I recently stumbled across this opinion piece in The Atlantic titled, “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.” It’s an examination of the effect of social media on American life from the perspective of the story of the Tower of Babel. While I don’t endorse all of the proposed solutions, and I think the piece misses an opportunity to discuss the role of manipulative algorithms and greed in this issue, I nevertheless think it is an important read, especially as social media has been a frequent subject of the show.
On the next episode of Set Apart we tackle the concept of the “forbidden chapter,” a relatively recent but quickly-spreading rumor about Jewish attitudes and practices toward the 53rd chapter of the Book of Isaiah.
Is there truth to this rumor?
No, but it’s more complicated than it initially seems. Tune in Wednesday, 5:00 p.m. for an exploration of the background of this myth, possible origins, potential impact, and why it just doesn’t add up.
After wrapping up the show on KEOS 89.1 FM and a longer than expected break, Set Apart is now ready to resume as a podcast! The first new episode will be available on YouTube Monday, March 14 at 5:30 p.m. EST. This week’s topic: berachah levatalah (blessings made in vain). Check it out Monday!
Back in 2020, we talked about the Abayudaya community of Uganda and their path toward Judaism and acceptance within the Jewish world. Among other things, we discussed a great documentary about the community’s journey called Yearning to Belong. If you haven’t seen it before, you can view the film here:
Also feel free to check out the episode on YouTube.
We begin this week praising Hashem for the safe release of the captives held at Congregation Beth Israel in Texas.
Of course, this would not have been possible without the help of the various men and women of several law enforcement agencies who risked their lives to bring the hostages to safety. Perhaps equally inspiring is how quickly those throughout the Jewish world gathered to form vigils and pray for an end to the crisis. The JTA has an inspiring article about this if you would like to read more.