Happy 3rd Anniversary to Our Torah Podcast! Plus, Our All-Time Most Popular Episodes

January 31, 2018Kate Bigam Kaput

Here at ReformJudaism.org, we’re celebrating a very special birthday: Our first podcast, On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah, is turning a whopping three years old! We’re growing up so fast and getting so big. Cake, anyone? 

OK, but in all seriousness, we couldn’t be more proud of the podcast and how far it’s come in such a short amount of time. Launched in 2016 as an extension of our popular and long-running email series Ten Minutes of Torah (daily emails and blogs exploring Jewish wisdom), On the Other Hand has consistently ranked among the top Jewish podcasts on iTunes. Each weekly episode features Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism, talking about the weekly parashah (Torah portion) and distilling 2,000 years of Jewish wisdom into just 10 minutes of relatable, modern-day commentary.

So how are we celebrating this milestone? Well, for starters, we’re sharing our first episode recorded before a live audience. The special anniversary episode, “Courageous Leadership” was recorded live at the sold-out URJ Biennial convention in Boston in December. It features special guest Rabbi Judy Schindler, author of Recharging Judaism, who, along with Rabbi Jacobs, reflects on expanding the tent of Jewish life and celebrated the enduring legacy of the late Rabbi Alexander Schindler, who laid the groundwork for the Reform Jewish community’s practices of inclusion today.

We also thought it’d be fun to share our most popular episodes from the past three years. Whether you’re brand new to On the Other Hand or you’ve been listening since episode one (hey, thanks!), these episodes are sure to make you think – about Judaism, about the world, and about life in general.

  1. "Kashrut Explained (Or, Why I Can't Eat A Camel)": The Torah teaches the laws that distinguish which animals are and are not kosher, but it doesn’t tell us the rationale behind kashrut. Does kashrut exist because of cleanliness, practicality, or something else?
  2. "Why We Should Bring Politics to the Pulpit": Everybody has an opinion on whether politics should be brought to the pulpit, but Rabbi Jacobs says this debate was settled centuries ago.
  3. "What is a Blessing": What does it mean for one person to bless another? Is it a power reserved for the ancient priests, or is it something that we are all capable of? What kinds of actions constitute a blessing?
  4. "What Made Moses Great": Moses wasn’t charismatic. He didn’t see himself as a great leader; he was modest, humble, and didn’t speak clearly. But God saw an important quality in him: his ability to care for others. Here’s how Moses embodies the bedrock of our Jewish tradition.
  5. "The Torah's Take on Love": Let’s talk about love. The phrase “love the stranger” appears in the Torah 36 times. Why is it written so often, and who is the stranger?

On the Other Hand: Ten Minutes of Torah is available for download and subscription on iTunesRSS feed, and other platforms. In 2017, it was joined by ReformJudaism.org’s second weekly podcast, Stories We Tell. Access episodes of both podcasts at Reformjudaism.org/podcasts or wherever you get your podcast fix. Celebrate this anniversary with us by giving them a listen!

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