BEST BOOK EVER Kosher Heresy – Parshat Mishpatim
“This week,” says Rabbi Kasher, “we are going to look at an idea that seems so far outside of mainstream Jewish thought that if I came up with it myself, they’d kick me right out of Judaism!”
BEST BOOK EVER BONUS CLASS Our Dangerous God – Parshat Yitro
BEST BOOK EVER Relatives and Revelations – Parshat Yitro
Why is the most important parsha in the Torah named after a foreign priest?
BEST BOOK EVER: Water Everywhere – Parshat Beshalah
Water is the dominant motif in this week’s Parsha. Almost every event in the reading centers in some way around water: splitting water, begging for water, sweetening water, drawing water from a rock. Why so much talk about water? The Talmud provides us with some symbolism that will lend a new layer of meaning to all these watery scenes.
BBE New Year’s Torah – Parshat Bo
Right in the middle of all the action in the Exodus story – with the plagues devastating the land and the Israelites preparing to leave Egypt – the Torah suddenly pauses to introduce us to… the calendar?! This week I’m remembering an old friend who once taught me just how important this moment was.
January 6th, One Year Later: Rep. Adam Schiff & Rabbi Sharon Brous Discuss the Democracy Crisis
On the anniversary of the attack on our government by supporters of the former president, a violent, coordinated effort to overthrow the results of the election. Last year, Rabbi Sharon Brous spoke with Congressman Adam Schiff about the meaning of the January 6th Insurrection and what we must do to protect our democracy and root our government in justice and equality.
“I had the opportunity to talk with Congressman Adam Schiff about the meaning of this moment, and what we must do to protect our democracy and root our government in justice and equality. Like many of you, both Rep Schiff and I feel the fierce urgency of now. In the days ahead, we all must do everything we can to pull our nation back from the edge of the abyss.” – R’ Sharon Brous
Listen: Apple + Spotify
BBE BONUS CLASS: A Bridegroom of Blood – Parshat Shemot
Ep 14: Stopping the Spread – Parshat Va’era
Our experience of the pandemic has us asking all kinds of new questions about the Ten Plagues. Rabbinic tradition has answers, but they will take us into a very different reality.https://media.blubrry.com/bestbookever/content.blubrry.com/bestbookever/Best_Book_Ever_Ep_14_v2.mp3
Ep 13: One Little Verse – Parshat Shemot
How much work can one little verse do? We put that question to the test with the seventh verse in the Book of Exodus.
Ep 12: Zombie Love – Parshat Vayehi
“Our Father Jacob never died.” That’s what our rabbis tell us. But he was embalmed and buried! So what could they mean?
BONUS CLASS: The Woman Between the Walls – Parshat Vayigash
70 people went down to Egypt. But we only count 69! Who’s missing? The woman between the walls.
Ep 11: A New Approach – Parshat Vayigash
This book has been analyzed and interpreted for millennia – so how can there possibly be anything left to say? But thanks to the concept of ‘hiddush,’ there’s always room for a new approach.
Ep 10: Torah Dreams – Parshat Mikeitz
Joseph rises to power in Egypt on the strength of his dream interpretations. But where did he learn how to do this so convincingly? Listen carefully, and you’ll find out.
Ep 9: Weird, Wild Stuff – Parshat Vayeishev
The rabbis of the Talmud dig their fingers into the Joseph story and come up with some weird, wild stuff.
Ep 8: Vampire Torah – Parshat Vayishlah
There’s a vampire hiding in your Torah. To find him, you’ll have to connect the dots.
Ep 7: Talking Rocks – Parshat Vayetzei
A talking snake. A talking donkey. And now… talking rocks! Are we really supposed to believe this stuff?! A 16th-century Jewish philosopher offers us a novel approach for reading the wildest texts in our religious tradition.
Ep 6: Playing Favorites – Parshat Toldot
In this week’s parsha, parents are playing favorites – and so is Rabbi Kasher.
Ep 5: Kindred Spirits – Parsha Hayei Sara
A Kabbalistic legend traces the Abrahamic family tree to a mysterious village of wise ones who possess great spiritual gifts. A 17th-century Hebrew printer thinks he’s figured out where it is.
Ep 4: Be Disturbed. Be Very Disturbed. – Parshat Vayera
The Binding of Isaac is such a nightmarish tale that it can leave us wondering how a holy book can contain such horrors. But what if the horror is intentional?
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