The “Getting the Book of Books on the Books” Edition

Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Allison Kaplan Sommer, Don Futterman and Noah Efron discuss two topics of incomparable importance and end with an anecdote about something in Israel that made them smile this week.

The Paper It’s Written On?
What good are the new “coalition agreements” Benjamin Netanyahu just signed, if the guy is already saying he ain’t gonna honor at least some of them? Netanyahu promised, he just did not promise to keep his promise.

Getting the Book of Books on the Books
There’s a new proposed “Basic Law: Torah Study” that gives learning Talmud in a Yeshiva the same weight and status as commanding a tank in the IDF. Is it finally time to make the Torah nice and legal?

Getting up Early and Staying Up Late to Serve the Jewish People in Toronto
For our most unreasonably generous Patreon supporters, in our extra-special, special extra discussion: While you’re living your life, Tamar Sommer is getting up early and staying up late to serve the Jewish People in Toronto. We hear what its like up there in the frozen North.

All that and the old-new hotel Einstein slept in in Tel Aviv, beached plastic plates in Ashkelon, and the category-defying music of Uri Brauner Kinrot, on his own and with friends.


  • Kamah Na’im (with Rasco)
  • Shuv
  • Habaladah ‘al Abir ha-Hofesh u-vat Galim (with Karolina; song by Arik Einstein)

Previous Episodes

3 comments on “The “Getting the Book of Books on the Books” Edition

  1. Ruth Fagen says:

    I always enjoy your stimulating podcast. Therefore, it was jarring to hear both Noah and Allison use the phrase “call a spade a spade.” For a few decades now, the received wisdom in the US is that this is now considered to be racist phrase; in the mid-20th century, “spade” became one of a number of racial slurs used to refer to Black people. See

    Please retire this phrase.

    1. Noah Efron says:

      Thanks for this comment, Ruth (if I may). I (Noah) did not know the origins of that phrase, and I won’t use it again. I appreciate your helping to save me from myself, at least in this specific way – it’s a kindness on your part.

  2. Jeremy Gordon says:

    I bumped on that phrase too. Thanks, Noah, for the response above.

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