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Sabbath & Holidays


Vayishlah: Notes on Camp
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

Did Jacob have one camp, two camps, or three? In a chapter about camps, it would seem to matter. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:11:23
Vayeitzei: Not Poppy, Nor Mandragora . . .
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

This week, Reuben brings home some mandrakes—but what happens to them then? (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:11:42
Toldot: Scenes from a Marriage
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

This week, Isaac prays "on behalf of" his wife—but that's not what the Hebrew really means. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:10:45
Keep Calm and Carry On Keep Calm and Carry On
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by Dov Lerner | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

Shabbat is designed to be a day of rest and communal prayer. But due to halakhic restrictions on their carrying items from one place to another, observant Jews can become prisoners in their own homes.  
Hayei Sarah: She’s My Wife and My Sister!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

The "mother of Israel in danger" stories—and the strange resonance of one of them in this week's episode. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:11:02
Vayera: Testing, Testing
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

Did God put Abraham through one test—or 10? (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:12:37
Lekh L’kha: Right, Left
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

To go right or to go left—an election decision? No, that's the choice Abraham gave Lot. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:12:01
Noah: Viticulture, Viniculture
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

The first vineyard, the first glass of wine, and (no doubt) the first hangover. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:10:36
B’reishit: You and I
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

When God said, "Let US make man" . . . who was He talking to? (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:10:49
V’zot Hab’rakhah: Where the Bodies are Buried
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 by Torah Talk with Michael Carasik | Jewish Ideas Daily » Weekly Portions

The strange and confusing name of the place where Moses was buried. (Click here for source sheet.) Download | Duration: 00:10:18
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Editors' Picks
Trailing the Rabbis' Breadcrumbs Judith Shulevitz, Tablet. What is man? He who is capable of searching inside himself. What does he search for? Some dark or foreign matter that he has put there himself. With what does he search? The light of God, which is also in himself.
And It Came to Pass at Midnight Michael Pitkowsky, Menachem Mendel. Audio and video of several renditions of "Karev Yom," a Byzantine-era piyyut sung at the end of the seder.    
What Passover Sounded Like 370 Years Ago Fred MacDowell, On the Main Line. Musical notation for two end-of-seder songs in a 17th-century Haggadah is brought to life in a Toronto Jewish high school. (Video)    
A Series of Unfortunate Segments Leon Wieseltier, Jewish Review of Books. There is immodesty in the notion that newness, and one's own signature, will suffice. The New American Haggadah is abundantly a labor of love, but love is not enough.    
Freedom Tales Yehudah Mirsky, Jewish Ideas Daily. From a medieval manuscript to the script for an interfaith seder, a new crop of Haggadot shows that the old words still hold their own.    
Making a Hash of the Haggadah Michael Medved, Commentary. The impulse to revise and update the prescribed Passover service remains unquenchable, yielding results that range from the odd to the preposterous.
Journey to Freedom Yocheved Golani, Jewish Press. In the the Koren Ethiopian Haggada, rare photos show the arduous, sometimes fatal journey through the Sudan to freedom, as well as initial interactions with modern technology. 
Manger's M'gilah, and Ours Yehudah Mirsky, Jewish Ideas Daily. In the Purim story as riotously told by the great Yiddish poet Itzik Manger, God is so absent that His providence appears only by way of the Devil.
Agunot Jewish Ideas Daily. Ta'anit Esther, the traditional fast day preceding Purim, is observed today. In recent years it has been designated as an international day of study, reflection, and calls to action on behalf of agunot, literally "anchored" or "bound" women.
The Belated Contender Adam Kirsch, Tablet. It's more than a little revealing that Nathan Englander's stories of identity and belief seem shallow and garish, while his story of Jewish politics feels challenging and true.