Category: Podcasts

This week Daniel and Karl are joined again by Robin Holland for their investigation of Exodus 13.  Daniel gives us the lowdown on a lot of Jewish practice, including the use of tefillin (in English, phylacteries) in prayer.  You can listen below, or subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or other fine distributors.  The midrash we used is at the bottom of this page. (more…)

This week Daniel and Karl discuss Exodus, Ch. 12, give an overview of the Documentary Hypothesis, delve deep into Jewish religious traditions, and give some grocery shopping advice!  You can subscribe through iTunes or other fine vendors of podcasts, or listen below.  Daniel-curated midrash is at the bottom of the page. (more…)

This week Daniel and Karl are joined by the great Phyllis Spiegel as they delve into Exodus, Ch. 12.  On the surface, Ch. 12 seems like a lot of throat-clearing for Ch. 13.  But it does, in fact, allow us to ask the most profound questions about God and society.  If you’re interested in that kind of thing, this podcast is for you!  Listen using the player below or subscribe through iTunes or your favorite podcasting network.  The midrash that Daniel provides is below the player. (more…)

Daniel and Karl delve into Jewish mysticism (and a little Christian mysticism, too) as they discuss Exodus Ch. 10.  You can listen using the player below or by subscribing through iTunes.  The midrash that Daniel provided is below the player.


Daniel and Karl use Chapter 9 of Exodus as an opportunity to talk about idealism and realism, trauma and hope.  In particular, they discuss ideas articulated in Rabbi David Hartman’s article “Auschwitz or Sinai?”  You can subscribe to the podcast through iTunes or your favorite podcast supplier, or listen to it below.  Show notes and midrash are below the media player.

A DSO Big Read of Exodus

Chapters 9 & 10

Chapter 9

(Rashi, 9:10) upon man and upon beast:

Now if you ask, “From where did they have beasts? Does it not say already, ‘and all the livestock of the Egyptians died’ (above, verse 6) ?” [I will answer that] the decree was leveled only upon those in the field, as it is said: “upon your livestock that is in the field” (above, verse 3), but he who feared the word of the Lord brought all his livestock into the houses, and so it is taught in the Mechilta (Beshallach 1) regarding “He took six hundred chosen chariots” (Exod. 14:7).


(Midrash Rabbah, 9:12) G‑d hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he did not listen to them

Following each of the first five plagues, it is written, “Pharaoh hardened his heart”; regarding the sixth plague it says, “G‑d hardened the heart of Pharaoh.” When G‑d saw that Pharaoh did not relent after the first five plagues, He said: Even if Pharaoh now wished to repent, I shall harden his heart, in order to exact full punishment from him.


(Rashi, 9:18) at this time tomorrow:

[Heb. כָּעֵתמָחָר lit., at the time tomorrow, meaning] at this time tomorrow. He made a scratch on the wall [to demonstrate that] “Tomorrow, when the sun reaches here, the hail will come down.” -[from Tanchuma, Va’era 16]


(Midrash Rabbah, 9:24) So there was hail, and fire flaring up within the hail

Imagine two fierce legions who were always at war with one another, but when the king needed their services for his own battle, he made peace between them, so that both should carry out the orders of the king. Likewise, fire and water are hostile to each other, but when the time came to do war with Egypt, G‑d made peace between them and both smote the Egyptians as “fire within the hail.”


(Rashi, 9:29) Moses went away from Pharaoh, out of the city, and spread out his hands to G‑d (9:29)

Moses did not wish to pray to G‑d inside the city, for it was full of idols.


(Midrash Rabbah, 9:33) The thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was no longer poured upon the earth

The hailstones which were on the way down when Moses prayed were suspended in midair, and did not reach the earth. When did they descend? In the days of Joshua they descended upon the Amorites, as it is written (Joshua 10:11): “It came to pass, as they fled from before Israel . . . that G‑d cast down great stones from heaven upon them.” The remainder will descend in the days of Gog and Magog.

Karl, Robin and Daniel delve into Exodus, Ch. 8, the plagues, the nature of good and evil, the nature of mercy and justice, and all the other large and intense questions, with a little midrashic humor thrown in.  Listen here or subscribe on iTunes.  The midrash that Daniel selected is below. (more…)

image credit: The plague of blood” from “The Golden Haggadah,” Catalonia, early.

This week Daniel and Karl are joined by Robin Holland for their discussion of Exodus Chapter 7.  The plagues begin!  There are magical battles between the Levite Bros. and Pharaoh!  And we get to ask questions about free will, systems of dominance, and the natural creation. (more…)

Daniel and Karl are joined by Maggie Leidheiser-Stoddard to discuss Exodus Chapter 6, a chapter full of quarreling with God, insecurity about leadership, and lots and lots of genealogy.  We all ended up feeling sorry for Moses, and wondering why verses 26 and 27 go out of their way to assure us that it’s the Moses and Aaron the descendants of Levi who were battling Pharaoh, not some other Moses and Aaron.  Were there a lot of Moses and Aaron’s running around in the ancient world? (more…)

Image: Moses and Aaron with Pharaoh, 1931, Marc Chagall

Daniel and Karl dive into Chapter 5 and discuss the nature of God, the nature of social movements, the struggle for justice, and the tragedy of injustice.  The midrash that Daniel selected for us is below the audio player on this page. (more…)

Karl and Daniel delve into Exodus, Ch. 4 and make many jokes about donkeys and circumcision.  Daniel’s selection of midrash is below. (more…)