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We're still working through the halakhic details of the case of the daughters of Zelophehad, and we've added working through the details of the Josephites and their claim for more land, and others who were denied a portion in the Land of Israel. Fascinating stuff here. All in this week's daf. Join us. This week's daf can found in the following plac…
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Its a tour of Tannaitic texts, a veritable a Mishnah, Midrash, and Tosefta fabula in this week's daf. We focus on the daughters of Zelophehad and their inheritance and how that intertwines with the detailed discussions of inheriting the Land. Its all in this week's daf! This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Ar…
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This week, within the continuing discussion of the line of inheritance we visit one of the most awful stories in the book of Judges, we check in on Solomon's worthiness to rule, we get some rules to live by and we bring to an end, the discussion of the mishnah. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page…
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B.D. McClay — essayist, critic, and scholar of Taylor Swift Studies — helps Aryeh understand the biggest cultural phenomenon of the year. Recorded November 5, 2023 Follow Culturally Determined @CulturallyDet LINKS B.D.'s Substack https://notebook.substack.com/ B.D.'s essay on illness, "The Bad Patient​" https://www.thedriftmag.com/the-bad-patient/ …
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We finish the Talmudic discussion of the first mishnah and begin the discussion of the second mishnah. We also witness a throw down between Sages and Sadducees. (Spoiler alert: the Sages win.) All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from…
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Two new questions this week: 1. How long following an acquisition, a qinyan can one renege from the acquisition? 2. Why does the mishnah twice note, in different ways, that a woman does not inherit from her son even though she may bequeath to them. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and …
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Still trying to figure out the order of inheritance. You'd be surprised how many different paths to bequeath and inherit there are. And then a short conversation about the judicial mechanics of inheriting, and a jaunt into "the rabbis don't know everything." All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (H…
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Once again into the breach. Can a husband inherit from his wife from the Torah? Or can only a son inherit from his mother? Three versions of the conversation in this week's daf. Also the two poems that I read this week were from Leah Naomi Green's first book of poetry The More Extravagant Feast available through Graywolf Press. This week's daf can …
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Sarah discusses her recent New York Times essay, "Hate Gen X? Get in Line (Behind a Gen X-er)." Why are young people lumping together Boomers and Xers? Why do so many Gen X writers spend time railing against "woke" ideas? Is Elon Musk more defined by being Gen X or by being a billionaire? And why do Xers find Millennials so annoying? Recorded Septe…
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Still trying to figure out the patriarchal precedence in inheritance. Zecharyah ben Haqatzav putting up futile resistance to the patriarchal hegemony. A fun little story about a rabbi on rabbi beatdown. And, of course, the gemara is worried about the estate slip-sliding away from the father's tribe/family to the mother's. It's all in this week's da…
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Historian Jeremy Dauber talks about his new book, "Mel Brooks: Disobedient Jew," which is part of the Yale Jewish Lives series. He discusses Brooks's Brooklyn childhood, his Borscht Belt years, writing on "Your Show of Shows" and working with Carl Reiner, his move to Hollywood, why parody was his main genre, and his comedic legacy. Recorded July 18…
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Claire Dederer talks about her new book, "Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma," a blend of cultural criticism and memoir in which she thinks deeply about the work of great artists who were also horrible people. Recorded July 24, 2023. Follow Culturally Determined on Twitter @CulturallyDet LINKS Claire's new book,"Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma" https://www.amazon…
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This week we dive into a discussion of the idol of Micah which somewhat/somehow clarifies what the importance or significance of inheritance lines is. Then we get back into about who inherits—son or daughter? All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew …
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We are continuing our discussion of who inherits whom, and why is it the male? We also dip our toes into a more spiritual or ethical understanding of inheritance. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and Ara…
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Art critic Kristian Vistrup Madsen discusses his essay on the 2000s, "Chains Or Whips? The Cruel Decade And Its Aftermath," in which he draws connections between Abu Ghraib, reality television, and Britney Spears to reflect on the culture of the Aughts. Recorded July 12, 2023. Follow Culturally Determined on Twitter @CulturallyDet LINKS Kristian's …
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It's a new chapter and a new conversation in which the Mishnah and then the Talmud takes on the question of inheritance—where did possession all start? Is that good or bad? Who gets to inherit? (Spoiler alert, on the whole, inheritance is another way to preserve the patriarchal line.) Well, let's get started. This week's daf can found in the follow…
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To celebrate the completion of the second chapter of Baba Batra, I invited Charlotte Fonrobert, a professor in the Religious Studies department at Stanford University whose current research focuses on the rabbinic eruv, or Shabbat boundary, and the way that the laws and culture of eruv define Jewish identity. Our wide ranging conversation delved in…
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Andrew Lipstein discusses "The Vegan," his new novel about a hedge fund founder who has an unusual moral awakening after a dinner party prank he pulls goes disastrously awry. The novel considers artificial intelligence, Brooklyn mores, our relationship with animals, psychiatry, responsibility, and more. Recorded July 7, 2023 LINKS Andrew's new nove…
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(the original description:) In order to mark and celebrate the completion of the first chapter of Baba Bathra, we invited Prof. Alyssa Gray to discuss her new book Charity in Rabbinic Judaism: Atonement, Rewards, and Righteousness. Our conversation illuminates some of the poverty relief material that we saw in the first chapter, in addition to putt…
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This is a hadran episode! We are finishing the seventh chapter and wishing it "see you soon" (what hadran means). This week we continue the conversation about dividing land and how to do that fairly. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. H…
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Once more unto the breach. Can we nail down what is intended in the sale of a piece of property? How much off the mark can the assessment be before it is fraud? And what about the original division of the Land of Israel? All in this week's daf. This week's daf can found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.or…
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Author Tom Bissell discusses his recent essay in Harper's, "Time Is a Violent Stream," about embracing Stoic philosophy after the death of his father. Why is Stoicism so useful during a time of crisis? What do contemporary popular books about Stoicism get wrong? Why do online reactionaries love Marcus Aurelius? Plus: Is Stoicism just for men? Recor…
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This week we delve into another case of saying things with words, and then finding out that perhaps it is not the words but the possession. We also look at an example of the artistry of the stam. Its wild; and its all in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2.…
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Ross discusses his recent essay disputing that Trump and MAGA are on the wane. Is MAGA even separable from Trump himself to begin with? How do the dynamics of the 2024 GOP primary differ from those of 2016? Plus: Critiquing reactions from both left and right to the subway killing of Jordan Neely. Recorded May 9, 2023 Follow Culturally Determined on…
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Self-described "Extremely Online" writer and podcaster Phoebe Maltz Bovy joins Aryeh to ponder whether Twitter is finally really and truly dead. Phoebe talks about how she lost her bluecheck before it was cool, Aryeh explains why he's not eager to join the Twitter knockoff Bluesky, and they wonder whether anything could ever replace the site's mixt…
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And … we're back. We're still talking about what the language of buying and selling means. When is a little more or less land in a deal a mistake or a fraud? Its all in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and A…
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Novelist and Internet activist Cory Doctorow discusses "enshittification," the term he coined for how online platforms start out great but gradually become nightmarish for users. How can we fight back against the forces of enshittification? Cory suggests some federal policies that would put power back in the hands of regular Americans. Plus: What m…
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Will Sommer talks about his new book, "Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America." Why didn't January 6th deflate QAnon? How has conspiracy thinking changed the GOP? Is the "cabal" that Q believers see themselves fighting against just…capitalism? Plus: Do Fox News hosts believe their own nonsense? Recorded March 23,…
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Journalist Nicky Woolf discusses his podcast "The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome." What really caused the strange symptoms afflicting American diplomats in Cuba? What, if anything, do loud crickets have to do with it? Is the whole thing simply a mass delusion? And why hasn't Biden acted to undo the damage Trump did to Cuba? Recorded March 17, 20…
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Its a new chapter! Its more of the same amazing conversation! What do words mean? Legally? Is a kur a kur? Is the hole part of the field? Part of the whole? Its all in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and Ar…
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Stephen talks about his new book, "On Writing and Failure." Aryeh and Stephen discuss morality and art, Canadian vs. American literary culture, the link between writing and mental illness, and more. Recorded February 22, 2023 LINKS Stephen's new book, "On Writing and Failure: Or, On the Peculiar Perseverance Required to Endure the Life of a Writer"…
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We finish the Sixth Chapter this week in a discussion of found graves and abandoned graveyards. We also start the seventh chapter. just a bit. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and Aramaic with many co…
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A kooky tweet from Rebekah Jones, the Florida Covid whistleblower who might not actually be a whistleblower, inspires Aryeh and Nick to debate whether the left has a grifter problem, the morality of Al Sharpton, whether liberals willfully misunderstand the right, Joe Biden's tall tales, and more! Recorded February 15, 2023 LINKS Nick's tweet that l…
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Burial caves, the space of death, ground zero of space and place, in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and Aramaic with many commentaries from Alhatorah.org Please be in touch with any comments, criticisms, o…
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Aryeh speaks with his cousin Ora Peled Nakash about the growing Israeli protest movement, which was sparked by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu's move to limit the independence of Israel's judicial system. Ora explains why she was personally motivated to join the protests and to give a speech at the first large rally in Tel Aviv. They discuss how Isra…
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Raina Lipsitz discusses her new book, "The Rise of a New Left: How Young Radicals Are Shaping the Future of American Politics." Are charismatic figures like AOC and Bernie responsible for the resurgence of socialism in the US? Or did structural/economic forces make a left revival inevitable? What lessons have organizers learned from the failures of…
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We continue this week with an interesting discussion of the ways that the people's perogatives impinge on private property. And the final space—the grave. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and Aramaic …
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Writer and "BookTok" expert Leigh Stein tries to assuage Aryeh's fears about the wildly popular video app. Should we be worried about TikTok's Chinese origins? Is the app poisoning the minds of America's youth—or is that idea just the sign of a xenophobic moral panic? Could Gen Zers teach Millennials how to stop looking at their phones? Plus: The t…
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This week we conclude the conversation about the magical, mystery ark and cherubs. Then we are back with a discussion of place and ownership, and whether or not and how individual ownership intersects with or confronts public claims. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) fro…
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One more conversation about wine fragility, at least in market exchanges. Who is responsible for my wine going bad? A surprising mussar interjection from the Meiri, and Ben Sira also makes an appearance as we move away from wine and toward place and space. All in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (…
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So this week we continue asking after what makes wine, wine and not water. Water into wine being a seasonal theme and all. We also ask after the thingness of wine. And other stuff. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and English from Sefaria.org 3. Hebrew and Aramai…
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Wine, gross wine, and really gross wine, and its historical or, at least legal implications. We continue our discussion of buying, and defining wine, and asking whether it is the fault of the stars that wine spoils. It'll be a blast. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Heb…
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Comedian Sophie Zucker talks about her new one-woman musical, "Sophie Sucks Face," which tells the story of a young Jewish woman who makes out with her cousin at their grandfather's funeral. Recorded November 21, 2022 LINKS Sophie Sucks Face https://www.sophiezucker.com/sophie-sucks-face Sophie's Instagram @stringcheesezucker https://www.instagram.…
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We are continuing with our conversation about how much stuff which isn't the stuff i bought should I be expected to accept along with the stuff I bought. When we finish with that we move on to discuss the knotty problem of what level of wine do I expect when I buy wine. (Also Rashbam is up in his feels about store bought wine…) Its a hoot. Trust me…
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Josh Barnard, a software engineer and tech-industry veteran who worked at Twitter during and after the 2016 election, discusses Elon Musk's chaotic changes at the company. Were Twitter's employees a bunch of woke leftists? Does Musk understand how to code? Could the site suffer a massive technical failure? Plus: Can the moderation dilemma ever be s…
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Kat discusses her recent essay in National Review, "Why I Keep Getting Mistaken for a Conservative." Has online political life swallowed offline political life? Has technology made concerns about book bans a thing of the past? Plus: Is Aryeh a Twitter bully? Recorded November 9, 2022 LINKS: Kat's essay, "Why I Keep Getting Mistaken for a Conservati…
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Aryeh and Dave Karpf, an associate professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, discuss Elon Musk's ownership of Twitter. Is he going to run the company into the ground—and would that be good for America? Is Twitter in fact the online public square? What would a non-toxic version of the site look like? Plus: …
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Hey, we're back. Missed y'all. In this week's daf we ask the evergreen question: "How much crap can you put in my wheat and I'll still pay full price it?" Its a question that will take us through a discussion of definitions and boundaries. Buckle up, grab a beverage and join us. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (H…
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Laura Mayer talks about "Shameless Acquisition Target," her new podcast series about how market forces and bad choices have changed the podcast industry. Mayer has worked as a radio and podcast editor, producer, and executive—but this is her first time hosting her own show. Recorded October 27, 2022 LINKS Shameless Acquisition Target website https:…
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One last daf before Rosh Hashanah. We continue to interrogate the tension between rov/majority and hazaqah/the assumption of fact. And we end up with a couple of interesting principles of hosting. Its all in this week's daf. This week's daf can be found in the following places: 1. Vilna page (Hebrew and Aramaic) from Hebrewbooks.org 2. Hebrew and E…
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