Author: editor

We’re still at Mt. Sinai (after all, we just got there) and the law is getting more and more exact and elaborate.  This week it also becomes downright unpleasant, as we have to contemplate the fact that the Israelites are now enslaving each other, not to mention the sad fate of pre-teen girls in much of the ancient world.  Plus, ox goring.  You can listen to the podcast by downloading it through iTunes or any other fine podcast deliverer, or by using the player below.  The midrash for the chapter is at the bottom of this page. (more…)

artwork: Marc Chagall, The Ten Commandments

What are all those courthouse monuments and bulletin boards on the highway all about, anyway?  The Ten Commandments might form the basis of civil society in the west, or they might be a specific set of rules given to a specific group of people at a specific time, or they might be the Jews’ great gift to the moral universe.  Or, possibly, all three.  And there are three hosts on this week’s podcast, as Daniel and Karl are joined by the great Jane Gerdsen.  Subscribe through any fine podcasting service, or listen with the player below.  This week’s midrash are below the player. (more…)

artwork: Jean Jeon Gerome, Moses on Mount Sinai

All right, we’ve finally arrived at Mount Sinai!  And it only took 19 chapters and 20 episodes.  As Daniel says, all the most famous midrashim speak to this moment of Exodus.  In our discussion, we touch on cultural appropriation, our legacy to future generations, and what exactly the Holy Spirit is.  You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or many other fine podcast distributors, or listen to it with the player below.  The midrash for this week is below the player. (more…)

Image: Jan van Bronschorst, Jethro Advising Moses

Let’s face it, Jethro must have been one of history’s top five father-in-laws.  In Ch. 18 of Exodus, he visits Moses and shows him how to set-up a bureaucracy.  In our current context, this might seem like an odd thing to be admired for.  But can bureaucracies be good, even holy?  Karl and Daniel debate this contentious issue of our time.  You can download the podcast through iTunes or any other fine podcast distributor, or listen to it below.  The midrash we used this week is below the player. (more…)

artwork: Nicolas Poussin, Joshua Fights Amalek

As they dive into ch. 17, Karl and Daniel talk about sin and evil, and the understanding of Amalek in Judaism.  How should we think about and treat our enemies?  How should we confront the evil in ourselves?  The rabbinic tradition has managed to wring some weighty questions out of a relatively short chapter.  You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or any other fine podcast distributor, or you can listen to it with the player below.  The midrash that Daniel assembled for this episode is beneath the player on this page. (more…)

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The Gallery at St. Philip Episcopal Church in Near East Columbus is holding the special art exhibition for the season of Lent, Exodus: Journeys of Liberation. The show explores the themes of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio’s seven-month-long “Big Read” of the Book of Exodus in the visual arts. (more…)

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Daniel and Karl ponder the culinary value of manna, read some excellent midrash, and talk about the Sabbath and ecology, all while dipping (pun intended) into Ch. 16 of Exodus.  You can subscribe through iTunes or any other fine podcast distributor, or listen with the player below.  The midrash for this week below the player. (more…)

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As an architect my interest in design for religious purposes has often been impacted by the specificity of God’s commands regarding building the Tabernacle in Exodus Chapter 26.  God’s statements are not instructions, they are demands, “Thou shalt make….”  It is easy to discern  God’s earliest specifications involve the importance of quality materials, excellent workmanship, and precise design.  The purpose is intentional – to reflect the greater glory of God, not his people. (more…)

This week Daniel and Karl are joined by Cantor Cheryl Wunch, calling in from Toronto to sing portions of Chapter 15 of Exodus, answer all of Karl’s questions about cantors in general, and reflect on (of course) the nature of God and humanity. (more…)