Take One Daf Yomi

By Tablet Magazine

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Category: Judaism

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Subscribers: 47
Reviews: 2

Norm Mogil
 Jan 22, 2020
A wonderful and painless way to absorb the wisdom of the ages

Rachel Wolff
 Jan 20, 2020
An insightful (week)daily exploration of the Talmud with real-world relevance hosted by Liel Liebowitz. It's daf yomi lite, but it makes me want to take time for a deep dive.

Description

As Jews around the world engage in a seven-and-a-half year cycle of Daf Yomi, reading the entire Talmud one page per day, Tablet Magazine's new podcast, Take One, will offer a brief and evocative daily read of the daf, in just about 10 minutes. New episodes will be released daily Monday through Friday.

Episode Date
Take One: Shabbat 152
574
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 152, contains one curious bit of life advice from the rabbis: You should spend your first forty years on this planet taking pleasure in food, but once you turn forty, it's time to get serious about drinking. Alana Newhouse, Tablet's editor in chief, returns to talk about how drinking in your forties is different than drinking in your twenties, and what different insights you find in cocktails throughout the years. What's the perfect drink for the middle-aged? Listen and find out.
Aug 05, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 151
463
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 151, delivers a painful reminder of a universal truth rarely acknowledged: That poverty is cyclical, and that we are all, at some point or another, likely to feel its sting. Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author, joins us to compare the attitudes to poverty in the Jewish and Catholic traditions, and leave us with some useful advice about how to be more compassionate. Why is it so important to get to know your less fortunate neighbors? Listen and find out.
Aug 04, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 149 and 150
641
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 149 and 150, find the rabbis raising one of the humanity's most ancient and most difficult questions: What, exactly, is art? Ben Kovalis, co-founder of a company that uses artificial intelligence to create original works of art,  joins us to talk about what it takes to train a computer to generate something that previously took a human artist. What would Rashi say about machines learning to emulate our greatest masterworks? Listen and find out.
Aug 03, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 147 and 148
533
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 147 and 148, bring up a point that couldn't be any more pertinent: What to do when you feel a strong need to criticize someone? Writer Bethany Mandel joins us to share some of her experiences of being frequently lambasted online, as well as a heartwarming story of what happens when the better angels of our nature prevail. Why should you sometimes try to engage with hateful people? Listen and find out.
Jul 31, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 146
390
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 146, begins with a meditation on original sin and then goes on to ask whether converts were present at Mount Sinai. Fresh off of her visit to the mikvah, Kerigan Kelly joins us to talk about her conversion process, what inspired her, and what she finds comforting and challenging about being Jewish. Why did the rabbis believe converts each had a guardian angel? Listen and find out.
Jul 30, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 145
477
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 145, ponders the differences between scholars in Israel and in Babylonia, and delivers a powerful meditation on belonging, exile, and redemption. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to explain why sometimes being a minority means having to strive to translate your own experience to the rest of the nation, and how such an experience can create great artistic and religious depths. Why is it sometimes a blessing in disguise to be in exile? Listen and find out.
Jul 29, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 144
555
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 144, encourages us to question authority. Rabbi Dr. Stuart Halpern joins us to explain why the relationship between rabbis and their congregations is a delicate dance, not a series of dictates. What to do when you disagree with your rabbi, your boss, or your Congressperson? Listen and find out.
Jul 28, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 142 and 143
738
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 142 and 143, find the rabbis in full parenting mode, discussing whether or not it's permitted to bend the rules on Shabbat for the emotional well-being of your kids. Writer Jordana Horn joins us to talk about the rules we set for ourselves and our families, and the times we decide to break them for everyone's sake. What advice should parents heed now that we're preparing for an uncertain back-to-school period in the fall? Listen and find out.
Jul 27, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 140 and 141
434
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 140 and 141, find the rabbis discussing the intricacies of preparing some of their favorite food dishes. Producer Josh Kross returns to share a confession about his coffee addiction, and explain how having a counter-full of specialized gear can lead to mindfulness. What spiritual teachings might there be in using a burr grinder? Listen and find out.
Jul 24, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 139
481
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 139, kicks things off with a sharp pronouncements: Unless our judges are righteous, a heap of trouble will be visited on our generation. New York City Judge Ilana Marcus joins us to explain how knowledge of the law and a capacity for empathy are a judge's best tools, and talk about her work in a community court that stresses aid and education rather than punishment. What happens when a judge puts on her black robe? Listen and find out.
Jul 23, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 138
486
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 138, strikes a dramatic note: The Jews, one of the rabbis predicts, are destined to one day forget the Torah. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to explain this menacing passage, and why it should be seen not as a doomsday prophecy but as an invitation to appreciate our own diverse moment in time. Why should we rejoice in divergent opinions? Listen and find out.
Jul 22, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 137
939
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 137, revolves around a question that has troubled males for millennia: What does it mean to be a man? We seek a modern answer in a very personal story about crime, punishment, and parenthood. What do you do when your father isn't who you thought he was? Listen and find out.
Jul 21, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 135 and 136
976
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 135 and 136, ask a difficult question: How must we confront that most terrible of ordeals, the loss of a child? Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm joins us to share his own personal experience and find hope and meaning in the wisdom of the rabbis. What, according to the Talmud, is the meaning of life? Listen and find out.
Jul 20, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 133 and 134
451
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 133 and 134, urge us that we ought to strive and be as beautiful and as merciful as God. But what does that mean? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to introduce us to one of the Talmud's most famous concepts, and tell us how it should inform our daily behavior. What is the one thing in each happy occasion we should always strive to make as beautiful as possible? Listen and find out.
Jul 17, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 132
538
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 132, finds the rabbis in a cutting state of mind: They talk about circumcision, and whether or not it is permissible on Shabbat. Dr. Emily Blake, a physician and a mohel, joins us to walk us through the specifics of the sacred ceremony, and share some of her tips to soothing anxious parents. Why is a bris on Shabbat a rare and special thing? Listen and find out.
Jul 16, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 131
457
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 131, raises the painful question of what we're supposed to do when we can't celebrate the holidays in the joyous and festive fashion to which we're accustomed. Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky joins us to talk about preparing for High Holidays in the Covid-19 era, and what we can do spiritually and practically to have a meaningful Tishrei even if it might not happen in shul. What spiritual advantages might there be to this crazy year of social distancing? Listen and find out.
Jul 15, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 130
737
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 130, tells a miraculous tale of tefilin transformed. What happens when we start our day by wrapping the leather straps around our arms and our head? And why are tefilin the world's greatest spiritual technology? Listen and find out.
Jul 14, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 128 and 129
440
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 128 and 129, give us a long discussion of the intricacies of giving birth. Dr. Jennifer Mieres, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Northwell Health, joins us to talk about how bias still sadly impacts the way we do everything from treat patients to conduct research, and what we can do fix that. What are the particular challenges facing women's health today? Listen and find out.
Jul 13, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 126 and 127
465
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 126 and 127, give us a heart-warming and timely tale of what happens when you keep and open mind and an open heart and give others the benefit of the doubt. What does this story have to teach us now, as we grapple with mean-spiritedness online and with the ravages of Cancel Culture? Listen and find out.
Jul 10, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 125
461
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 125, contemplates building, a labor that's prohibited on Shabbat. But what does building mean? Are you allowed, for example, to open a window on Shabbat, an activity that changes the facade of a structure? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to shed light on this intricate question, and find in it a beautiful metaphor for always keeping our windows, and our hearts, open. Are we permitted to open an umbrella on Shabbat? Listen and find out.
Jul 09, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 124
521
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 124, teaches us a valuable lesson about practicing what we preach. Dr. Erica Brown returns to help us make sense of a tense conversation between two wise rabbis, and teach us about the importance of walking the walk when you talk the talk. What does today's page have to offer both rabbis and congregants today? Listen and find out.
Jul 08, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 123
437
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 123, kicks things off with a long disquisition on tools and how to use them. Producer Josh Kross, a geek's geek, returns to explain why it's important to know how something works before buying it, and lament the mistakes too many people make by buying very powerful tools they neither need nor can properly use. Which questions should you ask yourself before shelling out for that powerful new computer or that snazzy kitchen gadget? Listen and find out.
Jul 07, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 121 and 122
685
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 121 and 122, give us a clash for the ages: The sage, who urge us to go ahead and kill creatures that may threaten our lives, and the pious, who argue that taking a life, under any circumstance, should be avoided. Which, if you think about it, mirrors much of the logic of our contemporary debate about guns: Mark Oppenheimer returns to tell us about his experience as a staunchly anti-gun person taking an NRA shooting course, and to debate Liel about firearms, public discourse, and the soul. What spiritual training should we give to those wishing to own and operate firearms? Listen and find out.
Jul 06, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 119 and 120
394
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 119 and 120, deliver a wise warning from the rabbis: You don't have a lot of time on this planet, so use it wisely. Scholar Penina Levy joins us to share a profound teaching from her grandfather, the late Rabbi Norman Lamm, on how we should spend our leisure hours ethically and Jewishly. Is Netflix and chill kosher? Listen and find out.
Jul 03, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 118
401
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 118, finally gets to the heart of the matter: After many, many pages describing all the laws of observing Shabbat, the Talmud acknowledges that celebrating our holy day should be, well, fun. Producer Sara Fredman Aeder returns to share with us her own joyous Shabbat routine, and tell us how you can make it fun for a couple of small and adorable children. Why is candy Shabbat's secret weapon? Listen and find out.
Jul 02, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 117
464
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 117, contains a long discussion about what may and may not be saved from a fire on Shabbat, and has the rabbis insisting that food must never be wasted. Writer and activist Liz Galst joins us to discuss why 40 percent of all the food in America finds its way to the trash uneaten, and what we can do to reduce this vast waste. How is eating leftovers great for the environment? Listen and find out.
Jul 01, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 116
467
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 116, raises the curious idea that a few verses in the Torah, about the traveling of the Ark of the Covenant, should constitute a book unto themselves. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to muse on these powerful verses, and float the theory that they constitute a sort of biblical alt history, telling us what would've happened if the Israelites marched straight to the Promised Land instead of spending four decades in the desert. Why, then, all this erring in the wilderness? Listen and find out.
Jun 30, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 114 and 115
471
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 114 and 115, discuss the time-honored idea that a community ought to put its money where its mouth is and support and sustain its values. In traditional Jewish communities, this means paying for the best and brightest to continue and study Torah. Writer Eli Steinberg joins us to deliver a glimpse into a day in the life of a brilliant Torah student, and reflect on why so many outside the haredi community resent its decision to fund full-time studies. What's it like studying in a top-notch kollel? Listen and find out.
Jun 29, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 112 and 113
611
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 112 and 113, bring up one of the Talmud's most contentious ideas: Yeridat HaDorot, or the notion that each generation is just slightly worse than the one that came before it. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin joins us to challenge this thorny notion, and argue that what we may lose in wisdom we gain in empathy and compassion. So are we getting better or worse with time? Listen and find out.
Jun 26, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 111
509
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 111, delivers an uplifting observation about all of us being the sons and daughters of kings. But what does that mean? Rabbi Motti Seligson joines us to shed light on the teaching of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, whose yahrzeit is today, and to explain why we each have the power to make our lives and our world immeasurably better. What inspiration can the Rebbe offer us in these dark times? Listen and find out.
Jun 25, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 110
484
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 110, kicks things off with a terrifying tale of a curse that leads to inescapable death by snakebite. Film critic and writer Jordan Hoffman joins us to talk about the logic of horror films, about the return of the repressed, and about how film and literature help us deal with our fear of our inevitable demise. Why do we keep cheering on movie monsters? Listen and find out.
Jun 24, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 109
417
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 109, gives us a long list of healing snacks and beverages. They also inspire a meditation on why we should watch what we eat, and ask ourselves piercing ethical questions even if we don't go full Kosher or vegan. How are we what we eat? Listen and find out.
Jun 23, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 107 and 108
442
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 107 and 108, pose a cutting question: Are we circumcising the wrong part of our bodies? Rabbi Jodie Gordon joins us to argue that our commitment to the covenant isn't over at eight days, and that we should continue to work hard to keep our hearts and our ears alike open and attuned to the suffering of others. Why is there nothing more whole than a broken heart? Listen and find out.
Jun 22, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 105 and 106
589
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 105 and 106, begin with a startling ruling: If you break some of the laws of Shabbat because you are anguished about the death of a loved one, you should be exempt from the consequences. Eitan Levine, a writer and comedian, lost his beloved grandmother to Covid-19; he joins us to talk about the maddening and heartbreaking moment of having to say goodbye to Bubby over the phone, and how he managed to find humor even in this grim moment. What to do when the hospital puts you on hold and forces you to listen to upbeat smooth jazz? Listen and find out.
Jun 19, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 104
329
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 104, kicks things off with a mystical theory about the real meaning of Hebrew letters. How is our very alpha-bet prodding us to be more mindful of the less fortunate? And what code does the Talmud contain to teach us the true meaning of compassion and justice? Listen and find out.
Jun 18, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 103
379
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 103, informs us that the essence of writing involves putting just two letters together. Author and scholar Ilana Kurshan returns to help us dive into the mysteries of Hebrew letters, and how just a few of them can conjure entire worlds of meaning. How are the letters themselves magical? Listen and find out.
Jun 17, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 102
524
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 102, the rabbis offer a cryptic sentence about why the rich shouldn't mingle with the poor. But do they really mean it? Rabbi Joe Schwartz joins us to deliver an insightful meditation on affluence, privilege, and poverty, and what the Talmud has to teach us about income inequality today. Why must a wealthy society never tolerate hunger or need? Listen and find out.
Jun 16, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 100 and 101
526
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 100 and 101, find the rabbis in a name-calling mood. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to help us make sense of the practice of evoking the name of Moses. Why are the rabbis having a literal holy Moses moment? Listen and find out.
Jun 15, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 98 and 99
657
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 98 and 99, tells us a brief and magical story: The center beam in the mishkan, God's holy dwelling place on earth, was floating miraculously in mid-air, keeping together the beams on its left and on its right. Producer Josh Kross returns to talk about why it's so important to talk to friends and family members who disagree with you, and why political moderation is a miracle we must keep alive. How can we disagree and argue without malice? Listen and find out.
Jun 12, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 97
501
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 97, give us a story of ancient biblical gossip and its dire consequences. Rabbi Dr. Richard Hidary of Yeshiva University joins us to explain why the kind of idle chatter we see on Facebook is ruinous, and why we should be very careful before speaking ill of anyone. Why isn't it a good idea to talk about our friends behind their backs, even if what we say is true? Listen and find out.
Jun 11, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 96
513
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 96, tells us that the men building the mishkan, God's holy dwelling place on earth, would never throw the beams they were passing to each other, but rather hand them down slowly and respectfully, recognizing their innate holiness. Alana Newhouse, Tablet Magazine's editor in chief, returns to teach us a lesson about just how important objects can be to our spiritual observation. How is our stuff imbued with our spiritual energy? Listen and find out.
Jun 10, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 95
488
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 95, the rabbis talk makeup: Is eyeliner kosher on Shabbat? What about blush, rouge, or lipstick? Stephanie Butnick returns to help us make sense of the rabbis' surprisingly keen knowledge of all-things-makeup. Why is braiding hair a form of building? Listen and find out.
Jun 09, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 93 and 94
485
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 93 and 94, make a distinction between the kinds of work one person can do alone and the sort of labor that truly takes a village. Rabbi Shira Stutman of Sixth & I in Washington, D.C., joins us to discuss this insight, and what it can teach us about our current movement for social justice. Why is repairing the world always a team effort? Listen and find out.
Jun 08, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 91 and 92
475
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 91 and 92, begin a long and fascinating discussion of intention, or how what we had meant to do impacts the outcome of our action. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to offer us some profound thoughts on living life with purpose and meaning. Why does intentionality matter? Listen and find out.
Jun 05, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 90
369
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 90, the rabbis warn against giving children locusts to play with, as the young ones may eat the bugs and the bugs may not be Kosher. One rabbi, however, warns that kids love their animal playmates and will not hurt them. To test this theory, we are joined by Lily, 8, and Hudson, 6, two budding bug enthusiasts. Would they ever eat a locust? Listen and find out.
Jun 04, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 89
534
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 89, tells us a heartwarming story about Satan trying and failing to stump Moses, and extols the great leader's virtue. Tal Ben-Shahar, best-selling author, Columbia professor, and the brain behind the Happiness Studies Academy, joins to tell us why happiness matters, especially now that the national mood is grim. Why must a good leader be humble rather than charismatic? Listen and find out.
Jun 03, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 88
484
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 88, dives into one of the most mysterious phrases in the entire Torah, the promise by the Israelites receiving the Torah to obey it first and only then listen to what it says. Rabbi Sari Laufer joins us to meditate on how and why some things only make sense once you experience them. What are the boundaries and the possibilities of obedience? Listen and find out.
Jun 02, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 86 and 87
698
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 86 and 87, ask a difficult question: Why have boundaries? And why would anyone choose to be religious when being religious involves so many strictures? Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzohar organization that works to bridge the gaps between Orthodox and secular Jews in Israel, joins us to discuss the complex beauty of entering into a committed relationship with God. How is observing mitzvot like a marriage? Listen and find out.
Jun 01, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 84 and 85
459
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 84 and 85, find the rabbis in an agricultural state of mind, talking about the different seeds that one is permitted to sow in a single garden patch. Rabbi Ellen Bernstein, a prominent teacher and writer about Judaism and the environment, joins us to talk about biodiversity and our moral responsibilities to the earth. How is the Talmud promoting a truly organic approach to life? Listen and find out.
May 28, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 83
496
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 83, ends on a brooding note, with talk of dying in the tent of Torah. Why would such a life-affirming book as the Talmud strike such a morbid tone? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns with an uplifting interpretation, teaching us that true growth and sacrifice can only begin once we've had a chance to know ourselves as individuals. What is the self-help message in today's Daf? Listen and find out.
May 28, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 82
525
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 82, makes number two its number one concern. How are we to wipe our behinds? Zach Schreiber, a lawyer and the co-creator of Seinfeld Law, a blog dedicated to exploring the many intricate legal aspects of everyone's favorite sitcom, joins us to talk about why toilet talk is so crucial to comedy, religion, and the justice system alike. Was Elaine being Talmudic when she asked the person in the next stall to spare a square of toilet paper? Listen and find out.
May 27, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 81
531
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 81, tells a fiery little story about a pair of rabbis stuck on a bewitched boat and forced to utter God's name to undo the spell. Ilana Kurshan, author of If All the Seas Were Ink, a stellar memoir of studying the Talmud, joins us to unpack the mysteries of that omnipotent and mighty name, and how our thinking about it has evolved. Why do we refer to God as Hashem, or the name? Listen and find out.
May 26, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 79 and 80
505
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 79 and 80, invite us to look at our stuff and rearrange it according to a hierarchy of holiness. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to share some thoughts about why you can't recycle sacred writings and how even inanimate objects can teach us a valuable lesson about always aspiring to be better. How are tefilin holier than a Mezuzah? Listen and find out.
May 25, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 77 and 78
332
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 77 and 78, tells us a brief anecdote containing a poignant life lesson. Reading a classic Hassidic tale, we meditate on growth through difficulty, and on what Judaism has to teach us about overcoming adversity. Why should some hardships make us burst into dance? Listen and find out.
May 22, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 76
480
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 76, is a beautiful meditation on wine, from drinking it to blessing it to basking in its glory. Producer Josh Kross returns to offer a soliloquy on drinking mindfully. What's the deal with diluting wine? Listen and find out.
May 21, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 75
603
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 75, finds the rabbis in an ecumenical mood. While we're not allowed to emulate the ways of other religions, they tell us, learning from them and understanding their ways is allowed, maybe even advisable. Ashley McKinless, co-host of the popular podcast Jesuitical, joins us to talk about finding beauty and meaning in other traditions. Why should we pay attention to the intricacies of our friends' and neighbors' religious practices? Listen and find out.
May 20, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 74
659
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 74, unlocks one of the most profound mysteries of the Jewish universe: Why gefilte fish? Jeffrey Yoskowitz, co-author of The Gefilte Manifesto, joins us to shed some light on the much-maligned dish's origins, and why we can't get enough of it. Why is gefilte the ultimate Shabbat dish? Listen and find out.
May 19, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 72 and 73
622
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 72 and 73, finally give us the 39 labors we're not allowed to perform on Shabbat. Why did it take so long? Why go through more than 70 pages before getting to the point? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to shed light on this seminal question, and help us understand the real meaning of Shabbat. How is the Talmud like a Quentin Tarantino movie? Listen and find out.
May 18, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 70 and 71
521
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 70 and 71, bring up a fascinating concept: Yediah, or knowing. Are we responsible for the sins we commit if we don't really know that we've committed them? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin joins us to explore the intricacies of this complicated question. How do we resolve the tension between divine intervention and free will? Listen and find out.
May 15, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 69
493
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 69, shares an anecdote that feels deeply relatable these days, about a man who wanders in the desert and loses all track of time. Dr. Erica Brown joins us to talk about the centrality of time in Judaism, and what to do when, sheltered in place, time itself becomes a challenge. How do we find a sense of direction when the days just seem to melt into one another? Listen and find out.
May 14, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 68
517
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 68, introduces an astonishing concept, that of the captive child. Just as a child kidnapped from his parents holds no responsibility for the way he was raised, the rabbis tell us, so do those of us who have never studied the intricacies of Jewish law not necessarily liable if and when we break them. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin joins us to talk about this intriguing and seminal concept. How do we learn to forgive ourselves? Listen and find out.
May 13, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 67
493
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 67, asks a very timely question: How open should we be to different putative potions and cures? Should we forbid anything not proven to work? Or should we keep an open mind, recognize that there's much we don't know, and that healing is both physical and emotional? Writer Lisa Ann Sandell, herself recovering from Covid-19, joins us to talk about what it's like to try and manage your care when so much remains unknown about the virus. How do we sort out which medical advice to accept and which to reject? Listen and find out.
May 12, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 65 and 66
548
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 65 and 66, discuss various laws pertaining to people with disabilities. Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation, joins us to talk about how far we've come in rethinking our approach towards people with disabilities, and how far we still have to go. Why are shuls the perfect place to start and implement positive change? Listen and find out.
May 11, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 63 and 64
461
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 63 and 64, wax poetic about the Beit Midrash, the house of study, where Torah learning is conducted by dividing the students into pairs who read together and spend their days arguing. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to sing the glories of this pedagogical methodology, and tell us of the intellectual and emotional benefits of learning through quibbling. Should Harvard take note? Listen and find out.
May 08, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 62
655
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 62, finds the rabbis in a particularly patriarchal mood, discussing the things that women do to get the attention of men. Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus joins us to discuss why objectifying women, then and now, is never a good idea. Why does the passage tell us about men, women, and the still unresolved tensions between them? Listen and find out.
May 07, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 61
429
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 61, asks a profound question: Does magic work? Alana Newhouse, Tablet's Editor in Chief, joins us to talk about amulets, and why some people take good-luck charms very seriously. How do we know if our amulets are truly protecting us? Listen and find out.
May 06, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 60
480
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 60, tells an incredible and bloody story that begins with dorky footwear and ends in a bloodbath. Stephanie Butnick, co-host of Unorthodox, joins us to talk about sandals and other problematic footwear, and explain the cycles that make some fashion trends cool again and again and again. Is it ever OK to wear flip-flops if you're not at the beach? Listen and find out.
May 05, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 58 and 59
448
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 58 and 59, reveal some of the ancient rabbis' habits when it came to wearing brand-name clothes. Marco Greenberg, marketing and branding expert and the author of the new book Primitive: Tapping the Primal Drive That Powers the World's Most Successful People joins us to talk about the primordial power of logos, and why we still set so much store in our favorite brands. Is it better to be cool or warm? Listen and find out.
May 04, 2020
Take One, Ep 83: Shabbat 58 and 59
7200
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 58 and 59, reveal some of the ancient rabbis' habits when it came to wearing brand-name clothes. Marco Greenberg, marketing and branding expert and the author of the new book Primitive: Tapping the Primal Drive That Powers the World's Most Successful People joins us to talk about the primordial power of logos, and why we still set so much store in our favorite brands. Is it better to be cool or warm? Listen and find out.
May 04, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 56 and 57
519
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 56 and 57, begin with the rabbis contemplating whether or not the great King David has ever sinned. After doing away with that troublesome bit about Uria the Hittite, they come to a strange conclusion: David's only sin was adhering, just once, to gossip. What can we learn from the king's costly flaw? And what does it have to do with Leonard Cohen? Listen and find out.
May 01, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 55
612
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 55, tells a dramatic story of four famous Biblical figures who died without sin. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to introduce us to these Fantastic Four, and explain what their lives and deaths can teach us about leadership. Is perfection the key to greatness or a detriment? Listen and find out.
Apr 30, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 54
578
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 54 makes a startling claim: If you were in a position to protest the sinful conduct of a friend and failed to do so, you yourself must be held accountable. It's an ancient take on the principle made famous by Spider-Man, namely that with great power comes great responsibility. Rabbi David Ingber joins us and delivers a moral primer on what each one of us can do to make sure we all stand for what's right. How do we hold ourselves accountable? Listen and find out.  
Apr 29, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 53
487
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 53, is a work of stable compassion, asking just what we're permitted to do to keep our horses comfortable on Shabbat. Lily Leibovitz, an eight-year-old horseback riding enthusiast, joins us to talk about the importance of being nice to animals, and what it feels like to ride a horse for the very first time. What can we learn from our animal friends? Listen and find out.
Apr 28, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 51 and 52
649
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 51 and 52, have a nice ring to them. We mean this literally: The rabbis give us an intricate discussion about rings and purity, and the implications are still felt today. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to tell us all about the Lord and the rings. Why do some Orthodox men still refrain from wearing wedding rings? Listen and find out.
Apr 27, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 49 and 50
804
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 49 and 50, tell us a moving story of a righteous man, Elisha, who teaches us how a more spiritual approach confrontation. We welcome back Dr. Bat Sheva Marcus to give us a very therapeutic take on this tale, and, since she's a celebrated sex therapist, ask her to answer a listener question about the Talmud's take on masturbation. What can the rabbis teach us about self love in all of its varieties? Listen and find out.
Apr 24, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 48
538
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 48, is all about pillows. Are you allowed to stuff yours on Shabbat? The rabbis' decree is fascinating: If the pillow is old, go right ahead, but if it's new, no dice. To understand this principle of interior design, we called on the one and only Simon Doonan, author and judge on the Emmy-nominated show Making It. Why do some of us have trouble getting used to the new stuff we buy? Listen and find out.
Apr 23, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 47
486
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 47, dives into a discussion about a very modern-sounding thingamajig: a collapsible bed, the Talmud's take on the IKEA catalogue. Are we allowed to assemble and disassemble this modular piece of furniture on Shabbat? Rabbi Sari Laufer, Director of Congregational Engagement at Stephen Wise Temple in Los Angeles, joins us to shed some light on the idea of using things in different ways on Shabbat than we would during the week. How can we keep the spirit of the holy day even if we don't observe the letter of halakhic law? Listen and find out.
Apr 22, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 46
659
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 46, contains one of those delightful little stories that the Talmud likes to tell to make much bigger points. It's about Rava and Rav Avya, two brilliant men engaged in a fierce disagreement about a particular manner of halakha. To make his point, Rav Avya walks into his friend's house and puts his muddy feet on the bed. To help us decipher this act of aggression, we welcome the Corduroy Rav, Mark Oppenheimer, who helps guide us through the intricacies of arguing with dignity and meaning. How to talk to people who hold very different opinions without merely bickering? Listen and find out.
Apr 21, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 44 and 45
595
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 44 and 45, introduce us to the Muchni, a bit of detachable wheel that keeps the rest of the items in the wagon from being rendered impure. Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern of Yeshiva University joins us to talk about technology's ability to both flood our lives with unholy things and help insulate us from disaster, and shares with us how his modern Orthodox community learned to rethink technology after the outbreak of Covid-19 forced many of the rituals that were previously conducted in person to move online. What can an ancient detachable wheel teach us about our lives today? Listen and find out.
Apr 20, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 40, 41, 42, and 43
774
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 40 to 43, cover a wide array of crucial questions, from why we're not allowed to take a hot shower on Shabbat to precisely what men should do with their members while urinating. Because we've been off for a few days, celebrating Pesach, Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to help us catch up on the Talmudic majesty we've missed. What is muktzah, and how can it help us see Shabbat in a whole new light? Listen and find out.
Apr 17, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 39
503
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 39, acknowledges what every amateur chef already knows: There's nothing more difficult to cook to perfection than the lowly egg. A minute here or there can make the difference between jammy perfection and a gray-hued mess, so producer Josh Kross, himself an egg enthusiast, joins us to interpret the rabbis' hard-boiled disquisition on the different approaches to egg-cooking. What might an omelet teach us about life? Listen and find out.
Apr 14, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 37 and 38
317
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 37 and 38, find the rabbis mulling the precise nature of a Kupah, a smallish stove that was popular in their day. And while the specifics of their conversation may sound archaic, its essence couldn't be more timely: What they're really trying to figure out is what to do when a new technology is thrust into our lives, and how our gadgets shape so much about the way we interact with the world. How is the Kupah just like an iPhone? Listen and find out.
Apr 13, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 35 and 36
541
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 35 and 36, raises one of the most loaded concepts in the entire Talmud: Bein Hashmashot, or Twilight. It's extremely significant for a host of religious obligations, yet the rabbis, in pure Talmudic fashion, couldn't decide on how long, precisely, twilight actually was. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin joins us to shed light on this strange and fascinating concept. Why did some rabbis believe you had to view Mt. Carmel from the Mediterranean in order to grasp the truly meaning of twilight? Listen and find out.
Apr 08, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 33 and 34
611
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 33 and 34, tell a wild story of a mighty rabbi and his son, so disgusted with the ways of this world that they chose to retreat and live in a cave for 13 years. When they emerge, however, trouble ensues. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to teach us about the perils of very smart and serious people believing themselves to be better than the rest of us, and about why mysticism means seeing the divine sparks everywhere. Why should we never assume our scholarship and intelligence gives us special status? Listen and find out.
Apr 08, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 32
645
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 32, gives us a brief but fierce paragraph about those about to die, and what they should and shouldn't be doing as they are about to pass. This passage feels a bit too real in the midst of a deadly pandemic, and we welcome The New York Times writer Bari Weiss to discuss her piece about hospital chaplains and the holy work they do these days. Why is visiting the sick the holiest of mitzvahs? Listen and find out.
Apr 07, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 30 and 31
583
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 30, gives us a peak into the birth of modern politics: King David, dying, asks God how much time he has left, and God, refusing to answer, informs the aged monarch that the reign of his son, Solomon, is already set to begin. It's like an epic episode of HBO's Succession, as well as the moment of transition from the ancient world's view of kings as omnipotent to our contemporary understanding of rulers as servers of the people. Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm joins us to talk about the glories of this story. What can the Talmud teach us about our current moment in American politics? Listen and find out.
Apr 06, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 28 and 29
379
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 28 and 29, features talk of the Tachash, a mysterious beast who may or may not have had a single horn, an enormous body, and a six-colored skin. Was he a Technicolor Jewish unicorn, or a Jewnicorn? Different commentators offered divergent interpretations, but in today's episode we take a page from one of our greatest Hasidic masters and read the Jewnicorn as a metaphor for human kindness. Why? Listen and find out.
Apr 03, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 27
630
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 27, features the debut of what is arguably the oddest and most difficult to comprehend of all the mitzvot: The prohibition to wear Shatnez, or clothes made of both wool and linen. Why this specific ban? We welcome AJ Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically, to make sense of this curious commandment and tell us about the time he invited a Shatnez inspector to raid his closet. What do wool and linen have to do with Cain and Abel? Listen and find out. Take one is sponsored this week by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and when you check out, put in the code Takeone20 for a 20% discount.
Apr 02, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 26
504
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 26, begins with the Talmud's equivalent of a Law & Order episode, telling a gruesome tale of a woman who sets her daughter-in-law on fire. Thankfully, not all of us have such murderously acrimonious relationships with our-laws; Stephanie Butnick, co-host of Tablet's popular Unorthodox podcast, joins us to make sense of the grizzly story and give us some tips about how to manage your relationship with the family you had married into. What's the secret to being close with your mother-in-law? Listen and find out. Take one is sponsored this week by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and when you check out, put in the code Takeone20 for a 20% discount.
Apr 01, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 25
483
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 25, finds the rabbis in an existential kind of mood. What truly matters in life? Some say money, others say companionship, and others yet, well, go a more scatological path. Mark Oppenheimer, the self-styled Corduroy Rav and co-host of Tablet's popular Unorthodox podcast, returns to talk about how your desires shape your life. Would you trade a large sum of money for an uninterrupted hour in the bathroom? Listen and find out. Take one is sponsored this week by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and when you check out, put in the code Takeone20 for a 20% discount.
Mar 31, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 23 and 24
547
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 23 and 24, revolve around a fascinating question: Should we treasure life's beautifully mundane moments, or hold up for rare and splendid miracles? Rabbi Scott Hoffman joins us to talk about getting our priorities straight, especially in times of crisis. What can candles and menorahs teach us about our values? Listen and find out.
Mar 30, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 21 and 22
809
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 21 and 22, contain a well-known discussion of how to light the Hanukkah menorah. Which, coincidentally, has been the subject of a famous 1989 Supreme Court case, still considered a landmark shaping religious liberties for decades to come. Nathan Lewin, the legendary lawyer who argued the case and convinced the highest court in the land to allow the display of a menorah in a public space, joins us to talk about this important chapter in American Jewish history. What surprising pronouncement did the ACLU's lawyer make after losing the case? Listen and find out. This episode is sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish-based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and use the code Takeone20 at checkout for a 20 percent discount.
Mar 27, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 20
443
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 20, includes a famous paragraph on candle lighting we recite every Friday evening. Rabbi Rachel Ain of the Sutton Place Synagogue in New York joins us to meditate on this ancient custom and its surprisingly modern resonance. Why do we light two candles each Shabbat? Listen and find out. This episode is sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish-based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and use the code Takeone20 at checkout for a 20 percent discount.
Mar 26, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 19
565
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 19, dives into a nautical question: Is it permitted to go a-sailing just before Shabbat? It's a conundrum that has inflamed Talmudic minds for millennia, and we welcome Lisa Ann Sandell, author and sailing enthusiast, to share her story of hi jinx on the high seas and her thoughts on taking to open waters. Did the rabbis believe sailing could ever be pleasurable? Listen and find out. This episode is sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish-based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and use the code Takeone20 at checkout for a 20 percent discount.
Mar 25, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 18
746
Today's Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 18, revolve around a strange question: Should we let our utensils, too, rest on Shabbat? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to explain why this conundrum is far from theoretical, and what it tells us about how preparation and rest are always intertwined. What can those of us who spent the last few weeks getting ready for social distancing learn from the rituals of ushering in Shabbat? Listen and find out. This episode is sponsored by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish-based mindfulness and meditation may be the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and use the code Takeone20 at checkout for a 20 percent discount.
Mar 24, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 16 and 17
351
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 14 and 15, tell a dramatic story of a particularly vehement disagreement between two of the Talmud's greatest rabbis, Hillel and Shammai. When one of them loses the debate, all go into mourning. Why? And what does this millennia-old quibble have to teach us about the importance of kindness and compassion? Listen and find out. Take one is sponsored this week by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. In this time of anxiety, Jewish based mindfulness and meditation may the thing you need. Find out at Jewishspirituality.org/Takeone and when you check out, put in the code Takeone20 for a 20% discount.
Mar 23, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 14 and 15
654
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 14 and 15, usher us into a discussion of a deeply complicated subject: the rules of purity. But what starts out like a seemingly esoteric topic soon grows eerily relevant in this time of coronavirus awareness: Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin joins us to explain how the Talmud's concept of transmission and infection uncannily mirrors that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and why we should be grateful for the special place hand-washing has always played in Jewish life. Why should we always rush to scrub our hands as soon as we wake up? Listen and find out.
Mar 20, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 13
773
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 13, revolves around a grizzly story of a pious man who studied Torah, served his rabbis, and still died suddenly at a very young age. His bereaved widow walks around from synagogue to synagogue demanding an explanation, until the prophet Elijah delivers a very thorny explanation that has to do with sexual conduct. Dr. Batsheva Marcus, a certified sex therapist, joins us to wrestle with this difficult story, and talk about how we approach the laws of nida, or ritual purity. How to read the Talmud's plethora of strictures and warnings in the modern age? Listen and find out.
Mar 19, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 12
542
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 12, makes a strange pronouncement: If you kill a louse on Shabbat, it's as if you've killed a camel. Producer Josh Kross, an animal lover and avid meat eater, joins to discuss the difference between the animals we cherish and those we're happy to consume, and what the Talmud can teach us about environmental ethics. What's the Talmud take on mindful eating? Listen and find out.
Mar 18, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 11
743
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 11, gives us one of the most beautiful passages in all of the Talmud. "Even if all the seas would be ink, and the reeds that grow near swamps would be quills, and the heavens would be parchment upon which the words would be written, and all the people would be scribes," the rabbis tell us, "all of these are insufficient to write the unquantifiable space of governmental authority, i.e., all the considerations with which a government must concern itself and deal." Government's responsibilities and burdens is a crucial topic these days, so to get a view from the inside we welcome Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.). What is Congress doing to fight the coronavirus? Why did she take on the CDC in a questioning session that has since gone viral? And what can our ancient rabbis teach the folks in Washington? Listen and find out.
Mar 17, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 9 and 10
552
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 9 and 10, raise a question we're all asking right now, as so many of us are suddenly confined to our homes by the coronavirus and struggling to balance work and family: What's the best way to manage time? Warning us against trying to do too much, the wise rabbis propose a principle that calls on us to be here now and focus on what truly matters in life. What can the Talmud teach us about work-life balance in a time of quarantine? Listen and find out.
Mar 16, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 7 and 8
427
Today's Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 7 and 8, raises a question that pierces the heart of every New Yorker: Can your home even be considered a real home if it's, you know, just too small? Stephanie Butnick, co-host of Tablet's popular Unorthodox podcast and a dweller of several very small apartments, returns to describe life with no space at all and argue that nothing says private domain more than having absolutely no privacy. What Talmudic lessons can be learned by living in a studio apartment in the West Village? Listen and find out.
Mar 13, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 6
423
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 6, continues the discussion about private versus public domains, and lands on a peculiar question: Is the desert a real place? The rabbis seem unsure, so we called up Tzipi Perl Turner, friend of the show and proud resident of Arizona, to talk to us about life amid the hot desert sands and why it can be both challenging and rewarding. What did the rabbis get wrong about sun and sand? Listen and find out.
Mar 12, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 5
548
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 5, asks us to take a moment and think about our books. How should we treat them, and, more importantly, why should we not mistreat them? Author and editor Lisa Ann Sandell joins us to talk about why dog-earing a book is sometimes ok, why books make the best traveling companions, and why no gadget will ever take the place of the printed page. Should you scribble notes in the margins of a beloved novel? Listen and find out.
Mar 11, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 4
446
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Shabbat 4, raises a difficult moral question: Is it okay for you to break a few laws in order to allow your friend to win a big mitzvah? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin, author of the definitive book about sin and transgression in Jewish thought, joins us to talk about the difference between doing a few wrong things for the good of the community and bending the rules for the benefit of just one other person. Why does the Talmud believe, like airlines, that you should put on your own oxygen mask before helping others? Listen and find out.
Mar 10, 2020
Take One: Shabbat 2 and 3
460
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Shabbat 2 and 3, launch a brand new tractate, dedicated to all the things we can and can't do on our holy day of rest. But rather than jumping right into a list of forbidden work, the Talmud starts us off with a discussion of the private versus the public domain and the intricacies of carrying objects from one to the other. Why, and what does any of it have to do with modern technology and our work-life balance? Listen and find out.
Mar 09, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 63 and 64
582
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 63 and 64, bring us to the end of our first tractate. After weeks of thinking about which blessing to say over which foodstuff, how to throw a proper dinner party, what's the meaning of havdalah, what's the deal with sushi, how to think about sex, and how to face down a dictator, we've come to the end of tractate Berakhot. We've heard from rabbis and community leaders, NBA stars and Hollywood actors, podcasters and psychotherapists and a whole host of other people who joined to remind us that the Talmud is for everyone, regardless of education or observance or background or anything else. To commemorate our first siyum, or finishing a Talmudic tractate, we welcome producer Josh Kross to reflect on what we've learned. What advice does the Talmud give those who look around them and are not too happy with what they see? Listen and find out.
Mar 06, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 62
538
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 62, contains one of the Talmud's most astonishing stories. One of the rabbis sneaks under his teacher's bed, and observes as the teacher and the teacher's wife make love. He is discovered, and his defense teaches us a lesson that's more urgent today as it's ever been. Dr. Batsheva Marcus, a certified sex therapist inspired by this story, joins us to talk about what this strange tale of voyeurism can teach us about talking to our kids about sexuality. Why is sex like the Torah, and what does it have to do with keeping kids off of porn? Listen and find out.
Mar 05, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 61
746
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 61, finds the rabbis in an existential state of mind. They're talking about the creation of Man, or, more accurately, of Man and Woman. Rabbi Sari Laufer joins us to shed some light on the Talmud's approach to gender, warn us against judging ancient texts according to modern standards, and teaches us a lesson on introspection and how to contemplate our essential meaning. What to make of the Talmudic warning against men walking behind women? Listen and find out.
Mar 04, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 60
690
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 60, tells an eerie story of the great Rabbi Akiva and a night that begins darkly and ends with miracles. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns with a lesson about one of the Talmud's most famous rabbis, and about how life is anything but a dull, linear story. What can Akiva teach us about coming to terms with the hardships of our life? Listen and find out.
Mar 03, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 58 and 59
496
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 58 and 59, begin with a beguiling story of a wise blind rabbi and culminates in a searing moral about why we should never let the pomp and circumstance of life distract us. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to explain why it's silence, not sensationalism, that reveals to us life's greatest mysteries. What does any of this have to do with the death of Superman? Listen and find out.
Mar 02, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 56 and 57
437
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 56 and 57, continue the journey into the unconscious with a host of strange things you may see in your dreams, and an explanation of what each one means. Writer and psychotherapist Alter Yisrael Shimon Feuerman returns to make sense of this surreal landscape, and explain why the Talmud believes a $300 therapist is better than one that charges only $100. What does it mean when you dream of cats? Listen and find out.
Feb 28, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 55
487
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 55, takes a sharp turn in an odd direction: No longer concerned with what blessing to say over which food, it now enters the magical, mystical field of dreams. Writer and psychotherapist Alter Yisrael Shimon Feuerman joins us to explain how, millennia before Freud, the Talmud already understood the mysteries of the unconscious mind. Why did the rabbis believe that you must know not only the Torah but also yourself? Listen and find out.
Feb 27, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 54
648
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 54, raises one of the most difficult edicts in all of the Talmud: We must, it informs us, recite a blessing of gratitude when bad things happen just as we would give thanks over good things. Tablet's Jake Siegel, a former captain in the U.S. Army, joins us to talk about struggling with the existence of evil while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and coming to terms with God's role in allowing evil to persist. What blessing should we say when things get dark? Listen and find out.
Feb 26, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 53
369
Today’s Daf Yomi page Berakhot 53, asks an obvious but surprisingly difficult question: Should we say "amen" when we hear schoolchildren recite blessings? It's a question our culture should seriously contemplate, enamored as we are with elevating the very young, from Greta Thunberg to Billie Eilish, to stardom. Are we doing our children a disservice when we expect them to be social, cultural, and political leaders? Listen and find out.
Feb 25, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 51 and 52
649
Today’s Daf Yomi page Berakhot 51, brings us a debate over the the intricacies of the havdalah prayers. Friend of Tablet Harold Lindenthal brings us the story of his father, Rabbi Haskel Lindenthal, and a deeper insight into the prayers at the end of Shabbat. What is the real meaning of the order? Listen and find out.
Feb 24, 2020
Take One BONUS: Berakhot 51 and the Art of Making a Toast
527
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 51 and 52, give us a long and jaunty meditation on a favorite subject: the art of preparing and delivering the perfect toast. The show's producer and a master at speaking while holding a flute of champagne, Josh Kross, returns to give us some pointers and explain why raising a glass to your loved ones is a sacred act. What to say when you have the attention of the room? Listen and find out.
Feb 23, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 49 and 50
586
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 49 and 50, bring up a familiar concept: Does practice really make perfect? And if so, does it apply to all areas of religious life, or only those we choose to take upon ourselves? The show's producer, Josh Kross, returns to talk about the comforts and challenges that come with religious observance. Does it really take 10,000 hours of practice to be a good Jew? Listen and find out.
Feb 21, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 48
510
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 48, raises a question we've all bumped up against now and then: What's the proper way to behave when you find yourself in a room with very powerful and important people? For today's guest, Enes Kanter, this has been a reality from a very young age: The Turkish-born star ballplayer was still a teenager when he found himself drafted into the NBA, playing with and against some of the legends he'd grown up idolizing as a boy. How do you keep your cool when you have to interact with the high and mighty? Listen and find out.
Feb 20, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 47
607
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 47, asks a big, tough question: Exactly what does a Jew need to know and do in order to be considered anything but an Am Ha'aretz, or an ignoramus? The rabbis, of course, each offer wildly divergent answers, and to address this thorny conundrum we invited Stephanie Butnick and Mark Oppenheimer, co-hosts of Tablet's popular Unorthodox podcast, to ascertain once and for all the best way to engage with Jewish life. Is the ability to listen the only true prerequisite we should insist on when welcoming someone to our midst? Listen and find out.
Feb 19, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 46
579
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 46, finds the rabbis in a hospitable mood: They're talking dinner parties, and who should be seated where to ensure a fun evening for all. Alana Newhouse, Tablet Magazine's Editor in Chief and a celebrated convener of unmatched soirees, joins us to talk seating arrangements, class structure, and how the Internet killed the art of dinner party conversation. Should you let your guests sit wherever they please or create an intricate seating chart? Listen and find out.
Feb 18, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 44 and 45
680
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 44 and 45, begin with talk of the fruit of Ginosar, magical treats that are so potent they make the rabbis literally lose their minds. It's a passage so deliciously comical that even the Gemara acknowledges it's pure hyperbole. But reflect on it long enough, and you'll see a lesson in longing, for home and youth and freedom. What do the fruit of Ginosar have to do with modern-day Tel Aviv? Listen and find out.
Feb 17, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 42 and 43
617
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 42 and 43, introduce us to a curious concept: Pas HaBah B'kissnin, a sort of sweet pastry that is made without water and is therefore exempt from the traditional blessing over bread. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to explain the great debate about whether or not you have to ritually wash your hands when grabbing a slice or two of pizza, and unlocks a host of other doughy mysteries. What are Mezonos Rolls, and why do airlines love sticking them in Kosher meals? Listen and find out.
Feb 14, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 41
683
Today’s Daf Yomi, Berakhot 41, gets us into the nitty-gritty of how to say different blessings over different foodstuffs. It's all fine and well when we're talking wine, say, or bread, or an apple; but what about Sushi? Do we bless the fish? The rice? The occasional bit of avocado? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin joins us with a breakdown of a fascinating conversation about how to think about what we eat. Why does every single kosher restaurant, even the pizza parlors and burger joints, also offer sushi? Listen and find out.
Feb 13, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 40
675
Today's Daf Yomi, Berakhot 40, teaches us an important lesson: We're not allowed to eat before feeding our animals. But how does that compassionate commandment fit in with a religion that isn't shy about slaughter? Mark Oppenheimer, a casual vegetarian and animal lover, returns to offer his insights into how we should treat all of God's creatures. Should we change the definition of kosher to insist that the animals we consume have been ethically raised? Listen and find out.
Feb 12, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 39
635
Today's Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 39, asks a poignant and important question that haunts us each Shabbat: Why two challahs? Isn't one loaf of doughy goodness enough, and isn't splurging on two a tad wasteful? Producer Josh Kross returns to channel the rabbis of old as well as grace us with the perfect recipe for French toast. Why is so much bread a requirement? Listen and find out.
Feb 11, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 36 and 37
349
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 37 and 38, begin with an argument resolved over a hearty meal, and raises a thorny question: Is the dinner table still the center of civic life now that so many of us simply use apps to order groceries and food straight to our door, no human interaction necessary? The show's host, Liel Leibovitz, turns to the rabbis for advice on how to make dinnertime sacred again. Why is ordering your Starbucks online bad for your soul? Listen and find out.
Feb 10, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 35 and 36
511
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 35 and 36, begin a long and intricate discussion about food and what blessing ought to be said over what fruit, vegetable, or grain. It’s a terrific reminder of why it’s so important to watch what you eat, both physically and spiritually, and it drove the show’s host, Liel Leibovitz, to meditate on going kosher and having to give up his most favorite food: bacon. Why is meaning better than meat? Listen and find out.
Feb 07, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 34
530
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 34, is all about Teshuvah, or return. Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, the social media editor of Chabad.org and the entrepreneur behind Tech Tribe, returns to tell us why the most difficult and flawed life experiences can serve as spiritual rocket fuel. Why did the Talmud suggest that those who have done Teshuvah are preferable even to the purest among the righteous? Listen and find out.
Feb 06, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 33
452
Today’s Daf Yomi, Berakhot 33, features a story about a righteous person doing battle with a terrible snake. But as our guest, Jordan B. Gorfinkel—renowned comic book creator and the genius behind both the illustrated Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel and D.C. Comics’ Birds of Prey, soon to be a very major motion picture—explains, the story lives on through the generations, appearing as a major plot point in the most recent Star Wars film. What did Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa teach Rey Skywalker? Listen and find out.
Feb 05, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 32
736
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 32, tells us a strange story: God, the rabbis recount, thanked Moses for no less a miraculous feat than breathing life into the Almighty himself. Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone (known on Twitter as @mottel), the social media editor of Chabad.org and the entrepreneur behind Tech Tribe, joins us to discuss what we ordinary humans can do to serve God in the same way, and why we should all be lamplighters in this world. What can we learn from Moses? Listen and find out.
Feb 04, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 30 and 31
618
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 30 and 31, contain a grim pronouncement: Too much laughter makes you frivolous, which is why you should wipe that grin off your face and focus on Torah and good deeds. Could that really be the prescription from which emerged Groucho Marx, Mel Brooks, and Amy Schumer? Comedian Judy Gold joins us to break down one hilarious scene and make sense of the Talmudic view of laughter. Why did the rabbis cap off a wedding with a rousing song about death and dying? Listen and find out.
Feb 03, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 28 and 29
718
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 28 and 29, tell a story of an awkward meeting between two rabbis, one wealthy and imperious and the other a pious blacksmith. Feeling snubbed, the poorer rabbi rebukes his colleague for knowing very little about how hard Jewish lay leaders have to work to keep the community vibrant. Jackie Congedo, the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Cincinnati, joins us for a conversation about what we can do to empower those who dedicated their careers to Jewish life. Why are we still paying not enough and demanding too much of the men and, mostly, women who staff our communal organizations? Listen and find out.
Jan 31, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 27
571
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berkahot 27, introduces an interesting category: the Talmid Chaver, a Torah scholar who is no longer merely his rabbi's student yet not yet a leading light in his own right. What's it like to be just a few feet from stardom? We asked Kurt Fuller, one of Hollywood's finest character actors and the star of such cult classics as Wayne's World and Ghostbusters II, to help us reflect on the toll of being so great at your craft and yet not as widely known as some of your colleagues. What can the Talmud teach us about movie stars? Listen and find out.
Jan 30, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 26
619
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 26, takes prayer seriously. Do we pray to replicate the sacrifices offered by the priests in the ancient Temple, or are we simply mimicking the ancient rituals begun by our Patriarchs, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob? And should prayer, then, be carefully regulated and orchestrated, or left up to each one of us to practice as we see fit? Andrew Rehfeld, the President of Hebrew Union College-Hebrew Institute of Religion, the Reform movement's premiere theological seminary, joins us to grapple with these questions. How to balance tradition with personal passion? Listen and find out.
Jan 29, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 25
630
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 25, raises a real stink. We mean it literally: In a book rich with discussions of bodily emissions, it stands out as one of our finest debates of what to do when the heart wants to transcend but the butt has other plans. Producer Josh Kross returns in an episode as rich in fart jokes as it is in insight. What can the Talmud teach us about breaking wind in front of our significant others? Listen and find out.
Jan 28, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 23 and 24
658
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 23 and 24, bring up one of the most controversial prohibitions to emerge from Talmudic discussion: The idea of kol ba'isha erva, meaning that a woman's singing voice is as sexually alluring as her nakedness. It's why observant women aren't permitted to sing in mixed company, and so naturally we asked one of our favorite singers, Chazan Basya Schechter, to join us and reflect on what this prohibition meant to her, growing up religious and eventually becoming both a cantor and the leader of one of the leading Jewish music groups working today, Pharaoh's Daughter. What were the rabbis thinking when they took issue with women singing? Listen and find out.
Jan 27, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 21 and 22
523
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 21 and 22, give us a torrent of bodily fluids, and one astonishing story that begins with great embarrassment and ends with transcendence. Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin reminisces about his mother censoring the books he'd read as a child, and takes us on a journey that begins in the gutter and ends with hope. Why did the sages pray ardently for a clean toilet? Listen and find out.
Jan 24, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 20
532
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 20, raises a difficult conundrum: Are thoughts and speech the same thing? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin helps us parse the difference between thinking and articulating, and what role each one plays in our lives. What to do with all those thoughts and prayers? Listen and find out.
Jan 23, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 19
512
Today's Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 19, asks a loaded question: What happens when religious observance clashes with personal dignity? Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin returns to guide us through everything from the complex hierarchy of the commandments to the intricacies of tearing toilet paper on the Sabbath. When does Jewish law take a back seat to basic personal concerns? Listen and find out.
Jan 22, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 18
520
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 18, asks a haunting question: What role do the dead play in the world of the living? Are they whispering to us as we pass through cemeteries, or are they removed in a realm of their own? Mark Oppenheimer, co-host of Tablet’s popular Unorthodox podcast, returns to talk superstition, premonitions, and the afterlife. What is our relationship with the departed? Listen and find out.
Jan 21, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 16 and 17
709
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 16 and 17, deliver a delightful discovery: Having concluded their prayers, the wise rabbis of the Talmud were often in the habit of uttering a few additional, and very personal, prayers of their own. What would such a modern day invocation be like? Mark Oppenheimer, co-host of Tablet's popular Unorthodox podcast, joins to deliver a meditation on this question. What can we say these days to begin and repair the world? Listen and find out.
Jan 20, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 14 and 15
714
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 14 and 15, tackle a difficult question: What's the correct order of doing things in life, from serving God to handling our earthly affairs? Shira Hecht-Koller, director of education of 929 English, returns for a close reading of a complex Talmudic disagreement that leaves us with unexpected clarity about the relationship between learning, teaching, and doing. Why should we never opine freely before we're absolutely sure we understand the thing we're opining about? Listen and find out.
Jan 17, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 13
776
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 13, brings up the complicated topic of intentionality. In other words: Is it enough to just follow all the commandments, or do you have to really mean it in your heart of hearts? We're joined by Shira Hecht-Koller, director of education of 929 English, who helps us unpack the intricacies of being fully present, no matter what it is you do. How do you direct your heart to the right place? Listen and find out.
Jan 16, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 12
650
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 12, raises a thorny question: What happens if you're at a party, say, and reach for the Budweiser, and say the appropriate blessing for beer, but then realize you've grabbed the Chardonay instead? Do you need to switch up your blessing? The question may sound confusing, but producer Josh Kross helps us arrive at an environmentally friendly meditation on why it's important to be mindful about what you eat. What does the Daf have to say about going green? Listen and find out.
Jan 15, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 11
470
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 11, begins with a loopy parable about beards that's really about something much bigger: No strangers to disagreement, the rabbis wanted to take some time and teach us all how to have a principled, respectful, and enjoyable argument. Which, frankly, is a lesson we can all use these days. So how can we fight without getting nasty? Listen and find out.
Jan 14, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 10
672
Today’s Daf Yomi page, Berakhot 10, introduces us to one of the Talmud's most formidable—and only—women. Her name is Beruria, and she delivers a wise and passionate lesson to her husband, the famed Rabbi Meir, teaching him the true meaning of compassion. Want to learn the true meaning of mercy?  Listen and find out.
Jan 13, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 8 and 9
471
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 8 and 9, begin with a thorny statement: If you don't visit your local synagogue, you're an evil neighbor. It sounds a bit gruff, but when you consider the identity of the man who passed this judgment—a former gladiator moved by lust to become one of the Talmud's wisest and most celebrated rabbis—things start to fall into place. Want to meet the legendary Reish Lakish? Curious about why freedom can only be achieved when everyone is free? Listen and find out.
Jan 10, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 6 and 7
619
Today’s Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 6 and 7, raise a strange and wonderful question: Does God pray? And if so, what does the Almighty ask for? Because the rabbis believed God prayed for nothing more than not losing His temper with us, His misbehaved children, we asked the show’s producer, Josh Kross, a long-time stay-at-home dad, to offer his perspective on what mothers and fathers here on earth can learn from our Heavenly Father about keeping your cool and being a good parent. Want to know what God commands you to do next time your kids are being annoying? Listen and find out.
Jan 09, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 4 and 5
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Today's Daf Yomi pages, Berakhot 4 and 5, begin with a king fretting about his sins and soul. He is King David: No stranger to all matters of transgression, the king nevertheless takes stock of his attempts to live righteously and worries about any possible future wrongdoings. Unorthodox co-host Stephanie Butnick joins us for a conversation about what men in the #metoo era might learn from King David, and about the Talmud's approach to suffering. Always wondered why bad things happened to good people? Listen and find out.
Jan 08, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 3
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Take One is Tablet's Daf Yomi podcast, reading one page of Talmud a day. For past episodes, click here. Today's Daf Yomi, Berakhot 3, tells us a curious story about Rabbi Yosei Ben Halafta, who lived in the second century CE. Not wanting to say his prayers while traveling, he enters an abandoned ruins and prepares to pray in peace, when a series of mystical events unfold that teach him a few valuable lessons. Why was Yosei visited by the prophet Elijah? And what does their conversation teach us about living in a world that's profoundly broken and constantly feeling like you're falling short of your goals? Listen and find out.
Jan 07, 2020
Take One: Berakhot 2
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As Jews around the world begin a new seven-and-a-half year cycle of Daf Yomi, reading the entire Talmud one page per day, Tablet Magazine's new podcast, Take One, will offer a brief and evocative daily read of the daf. We launch the cycle with a brief introduction to the Talmud at large before diving into the text with Tractate Berakhot, page 2, and a meditation on the meaning of time, why you might want to think twice before you Netflix and chill, and how all these rabbinic strictures can help us make sense of our modern, messy lives.
Jan 06, 2020