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The Scott Kahnversation
31 minutes | Mar 14, 2018
It's Better Than It Looks: An Interview With Gregg Easterbrook
Most people seem to believe that the world is getting progressively worse; Gregg Easterbrook, author of It's Better Than It Looks, argues that the conventional wisdom has got it all wrong. The majority of humanity, he maintains, has never had it so good. In that case, how could Trump be elected by convincing 63 million people that the opposite is true? Join me for a stimulating conversation with Gregg Easterbrook about the real state of humanity, the psychology behind our typical pessimistic attitudes, and why, in all likelihood, things are going to keep getting better and better. Music: Retrosoul by Bensound.com
33 minutes | Jan 23, 2018
"Friends" Goes to Shul: The Producers, Writers, and Cast of "Soon By You"
"Soon By You," an award winning web series about the dating lives of six young Orthodox Jews, uses comedy to take an honest look at the Modern Orthodox singles community in Manhattan. Are the producers trying to provide entertainment for Orthodox people, or to give an authentic look at the Orthodox world for those who are not a part of it? Are they attempting to entertain, or to educate, as well? And are those double-entendres intentional? (If you don't know what I mean, you should watch the show again.) Join me and Leah Gottfried, Danny Hoffman, and Jessica Schechter, the producers, writers, and stars of the show, for a fun and interesting conversation about Hollywood's failure to create rounded Orthodox characters, and what they're trying to do to change that. Music: Retrosoul by Bensound.com
30 minutes | Jan 16, 2018
NFL Playoff Review, a Super Bowl Prediction, and Jimmy G: TheFootballGirl.com's Melissa Jacobs
What in the world just happened in Minnesota? What will happen in this week's playoff round? Who will win the Super Bowl? And why, why, why on earth did the Patriots trade Jimmy G? Join hosts Scott Kahn and Adi Krohn as they talk to Melissa Jacobs - formerly of ESPN and Sports Illustrated, and now of TheFootballGirl.com - about the NFL playoffs, her plans for her website and podcast, whether she agrees with the ESPN article that talked about discord in New England (spoiler: Pats fans will not be happy), and much more.
44 minutes | Dec 28, 2017
Episode 6 - War Against the Israeli Chief Rabbinate with Rabbi Chuck Davidson
"I think the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has done more damage to Judaism... than any other organization perhaps in the history of the world." This is the opinion of Rabbi Chuck Davidson, an Orthodox rabbi whose fight against the Israeli Chief Rabbinate emerges from his love for the Jewish People and for Torah, and from his belief that the Rabbinate, rather than protecting Israel, is cutting it deeply from inside. Join Scott Kahn for a fascinating discussion with Rabbi Davidson about how he became involved in this issue, what he's doing - legally and otherwise - to undermine the Rabbinate, and what he realistically hopes will happen, when all is said and done.
42 minutes | Oct 25, 2017
Episode 5 - Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro
In this episode of The Scott Kahnversation, Scott interviews Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro, author of Halachic Positions: What Judaism Really Says About Passion In The Marital Bed. Rabbi Shapiro offers a candid, refreshing, and often surprising look at Halacha's approach to sexuality. His approach may appear daring, but is in fact fully grounded in the classic sources of Halacha. Rabbi Shapiro is also the co-founder of a Chabad Montessori yeshiva in Crown Heights, New York. Their discussion - an introduction to a series dealing with sexuality and Jewish law (which will be continued in the next episode of the Orthodox Conundrum podcast) - is not to be missed.
30 minutes | Aug 17, 2017
Episode 4 - Hazon
Hazon is a new band with a brand new single, Take Me Back. The four members of Hazon - Y.Y. Spadaro, Dov Adler, Yaacov Weiner, and Jake Sojcher - are gifted instrumentalists and skilled vocalists; they are creating a new form of Jewish music inspired by pop, metal, and jazz - in Y.Y.'s words, a form of "hyperpop." Join Scott Kahn for an interview with Dov and Y.Y., as they discuss Take Me Back, their influences, and their hopes for Hazon and for Jewish music in general. Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp6pUCYqhEo to watch Hazon's video for Take Me Back.
42 minutes | Apr 24, 2017
Episode 3 - Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin
Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin is a well-known Torah scholar, with a particular interest in Torah and zoology, the intersection of science and Torah, and the tension between the rationalist and mystical conceptions of Judaism. Much of this came to a head in 2004, when his books on some of these topics, which until then had been warmly accepted throughout the Orthodox world, were suddenly banned by a large segment of the religious population. Join Scott Kahn for a frank and in-depth discussion with Rabbi Dr. Slifkin on his early years as a Chareidi apologist, what led him to rethink his philosophy of Judaism, the experience of the ban from his perspective, and his many projects, including the founding of the Biblical Museum of Natural History in Beit Shemesh, Israel.
45 minutes | Mar 16, 2017
Episode 2 - Rabbi Dov Lipman
Rabbi Dov Lipman's rise in politics, culminating in his surprise election to the Knesset in 2013, was as stunning as it was unexpected. The first American-born MK in almost thirty years, Rabbi Lipman was present for more votes than any other Knesset member during his tenure. How and why did he make the transition from yeshiva student and Torah teacher to activist and politician? What was it like to serve in the Knesset, especially when no one anticipated his election? What does he think of his achievements, and is he frustrated with some of the rollbacks of those achievements by the current government? And does he plan on running for the Knesset again? Scott Kahn spoke to Rabbi Lipman about these questions and much more in the latest episode of the Scott Kahnversation.
60 minutes | Mar 5, 2017
The Meaning of the Super Bowl Ads: A Discussion with Rabbi Uri Cohen
Super Bowl LI was thrilling, particularly for New England Patriots fans. But there was another spectator sport taking place at the same time as the football game: the Super Bowl commercials, in which hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake. What were the advertisers' goals? What were they really trying to say? What metamessages were they attempting to communicate? And who was successful, and who was not? For the answers, join us on the Scott Kahnversation for a 2017 Super Bowl Commercials analysis! Rabbi Uri Cohen explains the thinking behind the live Snickers ad, controversy over the 84 Lumber "Wall" commercial, the success or failure of the (Israel-based) Wix campaign, what Bud Light was thinking by reintroducing '80s dog icon Spuds McKenzie, and more!
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