Helping you find meaning in life through the exploration of Jewish thought and ideas.
On Loss: A Parent
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Dani Ritholtz - rabbi and author - about the loss of his father to further explore Tisha B’Av’s relationship to loss.
Dani Ritholtz lost his father to Pancreatic cancer in 2014. As part of his grieving process, he wrote a book exploring the development of his relationship to his loss throughout the ordeal. Here Dani talks about the book and its subject matter: how he dealt with the loss of his father.
- How does it feel for a family member to battle a possibly fatal illness?
- How did Dani and those around him cope with their loss?
- What effects did it have on their mental health?
- Why did Dani write his book?
Tune in to hear a conversation on grief and coping.
Eim Eshkachech by Itzhak Azulai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0tldz_-0yU
As a Ram Yearns for the Brook by Dani Ritholtz https://www.amazon.com/As-Ram-Yearns-Brook-Journey-ebook/dp/B08FBCX11Z
Time Travel: A History by James Gleick https://www.amazon.com/Time-Travel-History-James-Gleick/dp/0307908798
On Loss: A Spouse
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Rabbi Josh Grajower - rabbi and educator - about the loss of his wife, as well as the loss that Tisha B’Av represents for the Jewish People.
The Jewish people mourn every year on Tisha B’Av, but it can still be hard to connect with the feelings of the day. Mourning is felt most strongly with those closest to us, and while the things we mourn on Tisha B’Av are of great religious and historical significance, they can feel foreign. Rabbi Grajower lost his wife, Danielle Grajower, giving him intense insight into the mourning process.
- How does it feel to lose someone close to you?
- How do you deal with the finality?
- How does time affect the emotional wound?
- How can your loss affect your relationship with God?
Tune in to hear a conversation on loss and mourning.
Eim Eshkachech by Itzhak Azulai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0tldz_-0yU
Holocaust Commemoration and Tish'a be-Av: The Debate Over "Yom ha-Sho'a" by Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter https://www.jstor.org/stable/23263711
A Grief Observed by CS Lewis https://www.amazon.com/Grief-Observed-C-S-Lewis/dp/0060652381
It’s OK That You’re Not OK by Megan Devine https://www.amazon.com/Its-That-Youre-Not-Understand/dp/1622039076
The Unwinding of a Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
Jewish Peoplehood Roundup
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, our host, David Bashevkin, reflects on 18Forty’s Jewish peoplehood episodes.
David reassesses 18Forty’s Jewish peoplehood topic from September 2020, which featured Rav Aaron Lopiansky, Laura Adkins, Bethany Mandel, and Samuel Freedman. Using highlight clips from those episodes, David explores what brings together a group of people to form a peoplehood, the ways the Jewish community is divided, and the effect these divisions have on the larger people.
- Why did 18Forty choose this topic?
- What constitutes a peoplehood?
- How does a peoplehood remain united in the face of internal conflict?
- Can it overcome division, even when the division stems from conflicting, deep-seated values, to remain united?
- Can someone truly love a whole nation?
Tune in to hear David reflect on 18Forty’s Jewish peoplehood exploration.
For more, visit https://18forty.org/podcast/jewish-peoplehood-roundup/.
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we sit down with our host, David Bashevkin, to reflect on 18Forty’s comedy episodes.
David revisits 18Forty’s comedy exploration from July of 2020, featuring comedians Gary Gulman and Leah Forster and Rabbi Daniel Feldman. David once again explores the connections between comedy and life, and how comedy can help cope with tragedy. He also explores some of the qualities of Jewish humor.
- Why did 18Forty choose comedy as a topic, and why so early?
- What life lessons can comedy teach?
- What are some of the characteristics of Jewish comedy and Jewish comedians?
Tune in to hear David reflect on 18Forty’s comedy topic.
The Most Human Human by Brian Christian https://www.amazon.com/Most-Human-Talking-Computers-Teaches-ebook/dp/B004FEG2S6
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl https://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/0807014273/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
For more, visit https://18forty.org/podcast/comedy-roundup/.
David Bashevkin: The Anniversary Episode
In this anniversary episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we sit down with our host, David Bashevkin, to reflect on the last year of episodes.
18Forty has explored many important and interesting topics and has helped build a community of people interested in exploring these ideas. But it has been a big undertaking involving many unforeseen factors and complications.
- How has 18Forty decided what topics and guests to feature?
- What has David learned about the process of interviewing?
- How has 18Forty been affected by the community growing around it?
- How has 18Forty dealt with controversy?
Tune in to hear David reflect on 18Forty’s beginning and growth over the last year.
Top Five by David Bashevkin https://www.amazon.com/Top-5-Dovid-Bashevkin/dp/1600918174
For more, visit https://18forty.org/
Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter: Should We Censor Jewish History?
In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter - rabbi, professor, and historian - about censorship as it relates to Jewish history.
Though censorship exists in many areas, it is particularly interesting to analyze it from the lens of Jewish history. It can be tempting to idealize the lives of gedolim when writing about them, or to whitewash parts of history that don’t fit with our modern conceptions. It can be tricky to navigate history while preserving a given set of values.
- How should we study Jewish history?
- Is there room for idealization or censorship?
- Or should we always seek the historical truth?
- What should we do when history is problematic in the face of our values?
Tune in to hear a conversation on censorship and Jewish history.
Zakhor by Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi https://www.amazon.com/Zakhor-Jewish-History-Lectures-Studies/dp/0295975199
On the Morality of the Patriarchs: Must Biblical Heroes be Perfect by Rabbi JJ Schacter https://www.academia.edu/37135943/Jacob_J_Schacter_On_the_Morality_of_the_Patriarchs_Must_Biblical_Heroes_be_Perfect_in_Zvi_Grumet_ed_Jewish_Education_in_Transition_Proceedings_of_the_First_International_Conference_on_Jewish_Education_Teaneck_2007_1_9
Changing the Immutable by Marc Shapiro https://www.amazon.com/Changing-Immutable-Orthodox-Judaism-Rewrites/dp/1904113605
Facing the Truths of History by Rabbi JJ Schacter https://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/704426/rabbi-dr-jacob-j-schacter/facing-the-truths-of-history/
Rabbi Jacob Emden: Life and Major Works by Rabbi JJ Schacter https://www.google.com/books/edition/Rabbi_Jacob_Emden/-wMmAQAAIAAJ?hl=en
For more, visit https://18forty.org/censorship/.
Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter is a rabbi and historian of intellectual trends in Orthodox Judaism. As a Rosh Yeshiva and professor of Jewish History and Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University, Rabbi Schachter lives at the crossroads of the religious and academic worlds. Rabbi Schachter holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages from Harvard University, where he wrote his dissertation on Rabbi Yaakov Emden. He is the author of several works, and is a mentor to many rabbis in the Jewish community. Rabbi Schachter brings to 18Forty his knowledge, wisdom, and nuanced thinking about the questions of censorship and how we approach Jewish history.