Rabbi Meir Soloveichik’s 10-part, limited-series podcast exploring the ideas, themes, and observances behind the Days of Awe.
Episode 1: The King and Us
The unique biblical approach to monarchy allows us to understand why we coronate God every year on Rosh Hashanah. Text: Deuteronomy 16-19
Episode 2: The Shofar and the Crown of Prayer
The Book of Joel elucidates the meaning of the most famous biblical instrument. Text: Joel 1-3 In this episode, Rabbi Soloveichik discusses an article from Atlas Obscura. You can read it here.
Episode 3: The Tashlikh of Micah and Omens of Rosh Hashanah
The conclusion of Micah’s prophecy is linked to a famous Jewish tradition. Text: Micah 5-7
Episode 4: Joy and Tears on Rosh Hashanah
A High Holy Day exhortation teaches us something profound about Rosh Hashanah, and about Judaism itself. Text: Nehemiah 8-13
Episode 5: Who Was Gedaliah?
The man selected by Babylon to lead the Jews it left in Judah is mourned to this day. Who was he? Text: Jeremiah 40-44 In this episode, Rabbi Soloveichik discusses a Times of Israel article by Michal Avera Samuel. You can read it here.
Episode 6: The Fugitive, Biblical Edition
The tale of the fleeing prophet is ultimately about identity and the monotheistic vision. Text: Jonah 1
Episode 7: Jonah, Assyria, and Us
The end of Jonah is best read together with a much less well-known biblical book. Text: Jonah 3-4, Nahum 1-3 In this episode, Rabbi Soloveichik discusses the Un’taneh Tokef prayer from the High Holiday liturgy. You can read a translation of it here.
Episode 8: The Meaning of a Yom Kippur Prayer
Kol Nidrei, one of the most awe-inspiring and misunderstood parts of Jewish liturgy, dramatizes the power of repentance. Text: Kol Nidrei
Episode 9: Menachem Begin’s Yom Kippur
Thirty years after his family was murdered by the Nazis, Begin recalled what the Yom Kippur service in the Temple meant to his father—and therefore what it should mean to us. Text: Leviticus 16 In this episode, Rabbi Soloveichik refers to a speech of Menachem Begin, translated in Mosaic. You can read that speech here.
Episode 10: Ezekiel’s Neilah
The prophet’s discussion of repentance profoundly impacted the final prayer of Yom Kippur. Text: Ezekiel 18 In this episode, Rabbi Soloveichik refers to a movie review by Roger Ebert. You can read it here. Rabbi Soloveichik also references an essay by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. You can read it here.