Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast

Interleaved: A Talmudic Podcast

Join us as we take a deep dive into a topic from the Daf Yomi, the daily page of Talmud, with modern-day Sages of Torah and the world who can draw from their unique expertise to share modern and creative perspectives on the text.... Show More

Episodes

February 28, 2021 35 min

What’s the deal with the Birds’ Head Haggadah? How were illuminated Haggadot from the Middle Ages created, and why does everyone make such a big fuss about them?

Dr. Marc Michael Epstein is Professor of Religion and Visual Culture at Vassar College. He is the author of, among other books, The Medieval Haggadah: Art, Narrative, and Religious Imagination  and Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts.

Special than...

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February 14, 2021 37 min

CW// Firsthand description of animal sacrifice
Why is so much of Tractate Pesachim devoted to discussing the Korban Pesach, a ritual that most of the Sages never participated in? What does the modern Samaritan ritual look and feel like?

Dr. Rachel Scheinerman is an associate editor at My Jewish Learning where she edits the Daily Dose of Talmud newsletter. She holds an MA in Scripture & Interpretation from Harvard Divinity School...

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January 31, 2021 34 min

What makes a korban, a Jewish ritual sacrifice, a korban? What does desire have to do with atonement?

Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Zuckier is a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University and lecturer at the Bernard Revel Graduate School. He recently completed his PhD from Yale where he focused on sacrifice. Previously a member of Yeshiva University’s Kollel Elyon, Rabbi Zuckier also is a founder of The Lehrhaus, and was the past Director of JLIC ...

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Where do our customs come from? Why were the rabbis so worried about preserving local custom?

Rabbi Vanessa Ochs is a Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia where she teaches courses in Judaism, anthropology of religion, and spiritual writing. In her research, she investigates new Jewish ritual, Jewish feminism, and Jewish material culture. Rabbi Ochs is the author of many works including The ...

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December 27, 2020 33 min

When did horseradish become synonymous with maror? How does a botanical background enhance torah learning?

Dr. Jon Greenberg is an educational consultant and teacher of science at the Heschel School in New York. He received his bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Brown University, his Master’s and Doctorate in agronomy from Cornell University, and also studied with Rabbi Chaim Brovender at Israel’s Yeshivat Hamivtar.  Addi...

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December 13, 2020 25 min

An episode on Chanukah for the first chapter of a tractate all about Passover? Well, Chanukah doesn’t have its own tractate, and you deserve something fun before you spend 4 months learning everything about the official holiday of Jewish anxiety. So, how was Chanukah celebrated in America before Adam Sandler and Full Court Miracle? Why was the word “presents” the first English word to be printed in Yiddish-language newspapers in Am...

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November 29, 2020 35 min

With all of the technicalities and logistics involved in building and maintaining community Eruvin, it can be easy to overlook the humans who—expecting nothing in return—devote their time and energy to ensure everyone in their community can experience Shabbat as they’re meant to: together. We dedicate this episode to these tireless and generous Jews who simply love their communities.

We thank Jon Gradman of the Center City Eruv, Mic...

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November 1, 2020 36 min

The Eruv is first and foremost a tool for community-building, but it’s easy to overlook the dividing line it creates between communities. How we can make our Eruvin less like fortresses and more like open-sided tents? What can the Talmud teach us about how to relate to people who do not belong to our communities?

Hannah Lebovits is an Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of Texas-Arlington and freelance wri...

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October 18, 2020 37 min

How on Earth does one curate a wildly popular museum exhibit about Eruv, one of the most technical topics in Jewish law? How is a museum exhibit like a page of Talmud?

Zachary Paul Levine curated the exhibition “It’s a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York and Beyond” for the Yeshiva University Museum in Manhattan, New York. He has produced dozens of exhibitions, installations and educational programs for cultural ins...

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September 27, 2020 25 min

Who was Beruriah, the only woman whose halakhic opinion is recorded in the Talmud? What does her Torah mean for women Torah scholars today?

Avigayil Halpern is entering her second year of study for rabbinic ordination at the Hadar Institute's Advanced Kollel while living in Washington Heights, New York. She holds a BA in Judaic Studies from Yale University, where she focused on Talmud. 

Special thanks to our executive producer, A...

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August 23, 2020 28 min

In what ways is the Talmud like a building? How can a bunch of poles and wires—the Eruv—create a spiritual community?

Dr. Mitchell Schwarzer is a historian of architecture who writes and teaches about urban and suburban built environments. He is Professor of Architectural History and Chair of the Department of Visual Studies at California College of the Arts. He also is the author of several books, most recently Urban Development an...

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August 10, 2020 25 min

Hadran Alach Mesechet Shabbat! At times this tractate felt like an arduous journey so in celebration of its completion we asked you, our listeners, about your journeys. Specifically, journeys like the one mentioned in the first mishnah in the last chapter of this tractate — journeys where you didn’t make it home for Shabbat. Thanks again to Avi Robinson, Eliana Yashgur, Natasha Shabat, and Elliot Heller for sharing their stories wi...

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August 2, 2020 37 min

CW: death/dying. 

What was it like to die during the time of the Talmud? Did the Sages really believe that the body of the deceased has a life of its own? 

Dr. David Kraemer is a Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at The Jewish Theological Seminary, where he has also served as director of its library for nearly fifteen years. His scholarship of the Talmud and rabbinic culture is vast, and he is the author of several books including “A...

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July 19, 2020 32 min

Why is the Talmud’s primary discussion of Brit Milah found in the 19th chapter of Shabbat, of all places? How should we understand this ancient ritual in light of modern medicine, values, and conceptions of gender?

Rabbi Eliezer Lawrence is a teacher and certified Mohel. An alumnus of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School, he holds an MA in Bible and Semitic languages and serves on the Judaic Studies Faculty at the Leffell School...

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July 5, 2020 21 min

Can a single thread really change a whole fabric? How does a loom actually work?

Anita Rabinoff Goldman is a textile artist who specializes in quilts based in Boston, Massachusetts. A graduate of the University at Albany, with a degree in Art and Art History, she is the past owner of Pomegranate Judaica, a fiber arts business selling her handmade tallitot, Torah mantles, and other ritual items as well as Jewish themed art. Her quilt...

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June 21, 2020 38 min

How has safrut, the sacred craft of Jewish calligraphy, changed since the days of the Talmud? Why does it have such a rarefied air about it today?

Jen Taylor Friedman is a soferet, a Jewish scribe, scholar, and educator. She is believed to be the first modern day soferet to complete a Torah scroll, and has over ten years’ experience in scroll creation and repair. In addition she also writes other ritual items such as megillot, mezuz...

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What does the Talmud think about prosthetic limbs? What would it think if it were written in 2020?

Tziona Zellis is a certified occupational therapist assistant and tutor in Brooklyn, NY. Following a car accident and more than 20 surgeries, Tziona’s right leg was amputated and she began wearing a prosthesis in 2019. She also works as a motivational speaker telling her story and sharing her journey. 

Special thanks to our executive pr...

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May 28, 2020 34 min

Does the Talmud dream? The final chapter of Berakhot dives into the Talmudic unconscious, delving into dreams, interpretations, and what it all means.

Dr. Cheryl Goldstein is a practicing relational psychoanalyst and faculty member of the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles, California. A UCLA graduate in Comparative Literature, with a Masters in Rabbinic Literature, her research focuses on the interfaces of lite...

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Why does an ancient article of clothing share a name with a heinous act of violence? Can one wear an ankle monitor on Shabbat in a coronavirus surveillance state? Explore these and other questions of Talmudic attire in the sixth chapter of Shabbat.

Annie Sommer Kaufman received her Master’s in Fashion Design from Drexel University and is a clothing designer, patternmaker, cutter, sewer, and salesperson with her own label called Anni...

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April 14, 2020 31 min

What, and how, did people cook in the times of the Talmud? What is Haroset, and why are there so many ways to make it?

Dr. Susan Weingarten is an archaeologist and historian. As a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Jewish Studies at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Weingarten began to concentrate on the history of Jewish food, more specifically on food in talmudic literature. She has published over forty papers and is author of the b...

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