The Book of Samuel I
Episode 1: Introduction – The Backdrop of the Book of Judges
Podcast Overview: In order to appreciate the opening chapters of the book of Samuel, we must first consider the backdrop of the book of Judges. Understanding this context will help us appreciate the challenges that the people of Israel face, as Sefer Shmuel begins. **Please note there are no source materials for this episode. Source materials will be provided for future episodes.
A special note to the listener: In general, listeners are encouraged to independently prepare the primary material from one podcast to the next, preferably in a chavruta learning dynamic. However, the podcasts will also be accessible and meaningful to listeners who do not prepare ahead of time. For more information about this podcast series or to get more information about the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Host: Rabbi Michael Hattin
Rabbi Michael Hattin teaches Bible and Halakha at Pardes. To learn more with Michael, click here.
Producer: Amira Mintz-Morgenthau
Podcast Editor: Evan Feist
Lead Consultant: Rabbi Adam Titcher
Crises & Kings explores the Book of Samuel, which recounts a tumultuous period in Biblical history. The Israelites have settled in their new land but tribal rivalries weaken them against the ascendant Philistines. Saul, the first king, brings hope but his reign is marred by missteps, leading to his downfall.
David, arguably the most famous character in Jewish tradition, succeeds Saul and strategically lays the foundations for an empire. His exploits, including some spectacular moral failures, are unrivaled.
The dramatic narrative of Sefer Shmuel introduces us to themes still relevant today: divine destiny vs. human initiative, faith vs. misplaced religious devotion, and good leadership vs. corrosive and self-serving rule.
This series is a production of Pardes North America in partnership with The Koren Podcast Network and is lovingly sponsored by the Neustein family in memory of Rabbi Dr. Joseph Neustein, on the occasion of his 4th yahrzeit.