Interview 13 - Chaim Noll, German-Israeli Writer - Shemot
In his 1940 work Moses and Monotheism, Freud made the provocative claim that Moses might have been an Egyptian! Even today, and even in secular circles, few would dare to voice this theory at the Passover Seder. Yet, Chaim Noll, German-Israeli writer and DDR dissident, explains why Moshe has far more controversy surrounding him than his lineage. In fact, it was Moshe's fondness for THE DESERT which was truly scandalous, at least by ancient standards.
Interview 12 - Leigh Smith, VP of Student Affairs, ACM - Vayechi
We all have professors and teachers who taught a course which changed our lives. Rarely, however, do we get to sit down with them years later and reminisce on the class. And even more rarely do we get to do so in podcast form. Yet, this is exactly what I do with the professor who introduced me to Kafka's novel The Trial, which has been my favorite novel ever since.
Interview 11 - Richard Orodenker, Author - Vayigash
We tend to view writers like J.K. Rowling and Shakespeare as magicians, baffled and floored by their ability to create exotic and captivating new worlds on the page. Yet, the dirty secret of writers is that fiction relies on time-tested storytelling techniques which anyone can learn. When Joseph reunites with his brothers, we see these ancient (and modern) storytelling tactics on full showcase. Richard Orodenker, writer and professor at Temple University, breaks down the literary stratagems of Vayigash.
Interview 10 - Nate Klett, Neuroscientist at Leiden University - Miketz
We often dream about truly "random" things. Indeed, our dream life tends to look like a painting by Salvador Dali. Joseph believed that our dreams come from God. But what is God, actually? Is it possible that God, luck, and randomness are all intertwined? In my interview with Nate Klett, he explains how neuroscience remains utterly "in the dark" as to where (random) thoughts come from. Whether they have a "cause" or not remains a question of belief, not science.
Interview 9 - Paul Stephan, Lecturer at the University of Leipzig - Vayeshev
How heartwarming a symbol is the “circle of life” really? Paul Stephan, Nietzsche expert and lecturer at the University of Leipzig, explains how Nietzsche’s theory of Eternal Return does not exactly mean that we should “live life to the fullest.” When I first heard this theory as a teenager, I made things far too easy on myself. And as I discussed way back in Episode 9, Season 1 of The Schrift, we need a more heroic answer for why Jacob and Joseph celebrated Passover four hundred years before the Exodus.