk! Happy listening! (0:00-4:51) Intro and updates on my life (4:51-10:39) Birthday reflections on turning 25 (10:39-12:19) everyone is struggling with the very same thing (12:19-17:48) feeling not good enough and intellect anxiety (17:48-end) The grand pep talk!
March 5, 2021
Hart Levine: The Power of Chance Experiences and Dreams
In this episode, I chat with Hart Levine, the spiritual leader of the Beis Community in Washington Heights. The Beis Community is an intentional community that welcomes diverse Jews together for prayer and spirituality in Washington Heights. We talk about his recent new position at Religious Zionists for America and share some vision ideas together about how to bring Israel’s ideological dream-focused mindset to America. We also discuss what it means to be outward-facing, a little Torah, conversations about community, and more. Hart’s inspiring voice is sure to bring you hopefulness. Happy listening! Favorite Beis moments (0:00-9:27) Being out-ward facing (9:27-14:06) How the Beis has coped during coronavirus (14:06-19:55) Creating continuity in a transient community (19:55-24:25) Bringing an Israeli lifestyle to America (24:25-38:51) How Hart and Yael met (38:51-end)
January 8, 2021
Being Delusional In Dating + Making Asarat B’ Tevet Meaningful
In this episode, I chat about the concept of disillusionment in dating. The pandemic has changed dating in many ways with it having to become a lot more methodical, zoom slowing things down, and recognizing that sometimes it's just nice to get to know another person in a time of isolation! It can get confusing and I share the two lenses that distract from having clarity. Then, we debate the importance of having a dating checklist and the need for good chemistry in a relationship. Most of all, the confusion is driven by the romantic lens that drives a hope to create something meaningful together! Then we dive into the content of Pesachim 31 in Daf Yomi for some words of wisdom. Lastly, I share the background of the upcoming fast Asarat B’ Tevet and how to make it relatable and meaningful for ourselves today. Happy listening! (0:00-10:30) The 2 main distraction lenses (Jewish and romantic) (10:30-12:30) What is the point of podcasting about dating? (12:30-15:38) How to deal with the confusion (15:38-22:00) Pesachim 31 and how it relates to dating (22:00-28:27) What’s behind the fast of Asarat B’Tevet? (28:27-end) Why Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas?
December 24, 2020
The Nice Jewish Girl Stereotype
In this episode, I chat about my dislike for the Nice Jewish Girl and Nice Jewish Boy stereotype. Having these labels so present in Jewish culture creates a lot of negative impacts both on the personal level and communal level. The aspirational NJB or NJG title is a little arbitrary, can be used as a cover-up for unethical morals, and puts people on an unnecessary pedestal. We also celebrate a whole year of “That’s so Kvetch!” episodes (the anniversary was November 15)! with a reflection on what I’ve learned over the year, both in dating and in life - most importantly, to never compromise yourself in dating. :) Cheers to an uplifting episode! (0:00-12:06) NJG and NJB stereotype (12:06-13:19) How to combat the stereotype (13:19-19:43 ) Lessons I’ve learned about dating and torah (19:43-20:34 ) Lessons about “everything in between” (20:34-22:11 ) Is it good to be a romantic? (22:11-end ) The things I’m still learning!
December 4, 2020
Yael Brodsky Levine: All about That Beis (and some on Marriage Privilege)
In this episode, I chat with the amazing Yael Brodsky Levine, Beis Community leader who works in storm recovery and mitigating future natural disasters. Yael is passionate about environmental causes and Jewish feminism - what a great combo! Join us as we talk about the history of the Beis Community, what it’s like teaching kallah classes, marriage privilege in society, and how to combat climate change. The Beis Community is an intentional Jewish community that provides a spiritual home where all are welcome and celebrated, and transcends expectations of routine Orthodoxy. Currently, the Beis offers safe distanced prayer options, meals in the park (it’s not too cold yet!), and a friendly chevra. Follow us on Facebook! (0:00 - 12:00)- About Yael’s career in storm recovery (14:00 -27:07 )- The history and values of the Beis Community (27:07 - 34:26) The Stigma of the “rebbetzin” title and marriage privilege (34:26 - 41:45) Teaching Kallah classes (41:45 - end) My Jewish role model and lessons I’ve learned
November 29, 2020
Alan Avitan: How to Date During A Covid Winter
In this episode I chat with Alan Avitan, Upper-West Sider from Cleveland and social media marketer. Three years ago, after he was mentioned on a JSwipe article as one of "The 42 Most Popular Men On JSwipe", Alan started his own dating consultation business, called The Right Swipe. We talk about how dating has changed for us both in the pandemic and how we plan to navigate the colder winter months. Then, Alan shares some awesome zoom and in-person date ideas. This positive and inspiring episode will surely uplift you! Happy listening! About Alan and The Right Swipe (00:00-11:37) Struggles of Zoom dating (11:37-19:03) Roasting my Hinge profile (19:03-29:46) How to Date in Covid Winter (29:46-34:45) Covid winter zoom and in-person date ideas (34:45-end)
November 5, 2020
Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus: An Honest Conversation About Judaism and Sex
In this episode, I chat with Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus, a certified sex therapist and the Clinical Director of Maze Women’s Sexual Health, host of the podcast “Joy of Text”, and amazing woman! We start off with discussing her journey to becoming a sex therapist and where her mind was at in her 20's. Then, we go on to discuss masterbation and how the role halacha plays in having a healthy sex life. Next up- we discuss sex education in Jewish environments, and how sexual guilt and shame impacts all people, not just religious Jews. Lastly, we touch on (no pun intended) the topics of shomer negiah and sexual guilt, and the nuances within both. Happy listening! Why Dr. Batsheva became a sex therapist (0:00-9:35) Masterbation and halachic premise behind it (9:35-15:00) Being open with your kids about sex (15:00-24:00) When should girls start masterbating? (24:00-31:35) Shomer negiah and sexual compatibility(31:35-40:00) Sex education and nature versus nurture (40:00-end)
October 30, 2020
Dressing Like a Woman and Queerphobia in the Jewish Community (Gavi @eatingaroundisrael)
In this episode, I chat with Gavi from @eatingaroundIsrael on Instagram - food tour guide and Jewish queer activist on Instagram! Gavi’s journey began in the Five Towns, then to HaKotel for 2 years, then Hesder, and now resides in Tel Aviv! Together, we discuss gender expression, dressing in drag (shout out to Shaindy!), and envisioning the normalization and acceptance of queer people in Jewish Orthodox communities. Then we go into a larger conversation about Judaism’s attitude towards sexuality, advocating for frum women, and understanding the holy mitzvah of the mikveh ritual immersion. Happy listening! Queer topics and Gavi’s story (0:00-25:12) Sexuality in Judaism (25:12-32:38) Advocating for frum women + Is mikveh sexy? (32:28-38:42) Living your truth and religious hypocrisy (38:42-43:13) Empathy and acceptance (43:13-end)
October 23, 2020
Break Up Remedies and The Secrets of Kohelet
In this episode, I chat about the book of Kohelet and breakups! Undoubtedly, break ups are a part of life. But they are utter crap. I talk about some things I’ve learned along the way on how to cope with them. Healing isn’t linear, and it’s okay and good to mourn the loss of a relationship. Then, I talk about the book of Kohelet, which is read on Shemini Atzeret. Kohelet responds to what we need most to remember during the time of a pandemic, when things are hard and different. So many nuggets of wisdom in this one about companionship, gratefulness, Jewish guilt, and more. Then, I share some Torah words from Lord Jonathan Saks on how such a sad book relates to Sukkot, the happiest time of the year. Cheers to an inspiring episode! Breakups (0:00-13:49) Intro and Kohelet summary (13:49- 28:25) Kohelet’s’s relation to joy mini dvar (28:25-end)
October 9, 2020
Changing Yourself For a Partner
In this episode, I chat about changing emotionally, spiritually, and religiously for a partner. This topic is widely contested and feels different for every person across the board. I think it is inevitable that this sometimes happens and people try to please each other at the expense of themselves. Can you spiritually grow with someone? Where do you draw the line and where are your boundaries? I share my struggles with this topic and some of my thoughts on Jewish dating culture. Ultimately, like everything else in life, this is not black and white, and every love story has a chance of working out, no matter how different the two people are! Nevertheless, sometimes we have to go through these tough times to figure out what we truly want and need.
October 2, 2020
50 Shades of Tzniut: 2 Opinions on Dressing Modestly
In this episode, I chat with old friend Basya Hans, content creator at the Jewish Learning Institute. Yay Jewish non-profit world! We begin with a conversation about her ba’al teshuva journey and how we’ve both grown religiously over the years. We touch on the mission of the Chabad movement and valuing accessibility in Judaism. Then we open up to discussing the multi-faceted mitzvah of dressing modestly! Basya and I shared our opinions on the mitzvah and how it manifests for us. Through chatting, we realized our opinions are very different but it was nice and interesting to engage in a dialogue together. Basya’s Jewish Journey (0:00-11:47) Intro on Tzniut (11:47-14:45) Basya’s take on Tzniut (14:45-26:50) RK recent Tzniut Journey (26:50- 30:15) Judaism is fluid (30:15- 34:25) The desire to feel sexy (34:25-36:49) It’s not all or nothing (36:49- 41:49)
September 25, 2020
Slut Shaming in the Torah + Why You Should Start a Podcast!
In this episode, I start off by chatting about the origin of this podcast and some unexpected benefits it has had for me! If you want to start a podcast, DO it! Then I dive into the unsettling topic of slut shaming and work through the stories of the wayward wife, Sotah, and of Yakkov’s daughter Dina. These stories seep into our culture today and I discuss how to deal with reconciling the issues they bring up. There’s a lot at play here, from the power of agreement, to mass cultural trends, and the difficulty of breaking embedded norms. Happy listening! Podcast origin (0:00-8:02) Sotah (8:02-14:25) Dinah (14:25-17:12) How to deal with slut shaming today (17:12-end)
September 4, 2020
So You Want to Make Aliyah (Part 3) with Jazzie Morgan and Karen Amouyal
In this episode, I chat with social media guru Jazzie Morgan from @theIsraelBites and Karen Amouyal, old friend from Stern about Aliyah! Jazzie shares how she navigates Israel with Celiac disease, tips on how to be the best chutzpanit, and a recent hilarious date story. Karen recently made Aliyah during the pandemic and sheds light on what her bidud has been like and why Israel is right for her. Happy listening!
September 1, 2020
Talia Lakritz: Exploring Sex Taboos in the Orthodox Community
In this episode, I chat with Talia Lakritz, senior lifestyle reporter for Insider and writer! We talk about Monologues from the Makom, a groundbreaking collection of poetry and prose designed to break the observant Jewish community’s taboo against open discussion of female sexuality. In her piece, Talia shares her first experience with touch after being shomer negiah for years. We also discuss affirmative consent, the harmful notion of “all men being dogs” we grew up with, sexuality, shomer negiah in practice, and more! Monologues from the Makom will be released on September 1st and you can pre-order it here: https://benyehudapress.com/books/monologues-from-the-makom/. Follow their Instagram at @mftmakom
August 24, 2020
Shimmy Feintuch: The Stories we Tell Ourselves
In this episode, I chat with Shimmy Feintuch, psychotherapist and fellow Beis Community enthusiast. We discuss the stories we create in our minds when dating, dealing with insecurities, and how to zoom out and see the big picture. He shared some mental health concepts and how to utilize them and some mindfulness techniques. Then, we tackle ways to deal with vulnerability and the most effective ways to relieve ourselves from overthinking. Damn it brain! Let’s face it, we are all messy in our own ways at times and that is ok! What a cathartic episode - thank you Shimmy!
August 14, 2020
Brina Chu: A Jewish Feminist’s Guide to Dating
In honor of Tu’ B’Av, I chat with Brinu Chu, close friend, roommate of 2 years, vegan and fellow Jewish feminist. Brina is a professional in the Jewish non-profit world and together, we dive into many topics at the nexus of Judaism and dating: worst date stories, misogyny, how our upbringing in Jewish spaces shaped our attitudes towards shomer negiah, modesty, niddah, Jewish identity, and even Pandemic Patty makes an appearance. Happy listening!
August 6, 2020
So You Want to Make Aliyah? (Part 2) with Sarah Kirshner and Lielle Barth
The Aliyah-series is in full swing! In this episode, I chat with Sarah Kirshner, graphic designer and marketer in Nachlaot, and Lielle Barth, a recent graduate from Bar Ilan university who is moving to Baka/Katamon area this week! We talk about a bunch of new topics like the culture of Israeli people, how attachment to the land changes over time, crunchy cucumbers, social life in Israel amidst coronavirus, and how important it is to immerse in the Hebrew language. Plus, what’s the shidduch crisis like in Israel? Happy listening!
July 24, 2020
So You Want to Make Aliyah? (Part 1!) with Dafna Milstein and Roni Buchine!
Are you considering Aliyah? As part of a new series on That’s So Kvetch, I’ll be focusing on Aliyah stories from individual people! In this episode, I interview Dafna Milstein, filmmaker, creative writer and English teacher in Pardes Hanna and Roni Buchine, (old friend from Houston roots), who is studying computer science at Machon Lev in Jerusalem. We cover everything from acclimating as an immigrant, to cost of living and salaries, to the healthcare system, a typical shabbat experience, love stories, and more! It’s very cathartic to listen in and hear other people’s stories and gain insights from them. I hope you enjoy Part 1!
July 17, 2020
Roommate Hunting is Like Dating
After a hiatus, I’m back! In this episode, I start off chatting about some recent life updates, moving apartments, and future plans. Summer is the season of change, and in the process I’ve noticed how roommate hunting is similar in some ways to dating life! I mean, it’s all about making a commitment in the end, am I right? Then, I briefly go on a tangent about Rav Nachman and nature (don’t ask) and swerve back to a scandalous and exciting story of triumph by the bad a** ladies Devorah and Yael! This dream team is truly exemplary and if you listen in, you’ll find out why! (Plus some wild plot twists along the way). Enjoy!
July 7, 2020
Let’s Unpack This: White Fragility, Getting Over Exes, and Religion’s Role in Dating
In this episode, I chat about my personal reflections on the Black Lives Matter movement, the positive and negative effects of social media, and my white guilt. It’s important to recognize how to be more educated and aware in the Jewish community. If we don’t talk about this, nothing will change. Then, I chat about the difficult decisions that come with dating someone of a different religious level than you. Lastly, I discuss the pressure of ‘getting over’ someone, and the negative impact that brings. This is a very raw episode. I hope it brings you to feel less alone if you are struggling with something similar.
June 5, 2020
On Not Knowing What’s To Come
In this episode, I chat about the concept of dealing with uncertainty in life right now. I reflect on some positives that grew out of my uncertainty from when I graduated college. Then, I dive into the significance of Shavuot as the basis for Jewish belief and how it relates during this time. Also, this week was Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s birthday and I shared more about his life and his charm! (He’s the Hawaiin singer and activist who sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’). Lastly, I top things off with a poem by Walt Whitman and some well wishes for us to find clarity and continue to move through the uncertainty with art, music, and nature.
May 24, 2020
My Flirtationship with Lag B’Omer
In this episode, I chat about the awesome upcoming holiday Lag B’Omer this Tuesday and how I’ve fallen in love with its coolness. Lag B’Omer is a mystical holiday that celebrates the Kabbalah’s legacy, religious tolerance, renewal, and inspiration. I dive into the interesting story of R’Shimon Bar Yochai and talk about some funky customs from this holiday like shooting bows and arrows and eating dyed eggs? What?! Anyway, don’t worry, there are also brief chats about dating and recent tv shows I’ve enjoyed to cover all the stops. Happy listening!
May 8, 2020
Tzvi Zuckier: Keep Calm and Quarantine On
In this episode, I chat with Tzvi Zuckier, a mental health therapist and friend that I met on last year’s Jewish music festival, Sababa. We interrupt his tie-dying activity to discuss the relevant topics: Tiger King, Zoom speed dating, mental health (always relevant!), and how people (sometimes) look like animals! And let’s not forget, a ‘That’s so Kvetch’ classic, worst dating stories! Happy listening!
May 1, 2020
Anna Kerzner: Matchmaking, Quarantine Date Ideas and More!
In this episode, I start off with sharing some things that have brought me genuine joy recently as well as a chat about Zoom fatigue and how Zoom can drain your energy. Then I interview my wise sister Anna Kerzner, who is a matchmaker on Saw You at Sinai, one of the oldest Jewish online dating sites! She shares her wisdom on how the site works, how to match people, and tips on how to craft your resume. Lastly, we top things off with talking about the pressure to date right now and some cute quarantine date ideas! Happy listening :)
April 24, 2020
The “Everything in Between” Episode
In this episode, I chat about my journey into self-help during quarantine life and how I've welcomed the extra time to self-reflect and refocus. I share areas of struggle for me personally like changes in friendships, religious guilt, and general anxiety and how I deal with them. Then, I dive into a book I read over chag by Brene Brown and her insights on tackling our inner critic and the concept of shame. Lastly, I finish off with a short chat on emunah, or faith in G-d, as a powerful tool to live your best life! Cheers to an honest episode!
April 17, 2020
Dating Digitally and Dancing on Your Own
In this episode, I chat about the future of dating in the Corona age (thanks to my recent insta poll peeps for your input!) and how dates will go down -just a little more creatively- during this time! Next, I talk a little bit about my personal self-care and how I’ve been managing my anxieties during this crazy time. I highly encourage dance parties right now! Then, I talk about Miriam as a feminine strength born out of bitterness and how she lead the women who left Egypt with their tambourines and dances of joy and faith. Shabbat Shalom everyone!
March 27, 2020
Keeping the Spark Alive Amidst Self-Quarantine
In this episode, I start off by talking about my journey in trying to stay hopeful and positive during the global pandemic. As for dating, Covid-19 is quite a turnoff so we dive into the next best thing: Rom-coms! He’s Just Not That Into You (on Netflix right now!) has some interesting monologues about dating that we just had to unpack! Lastly, we discuss some sources on the Jewish exile in Egypt in honor of the upcoming Passover holiday and how it can inspire us to reframe this new reality.
March 20, 2020
S.T. Schwartz: The "Cautiously Pessimistic" Book Club Chat + Some Dating Chatter
In this episode, I chat with author and illustrator S.T. Schwartz about her book, "Cautiously Pessimistic", a delightful Jewish rom-com novel! We dive into the book, a story about a 25 year old boy named Choni who is ready to get married! Choni follows an anonymous blog about the trials and tribulations of Jewish Dating, Dear Jane Does. Then, he starts dating Tamar Adelson, who unbeknownst to him, is Dear Jane Does. The book follows their dating journey as they both are forced to reconcile their expectations of relationships with the relationships they actually have. I ask S.T. about her process behind writing the book and the role of gender identity and compassion in the story. We also chat about whether the shidduch system favors men over women, some bad dating stories, how to be less antagonistic, and the importance of compassion. Happy listening!
March 10, 2020
An Old School Love Story + Some Megillah Musings
In this episode, I chat about the ultimate love story: how my parents met! It’s quite a tale with twists and turns but with a happy ending! Then, I bring in some poems and quotes about uncertainty and how you just never know how your own story will unfold. Lastly, I dive into Megillat Esther in honor of Purim coming up and the meaning behind Esther’s secret name, Hadassah. She’s the coolest! Happy listening!
February 27, 2020
The Shomer Negiah Struggle
In this episode of That’s so Kvetch!, I talk about the struggle of what it means to be shomer negiah and the religious guilt that sometimes follows with the mitzvah. I delve into my personal thoughts, the sources, and a story of a man awakened from sexual sin by the slapping of his tzitzit, or ritual fringes (the better way to call them) Feeling guilty is tough, but it’s important not to judge yourself too hard! Just like the Gemara offers a discourse, so should you for the story of your life. Happy listening :)
February 21, 2020
Oy Vey, Valentine's Day!
Bonus episode alert! In this episode, we begin with some exciting “That’s so Kvetch” related updates! Then, I chat about Valentine’s Day and the concept of giving love to all aspects of life. What are the origins of Valentine’s Day? Can/should Jews celebrate? I also talk about Tu B’Av and how cool of a holiday it is! Then, I reflect on a past relationship and how I learned to harness the love from it and re-purpose it! Enjoy!
February 14, 2020
Jon Shatoff: Romance is Good for the Soul
In this episode, I chat with my friend Jon Shatoff, video editor at Nickelodeon about romantic adventures, horoscopes, and more! We talked about going with the flow of dating and accepting the fluidity of it as it comes. Jon even had a sick electron analogy to illustrate his point. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, get dating! Happy listening :)
February 12, 2020
Cassie Gonzales and Michael Rosen: Tefillin-Turn Ons and High School Crushes
In this episode, I chat with my old home-town homies, Cassie and Michael about all things dating, from relationship dealbreakers, to tefillin-turn ons, to how high school relationships affect us nowadays. We also ask questions like: Is it normal to ask about kids on a first date? How much should you filter yourself when dating? Then we top things off with a bissle dating advice as always and then some reflection on our respective adulting journeys. Happy listening!
February 5, 2020
Sarah Gold and Adam Brodsky: The Journey is the Destination
In this episode of “the pod”, I chat with Sarah, an old friend from Stern, currently in dental school, and Adam (new friend!), currently in law school, about the woes of dating! We dive into the concept of dating checklists, how to meet potentials at Key Food, who should pay for dates, feminism, Hex and Co (the board game cafe dating spot), some poetry, lessons from heartbreak, and more! Through laughs, *just water*, and shared anecdotes, we talked about how important it is not to regret loving or having been loved and appreciating the journey of dating as it comes. Be a lover, not a hater! Happy listening!
January 29, 2020
Getting Back Together with Your Ex, Bad Timing, and Some Kohelet Wisdom!
RebeccaKpodcasts, once again! In this episode, I chat about getting back together with exes and some of my experiences in the matter, the concept of “bad timing”, cutting things off cold turkey, and poems by Erin Hanson and Elizabeth Bishop on loss. To top it all off, we’ll finish with some insights from the Book of Kohelet. Kohelet is a doozy and offers lots of existential wisdom (my favorite kind!) and I hope you enjoy this reflective episode.
January 22, 2020
Birthdays, Boys, and Being True to Yourself
In this episode, I chat about my recent birthday festivities and reflect on parts of my growth. I share how I learned the importance of embracing the mess of who you are and the value in impressing yourself over others. Then in terms of boizzz, I talk about a catch-22 and the concept of the "people-lover". Steer clear of the people-lover! Then, we top it off with a dope story from the Gemara about an awesome woman named Yalta and the 400 wine barrels she smashed. Cool beans. Hope you all enjoy :)
January 16, 2020
Dating Apps and Meeting People IRL!
In this episode, I chat with one of my oldest YU friends Aaron Shakib about dating apps and more! Oh, the joy! We cover everything from name puns as pick-up lines, to the dreaded “hey” text message, and tips to eliminate the awkwardness! In the end, meeting people is fun, and the more people you meet, the more likely you are to find that one and only. Aaron’s positive approach is sure to leave you uplifted and refreshed, guaranteed!
January 14, 2020