Archives: Podcast

Ep. 55 The Heavenly Tribunal and Asarah Bi’Teves

There are 6 public fast days on the Jewish calendar: Yom Kippur, Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av), Tzom Gedalia (the 3rd of Tishrei), Asarah Biteves (the 10th of Teves), Taanis Esther (the 13th of Adar) and Shiva Asar Bi’Tammuz (the 17th of Tammuz). And while Yom Kippur and the fast of Esther each have…

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Ep. 54 Uncovering Chanukah’s Deeper Meaning

Chanukah is often viewed as the holiday of lights in which we light the Menorah, eat oily foods and get presents, but is that all there is to Chanukah? In this episode, we uncover the ideological underpinning of the Maccabean revolt against the great Greek army. What did Ancient Greece stand for? What was the…

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Ep. 53 Laws and Customs of Chanukah

In this episode, we go through the basic laws and customs of Chanukah. We discuss the menorah, the fuel, time of lighting, placement of the menorah, the game of dreidel, Chanukah gifts and much more. If you want a quick 15 minute primer to either learn for the first time or remind yourself from last…

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Ep. 52 Why Are We Called Jews?

The name we generally identify with as a religion and a nation is the “Jew”. We consider ourselves Jewish and practice Judaism, but have you ever wondered where this name comes from? In the Torah, God refers to the nation as the “sons of Israel” or the “Israelites” but no mention of Jews or Judaism,…

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Ep. 51 Why Are The Stories Of Genesis Included In The Torah?

The Torah is a legal guide to help us maximize our time in this world. The word Torah itself means instruction or teachings. Why would a book of laws begin with stories? Imagine if the constitution began with stories of George Washington, Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, it’d be ridiculous! The place for stories is…

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Ep. 50 Why Are Mitzvahs Physical – Understanding Physical and Spiritual Space

Often when one thinks of a deep spiritual experience, they think of a transcendent meditation, or maybe about accessing deeper levels of consciousness or the like. They don’t generally think of hanging a parchment outside their front door (mezuzah) or sitting in a wooden hut (Sukka), separating a piece of bread for the priest (Challah),…

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Ep. 49 Uncovering the Mystery of Mikvah

The Mikvah is one of the most powerful tools in Judaism. It has the ability to transform a ritually impure (tamei) person into a pure one (tahor), as well as to transform a gentile into Jew. How does entering a pool of water accomplish such a magnificent transformation? Where does the Mikvah draw this amazing…

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Ep. 48 Understanding A Traditional Jewish Wedding

Marriage is one of the most important values in Judaism, and as such the marriage process is filled with meaningful rituals and processes, reflecting the magnitude of the moment. Often many people aren’t aware of the meaning behind much of what’s being done, so in this episode, we go through the entire wedding process from…

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Ep. 47 – Why Do We Look At Our Fingernails During Havdala?

The Havdala ritual is comprised of making a blessing on a cup of wine, a candle and nice smelling spices. When we make the blessing over the havdala candle, the code of Jewish Law teaches us that we should fold our fingers down over our palms and look at our fingernails and palms. What is…

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Ep. 46 The Holiday Season and The Search For Adam

The incredible high holiday season, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, continuing with Yom Kippur and then Sukkos, finally comes to a climax with the holiday of Shemini Atzeres. And while all the other holidays have unique commandments associated with them (shofar, fasting, lulav and esrog, sitting in a sukkah etc.) there are no special commandments for…

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