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Podcast Hebrew College’s Speaking Torah Podcast

By Hebrew College
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Welcome to the Speaking Torah podcast!

Hebrew College presents writers and readers thinking creatively about how Torah is relevant to today—and how it can inform and help us in a world in need of healing and hope.

Torah is one of the most profound sources of wisdom available to us. On this podcast, Jewish leaders from around the world read essays from Hebrew College faculty and rabbinical alumni, and Jewish leaders about how Torah can help us navigate the most pressing issues of our time.

Together, we explore the ways Torah can help us approach the world with creativity, healing, and hope. After listening to the podcast, we hope that you will be left feeling inspired, uplifted, and excited to engage with Torah in a modern, transformative way.

Season Seven

Ep #18: Founding a Food Co-op

Learn how the Shul Lunch Cooperative at Hebrew College was formed, hear about the Jewish values that guide the three founders, Becca Heisler, David Mahfouda, and Chaim Spaulding, in their mission, and discover how they’re encouraging other communities to consider similar programs of service.


Ep #19: Azara: A Scottish Yeshiva

Learn about Azara’s unique approach to cross-denominational tefillah. Discover how Jessica is guiding Edinburgh’s Jewish community through their first encounters with Talmudic texts. Among other things, Jessica shows us how the community makes meaning out of difficult or problematic texts in the modern day while making connections between the texts and their own lives.


Season Six

Ep #15: The Women Are Waiting for Us To Speak

Rabbi Genevieve Greinetz weaves together the words of the Bavli, Ancient Greek Philosophers, contemporary literature, and her own thoughts on finding women’s voices in our ancient texts, and Rabbi Jane Kanarek discusses the importance of observing Talmud with an assumption of women’s presence, rather than an assuming their absence.


Ep #16: Poetry as Midrash

A discussion between Hebrew College faculty member Rabbi Rachel Adelman and her Rabbinical Student Risa Dunbar, about the power of poetry as midrash: the stories that open our text to even more questioning, along with understanding. Both writers bring their individual voices and experiences into the conversation with the text, allowing the ancient words a new place in the modern era.


Ep #17: Writing as Spiritual Practice

Discover creative interpretations of liturgical texts from Hebrew College’s talented rabbinical students. Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is sharing the ethos behind her unique tefillah group, and her students are discussing how writing as spiritual practice has brought them closer in their relationship to God.


Season Five

Ep #13: You Shall Teach Your Children

Tune in for a dynamic talk between Rabbi Dan Judson and Dr. Jonathan Sarna, giving us deep insight into Hebrew College’s commitments to Jewish culture, Jewish leadership, and passing wisdom from generation to generation. They even glimpse into the College’s cultural curriculum 100 years ago.


Ep #14:Educating for Hope Across Difference

Discover Hebrew College’s work in creating community and hope across difference. Our panelists discuss what hope means to them, practices to help identify common ground and acknowledge differences, and insights into building a world where all voices are heard.


Season Four

Speaking Torah by Hebrew College | Featuring Hankus Netsky and Cantor Becky KhitrikEp #10: Sounds of Klezmer

Tune in to discover two unique takes on contemporary Eastern European and Klezmer music. Hankus Netsky shares his inspiration and wealth of experience on the revival of Klezmer music, and how it has been evolving over the past 45 years. And Cantor Rebecca Khitrik  discusses her influences and the musical melting pot that has brought Eastern European Yiddish music to where it is today.


Speaking Torah by Hebrew College | Hiddushim: Letters From the FrontEp #12: Hiddushim: Letters From the Front

Tune in for a unique insight into the experience of Jewish soldiers fighting in World War II. These letters contain heartwarming details of Hebrew College alumni eating challah on an unknown island in the Pacific, catching up with kibbutzniks in London, and reciting excerpts from the Haggadah in Fiji.


Season Three

Speaking Torah by Hebrew College | Challenging Destruction: We Speak Up Despite the Odds with Rabbi Shoshana Friedman and Bill McKibbenEp #7: Challenging Destruction: We Speak Up Despite the Odds

Join us in this episode to discover the lessons from the ancient stories of Noah and the flood to Abraham’s intervention in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. And in the post-sermon discussion, both reader Bill McKibben and Rabbi Shoshana Friedman share their thoughts about our role and responsibility to take action and speak up to encourage the collective consciousness needed to address climate change.


Speaking Torah by Hebrew College | Thank You Dean Thurman: Remembering an American Spiritual Master with Rabbi Or Rose and Dr. Shively SmithEp #8: Thank You Dean Thurman: Remembering an American Spiritual Master

Dr. Shively Smith reads us through and reflects on Rabbi Or Rose’s gratitude of Howard Thurman and the impact he had on the landscape of what is possible for interreligious harmony and cooperation — as well as how we can all carry on this work in our own religious practices.


Speaking Torah by Hebrew College | When the Walls of Metaphor Can’t Hold with Rabbi Jordan Braunig and Rabbi Sharon Cohen AnisfeldEp #9: When the Walls of Metaphor Can’t Hold

Rabbi Jordan Braunig’s essay, read by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, brings us into an unsettling and deeply personal story of love and fragility, giving us an account of a time when it’s so difficult to express the complexity of emotion, that even the walls of metaphor cannot hold.


Squash with Egg and CheeseEp #5: Squash with Egg and Cheese – Judith Rosenbaum reads us on a journey through Lydia Kukoff’s sensory memories and the product of combining her Italian heritage with her chosen Jewish faith, melding her experiences, creating new traditions for her family, and expanding the definition of Judaism while also connecting deeply with its traditions.


Stop Making SenseEp #6: Stop Making Sense – Anne Germanacos reads Rabbi Mónica Gomery’s d’var Torah, written in 2019, highlighting this piece’s ever-increasing relevance in a world of post-truths and “alternative facts”. Mónica shares with us how leaning into that which doesn’t make narrative sense highlights the greater truths that can fly under our rational mind.


Season One

Ep #1: Two Ways to Tell a StoryJoy Ladin guides us through Rabbi Gray Myrseth’s work, Two Ways to Tell a Story, taking us on a powerful journey built equally upon continuity and disruption, from Moses shattering the 10 Commandments, to their own journey to find a self that they could inhabit fully, without fear. 


Ep #2: Vertical Ladders of Sky, Horizontal Ladders of Earth –  Rabbi Jordan Schuster explores the connection between John Keats and the story of Jacob’s Ladder, and teaches that regardless of how fissured this world feels, ladders, like bridges, hold the possibility for connection and relationship. Read by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College.


Ep #3: Extending the Horizons of Our Hearts – Jewish feminist poet, Alicia Ostriker, reads Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld’s essay on the Binding of Isaac, and invites us to think about the thicket of our own lives; the possibilities that we haven’t seen and the impacts of the stories that we tell ourselves.


If you like what you hear, can you leave us a review on Apple Podcasts?

Just follow the steps below:

To subscribe in Apple Podcasts, visit the Speaking Torah page and click on the “Listen on Apple Podcasts” button or search for “Speaking Torah” in your iPhone Podcasts app. (Note: If you’re on a PC or Android, you can download the iTunes app and leave a review there!)

This will launch Apple Podcasts and bring up the podcast.

Click on the “Subscribe” button.

Click the star rating you would like to leave (we would love 5 stars, of course, if the show inspires you!).

Write your review, title it, and you’re all set!

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Thank you for listening!

You can also find the show on Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere else you listen to your podcasts.

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