Having announced that I am doing a series of video essays on Pirkei Avot, I am pleased to share that I have completed the first chapter. The video essays on the first chapter are all available on this YouTube playlist.
I am excited to announce I have created a new series on Pirkei Avot, a collection of dozens of rabbinic wisdom sayings from many centuries ago. This series is taking place in the form of brief videos of me discussing each and every text in the collection.
The series involves a new video releasing every day, Monday through Friday, so far, each of them lasts several minutes. Although I have created them for the enjoyment and edification of the residents at the senior living facility where I am currently serving as the chaplain, it is, of course, also available for other folks out there, as well 🙂
In the newest episode of the JewishDrinking.com Show, Rabbi Andie Cosnowsky, senior rabbi of Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard, Illinois, joined me to alcoholism and alcohol abuse in the Jewish community. Here is the episode, in both video and podcast versions:
One of the lengthier discussions on wine and drinking in rabbinic literature occurs in the Babylonian Talmud on Eruvin 64-65, which happens to also be the pages of the current Daf Yomi cycle for today and tomorrow.
This past Sunday marked the conclusion of my summer “Star Wars and Judaism” series, in which I held live Zoom sessions over the course of a dozen consecutive weeks. Taking place on Sunday evenings from late May through this past Sunday, I put together source sheets on Sefaria and held live Zoom sessions in which I discussed how scenes of the theatrically-released Star Wars movies compared and/or contrasted with Biblical and Rabbinic texts.
On the newest release amongst Jewish Drinking.com’s podcast/video episodes, Alieza Salzberg Yizhar joins me on the show to discuss a particular incident in the Talmud where Yalta destroys 400 jugs of wine (see below for text from the Babylonian Talmud on this incident). She teaches Talmud at the Conservative Yeshiva and courses in Jewish History and Literature at Rothberg International School at Hebrew University. She completed her Masters of Art in Midrash and Aggada from Hebrew University last year, with her thesis on “Testing the Virgin: Between Legal Narrative and Virginity Law (Talmud Bavli Ketubbot 10a-b)”, which includes a chapter on “Wine, Water, and Ritual”.
Podcast & Video Episode:
Central Text Under Discussion (Berakhot 51b):
עולא אקלע לבי רב נחמן כריך ריפתא בריך ברכת מזונא יהב ליה כסא דברכתא לרב נחמן
אמר ליה רב נחמן לישדר מר כסא דברכתא לילתא
אמר ליה הכי אמר רבי יוחנן אין פרי בטנה של אשה מתברך אלא מפרי בטנו של איש שנאמר (דברים ז) וברך פרי בטנך פרי בטנה לא נאמר אלא פרי בטנך
אדהכי שמעה ילתא קמה בזיהרא ועלתה לבי חמרא ותברא ד’ מאה דני דחמרא
אמר ליה רב נחמן נשדר לה מר כסא אחרינא
שלח לה כל האי נבגא דברכתא היא
שלחה ליה ממהדורי מילי ומסמרטוטי כלמי
Ulla was visiting the house of Rav Naḥman, they ate bread, recited Grace after Meals, and gave the cup of blessing to Rav Naḥman. Rav Naḥman said to him: “Master, please send the cup of blessing to Yalta.”
He responded to him: “There is no need, as Rabbi Yoḥanan said, ‘The fruit of a woman’s body is blessed only from the fruit of a man’s body, as it is stated: “And He will love you, and bless you, and make you numerous, and He will bless the fruit of your body” (Deuteronomy 7:13) – “the fruit of her body” was not stated, rather, “He will bless the fruit of your [masculine singular] body”.'”
At this, Yalta heard and arose in a rage, entered the winehouse and broke 400 jars of wine.
Rav Naḥman said to Ulla: “Let the Master send her another cup.”
He sent her, “All this pitcher is a blessing.”
She sent him, “Words from an itinerant, words, and lice from rags.”
Not interested in checking-out the entire episode? Here are a couple of excerpts from the episode:
The 40th episode of the Jewish Drinking podcast/video series was published today on the topic of Drinking During The Nine Days. A new aspect of this episode that I had not yet done in any of the previous episodes was to host a live discussion on texts, inviting folks to show up. Granted, I only posted about the opportunity that day, but, fortunately, some folks joined in the Zoom discussion and here is the episode, discussing drinking during “The Nine Days”, from Rosh Chodesh Av through up until Tisha b’Av: