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Torah and Today

Author: Rabbi Ken Brodkin

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Welcome to Torah and Today with Rabbi Ken Brodkin.  

On this podcast, you can expect weekly wisdom as we explore how the Torah guides our lives in modern times. 

Tune in for insight on your Jewish journey. We'll draw from a mix of Torah sources as we grapple with issues we face as Jews in contemporary society.

This podcast is produced with the support of Congregation B'nai Israel in Manalapan NJ. 

121 Episodes
The life of Ruth and the Chag of Shavuot helps us to connect with a path that can immediately change our lives for the better: gratitude.
Audacious Hope

Audacious Hope


The Jewish people face unprecedented challenges in our times. How do we prepare for the future in these days of great trials? 2,600 years ago, the prophet Jeremiah taught us a lesson in faith in a time when destruction was at the door—literally. His act of audacious hope is beckons us today.
The generation that returned from Bavel to Jerusalem reveled in their “rediscovery” of the Chag of Sukkos. Their modest celebration holds a lesson for our lives.
Journey of the Kohen

Journey of the Kohen


Israeli singer Ishay Ribo takes us into the soul of the Kohen Gadol through his “Seder HaAvoda,” a song with 10 million views on YouTube.Why is a song about Yom Kippur enthralling to people of all backgrounds? What can we learn from the Kohen’s journey in our lives today?
Elul: One that I Seek

Elul: One that I Seek


During the Hebrew month of Elul, we contemplate the palpable presence of the King. How do we utilize these weeks to prepare for the Days of Awe? What does it mean for us to desire a King?
What happens when your friend or loved one tries to sway you against your better judgment? How do you eschew the desires of loved ones, or the society around you? The Torah’s discussion of friends enticing us to worship idols is instructive for our times.
Not By Bread Alone

Not By Bread Alone


The prophets teach us that we have a hunger and a thirst for something beyond bread & water: we seek to absorb the word of God. What steps can we take to discover and connect with the spiritual roots we yearn for?
The Torah tells us that will shall diligently pursue justice. We also learn that God is perfect and just. Yet, for all the Torah’s focus on justice, there seems to be plenty of injustice in our world. How do we square the existence injustice with a Just God? How can we be emissaries of justice and truth in our imperfect world?
The life of Rebbi Akiva is a model for how we overcome challenges in life, as we grow closer to Torah. Join us as we reflect on how Shavuos can propel us forward in this path.
Mishlei teaches us that we “may not forsake the Torah of our mother.” According to our rabbis, “our mother” refers to the Jewish people. In this episode, we delve into the significance of this received tradition, that has defined Jewish life from generation to generation.
The Happiest People

The Happiest People


The Torah presents holiness as a common a comprehensive calling for the Jewish people. What does holiness, or sanctity, have to do with our happiness? What, according to Judaism, leads a person to happiness?
The Power of Silence

The Power of Silence


While speech and expression are vital parts of our lives, a Mishna sheds light on the power of silence.
Several months after Rosh HaShana, we begin Nisan which is called “the first of months.” This month of spring is a reminder that renewal and rejuvenation are possible even months into our year. Renewal is a powerful Jewish strength that comes to the fore at this auspicious time.Rebrand and Renewal - Jewish Link article
Megillas Esther teaches us timeless lessons about the opportunities and limitations of interpreting the events of our lives.
The construction of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) raises questions about what it means to dedicate physical space to HaShem. As individuals, how do we bring God’s presence into our world?
In today’s episode, I share my journey with GTD (Getting Things Done) and how it led me to a deeper Jewish question: what is Shabbos?
It’s common in our times for people to self-identify as “spiritual but not religious.” This includes many people who firmly believe in the existence of God, though they are not affiliated with a religious group or organization. Many seek spirituality in places outside of religion.What does it mean to be spiritual as a Jew? How do we connect the moving spiritual moments we experience, to a life of Mitzvot?
Was Moses on Social?

Was Moses on Social?


The example of Moshe teaches us to run after each member of HaShem’s flock, as we seek them out in the places that they are found.
B’nai Israel Forever

B’nai Israel Forever


Congregation Sons of Israel (in Manalapan NJ) updates our name to include the entire children of Israel, as we strive to create an eternal legacy.
What I learned from my real-life encounter with Michael & Summer Dawson PLUS: who is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53?