Good Faith Effort

By SoulShop

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The Hebrew Bible is every bit America’s moral founding document as the Constitution is our political founding document. Every week, Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm, speaks with thinkers, writers, artists, and faith leaders to explore how the Bible continues to inform our lives today, from politics to psychology to pop culture, bringing Americans of different traditions and persuasions closer together as so much else threatens to pull us apart.

Episode Date
Matthew Potter - Prayer Entrepreneur Ep. 72
What will it take to build a dynamic future for our society? We talk a lot about infrastructure, manufacturing, supply chains, defense, biotech. But what about restoring a sense of mission, purpose, community and shared values? A truly bright future needs a new Great Awakening—it needs faith. But how do we build that in the world of digital media and tech? To unpack all this, Rabbi Ari brought on Matthew Potter, co-founder of, the #1 daily prayer app on the entire planet. They spoke about building out of tragedy; what differentiates faith from other group activities; how faith fits in Silicon Valley; single-player vs. multi-player prayer; what makes a company worth building; the future of faith in Gen Z; and much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
May 24, 2022
David Siegel - Why Community? Ep. 71
If there’s one thing Western society needs right now, it’s the rejuvenation of community. But what does it take to rebuild community out of the ashes of COVID, and in the face of a loneliness epidemic sweeping across America and the West at large? To unpack all of this, Rabbi Ari spoke to a man who quite literally does this for a living — David Siegel, CEO of Meetup, the largest social media platform for building in-real-life community in the world, and author of the new book “Decide and Conquer,” out now. They spoke about how to beat loneliness; why Rousseau is wrong; lessons learned from the rise and fall of WeWork; whether community can survive the trajectory of American liberalism; the threat that social media culture poses to community in 2022; and much more! 
May 10, 2022
Adeena Sussman - Learning Through Eating Ep. 70
We often think of religion as this thing you learn about through texts. Through studying in a seminary. Through quiet contemplation. But as far as the Bible is concerned, religion is so much more than that! It’s embodied, it’s traditional, it reaches every single nook and cranny of our lives. And it’s deeply sensory. It’s about sights, sounds…even smells and tastes! So what can we learn about religion, about culture—about life—from the world of food? To unpack this, Rabbi Ari spoke with celebrity food writer and influencer Adeena Sussman, author (and co-author along with Chrissy Teigen, Candace Nelson, and others) of numerous NYT-bestselling cookbooks. They talked about the revolution in Jewish and Israeli cuisine in the last decade; what you can uniquely learn about a culture through food; the insight cooking gives you into the immigrant experience; the role the Sabbath plays in shaping Jewish cuisine; what Adeena learned from sharing Jewish cuisine with Chrissy Teigen; where she’d eat in Israel if she only had one place to choose; and much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
May 04, 2022
Tara Leigh Cobble - Podcasting About The Bible Ep. 69
What does it take to produce one of the most popular podcasts in the world? Especially when it's about the Bible? Rabbi Ari spoke to Tara Leigh Cobble, host of The Bible Recap podcast, about the importance of daily study; the most underrated characters in the Book of Judges; the Bible's political wisdom; the importance of experiencing the Bible in Hebrew (even for those who don't speak or read it!); what doing her podcast has taught her about pedagogy and setting goals; and much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Apr 12, 2022
Mariam Wahba and Adela Cojab - Daughters of Diaspora Ep. 68
An Orthodox Jewish rabbi, a Coptic Christian from Egypt, and a Syrian-Lebanese Jew from Mexico City walk into a bar… On this episode Ari talks to the hosts of his new favorite podcast “American-ish”, a show bringing together first-generation immigrant women from two very different (yet strikingly similar!) Middle Eastern communities to discuss culture, love, religion, politics…and everything in between. In a wide-ranging conversation, Ari, Adela, and Mariam cover what Middle Eastern culture has to teach America; what Adela and Mariam have been most surprised to learn about each other; how their appreciation for each other’s communities has deepened; why it’s important to be able to talk about difference without trying to erase it; and much, much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Apr 05, 2022
Scott Moringiello - Religious Tradition and Higher Ed Ep. 67
Both grew up in Long Island, both grew up in strong religious traditions, both have a love for the liberal arts. But where Ari grew up an Orthodox Jew, Scott grew up Catholic. In a wide-ranging conversation, Ari and Scott reflect on the self-contained dignity and beauty of their respective traditions, and think about what they can bring to the wider world of learning.
Mar 28, 2022
Eric Nelson - The Bible, The Talmud and the American Founding Ep. 66
When we think of the roots of American liberty and attitudes towards monarchy, we usually think of classically trained statesmen pondering the glories of Athens and Rome. But what if I told you that in fact, the two most important sources undergirding the American Founding were: the Bible…and the Talmud? In today’s episode, Rabbi Ari brought on Harvard’s Eric Nelson to talk about the revival of Hebrew learning among Christians during the Renaissance; the origins of the idea, popular during the American Revolution, that monarchy is idolatry; the role that royalism played in American thought; the benefits and pitfalls of technocracy in contemporary America; how to study important texts that seem inaccessible; and much more!
Mar 08, 2022
Felecia Killings - Conscious Black Conservatism Ep. 65
How does a minority community that has long suffered state-sanctioned oppression take control of its own destiny, build wealth, invest in education about its past, and promote pride in its distinctive culture? This is a question that applies equally to the historical Jewish experience AND the experience of the Black community in America. So this week Rabbi Ari brought on thinker, entrepreneur, and political activist Felecia Killings of the Conscious Black Conservative movement, whose political star has been rising across the country. They talked about Black history; securing Black wealth; the role of faith and the Bible in the Black experience; how to win elections; the case for reparations; solving the criminal justice system; and much more!
Mar 01, 2022
Jordan Calhoun - Pop Culture in the Black and Jewish Experience Ep. 64
Did you ever grow up watching a show as a kid and think “Oh yeah, I identify with THAT character”... even if that character seemed to have nothing to do with you at all? In his gorgeous new book “Piccolo Is Black,” Jordan Calhoun of The Atlantic tackles the joys, challenges, and ultimately the depth of meaning in the pop culture we all loved as kids, and continue to love as adults. Along the way, Rabbi Ari and Jordan discuss their favorite shows from the 80s and 90s; cultural confidence in minority communities; why animation is underrated; the relationship between religion and community; whether Tommy was cooler as the Green Ranger or White Ranger; and why Gargoyles was perfect. Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Feb 22, 2022
Rabbi Scott Kahn - What Is Orthodox Judaism and Why Should You Care? Ep. 63
One of the most common questions by far that I get from listeners to this podcast is: “I know you’re an Orthodox Jew, and you mention it a lot on the pod, but…what does that actually mean?”In this episode, I brought on fellow Orthodox Jewish podcaster Rabbi Scott Kahn to unpack this. Along the way we talked about our go-to explanations for people who aren’t Jewish about what Orthodox Judaism is; the challenge of feeling excitement during prayer; why Orthodox Jews seem to spend so much time engaged in ritual after ritual; what’s more interesting: dogma or practice?; the unique perspective that Jewish sages have brought to the study of the Bible; what valuable lessons American society might be able to take from the Orthodox Jewish experience; and much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Feb 15, 2022
Rabbi Noa Kushner - Building Community in Silicon Valley Ep.62
If you had to look for one of the most spiritually and religiously exciting places in the world, you might not think the place to go would be…Silicon Valley. And yet it’s precisely there that Rabbi Noa Kushner created one of the most exciting experiments in communal entrepreneurship in the world: The Kitchen. On this episode, Ari spoke to Rabbi Kushner about the challenges and opportunities of leading a religious revival in the heart of Tech World; what it takes to be a religious entrepreneur and how to get more of it; how to think about religious conversion; why it’s bad to think about religion purely in terms of project-market fit; why the Tower of Babel is such an important story for modern society; how to do community not just be in a community; and much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Feb 08, 2022
Jon Collins - The Bible Project Ep. 61
It’s become overwhelmingly common to think of the Bible primarily as a text—a book full of words that we read. But while this is an important way of interacting with the Bible, it only develops later. If you look at how the Bible expects itself to be taught and studied, it’s much more about passing wisdom from parent to child, or from teacher to student. The Bible is something we’re supposed to perform or experience, not just read it. Living in the Digital Age, what opportunities do we have for doing this at a high level? To unpack all of this, Ari spoke with Jon Collins, one of the founders of the international phenomenon, The Bible Project, which has now reached over 100 million people across platforms with visual storytelling about the Bible. They spoke about how visual art can help teaching Biblical texts and ideas; why it’s important for readers to understand the Bible in its Hebraic context; what creative influences Jon brings to his artistic work on The Bible Project; why shared storytelling is so important for American society at this point in time; what the word “Shalom” means to Jon; and so much more! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Feb 01, 2022
Anna Gát - A Community of Learning Ep. 60
How do we expand learning and idea generation to broader populations? How do we create communities around ideas? Can traditional community and individual excellence coexist? Rabbi Lamm spoke about all of this to Anna Gát, one of the most exciting intellectual entrepreneurs in the world about her quest to do exactly this. To learn more about the community Rabbi Lamm and Anna talked about, visit Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Jan 25, 2022
Chris Herring - Faith and Basketball Ep. 59
Human societies are built on stories, and there are few domains of public life as ripe with storytelling potential as sports. Now, often the kinds of stories we tell around sports involve heroes, conquest, getting to the mountaintop and seeing the promised land. It’s much rarer to tell stories about striving mightily before accepting defeat, and learning to live with and grow from failure. So that’s why Ari brought on Sport Illustrated’s Chris Herring to talk about the most famous teams ever…that didn’t make it: the 1990s New York Knicks. Along the way they talk about resilience, the spiritual value of sports fandom, the importance of tradition, Chris’s own spiritual journey, the reason why NBA players seem so disproportionately faith-inclined, the trajectory of hip hop in Chicago, and much more! You can order a copy of Chris’s new book today: Blood in the Garden: The Flagrant History of the 1990s New York Knicks Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Jan 18, 2022
Eli Lake - Journalism, Foreign Policy, and Hip Hop Ep. 58
Eli Lake is one of the best journalists and foreign affairs commentators in America. This week he joins Ari to talk about American foreign policy; the defense industry; the case for gangsta rap; the most underrated hip hop city; why Van Morrison is amazing; how to talk about Israel in this generation…and then turns the tables and interviews Ari about Judaism and politics! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Jan 11, 2022
Russ Roberts - From the Bible to Hayek Ep. 57
Russ Roberts is one of the greatest educators alive. He hosts one of the most legendary, popular educational podcasts of all time—EconTalk, on economics, culture, politics—he’s a well-known academic, and even produces viral hip hop videos viewed millions of times about great economic debates. And at the apex of this remarkable career…he picked himself up and moved to a foreign country, Israel, where he took over as President of a college dedicated to studying great texts and asking big questions. Why? On this episode, Ari spoke with Russ about his journey. They talked about pronatalism in Israel; the narrative thrust of the Book of Genesis; a political economy perspective on Deuteronomy; where Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek and the Bible converge; why Jewish tradition would be helpful in the era of crypto; the role of oral tradition in Russ’s creative work and society at large; and so much more.
Jan 04, 2022
Scott Shay - Finance and Faith Ep. 56
How do we ensure that our society is educating well? How can we transmit to the next generation the wisdom they need to be thinkers and the practical knowledge they need to be builders? And crucially, how do we avoid siloing these two essential components of a healthy civilization? To unpack this, Rabbi Lamm spoke to one of America’s preeminent thinkers and builders -- the Founder and CEO of Signature Bank and bestselling public thinker about everything from religion, to education, to culture: Scott Shay! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Dec 30, 2021
Ethan Strauss - Sports, Society and Being a Normal Person Ep. 55
Can the NBA teach us something about real life? Why has the political culture around sports gotten so insane? And seriously why did everyone hate that Kevin Durant-era Warriors team? This week Ari spoke about all this and more with sports journalist Ethan Strauss, formerly the Warriors beat writer for ESPN and The Athletic, and now the proprietor of the fantastic SubStack, House of Strauss! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Dec 22, 2021
Judy Heumann - Disability Ep. 54
Disability. It’s one of those things many Americans just don’t like to talk about. And yet, not only should justice impel society to engage with disability, legendary disability rights activist Judy Heumann makes the point that actually all of us, at some point or another, will experience disability. So we better get to thinking about it! Ari and Judy sat down this week to unpack all this and much more on a moving, insightful episode. Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Dec 14, 2021
Jeremy Dauber - Comedy in America Ep.53
Are comedy and Biblical tradition in opposition to each other? Is humor an obstacle or an aid to a serious life, or a life of faith? This week Rabbi Lamm spoke to Columbia University professor Jeremy Dauber about the history and future of comedy in American society. They talked about individualism and community in the comedy business; how comedy can help shed light on some of the most important stories in the Biblical tradition; the role of animation and weirdness more broadly in pop culture; and, of course, the British Office vs. the American Office! Good Faith Effort is a production of Bnai Zion and SoulShop.
Dec 07, 2021
MODI - From Jackie Mason to Yoely - Ep.52
When comedy comes from a super specific, unique perspective, does that make it inaccessible? Or, on the contrary, is that exactly what people are searching for: authenticity. To unpack all this, Rabbi Lamm spoke to stand-up, actor and comedic genius MODI. Along the way they talked about how the purpose of comedy, what Hasidic Jews have to teach the world, the evolution of the Jewish voice in comedy from Jackie Mason to today, where antisemitism appears in the entertainment industry, and, of course, why Ari needs to ask shorter questions!
Nov 30, 2021
Byron Johnson - Religion, Crime and Prisons: Ep.51
What is the relationship between religion and crime? What impact does faith have on and in America’s prison system? What role does faith have in accomplishing the goals of the criminal justice system? To unpack all of this, Rabbi Lamm spoke with the world expert on religion and criminology, Baylor University’s Byron Johnson. They talked about what the data tell us about the impact of religion on crime and criminality, what role faith can and does play in the prison system itself, how to bring the values of repentance and personal redemption deeper into American life, whether in the context of life-after-prison or even cancel culture, what we can learn from the fact that the Bible doesn’t use incarceration as a punishment, and much more!
Nov 23, 2021
Pastor Sam Rodriguez - Persevering During a Pandemic, the Future of Faith, and Latinos and Jews in America: Ep. 50
We’re living in a time of great upheaval , from the biological (a pandemic), to the social (the state of faith in America), to the political (deep polarization). It can be tempting to give into the darkness and just assume we’re all doomed.  But is there a case for optimism and hope that the next generation might even be better than the current one? Rabbi Lamm had on the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, #1 New York Times best-selling author, and amazing friend of the pod, Pastor Sam Rodriguez to talk about all this. Along the way they covered the the state of faith in America, the continued relevance of the Book of Kings, the role of pop culture in religious life, why Dune has killed it at the box office, and how the Hispanic community is changing the face of American culture for the better!
Nov 16, 2021
Ami Dror - Uncomfortable Learning: Ep.49
If you’re an immigrant to a new society, one of the first things you need to do is learn the local language. So what happens when humans immigrate into the world of machines? Rabbi Lamm spoke about this with Ami Dror the founder of the world’s largest edtech company teaching kids to code, LeapLearner. Along the way, they talked about the divine image in the Book of Genesis; what you can understand about a society by studying its cultural heroes; what ancient Hebrew and modern computer code have to do with each other; why India is going to play a massive positive role in the global future; and the importance of both local and international travel
Nov 09, 2021
Zohar Atkins - The OG Weirdos: Ep. 48
In a world moving at breakneck speed, there’s nothing more important, more essential, than deep thinking and learning. Is this even possible any longer in a world of social media, where the old 24 hour news cycle seems like a golden age of serious attention spans? In a world where the highest pleasure is the dopamine hit of getting quick likes on Instagram or TikTok? ...Or maybe is the doom and gloom overstated, and our new world supplies possibilities for doing serious thought that weren’t possible in prior eras? Either way, Good Faith Effort is the pod to get to the bottom of it, so Rabbi Lamm had on the most interesting person on Twitter, theological entrepreneur Zohar Atkins, to unpack all of this. They talked about using Twitter for good; what poetry is about; why the thinker Maimonides is essential for today’s world; the role that Kabbalah played during the Scientific Revolution; and the eternal clash (or is it?!) between Athens and Jerusalem
Nov 02, 2021
Amy Chua - Liberalism’s Story (In Memory of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks): Ep. 47
Today is the anniversary of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks’s passing. To commemorate his life and legacy, Rabbi Lamm spoke with one of the last people to ever be in public conversation with him: Professor Amy Chua of Yale Law School, and author of the runaway international bestseller Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother. They spoke about what’s going wrong on elite college campuses, why the educational system is so slow to adapt, both the dangers and potential opportunities facing minority groups like Asians and Jews today, how to talk about sins in the American past, and why Succession is the best show on TV right now!
Oct 25, 2021
Tal Ben Shahar - How To Be Happy: Ep. 46
After the year and a half we just had, how do we find happiness? How do we, a generation more overloaded with information and emotional stimuli than ever, go about living lives of goodness and joy? To unpack this, Rabbi Lamm spoke to bestselling author, and internationally renowned expert on Happiness Studies, Tal Ben Shahar. In this fascinating, wide ranging conversation they talked about the relationship between Happiness and Goodness, the evolution of education, what we can learn from the Books of Genesis and Exodus, why you might feel the urge to flip someone off if they cut you off in traffic, the importance of gratitude, the mind vs. body problem, and the joys of getting coffee!
Oct 19, 2021
Antonio Garcia Martinez - A Religion of Questions: Ep.45
Why are stories important? What can you learn about a society from the stories it tells, both to itself and about itself? And why is it essential to understand the stories that Jews and Christians tell if we want to know where America is right now, and where it might go from here? To unpack all of this, Rabbi Lamm spoke to the incomparable Antonio García Martínez, technologist, startup founder, one of America’s best public thinkers, author of the popular Substack, The Pull Request...and recent convert to Judaism.
Oct 12, 2021
Our First Annual “Best Episodes” Award Show! Ep. 44
 It’s been a WILD first season of Good Faith Effort, and so we decided to count down our favorite episodes of Season 1. Join Rabbi Lamm as he takes you through all his favorite moments, and explains what he loved about them. Thank you so much to all of our incredible listeners! Keep listening and hitting us up on social media. And spread the word!
Oct 05, 2021
Michael Eisenberg - Biblical Wisdom for the Tech Era: Ep. 43
If you’re a tech entrepreneur, or an aspiring startup founder, and you have one book to read, why should it be the Bible? On this episode, one of Israel’s leading venture capitalists, Michael Eisenberg, makes the case for the Book of Genesis as essential for building the next generation of prosperity, virtue and human flourishing. Along the way, Rabbi Lamm and Michael Eisenberg talked about: Prophets vs. Entrepreneurs Whether immortality is good or bad Judaism vs. Christianity on whether man is fallen Why is Joseph the first entrepreneur? Is Egypt good actually? Why you need to read the Bible in order, rather than by topic
Sep 30, 2021
James Poulos - Why Be Human? Ep.42
Why is being human better than being a robot? That’s really the defining question of the Digital Era. And it’s the one we’re going to need to answer if we’re to promote human flourishing in an age where our rate of technological progress threatens to outstrip the rate at which we can grapple seriously with new and challenging moral questions. This week, Rabbi Lamm unpacks all of this with James Poulos, Executive Editor of The American Mind. They talk about the different moral and political implications of TVs vs. smartphones, whether Alexis de Tocqueville foresaw America’s current problems, why religion will be crucial in the coming era, and much more.
Aug 31, 2021
David Brooks - Telling the American Story: Ep.41
What will be the challenges and opportunities of telling the American story in the coming generation? And why is the Bible essential for that national telling and re-telling? Rabbi Lamm is joined by New York Times columnist David Brooks to discuss: America’s unique relationship with the Book of Exodus Why the Hebrew prophets are essential for understanding race and racism in American history Why Bruce Springsteen is one of the great American Biblical commentators What the Bible might have to say about space billionaires And So Much more! 1:53
Aug 24, 2021
Chris Arnade - Belonging Somewhere: Ep. 40
American policymakers tend to treat faith, community and local belonging as dispensable luxuries that can and should be sacrificed to maximize some other metrics, like GDP, mobility, or net worth. What are the consequences of this kind of thinking? Is this trend reversible? How would this impact the most vulnerable among us? To unpack all of this, Rabbi Lamm spoke with Chris Arnade, the best-selling author of Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America, to talk about why faith, tradition and community are essential elements of the good life for Americans of all sorts.
Aug 18, 2021
Elon Gold - A Tale of Two Jewboys: Ep. 39
How do we confront the new antisemitism in American life, including the rise of anti-Israel animus on the New Left? Rabbi Lamm has actor and comedian Elon Gold join him, to do a deep dive. They talk Elon’s own experiences with antisemitism; the rise of social media-based anti-Jewishness; Elon’s confrontation with Seth Rogen; why "In The Heights" and "Ramy" are much better Jewish film and TV than "American Pickle" and "My Unorthodox Life"; and so much more! Be sure to catch Elon, in his recurring role on the upcoming season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Aug 10, 2021
Sohrab Ahmari - Tradition Will Set You Free: Ep. 38
American society is deeply in need of a moral and cultural revival. Any successful version of that is going to need to be both revolutionary enough to ignite the imagination and true enough to the stories and values of our past, to the liberty and freedom embedded in the promise of America to keep us grounded. What resource can we possibly uncover that could satisfy these conditions? This week, Rabbi Lamm unpacked all of this with returning guest Sohrab Ahmari, op-ed editor of the NY Post and bestselling author of “The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos.” They spoke about the different approaches to Western history found in Catholicism and Judaism; Sohrab’s perspective on the legendary Jewish thinker Rabbi Jonathan Sacks; Bob Dylan’s music; the significance of religious conversion; why Jesus’s Jewishness matters; what wokeness gets right and what it gets wrong; the ongoing relevance of “Fight Club”; and much more!
Aug 03, 2021
Sherry Turkle - Keeping Secrets: Ep.37
Digital tech isn’t just another tool for humans to use, no different than a bow and arrow, or a fork. It fundamentally shapes who we are. So what do we do in an era where all information is available to us at the click of a button? Should we want to keep more things secret? Or are secrets debilitating things, and our task should be to find more productive ways to tell them? At the heart of this remarkable conversation between Rabbi Lamm and MIT’s Sherry Turkle is the question of how to always tell the truth virtuously and faithfully.
Jul 27, 2021
Nick Hall - Talking Religion With Strangers: Ep.36
We live in a society where it’s considered impolite, gauche, or just downright unsophisticated to talk about God and religion in public spaces, or with strangers. So what would it take to ignore all those social conventions? What kind of person does the “weird” thing and talks about God with others? And how might other people, from totally different traditions, get comfortable doing the same as well? This week, Rabbi Lamm broke this down with evangelist, and Founder of Pulse, Nick Hall.
Jul 20, 2021
Alex Jones - Prayer in Silicon Valley: Ep.35
We talk a lot on this podcast about the future of faith and technology, but what does it look like to actually be the one building that future? This week, Rabbi Lamm spoke to Alex Jones, Founder and CEO of Hallow, the #1 Catholic app, devoted to connecting people to prayer. They spoke about different journeys towards faith; what it’s like to be a person of faith in Silicon Valley; what it takes to build faith in the Digital Age; and much more.
Jul 13, 2021
Anika Prather - The Classics and the Black and Jewish Communities: Ep. 34
Howard University in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s only historically Black university with a Classics department, but in May of this year it eliminated it. Dr. Anika Prather, who taught Classics at Howard, joined Rabbi Lamm to unpack the consequences of this decision. They explored what Classics have meant to Black identity and liberty in America. How the Jewish perspective on Classical civilization, the Greeks and Romans are the villains! can be helpful. And how to create a community around the study of ancient Greek and Latin, similar to the community that has arisen around the study of ancient Hebrew.
Jul 06, 2021
Os Guinness - Hebrew Wisdom for America: Ep. 33
Whenever humanity manages to build something worth preserving, whether a family, a community or an entire society, the biggest threat to its future is simply forgetting how you built it in the first place! Forgetting the values and ideas that lie at its foundation. That’s the challenge we have today: we, as a country, got here through the wisdom of the Hebrew Bible and Hebrew civilization. What do we lose by forgetting that? And what can we gain by recapturing that spiritual heritage?
Jun 29, 2021
Joab Rosenberg - Startups and Philosophy: Ep. 32
The limits of AI make it clear that humans aren’t about to be replaced by robots. But anyone who reads the Bible understands that humans have a lot of room to improve and even transform themselves! And increasingly, we’re learning that the best way for humans to become better is for us to become closer, and that means more discussion, more conversation, even more disagreement! So how do we get better disagreement? How do we bring the genius of scriptural and philosophical traditions into conversation with the know how of Silicon Valley (or Tel Aviv)? To unpack all this, Rabbi Lamm spoke with Joab Rosenberg, the Founder and CEO of, which has been called “Israel’s most philosophical startup.”
Jun 22, 2021
Leah Boustan - The Bible and Big Data: Ep. 31
We’re living in a golden age of using big data to understand and change our world. So how does the Biblical tradition think about data and it’s benefits and dangers for society? This week Rabbi Lamm unpacked all this with Princeton economist Leah Boustan, one of the world experts on innovative uses of data, and a serious religious thinker.They talked the Biblical attitude towards the census; immigration and identity from the Bible through today; Jewish Twitter; and Leah’s project of daily Talmud study.
Jun 15, 2021
Kinsey Grant - The Future of Community: Ep. 30
If the last few decades have felt like a narrative about the slow, agonizing death of togetherness, right now feels like the most exciting moment you could think of for re-imagining the future of community, and re-articulating old wisdom for a new world. So how do we go about doing this? Kinsey Grant, Co-Founder and host of Thinking is Cool joins Rabbi Lamm to talk about all of this, from her experience helping to build Morning Brew, to her latest, exciting venture.
Jun 08, 2021
Lahav Harkov - Reporting on Israel: Ep. 29
From Numbers 13 to the America in 2021, reporting on what’s happening in Israel, a land so close to the hearts of so many across the globe, has been a fundamental challenge. How should we navigate it, especially during a time of rising antisemitism on social media and in the streets? And what are Westerners missing in their picture of the current round of conflict between Israel and Hamas? Friend of the show, Lahav Harkov of The Jerusalem Post, joins Rabbi Ari again to unpack all of this. This episode is supported by the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Students. Register today at to study with top professors of Bible, Talmudic Studies, Jewish Philosophy, and Jewish History. Studying any of these topics will give you the foundation for a career in law, business, education, and community service! Enter the code "Faith" to waive the registration fee and receive 15% off the course! Additional financial aid is available too.
Jun 01, 2021
Pastor Michael Fisher - Religion and Revolution: Ep. 28
There are times in life when we could use a little more stability. And In the wake of a pandemic it seems like stability is just what we need. But these days, we may actually have the opposite problem: complacency and decadence. Society is getting older, we’re having fewer kids, we’re more risk-averse, the rate of entrepreneurship is down, our political institutions and arrangements increasingly feel like they were permanently locked in during the 80s or even the 60s. Terrible injustices in society feel like they keep going longer and longer without being solved. And just as it feels like people need religion the most, the old ways of delivering that to people are increasingly unattractive -- old-school church attendance just dropped below 50% for the first time in American history. Now, at the same time, more young Americans than at any time in a decade or more (according to Pew) say they’re searching for spiritual fulfillment -- but who’s meeting that need? It’s clear that what we need right now, is not just the stability of religion in response to the pandemic, but also the revolutionary spirit of religion, if we’re going to build a society that we, and more importantly God, can be proud of. To unpack this, Rabbi Lamm got into it with one of the most passionate, innovative faith leaders in the country: Pastor Michael JT Fisher, the pastor of Greater Zion Church Family, a gospel artist, and an amazing voice for faith in America. This episode is supported by the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Students. Register today at to study with top professors of Bible, Talmudic Studies, Jewish Philosophy, and Jewish History. Studying any of these topics will give you the foundation for a career in law, business, education, and community service! Enter the code "Faith" to waive the registration fee and receive 15% off the course! Additional financial aid is available too.
May 25, 2021
Hollis Robbins - Only The Weirdos Can Save Us! Ep. 27
Throughout American history, prophetic “outsider” voices have been major drivers of our moral, social, and even technological progress. We’ve needed folks who are willing, or in some cases have been forced to see the world differently, and who can then communicate their insights back to the rest of society. In the coming generation, those voices will be essential if we’re going to shake ourselves out of our cultural malaise. But where will they come from? Deeply religious thinkers? Crazy-in-the-best-way technologists? Thinkers from minority communities, whether Jews, Catholics, Black thinkers, Hispanic thinkers, thinkers from India? Or maybe just people who care about knowledge for more than just instrumental reasons? To figure this all out, Rabbi Ari spoke with Professor Hollis Robbins, one of the country’s leading scholars of African American history and literature. This episode is supported by the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Students. Register today at to study with top professors of Bible, Talmudic Studies, Jewish Philosophy, and Jewish History. Studying any of these topics will give you the foundation for a career in law, business, education, and community service! Enter the code "Faith" to waive the registration fee and receive 15% off the course! Additional financial aid is available too.
May 20, 2021
Enes Kanter - Faith and the NBA: Ep. 26
You don’t usually hear about big movie stars leading Bible studies, or major business moguls fasting for religious reasons. But somehow, when it comes to sports, some of the biggest stars in the world are constantly thanking God, praying, studying religion, or otherwise proudly living out their faith. Ever wondered why this is? This week Rabbi Lamm speaks to NBA star Enes Kanter, of the Portland Trail Blazers, They talk about taking religious obligations seriously, Enes’s Islamic faith, what he’s learned about Christianity during his time in the NBA, opportunities for friendship between Jews and Muslims, and why the NBA often feels so, well, religious!
May 13, 2021
Heather Sells - Mental Health and Faith Communities: Ep. 25
Especially in the wake of a terribly stressful and lonely year for so many, now is a critical time to talk about mental health. What role can faith communities and resources play in supporting good mental health? To discuss this, Rabbi Lamm invited on Heather Sells, anchor for CBN’s Newswatch, and co-author of a forthcoming book on church and culture collaboration to address mental health.
Apr 29, 2021
Zena Hitz - Learning For Its Own Sake: Ep. 24
We live in a culture that teaches that if you’re not pursuing some practical end — say, wealth, a career, social advancement, physical fitness — you’re wasting your time. So it’s unsurprising that so many of us end up feeling horribly empty, caught in an infinite loop of winning money, power and friends…so that we can win more money, power and friends. How often do we stop and ask ourselves: what has ultimate meaning in life? What are we doing during our short time on this earth that we can be truly proud of? This week, Rabbi Lamm speaks to Zena Hitz of St. John’s College — author of “Lost In Thought: The Hidden Pleasures of An Intellectual Life”, to talk about how to cultivate a love of learning; what differentiates Greek and Hebrew civilization; why “leisure” time is so crucial; whether we owe Shakespeare our attention; and whether your average person should see learning as an “obligation.”
Apr 22, 2021
Mark Gerson - The Telling: Ep.23
If you’re a consumer of pop culture, the Exodus story seems like something you can easily file away in a box under “freedom” or “liberty.” But the truth is, the Book of Exodus -- and the Jewish holiday of Passover that it birthed -- contains the Bible and Judaism’s answers to so many of the most important questions in life. So if you want to understand what it means to be a Jew, or a believer in the Bible, or an American, or a leader, or even just a good human being in the most fundamental sense -- this is the place to start! As this week, Rabbi Lamm spoke with best-selling author of The Telling, Mark Gerson, all about these major issues.
Mar 25, 2021
Trae Stephens - Taking Religion and Tech Seriously: Ep. 22
As tech expands our ability to do both great and terrible things, how do we use the lessons of tradition and faith to exercise wise and virtuous moral leadership? Can religious wisdom help us navigate especially fraught areas of human affairs like the defense sector? Can the tools of tech be a net positive for traditional moral thinking? And why is it important to watch Star Wars and read Rene Girard? This week Rabbi Lamm speaks about all of this and more with Trae Stephens, a Partner at Founders Fund, and Chairman of Anduril Industries, a defense technology company
Mar 18, 2021
Sam Rodriguez - A Time To Build: Ep. 21
If we learn anything from the books of Genesis and Exodus, it’s that when it comes to creating the world, God does that for us on His own. But when it comes to creating a society, God demands that we partner with Him in building it. So what will it take for us to do that work? To answer that question Rabbi Lamm spoke with Pastor Sam Rodriguez, the President of the the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (the largest Hispanic Evangelical Coalition in the world) and a #1 New York Times bestselling author.They talked about the legacies of Billy Graham and Martin Luther King Jr., how Hispanic Americans can help unlock the potential of American society, and how the Jewish and Latin American Christian communities are going to be powerful allies in the generation to come.
Mar 11, 2021
Jonathan Silver - How To Save America: Ep. 20
We live in a culture that encourages us to live in the moment and forget about tomorrow. In contrast, the Bible taught humanity that societies are strongest when they’re willing to think in long time horizons. When we’re willing to see ourselves as just one moment on a long continuum from past to future -- from our great-grandparents, to our great-grandchildren — we’re able to invest in society’s long-term health. Have we forgotten this in America? Are there those who still remember? And either way, how can we recover this sense of long term thinking for the next generation? This week Rabbi Lamm spoke about all this with the incomparable Jonathan Silver, Editor of Mosaic, and host of the Tikvah Podcast.
Mar 04, 2021
Van Lathan - What Can The Black And Jewish Communities Teach America? Ep.19
February 2021 is both Black History Month and the month during which Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim. So it’s a month during which both the Black and Jewish communities in America will reflect on a past marked both by deep pain and injustice, and courage in the face of oppression. What can we teach each other about this process? And what can we, together, teach America? This week, Rabbi Lamm speaks with Van Lathan of The Ringer and the Higher Learning podcast about all of this and more in a fun, fascinating, raw and powerful conversation. Topic Index: 3:11 - What divides and unites the Jewish and Black communities in America? 11:36 - Bringing authentic culture out into the mainstream. 14:33 - No other cultural tradition is as born and made in America as Black American culture. 19:00 - What can Jewish culture do for America? 23:17 - If you want the wildest, blockbuster stories you’ve ever heard. Read the Bible. 26:26 - Is it even possible to tell the American story as a whole in a way that both faces up to our sins and evils and also brings us together around a common American purpose and destiny? Van thinks so, but it’s hard! 36:13 - Van explains why idol worship is a major problem in American society, and how we need to find a way to fight it. 43:40 - One of the most radical innovations in the Bible is: heroes are and always will be imperfect! 49:01 - ›Is there any way for us to bring a sense of objective virtue into our most powerful public institutions in America, whether the market, the state, or pop culture? Van argues that it’s possible, but we need to redefine everything our culture assumes about right and wrong.
Feb 25, 2021
Van Moody - Knowledge and Wisdom Are Not The Same: Ep. 18
One of the great blessings of the digital age is that we can connect to more people, and have access to more information, than any other time in history. So our core challenge today is not letting this embarrassment of riches overwhelm us. Yes, we can know anything we want to know, but is knowledge the same thing as wisdom? Yes, we can connect to anyone in the world, but is a retweet the same as a real relationship? How do we make sure we’re committing to the ideas and people that will actually enrich our lives, and help us enrich the lives of others? This week, Rabbi Lamm spoke about all this with leading author and pastor Van Moody, of the Worship Center in Birmingham, Alabama.
Feb 18, 2021
BONUS EPISODE Love Week #4: Something
On today's installment: The Song of Songs, and growing closer to God by loving those who are radically different from you. This week people all over America and the world will start planning for St. Valentine's Day. You might not expect a Rabbi to care. Instead, we decided to drop four special episodes each covering a different angle on love, the Bible, and, of course, the Beatles. Sign up for more events here:
Feb 12, 2021
BONUS EPISODE Love Week #3: I, Me, Mine
On today's installment: David and Bathsheba, and the value of healthy self-love. This week people all over America and the world will start planning for St. Valentine's Day. You might not expect a Rabbi to care. Instead, we decided to drop four special episodes each covering a different angle on love, the Bible, and, of course, the Beatles. Sign up for more events here:
Feb 11, 2021
Katherine Boyle - Jerusalem, Athens, and Silicon Valley: Ep. 17
Nowadays, it’s common to think of Silicon Valley and traditional religion as the new Athens vs. Jerusalem. But in many ways this betrays a failure of imagination. These are the only two major forces, certainly in American life, with ambitious visions — which seem crazy to everyone else — for transforming the world that is into the world that ought to be. So what are the factors driving these two things apart, which ones might be bringing them together, and what’s the best way to move forward? This week, Rabbi Ari Lamm speaks about all this with the amazing Katherine Boyle, partner at General Catalyst.
Feb 11, 2021
BONUS EPISODE Love Week #2: Lady Madonna
On today's installment: Jeremiah, the end of days, and the love of family and community. This week people all over America and the world will start planning for St. Valentine's Day. You might not expect a Rabbi to care. Instead, we decided to drop four special episodes each covering a different angle on love, the Bible, and, of course, the Beatles. Sign up for more events here:
Feb 10, 2021
BONUS LOVE WEEK #1 - Romantic love from Bible to the Beatles
On today's installment: Jacob, Rachel, and love that runs deeper than mere attraction and romance. This week people all over America and the world will start planning for St. Valentine's Day. You might not expect a Rabbi to care. Instead, we decided to drop four special episodes each covering a different angle on love, the Bible, and, of course, the Beatles. Sign up for more events here:
Feb 09, 2021
Nellie Bowles - Choosing My Religion - Ep.16
The Exodus is justly celebrated as the earliest triumph for freedom in human history. But as everyone from the American founders, to Frederick Douglass, to Cecil B. DeMille understood, the story of Israel’s freedom—and the American freedom modeled on it—would be incomplete without the Ten Commandments. Because what the Revelation at Sinai introduced to civilization was the idea that there is no lasting freedom without obligation. So this week, Rabbi Lamm spoke with Nellie Bowles of the New York Times about unchosen obligations, converting to Judaism, and why what America needs right now is…tradition!
Feb 04, 2021
Gordon Robertson - American Goodness: Ep. 15
For some, “almost” doesn’t count. But America takes the mantle of being “an almost chosen people” with pride. So what sort of obligations come with being “almost” chosen? This week Rabbi Lamm speaks to the CEO of the Christian Broadcast Network, Gordon Robertson, about identifying the ways we can follow in the footsteps of the Biblical chosen people.
Jan 28, 2021
Matthew Zachary - Cancer vs. Community: Ep. 14
Whether the challenges we’re facing are personal, communal or even national, how do we make sure we each take an active role in addressing them, while at the same time realizing that we can’t do everything on our own, and that we need the support of a community to get us through? This week Rabbi Lamm speaks to cancer survivor, legendary healthcare advocate, and Host of the Out Of Patients podcast, Matthew Zachary, about doing just that. Along the way they talk about everything from the Exodus from Egypt, to 90s pop culture, to what’s missing in the era of social media.
Jan 21, 2021
Cambria Gordon - Remembering Who We Are: Ep.13
It’s a pretty scary time in American life. We’re suffering with a bout of physical, civic, and maybe even spiritual sickness. Is there a way out of this? Is there a way for us to remember our values and rediscover a common moral language during a time of fear? Rabbi Lamm speaks to award-winning author Cambria Gordon - whose new novel, The Poetry of Secrets, is due out in February - to find out!
Jan 14, 2021
Annika Hernroth Rothstein - How To Be Different: Ep. 12
We Americans live in a place and time of incredible plenty. But just beneath the surface, you can see this incredible loneliness at the heart of American life. But what if there were a way to be surrounded by people who love you and care for you and would do anything for you? Rabbi Lamm speaks with investigative journalist and author Annika Hernroth Rothstein about how she traveled to far-flung countries, survived kidnappings and secret police, all to find out the answer.
Jan 08, 2021
Michael Brendan Dougherty - Being Part of a Nation: Ep. 11
The Golden Rule of modern life is: be yourself. You don’t have any obligations unless you choose them. Is this just good self-care…or a recipe for loneliness and misery? To think through what we owe to our past, to our children, and to each other, Rabbi Ari Lamm is joined by Michael Brendan Dougherty, author of “My Father Left Me Ireland,” senior writer for National Review, and fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. They talk about fatherhood, nationalism, how to raise children in a world of no attachments, dual loyalty, and much more!
Dec 31, 2020
Tommy Collison - Good Tech, Great Books: Ep.10
We often think about the worlds of technological progress, and ancient tradition and faith, as being in opposition. The battle of Silicon Valley and Jerusalem, you might say. But do they have to be? In this week’s episode, Rabbi Lamm talks this out with Tommy Collison , the Lambda School’s Head of Comms and Business Development, and creator of Interintellect.’s “Reading the Greats” series.
Dec 28, 2020
Lahav Harkov & Ahdeya Ahmed AlSayed - Keep Dreaming: Ep. 9
Can we still dream big dreams even in such dark and lonely times? This week Rabbi Ari Lamm talks to two major journalists - one Israeli, one Arab - about how big dreams are even now reshaping the Middle East and the wider world of faith as we know it.
Dec 13, 2020
Michael Ian Black - Whatta Man: Ep. 8
America’s facing a lot of problems these days, from loneliness to the loss of community. If we want to fix these problems, one thing we definitely need is a few good men. So in this week’s episode, Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm speaks with acclaimed actor and author Michael Ian Black about his new book on being a better man.
Dec 04, 2020
Erica Brown - The Power of a Thank You: Ep. 7
We’re living through some difficult times here in America. How do we get in the Thanksgiving spirit at a moment like this one? In this week’s episode, Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm discusses the practice of gratitude with author and Biblical scholar Dr. Erica Brown.
Nov 25, 2020
David French - Less Screaming, More Loving: Ep. 6
Nothing illustrates difference in the Bible more than the story of Jacob and Esau, whose life choices led them down different paths. In the United States today, despite us being part of the same American family, we’re letting ourselves be torn apart. Hear Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm discuss how to bring us back together with David French, Senior Editor of The Dispatch.
Nov 20, 2020
Karen Swallow Prior - The Virtues of Kindness: Ep. 5
What is kindness, and what does it have to do with faith? How can being kind change your life and change the world? In this week’s episode, Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm and Professor Karen Swallow Prior break down the importance of kindness.
Nov 13, 2020
James Goodman - Finding your Inner Abraham: Ep. 4
What would you do if God asked you to sacrifice the thing you hold most dear? How would you reconcile what God wants with your desires? In this Episode, listen to Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm speak with Professor James Goodman about the binding of Isaac and putting faith to the test as we drive down the highway of life.
Nov 06, 2020
Bill Adler - A Forefather of Counterculture: Ep. 3
What would prompt you to deviate from the status quo and start a revolution? Would a message from God? Would the idea of a new music genre? Hear Rabbi Dr. Ari Lamm get the inside scoop from Bill Adler, formerly of Def Jam Recordings, on the similarities and lessons to be learned from Abraham's story in Lech Lecha and the 1980s hip hop scene as they illustrate how staying true to oneself can have long-lasting effects.
Oct 29, 2020
Sharon Cameron - There Goes My Hero: Ep. 2
What would you do if God told you to jump on a boat and prepare for the rest of humanity to be destroyed? Would you try to warn your friends and neighbors? Would you risk your life to save strangers? The Biblical Noah didn't, but a young Polish girl named Stefania did: Sharon Cameron, the author of the new critically acclaimed novel The Light in Hidden Places, joins us to tell us this unsung hero's inspiring story of how one person's courage and faith can change the entire world.
Oct 22, 2020
Sohrab Ahmari - No Way to Build a World: Ep. 1
As far as creation stories go, the Bible’s, let’s admit it, is messy: in the first few chapters alone, we see trials and redos, sin and murder, and much more failure than success. What can this deeply flawed account of the beginning of all things teach us about ourselves? Sohrab Ahmari, prominent writer and opinion editor for the New York Post, joins us to tell the story of his own recreation, which took him from Iran to New York and from Islam to Marxism and, finally, to a deep commitment to the Catholic faith.
Oct 16, 2020