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Is Ha’azinu The Song Of Doom?

Is Ha’azinu The Song Of Doom?


Daniel Loewenstein

Writer

In Parshat Ha’azinu, the Israelites receive a frightening prophetic “song” about their future failure to follow God’s will, and the punishment they receive as a result. When Moshe introduces this prophecy, he states that he hopes his speech will fall “ke-se’irim alei desheh” -- like some sort of ‘rain upon grass.’ What does that mean? And why is it stated as an introduction to the song? Join Daniel Loewenstein and Ami Silver as they explore the hidden layers of meaning in Ha’azinu, and the crucial questions it raises for us today.

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Transcript

Daniel: Hi everyone. Welcome back to Parsha Lab. I am Daniel Loewenstein, one of the writers here at Aleph Beta.

Ami: I am Ami Silver, another writer at Aleph Beta.

Daniel: Before we get started, we just want to remind everyone. You know the drill, please subscribe. If you've already subscribed, please rate us with five stars. It helps other people find the podcast too and now let's get on with it.

This week we're going to be talking about Parashat Ha'azinu. Before we get into the text of the parashah, what would you say your gut rating of the parashah is? From like, negative five, being really, really horrible, terrifying, downer parashah, to like, positive five, fluffy, rainbows, happy parashah?

Ami: If I'm judging it on a scale of negative and doomsday, I would say minus 10, actually.

Daniel: Oh, yes, why is that?

Ami: Well, Ha'azinu has a pretty harrowing description of what's going to happen to the Children of Israel in the future, in the time to come. As much as it seems to be part of Moses' swan song, so to speak, it doesn't leave us feeling all that hopeful.

Daniel: You know, Ami, that's a good point. It's a little funny sometimes to think about how a lot of these sections we get at the end of the Torah, some of them seem positive and some of them also seem, kind of, negative, prophesying about these futures where we're all going to commit all these terrible sins and turn our backs on God. Definitely not the ending you would hope for in the Torah.

Ami: Yes, Daniel, and you know even though there might be some redemptive mentions towards the end of Ha'azinu, of some kind of reconciliation of God protecting the people or bringing them back, the real main thrust of the parashah here seems to be all these terrors and horrors that we're going to experience.

Daniel: So Ami, with that in mind, let's go to the very beginning of Parashat Ha'azinu, when this song of doom is first introduced.

Ami: I really wondered, you know, Daniel, it is a song. I wonder what the tune sounds like?

Daniel: I don't think I want to know. So yes, Ami, do you want to read the first two verses?

Ami: Sure. Here we go. I'm reading from Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, Verse 1. "Ha'azinu hashamayim v'adabeirah," hear, oh heavens and I shall speak, "v'tishma ha'aretz imrei fi," and may the earth hear the words of my mouth. "Ya'arof kamatar likchi" ‑‑ help me out with some translation, Daniel.

Daniel: I think that, " Ya'arof kamatar likchi," and "tizal katal imrati," are both two phrases that mean, that the things that I'm about to say, these teachings that I'm about to offer, should come down like different kinds of precipitation; like dew, rain, stuff like that.

Ami: Let my lesson ‑‑ my lekach, I suppose ‑‑ befall you like rain, let my speech drip like dew. "Kis'irim alei deshe ve'chirvivim alei eisev." S'irim is like wind, right?

Daniel: So we're going to talk about that actually, but what makes you say that?

Ami: Well, there is this word ruach s'ara, but that actually is spelt with a Samech, if I'm not mistaken.

Daniel: I believe you're correct.

Ami: I'm wondering also s'irim reminds me also of hair and "s'irim alei deshe," if we're talking about hair upon deshe, which is grass. So I wonder if the image here is grass, sort of, waving, some kind of hair of the earth, if you will. I'm just not sure. Again, we're reading biblical poetry, so what is this image Moses is painting for us?

Daniel: Yes, definitely a colloquial language barrier between us and the generations many thousands of years ago, who would have probably understood s'irim right away. But yes, definitely a couple of different images or meanings that one could associate with the word s'irim and we're going to talk more about how to figure out what it means through all of this.

Ami: We also have this phrase, "chirvivim alei eisev," like rivivim upon grass. You have any thoughts about that word rivivim?

Daniel: So Ami, I cheated and I looked at a lot of the commentators on these verses to see what they have to say about this, but at first blush rivivim feels like it comes from the word rivuvah, which in its numerical sense means 10,000 or just in general means a lot or plentiful.

Ami: Multitudes, right?

Daniel: Right. So in context, if it's talking about rain, so it would seem like it's multitudes of rain.

Ami: I see. Multitudes of rain falling on the grass, on the fields, if you want.

Daniel: Right. It's actually a really interesting debate and, Ami, you really nailed the two perspectives on the word s'irim that are found in the commentators, which is much better than I did on my first read through. So tip my hat off to you. But one explanation is that s'irim refers to, like, thin rain ‑‑ rain that's like hair ‑‑ falling upon deshe, which is a thinner kind of grass and revivim which are thicker, heavier rains, alei eisev, upon the thicker kind of grass.

Ami: Okay. That makes sense.

Daniel: I think some people, sort of, assume that the implication is that the lighter grass gets the lighter rain, which is what it needs and the heavier grass gets the heavier rain which is what it needs.

On the other hand, though, you also have some people who actually see the word s'irim as, sort of, a borrowed version of the word s'ara with a Samech, which is not how it's spelt here. Here the word s'irim, for those of you listeners who don't have a text in front of you, s'irim is spelled the same way you write the word goats, s'irim in Hebrew, which is Sin‑Ayin‑Yud‑Reish‑Mem and the word s'ara, which means a storm, is spelled Samech‑Ayin‑Reish‑Hei. But a lot of people claim that the words are related and it actually means some sort of a storm or a windy rain. Which is actually a very different image than the translation that we followed that it's about hair, which is like a thin, light, gentle rain.

Ami: If these are the images used for the words that Moses is sharing with the people, one of the explanations of s'irim sounds like a very harsh speech he's giving and the other sounds like a very gentle and soft one. I also wonder if there is some kind of way to read the two parts of this verse in parallel, that rain is heavy, dew is light and maybe s'irim is heavy, and r'vivim are light. That might be part of what's behind the perspective of those commentators.

Daniel: Ami, it's interesting that you mention that because actually, most of the commentators assume that r'vivim would be the heavier rains and s'irim would be the lighter rains and that would throw your parallel off a little bit. But there is one commentator, Rav Sa'adyah Gaon, who actually claims that s'irim are heavy and r'vivim are light and maybe he's basing it off of the parallel that you're mentioning now.

Either way, what I think is really interesting is, this is Moses' opening line of this speech, where he's, sort of, saying that he hopes that his words come down like rain or dew, as different types of rain upon grass. So what does that mean? What is he saying that he hopes for here?

Ami: My first association is that rain upon grass is nourishing, is sustaining. Watering the grass, so to speak.

Daniel: Right. So I think that's definitely the first image that jumps out at you, when you think about rain upon the ground. I think what's really interesting is the way that, sort of, colors the rest of the speech. Because remember, we spoke at the beginning about how this really feels like a song of doom, right? Yet Moses is opening his speech by saying that I really hope that my words are nourishing. Maybe. If that's what it means then that sort of gives us a whole different perspective on what this song would be about.

Ami: That's interesting how he's framing this speech. It's not what we would expect.

Daniel: Right. But Ami, what's interesting is, that if you think about the other translation of the word s'irim; if you think about s'irim as these stormy rains, as the heavy, windy precipitation and pair that with r'vivim as also being heavy rain, then you could actually get the opposite imagery here.

Maybe what Moses is saying is, you know, I hope that my words come down like a powerful, robust, storm, monsoon, to sort of overwhelm and flood you and terrify you. Part of me wonders if there's an ambiguity here in the word s'irim. If maybe, deliberately, somehow, there's the ability to read it both ways because this song can sound like two different things depending on how you approach it.

Ami: Okay, Daniel. Well, you've got me intrigued. I'm really curious to see where you're going to go with this.

Daniel: Okay, cool. So Ami, the word s'irim, I mentioned before, also means goats. For those listeners out there, who are very loyal fans of Rabbi Fohrman, they already know that goats have a very prominent role in a few different stories in the Torah. But for those listeners who may not know that or may need a refresher, the word s'irim is actually a pretty loaded word in the Torah and it shows up in a lot of very seminal stories. Ami, do you remember any of the stories that it shows up in?

Ami: What comes to mind first is the goat skins and fleeces that Jacob put on, dressing up as Esau, when he went to get the blessings from Isaac. I believe that it was a se'ir that he used. I think that the brothers also slaughtered a goat, a se'ir, when they wanted to cover up the sale of Joseph and dip his coat in blood to show to their father. The other one that really stands out for me is Yom Kippur, with the two se'irim, those two goats, where there's a raffle figuring out which one gets sacrificed to God, which one gets sent off to the wilderness.

Daniel: Right. And I think one of the things that Rabbi Fohrman likes to talk about is that these se'irim, these goats, at least in the stories of Jacob stealing the blessings and of the brothers tricking Jacob into thinking that Joseph was dead, is that they're both used deceptively, ways to trick people into believing what you want them to believe. Whereas, if you contrast that with Yom Kippur, where we actually, actively use se'irim as a way to get close to God, atone for our sins, sort of, lay ourselves bare. On Yom Kippur they're used redemptively, as a way to counter the previous uses of se'irim for deception and evil.

Ami: That's an interesting contrast. I never thought of it that way.

Daniel: Ami, what I'm thinking is really interesting is that stretching all the way from the Book of Genesis, through the Book of Deuteronomy, we keep seeing this word se'ir or some variation of it, as sometimes positive and sometimes negative, depending on how it's used. You can use it to deceive or you can use it to lay yourself bare. It can be an image of destruction or it can be an image of virtuing. I wonder if the fact that it's showing up here, at the end of the Torah, it's sort of a call to action, to pay attention to the theme of se'ir in the Torah and then approach Ha'azinu, approach this song of doom that will tell you all about what will happen if you abandon God and you hear it the right way or you hear it the wrong way.

Ami: You know, Daniel, just one thing that comes to mind is that Moses speaks of, "se'irim alei deshe," in the plural. There're goats here and if goats really do have this kind of double‑sided nature, I wonder if even Moses' use of the plural is how it alludes to that?

Daniel: That's so interesting.

Ami: So Daniel, just one other thing that I'm, kind of, noticing now that you're pointing out the double‑sided goats ‑‑ the goat of deception and the goat of coming clean or honesty ‑‑ is that a few verses later here in Ha'azinu, starting with Verse 4 basically. Moses is talking about God and says, "Ha'Tzur tamim poalo," which means the Rock, all of His actions are tamim, they're whole, they're innocent, they're righteous, so to speak. God is clean in His actions. "Ki kol de'rachav mishpat," all of His ways are ways that are just and righteous. "Keil emunah v'ein avel, tzadik v'yashar Hu," God is steadfast with no iniquities and then here, tzadik veyashar, God is straight, God is righteous.

So there we have, you know, one side of that goat equation, the goat of righteousness. But then look at the very next verse. "Shicheit lo, lo banav mumam, dor ikeish uf'taltol." These next verses are talking about God's children who are becoming corrupted. A crooked and perverse generation.

Daniel: Right. There definitely seems to be this dichotomy being presented of, you know, there's straightness and there's crookedness. The perverse and the iniquities and then there's, like, the just, whole and perfect.

Ami: That dichotomy seems to be playing out between the way that God is and the way that God's children are. God here is presented as the righteous and straight one, whereas the nation is crooked and perverse. In just the very next verse there, "Hal'Hashem tigmelu zot," is this how you repay God by, being so crooked? "Halo Hu avicha, konecha," He's your parent, He's the one who created you. So it sounds like Moses is right away diving into this theme of the crooked one versus the straight one. Of the deceptive one versus the honest one.

Daniel: You know what? It also reminds me of the fact that later on in the parashah, we're actually also contrasted with this description of God in terms of emunah. Here we're told "Keil emunah v'ein avel," that God is a faithful, trustworthy God and later on in the parashah, we're accused of, "lo eimun bam," which means that our eimun, from the same root as emunah, is not there. People discuss what eimun means, but it's definitely related to the word faith, that God is faithful and trustworthy and we turned out not to be. So yeah, I think that that's a really good point, that even beyond the double meaning of se'irim, we see the two sides of the se'irim playing out as themes from the beginning of the parashah.

Now, Ami, I want to add a wrinkle to this. Which is that, you know, you did mention before that there's a sort of pairing of "se'irim alei deshe, v'chirvivim alei eisev," that there's these two images we get of rain falling on grass, which might parallel the beginning of the verse also, or it might not. We mentioned that based on how you read them, it might either mean light rains on light grass and heavy rains on heavy grass, which is an appropriate pairing. Or it might just mean overwhelming rains everywhere, in the more negative reading.

What's fascinating ism those words se'irim and revivim pair together. It actually shows up one chapter later in the beginning of V'zot Habracha, the last parashah of the Torah. Moses begins his great final speech to the Children of Israel by talking about the great interaction between God and the people at Sinai. He opens up by saying, "Hashem mi'Sinai ba, v'zarach mi'Sei'ir lamo," He's shown from Sei'ir. Then, "hofia mei'Har Paran, veasa mei'rivevot kodesh." So there you have Sei'ir and rivevot, just like se'irim and revivim.

Ami, I'm not 100 percent sure what to make of it, but I feel there's definitely something going on. These parallels happening so close to each other, at the very end of the Torah.

Ami: That's really wild, Daniel, because the context there in V'zot Habrachah doesn't sound like it should have anything to do with what Moses is speaking about in Ha'azinu. Sei'ir here is goat language, but it seems to have to do with a geographical location or a direction. God shined to you from Sei'ir. Generally speaking, we think that that means from the land of Sei'ir, from Esau's descendants. But there it is also paired immediately with rivevot kodesh. So Moses, at least, seems to really have a theme going on here of se'ir and rivevah, he's not letting us know what he means, but it's definitely curious.

Daniel: Yeah, Ami, it's interesting that you just pointed it out, which I forgot to mention, that these are both speeches by Moses. Moses is definitely the one trying to make a point here. I'll be honest and I'll say that these are very esoteric parts of the Torah, these last couple of chapters here. I'm not going to pretend to know what's going on 100 percent, or even 50 percent, but one thing I wonder about is if maybe Moses is again emphasizing that God deals straight with people.

In other words, what he might be saying is, there's the se'ir that's the so'ar, that's the storm and there's the se'ir that's gentle, like hair. God was, "zarach mi'sei'ir lamo," when God came to interact with us, maybe He came to interact as one sei'ir, as the gentle, hair like, nourishing rain upon us. Then, "asa merivevos kodesh," He came with His holy host or from His holy host, whatever it is that means, but again, being on the straight and narrow of coming to act favorably and act positively.

Maybe there is some sort of subtle message there, that Moses is saying, you know, God has dealt kindly and straightly and honestly with us. So harking back to Ha'azinu, when you hear those words and remember to choose to hear the song of "se'irim alei deshe, v'chirvivim alei eisev," as the gentle, nourishing words that will remind you that you owe it to God to be straight, the way He's been straight with you.

Ami: You know, I'm thinking also, Daniel, as you're speaking about these se'irim, these goats, that there might be an image here, too, of the Jewish people being God's herds, so to speak. Moses is specifically the one speaking. Now we know that Moses was a shepherd of sheep, but goats and sheep are basically cousins, you know.

I wonder if it's a fitting parable for Moses to speak about the relationship between him and the Jewish people or even just the personality of the nation as a herd of goats. Either they're going to be faithful, loyal goats to their master or they're going to rebel. If you think about an image of a shepherd and a flock, the truth is, the flock is completely dependent on the shepherd. The shepherd's merely there to care for them and make sure that their needs are met. If they're straying, they're likely to be left vulnerable and compromised. So I'm just wondering if this is part of the message Moses is trying to communicate here. We are dependent on God. God has been sustaining us and will continue to sustain us and as much as we stray from God, it's going to be to our own detriment.

Daniel: That is really interesting, Ami. I'm a little skeptical, because I think most times we hear about a shepherding imagery in the Torah, it's usually paired with tzon, which you did mention, but it's definitely something to think about.

So, Ami, I also want to take us to one last place where we find this pairing of revivim languge and se'irim language. It's also a pretty esoteric reference. I'll make one sort of similar suggestion and you'll tell me if you think I'm just seeing things and making things up or if there's something there. Okay?

Ami: Okay. I'm with you.

Daniel: It's actually a pretty well‑known verse. We say it in the Haggadah on Passover. It comes from the Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 16. In Verse 7 we find, "R'vavah k'tzemach hasadeh n'tatich," I gave you to grow like plants of the field, "vatirbi vatigdeli," and you increased and you grew, "vatavo'i ba'adi ada'yim," and you became very beautiful, "shada'yim nachonu," your breasts grew in, "us'areich tzimei'ach," and your hair grew long, "v'at eirom v'eryah," and you were naked and bare.

The context here is Ezekiel getting ready to chastise the nation of Israel for straying from God and doing so by giving a, sort of, historical context. The way Ezekiel frames it is that the nation was born and was abandoned right away, was left basically uncleaned, covered with blood from the birth process and no one cared about it. Then God came along and cleaned us up, took care of us and then caused us to grow in this tremendous way that we're reading about in Verse 7.

Then, a few verses later, Ezekiel talks about how we became enamored with our own beauty, to the point where we were flaunting it and showing it off and then sharing it with everybody. Until essentially, we devolved into becoming a nation of prostitutes and just giving ourselves to anyone and everyone who wasn't God. Basically saying, that all these gifts and all the ways that we've grown, we took and then we just used for our own selfish purposes and totally forgot about where they came from.

Ami: That's kind of interesting, Daniel, because I'm thinking, you know, that description you just summarized in the Book of Ezekiel, it doesn't sound so different from some of the themes of Ha'azinu. Moses speaks a lot about the people forgetting. Forgetting their parent, forgetting where they came from, forgetting their Creator. It talks about them abandoning God, despite everything God has done for them. Does that sound like there might be some kind of parallel story being told in those two chapters?

Daniel: I definitely think so. I think that the themes are ‑‑ not just the themes, but even the narratives are basically saying the same thing. Ami, one thing that I think might be an even more subtle connection between these two, is that there's nothing inherently bad about this growth that is being described in Ezekiel. This, "R'vavah k'tzemach hasadeh n'tatich," that you know, you grew into this beautiful woman and, "s'areich tzimei'ach," that your hair, your sei'ar grew long.

Ami: If anything, it sounds like a very positive ‑‑

Daniel: Right, exactly. You grew into this beautiful, mature woman, but then the way you used that growth, right? It could've been directed towards appreciation of where it came from and in service of the relationship with God ‑‑ whatever these metaphorical developments of beauty mean ‑‑ or it could be used to then stray from God.

Ami: Coming back to Ha'azinu, I'm thinking of some of the themes that are brought up there. I'm just going to read in the middle of Ha'azinu, just from Verse 15 here, where what's being described is all of the delicacies and luxuries and the food. The ways that God has sustained His people. Then it says, "Vayishman Yeshurun va'yivat."

What happened with all of that food, all of that goodness that God gave you? Yeshurun, which, ironically enough, means the straight ones. Yeshurun is, sort of, a code name for the people of Israel, called here the straight ones. Well, they got fattened and began to kick and rebel against God from all of the goodness He gave them. "Shamanta avita kasita," basically, you just became totally over indulgent, "vayitosh Eloka asahu, vayenabel tzur yeshu'ato," you forsook the God who made you. You spurned the rock of your salvation.

Then Moses goes on to describe idolatry. "Yakni'uhu b'zarim," you made God jealous or zealous with all these foreign gods, "b'toeivot yachisuhu," with all of these abominable things they made God angry.

Now, these next two verses, Daniel, actually in my mind, have some kind of se'ir relationship. Look at this. "Yizbechu la'sheidim lo eloha, Elokim lo y'da'um," you brought offerings to sheidim, to demons, all of these non‑gods who you do not know, "chadashim mikarov ba'u," from within you brought all of these new ones. Again, these kind of, like, new objects of worship. Look at this word, "lo s'arum avoteichem," your ancestors never s'arum.

Daniel: That's right, Ami. Actually, this is one of the places where pretty much everyone agrees that it's from the word se'ara.

Ami: So here too, we have se'arum, again listeners, spelled with a Sin, not a Samech, but Daniel's saying that most commentators say this must have to do with creating some kind of storm.

Daniel: Right. And the way they basically translate it is that these are figures that your ancestors never feared. They never reacted to them as they were to a frightening storm.

Ami: They were never stirred by these fake gods. Then in the very next verse, kind of, wrapping up this idea, "Tzur y'ladcha teshi," that rock who birthed you, you have neglected, "vatishkach Keil mecholelecha," and you forgot the God who formed you.

Daniel: Yeah, Ami, so it really seems to be the same story that Ezekiel's telling in Chapter 16. What's crazy about it is that in the beginning of the story you have this parallel language of riveva and se'ar. I think, maybe, that same double entendre is going on. That same two possible ways of looking at something is going on. That, you know, just like Ha'azinu; this song of doom, really has potential to inspire and remind people who God is in their lives and how they should relate to Him. In that sense it can be nourishing, but if not taken properly then it can be devastating. So too, you know, the gifts that we were given as a people, they can be used in one of two ways. They can be used as a way to appreciate God or they can be used as, "vayishman Yeshurun vayivat," that we become over indulgent and we forget God and focus on the things that we have.

So again, I can't say for sure, I can't even say for half sure, because these metaphors and obscure poetic languages make it very difficult to know exactly what's going on. But maybe, the parallel between the rivevot and the sei'ar, between Ezekiel and Ha'azinu, is again referencing this importance of understanding the potential for the resources you have, for good and for bad.

Ami: So you know, Daniel, we have been wading our way through, kind of, thick biblical poetry. But as you keep developing these ideas, part of what strikes me is that if se'irim and riveva have something to do with God's flock, so to speak, right? And basically, what does God do? God provides for us. God gives us way more than anything we could possibly deserve. God gives us so much. Everything we have comes from God. When we're given everything, like a sei'ir is given by the one who cares for it. When we become a riveva, when we grow and develop and become these multitudes, these huge people who are dependent on God.

Well, there's really two things that can happen in that kind of relationship. You can just become a taker and everything you're given you take for granted and just use it to pursue more and more of your own indulgence. Or you can turn around and face the one who provides for you and have a true sense of loyalty, gratitude and appreciation. That I think, really is a theme that we see running throughout the Torah. Throughout many commandments and narratives and stories. Are you remembering your source? Are you remembering your God or are you basically taking what God has given you and turning your back on it?

Daniel: Right. Yeah, Ami, I definitely think that the themes we're speaking about here are themes that weave through the Torah. Listeners, you know, when you read through this coming year, starting from Bereshit pretty soon and encounter any more se'ir‑ sei'ar‑like words, if anything strikes you, please let us know.

Ami, one more thing I just wanted to say. You know, sort of a takeaway of this. If you think about Ha'azinu, this seemingly fire and brimstone type speech, as potentially being something nourishing. As long as you approach it the right way. I think that can be a valuable lesson for the season we're getting into now.

I think the Torah readings we're going to encounter on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a lot of the things we read in the prayers, as well as the speeches we're undoubtedly going to be hearing. I think it's very possible to take those all with a grain of salt. View them as something that you need to sit through and then you can move on with your life.

Or you can look at them as opportunities, things that can nourish you and help you grow. I don't know if Moses' directly challenging us to take advantage of those specific things, when he maybe, is hinting at these two ways of looking at Ha'azinu. But I think it might be a valuable thing to think about. What are the opportunities we have in our lives to view things as, you know, nourishing and formative experiences, that we maybe just don't take advantage of? How can that come back to bite us? Because if we don't look at them as nourishing, then they can end up being storms.

Ami: I really like that idea, Daniel. I'll also just share something that kind of occurred to me in this conversation. We get to the end of the Torah and we're basically being told by Moses, guess what. You're going to not keep this Torah. You're going to basically forget and neglect and abandon this whole book that I'm giving you. There is, like we see, you know, at the beginning we were saying the redemptive piece seems to pale in comparison to all of the fire and brimstone that Moses is describing here. But as we think about this a little more and I think especially at this time of year, right before Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. I actually find it a bit comforting that at the end of the Torah we're being told, you're going to leave this Torah, you're not going to keep it.

You might go through a lot of tumultuous experiences and nonetheless God is still going to pick you up ultimately. There's something very honest about that, as far as our own human frailty and there's also some kind of promise of holding fast to this relationship to God, despite all of our failures to uphold this covenant and keep God's commandments.

Daniel: Ami, this has definitely given me what to think about as I approach this season.

Ami: Thanks, so much, Daniel. This was great.

Daniel: Thank you, Ami. Listeners, I hope that you felt the same way. As always, please let us know your thoughts; email us at info@alephbeta.org. If you haven't subscribed already, please make sure to do that and we will catch you next week.

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