Religion & Beliefs

Rock Out To A Gemara Shiur

I will admit to being obnoxiously addicted to my iPod. During the school year it’s not unusual for me to listen to it for four or more hours a day, and while a significant portion of that time is spent … Read More

By / July 3, 2007

I will admit to being obnoxiously addicted to my iPod. During the school year it’s not unusual for me to listen to it for four or more hours a day, and while a significant portion of that time is spent listening to music, I’m also a huge fan of the podcast. News podcasts, music podcasts, and cool radio shows like This American Life keep me company when I ride my bike to campus. One of my favorite things to listen to on my iPod (aside from Lip Gloss by Lil' Mama on repeat—thanks Annie!) is the awesome selection of Jewish learning podcasts. I am not even close to being able to keep up with learning a page of Talmud a day, but I’m a big fan of the two Daf Yomi podcasts available for free on iTunes (I can’t link to them, but just type “daf yomi” into the search window). You can subscribe to a weekly parsha podcast (I recommend the Pardes one—search for “Pardes”), do some meditation (search for “Jewish meditation”) or get Jewish book recommendations (via the Nextbook podcast. I actually had to unsubscribe from Nextbook because I was buying every book they recommended, and it was leaving me poor, if well-read). If you don’t have an iPod yet, but you’re thinking of getting one, you could shell out some cash for an iPod that already has the complete cycle of Daf Yomi uploaded onto it. For about $300 shaspod will send you an iPod that’s so frum it practically needs its own kipah. If learning isn’t your thing, but you’re committed to davening, you can get yourself iDaven for about twenty bucks. The iDaven website brags:

With iDaven, there's no need to carry a spare Siddur with you for those Mincha moments – just open your iPod and pray! No need to search your purse for a bentcher – you've got your iPod! Sitting in the plane, Tefilat HaDerech is a breeze – read it on your iPod!

iDaven makes a great gift for the iPod fan in your family –it's simple, easy, and so cool!

iDaven features clear, razor-sharp Hebrew text with vowels on a white background. Each page of Hebrew text is a picture. Copy the pictures to your computer, synchronize with your iPod, and you're set!

I think that “so cool” might be something of an exaggeration, but it is kinda nifty. Looking for something a little less yeshivish? The community where I’m learning this summer is offering free recordings of the classes online. We’ve got everything from an analytic look at various prayers to Biblical criticism to a look at what Maimonides said about business dealings with non-Jews (hint: it’s not good). Though the classes aren’t yet in podcast form, you can still listen from your computer while you fold laundry, cook dinner, or surf the web. You have to create an account in order to listen, but it’s worth it, and Hadar promises not to slam you with spam. Sign up and start learning by clicking here.

 

There’s no longer an excuse for slacking. Some of these podcasts are shorter than one express stop on the subway. If you sandwich it between the Jackson 5 and Amy Winehouse you’ll hardly feel a thing…