Kosher Queers

61 — Vayigash: New Trans Bones

December 24, 2020
Kosher Queers
61 — Vayigash: New Trans Bones
Kosher Queers
61 — Vayigash: New Trans Bones
Dec 24, 2020

This week, we look at some fun goth performance art, which plays with bones and death and a messianic age. We also talk art curation practices, fanfiction vs canon, and the value or lack thereof of inherited roles.

Full transcript here.

The book with lesbians that Jaz recently read was We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia. The two movies we watched were Happiest Season , which you can watch on Hulu, and Last Christmas, which appears to only be available on HBO.  Jaz also mentions that they've been listening to the All My Relations podcast; here's the first episode in their series about indigenous artists.

This week's reading is Ezekiel 37:15-28. Next week's reading is 1 Kings 2:1-12.

Support us on Patreon or Ko-fi! Send us questions or comments at [email protected], follow us on Twitter @kosherqueers, and like us on Facebook at Kosher Queers. Our music is by the band Brivele. This week, our audio was edited by Lulav Arnow, and our transcript was written by Reuben Shachar Rose. Our logo is by Lior Gross, and we are not endorsed by or affiliated with the Orthodox Union.

Support the show (

Show Notes Transcript

This week, we look at some fun goth performance art, which plays with bones and death and a messianic age. We also talk art curation practices, fanfiction vs canon, and the value or lack thereof of inherited roles.

Full transcript here.

The book with lesbians that Jaz recently read was We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia. The two movies we watched were Happiest Season , which you can watch on Hulu, and Last Christmas, which appears to only be available on HBO.  Jaz also mentions that they've been listening to the All My Relations podcast; here's the first episode in their series about indigenous artists.

This week's reading is Ezekiel 37:15-28. Next week's reading is 1 Kings 2:1-12.

Support us on Patreon or Ko-fi! Send us questions or comments at [email protected], follow us on Twitter @kosherqueers, and like us on Facebook at Kosher Queers. Our music is by the band Brivele. This week, our audio was edited by Lulav Arnow, and our transcript was written by Reuben Shachar Rose. Our logo is by Lior Gross, and we are not endorsed by or affiliated with the Orthodox Union.

Support the show (

Jaz: Hey Lulav. 

Lulav: Hi Jaz. 

Jaz: What's something cool or queer or Jewish you did this week?

Lulav: Well, remember my neighbour Brad?

Jaz: Uh huh. 

Lulav: Yeah, so, he's moving out in a couple days. We're recording this on the 28th of November, so presumably he will be moving out at the very end of November, beginning of December and uh, that would be more rough on me if I weren't also leaving in February. 

Jaz: Uh huh. 

Lulav: But, yeah I just appreciate it cuz like, last night he knocked on my door and I was like, "oh, hey, let me put some clothes on", and he was like, "its okay, I just have a card for you", and I was like—

Jaz: Aww. 

Lulav: "You do? I'm going to miss you so much!", and he like, stuck it in my door and the card says "thank you for being one of the most Awwsome neighbours I have ever had". 

Jaz: Aww! 

Lulav: "Though we didn't hang much, you and I both had a deep understanding and respect for one another. I appreciated that so much. We made a great neighbour team. You and I worked well together. I love you!!" with a smiley face connected the two dots on the exclamation points, Brad. 

Jaz: Aww. 

Lulav: And that's just so touching. I really appreciate having had a neighbour who is like, a neighbour, cus the last time I had that was my upstairs neighbour who eventually got evicted for walking around shirtless with a katana in the halls, (Jaz laughs) and I miss him even though he was a libertarian. Jaz, are you here?

Jaz: I sure am. 

Lulav: You just seemed completely unfazed. 

Jaz: I- no, you didn't hear me laughing? Anyway, I um... (Lulav laughs) I am put off, vaguely, by the libertarian with the katana, (Lulav chuckles) but you know, as long as he was a good neighbour I guess. 

Lulav: Yeah. Um... yeah. I just- yeah. The only men that I can tolerate around me are the ones who are my shirtless neighbours apparently. 

Jaz: Apparently. 

Lulav: But yeah, I'm going to miss Brad and I'm going to miss the neighbourhood wherever Theo, Ridley and I decide to move in February. 

Jaz: Mm hmm. 

Lulav: But it will be really fun living with an all-goblin household, where we will have our chores in common and our lives in common. 

Jaz: Mmm. 

Lulav: A novel experience for me. 

Jaz: Mmm. 

Lulav: (chuckles) Listen, I've had a roommate before, I have not had housemates. 

Jaz: Okay. 

Lulav: And I also haven't had a roommate in like... 8 years? So that's fun. 

Jaz: Been a minute. 

Lulav: It's been a minute. Jaz, whats something cool and queer or Jewish thats happened in your week?

Jaz: Well, I consumed three forms media (Lulav laughs) yesterday that included lesbian couples in them. 

Lulav: Oh really?

Jaz: Yes. 

Lulav: Ohhh. 

Jaz: The first two were terrible movies, (Lulav snorts) and the third one is a book that you lent me while you were here and that I had sort of vaguely intended to read during the two weeks you were here— 

Lulav: Mm hmm. 

Jaz: And then didn't, and didn't touch for like, how long has it been? Two months? (Lulav laughs) Anyway, and then just read in like 24 hours and it was great. 

Lulav: Which book did I lend you?

Jaz: The book is called We Set the Dark On Fire. 

Lulav: Oh ho ho ho ho ho. Yeah. 

Jaz: It's a little intense, it's really good. 

Lulav: Oh, I'm glad you liked it. 

Jaz: Yeah. I will link to it in our description, it's got a little subtitle on the cover that says "let rebellion burn'', and it's like, about revolution and a power structure and like— 

Lulav: How enforced polygyny is not a good idea? (laughs) 

Jaz: Well, I wouldn't say it's about that but that is also there. (Lulav laughs) Yeah. And like, who you can trust and what kind of decisions you should make and, yeah, really cool. 

Lulav: Yeah. 

Jaz: It's also written by this Latina woman— 

Lulav: Mm hmm. 

Jaz: Who- its an alternate universe, not fantasy but like, alternate universe I think. 

Lulav: Okay. 

Jaz: I mean maybe it's fantasy, there's no magic. 

Lulav: Right. I think it does still count as fantasy in that this does not seem to be Earth. 

Jaz: Yeah. 

Lulav: But like, where you usually get very European-tinged fantasy, for instance, Westeros is the shape of England — 

Jaz: Yeah. 

Lulav: And everybody is basically English. 

Jaz: Westeros has dragons and like, werecreatures you know like, it's a little bit more clearly fantasy in that respect. 

Lulav: It’s Latino fantasy, which is great. 

Jaz: Yeah, it totally is. 

Lulav: Is that a feminine noun?

Jaz: And also has a bunch of stuff about like, borders— 

Lulav: Mm hmm. 

Jaz: And how borders are bad. It's great. 

Lulav: I'm really glad you liked it. 

Jaz: The other two things I watched were bad Christmas movies, (Lulav laughs) I don't like Christmas movies under the best of circumstances (Lulav laughs) and I went into both of these movies knowing that they would be bad movies and they were indeed bad movies. 

Lulav: (chuckles) I feel like both of these were the best of circumstances, actually. 

Jaz: Yeah, you're right, these were the best of circumstances under which to watch bad Christmas movies. Probably. The only other time, really, that I had consumed like, Christmas media— 

Lulav: Mm hmm. 

Jaz: Was with my late aunt who is really into all things Christmas. 

Lulav: Ohhh. 

Jaz: But, this was like a different kind of Christmas movie, she was very into like, the classics, like— 

Lulav: It's a Wonderful LIfe?

Jaz: Yes. 

Lulav: Yeah. (laughs) 

Jaz: Which I did not enjoy at all. 

Lulav: Oh no. (laughs) 

Jaz: But— 

Lulav: Did she like Uncle Buck? I think that's a Christmas movie. 

Jaz: I don’t have the faintest idea what that is. 

Lulav: Okay. 

Jaz: So, the first movie that I watched in like the middle of the afternoon probably, I watched with you— 

Lulav: Mm hmm. 

Jaz: And it was called Happiest Season.

Lulav: Mm hmm. 

Jaz: Oh, would you like to say something about this movie?

Lulav: Uh, it is the new Kristen Stewart vehicle— 

Jaz: Right. 

Lulav: In which she goes home with her girlfriend to her girlfriends family and uh, her girlfriend conveniently forgets to mention that she's not out to her parents, and by forgets to mention I mean— 

Jaz: Has been lying to her about it for their whole relationship of years, (Lulav laughs) yeah. Like, the fundamental problem with this movie is that 10 minutes in I was like, "oh, you should break up with your girlfriend", and then for the whole movie, (Lulav laughs) just kept getting more and more insistent of, "oh, you should break up with your girlfriend". 

Lulav: (laughs) I turned around a little but the entire time it was just like, you should and should have broke- breaken up. No girlfriend. Maybe different girlfriend? Not this one. 

Jaz: Yeah, I mean I went into it with like a little bit of forewarning from having seen people on Twitter also all saying that, (Lulav laughs) and they were completely right and also, really fun afternoon. Glad I watched it with you. 

Lulav: Yeah. 

Jaz: And then, in the evening, and I watched one with my roommates. We had a very similar reason for watching the second movie as we did for watching the first movie, because the first one we were like, "well, Kristen Stewart is in it and she's hot and it will be a fun thing to do together", and my roommate Emily was like, "there's this new Christmas movie and it has the guy from Crazy Rich Asians in it and he's hot and I wanna watch it. It'll be fun to do together", (Lulav laughs) so my roommates and I watched this Christmas movie with, his name is Henry Golding, I think?

Lulav: Okay. 

Jaz: And he plays opposite Emilia Clark. It was really not at all the movie I was expecting it to be but it was fun. 

Lulav: Oh. Okay. So what was unexpected about this?

Jaz: Do you want spoilers for this movie?

Lulav: I'll... take- okay, so, really the only way that I will ever watch this movie is if you give me spoilers for it. 

Jaz: Okay. 

[elevator music plays]

Lulav: Hey, what?! Wh- okay. Nevermind, (Jaz laughs) that's the only spoi- uh, when do you find this out? 

Jaz: Really late in the movie. 

Lulav: Hot diggity! 

Jaz: It's wild. 

Lulav: You know what, I think I'm going to edit this out and just have the reaction, which is, uh, yeah there's a big twist (Jaz laughs) which does kind of make me want to watch this out of morbid curiosity. (both laugh) 

Jaz: Yeah, bizarre. Uhm... oh, uh, and the- I said that all of them had lesbians in it, but the main character, Emilia Clark, isnt a lesbian, her sister is and that’s like, one of the side plots. 

Lulav: And you did mention her outing her sister to the entire family?

Jaz: To her parents, yes. She does that. 

Lulav: Great. 

Jaz: Most of the plot of the movie is about the character that Emilia Clark plays moving from being a pretty bad person to being a better person. 

Lulav: (laughs) Okay. So Happiest Season was on Hulu, where is Last Christmas?

Jaz: Uh… probably on HBO. 

Lulav: Oh. Wild. 

Jaz: Yeah. 

Lulav: You got all the fancy subscription services in your household. 

Jaz: I mean, between the four of us and our partners and our families (Lulav laughs) and probably some of our friends, we've scrounged for most of them, yeah. 

Lulav: Good. I could probably bug my parents for the HBO login. Anyway. 

Jaz: Anyway, Lulav are you ready to start the episode?

Lulav: One last thing that I wanted to mention is that We Set the Dark On Fire was a gift to me from Catherine Baer, who is Tova’s mom. She's a librarian and that was super helpful. It was a really nice present that I liked a lot and I thought that you would like it a whole bunch too, so— 

Jaz: Aww. 

Lulav: I wanted to pass on the good good YA reading. 

[Brivele intro music]

Lulav: Hello, and welcome to Kosher Queers, a podcast where we recap Tanakh, episode by episode, spoiler free. I’m — Wait. Nope. Wrong one. Welcome to Kosher Queers, a podcast with at least two Jews and generally more than three opinions. Each week we bring you queer takes on Torah. They’re Jaz — 

Jaz: And she’s Lulav — 

Lulav: And we’re here to joke about Judaism and talk Tanakh together. Today, our chevruta is learning the haftarah of Vayegish, which is Ezekiel 37:15-28.
Jaz: Yeah. Lulav, I understand that you are gonna be summarizing Vayigash for us?
Lulav: Can you give me 45 seconds for that? It was actually pretty impressive because I'm used to these being longer, but like —
Jaz: No, it's pretty short.
Lulav: Yeah. Like the things that happen are, you know, only a couple things.
Jaz: Ready, set, go.
Lulav: Yehuda is in deep trouble after Yoseph’s funky little sting operation caught the intended younger brother, so he promises himself to Yoseph as Binyamin’s replacement. Like a lachrymose Ashtron Kutcher emerging from a dumpster, Yoseph cries a whole bunch while telling the assembled brothers that they've been punkd. He rationalizes the whole, uh, kidnap by slavers thing by noting the family might not have eaten for the next half decade without him being an Egyptian slave. Yisrael hears that his son is alive, and immediately moves his tiny nuclear household of 70 to Egypt where he is preceded by Yehuda, greeted by the Pharaoh and given the nasty shepherd land which is actually pretty ideal for the family. Finally Yoseph engineers a massive restructuring of the economy to capitalize on, enslaving the non-priests [timer goes off] for the foreseeable future. [timer goes off]
Jaz: That’s close.
Lulav: Yeah.
Jaz: You're just a couple seconds over.
Lulav: If I didn't do dramatic pauses I probably would have made it.
Jaz: (laughs) Alright, well, do you want to tell us how that summary of what happened in parsha Vayigash connects to what we're talking about this week?
Lulav: Yeah, I mean, let's say that you've got two sticks, right? (Jaz laughs) And on one of them you write "Yehuda" and on another one you write "Yoseph" and youre like, dang these sticks are apart for so long, but actually you can just hold them together because they're gonna come back together again after Yehuda makes up for it. Is that fair?
Jaz: I guess so. (Lulav laughs) You're just repeating the metaphor.
Lulav: I- okay, so, maybe, but if that's the case it's because it's a very straightforward metaphor. (both laugh) Sorry to steal your thunder, cuz you're the one walking us through this haftarah. 
Jaz: Okay, alright. 
Lulav: I could never steal your thunder. Could you talk to us a little bit about the surrounding context of Ezekiel? Cuz I'm pretty sure this is the first reading we've had from that. 
Jaz: Yes, but not the last. (Lulav laughs) There's gonna be several more from Ezekiel. 
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: So, there's several things to understand about Ezekiel. The first one is that Ezekiel is a smarmy little goth kid. (Lulav snorts many times) Ezekiel does a couple different things— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: And Ezekiel almost wasn't included in the Bible; they were arguing about it when they were compiling the Mishnah. 
Lulav: Only preps, no goths. (laughs) 
Jaz: They were like, "does Ezekiel really count? Ezekiel’s a weirdo, like Isaiah is a very passionately oriented towards justice and righteousness 
Lulav: Mmm. 
Jaz: And he's like, why do you care about ritual procedures and stuff", and that's sort of more characteristic of some of the earlier prophets. 
Lulav: Mm hmm.
Jaz: And Ezekiel does give like, certain laws and temple procedures, some of which contradict the ones given in the Torah, (Lulav laughs) and so they were like, "should we include this?" and also the thing about Ezekiel is that Ezekiel is the foundation for a lot of later kabalistic stuff and a lot of—
Lulav: Mmm.
Jaz: Mystical things, got a lot of visions, he's talking about arrangements of chariots, he's just very high all of the time. (Lulav laughs) He's not just talking of like, passion and righteousness like the earlier prophets, he's also talking about rituals and concrete stuff like that.
Lulav: Hm. Okay.
Jaz: Ezekiel's also like, really much more focuses on individual people.
Lulav: Which is kind of a rarity for Tanakh, right?
Jaz: Yeah, were not very individualistic, really. Often they’re speaking to the whole nation. Concrete timewise things, again, really not our strong suit. (Lulav laughs) so I'm just going to read you this bit right from the myjewishlearning article—
Lulav: Okay.
Jaz: Which is that we don't know a lot of Ezekiel's life, like, unlike Hosea who compares G-ds relationship with Israel to his relationship with his wife or whatever, you know, some of the prophets do that—
Lulav: Mm hmm.
Jaz: And Ezekiel doesn't really talk about his own life, he talks about his visions and stuff, but we're told that he was a priest, one of the ones in charge of the sanctuary, so Nebuchadnezzer, king of Babylon first captured Jerusalem in 597 BCE and carried off King whoever his name is — Jehoiachim? And the leaders of the people to Babylon and Ezekiel was one of those who was led away in the first captivity. The reason why this is important is that Ezekiel's prophecies are all in exile. He was from Jerusalem and he does not live in Jerusalem. He's supposed to have done his prophesying for like, 22 years.
Lulav: Hm. Okay, that's a lot of prophecy.
Jaz: Mm hmm.
Lulav: Okay, was this Yehoyakim?
Jaz: Yeah. Thank you.
Lulav: Wow. That's a name.
Jaz: Right? But so he is prophesying this doctrine that is mystical and a little more individual and, you know, not nation driven in the same way from exile.
Lulav: Mm hmm.
Jaz: It's a different type of deal, fundamentally. One of these myjewishlearning articles that I was looking at compares what he's doing to performance art. It would have been strange even at the time and it's still strange.
Lulav: Okay.
Jaz: Is what I mean. He's talking about doom and destruction, he's dressed all in black, he's wearing heavy black eyeliner, (Lulav laughs) he's doing weird stuff to get people's attention, he's like, you know, listening to weird music and talking about strange visions. That's his deal. 
Lulav: Young man, turn down that racket! I'm 44, grandpa. (Jaz laughs) So, thanks for that context. Were there other prophets doing prophecy at that time?
Jaz: Oh, that's a really good question. 
Lulav: Not that we’ve read so far, right?
Jaz: I don't think so. He's the— 
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: Third of the later prophets, but I don't know if anybody else is prophecy-ing at the same time. That's not to say there isn't, I just don't know the answer off hand. 
Lulav: Okay. So, do you want to take us into the actual text?
Jaz: Yeah, so we start in the middle of a chapter, so we're in chapter 37 and the beginning of chapter 37, which we do not read, is actually a little bit more familiar to me and a little bit more famous. 
Lulav: (chuckles) Okay. 
Jaz: And it's about a prophecy of G-d will  breathe into dried bones, and lay sinews across them and cover them with flesh, and like, you'll come back again. 
Lulav: Ooooh. 
Jaz: Those bones will come back to life, and they like, came to life and stood on their feet. And then there's this wording of, (G-d voice) "oh mortal, these bones of the whole house of Israel, they say our bones are dried up, our hope is gone, we are doomed", and G-d is here being like, (G-d voice) "I can lift you up out of your graves, put breath in you and make you live again". So we have just sort of come off of that episode and then (Lulav laughs) in 37:15 Ezekiel’s (sic) going to just go into a whole different thing and tell just, a new story that starts “vayedaber Adonai eli lemor”, and then G-d said another thing. (Lulav giggles) And we have the story that we actually embark on. 
Lulav: Is this where we get a lot of the “mehaye metim” imagery?
Jaz: I don't know, but this is the—  this aligns so closely with the mythical image I have in my head —
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: With the idea of revitalization of the dead that I would have assumed that this is where it comes from. 
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: But I don't know for sure. It could draw from a couple other sources as well, I just, it makes sense to me that it would derive from a prophet since it does not seem to derive from things we got earlier in Torah. 
Lulav: Okay. So, what happens in this one?
Jaz: So, okay, like you said—
Lulav: (laughs) Sorry. 
Jaz: There- (both laugh) like you said, there is this thing that's like, take a stick and write on it "of Judah and the Israelites associated with him", and then you take another stick and write on that one "of Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and all the house of Israel associated with him". You bring them close together so that they’re like, one stick and when people are like, "what is this odd piece of performance art that you're doing with sticks?"
Lulav: (laughs) Literally. 
Jaz: Yeah. Like, it just says, when any of your people ask you, "won't you tell us what these actions of yours mean?", they’re like, okay okay you can put a little plaque that's like, here's my explanation of the art. 
Lulav: Oh G-d. 
Jaz: (laughs) By the way, I know this is like, a side note but, on the All My Relations podcast that i've been listening to—
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: They've been doing a really interesting series about museums and art and art labels and the function of museums— 
Lulav: Mmm, yeah. 
Jaz: And I really recommend going to check those out if you're thinking about how you hold different pieces of art and how you fit that into museums as colonizing institutions— 
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: Anyway, really cool. Recommend it. 
Lulav: Cuz like, often works of art won't have names or at least not ones that were maintained and so, the museum will impose a name on it, right?
Jaz: Well, there's that but there's also Native art often ends up in museums of natural history as opposed to like— 
Lulav: Mmm. 
Jaz: In art museums, even if it's like, modern and— 
Lulav: Ah. 
Jaz: Contemporary art— 
Lulav: Woof. 
Jaz: And often they're not curated by Native artists or curators. Sometimes you get this misleading thing where it wont specify which group its from— 
Lulav: Oof. 
Jaz: It will just refer to it as Indiginous art, you know— 
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: All sorts of different things. Also they were talking about, just the difference between having to train people who say, "and they do this, and they did this" vs having people who can say, "and we do this"— 
Lulav: Mmm. 
Jaz: Can be a significant one. 
Lulav: Yeah, thats cool. 
Jaz: Yeah. 
Lulav: Once you finish this metaphor, I have a thing that it reminded me of. 
Jaz: Oh great. So G-d is like, well when people ask you “what does your art piece mean?”, (Lulav laughs) you should explain it to them. You're taking these two different tribes and making them into one stick, they shall be joined in my G-dly hands, and tell the people it's because I'm going to take the Israelite people among everywhere they've been and gather them together in this one land. They'll be a single nation again, not into two kingdoms, not into two nations, just one people. 
Lulav: Mm hmm. So, the thing that this reminds me of… I wasn't a theatre kid but I was definitely a kid who was definitely in theatre. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: And so I remember talking about Arthur Miller and somebody described an Arthur Miller play as him walking on stage with a baseball bat on which he has written "McCarthyism" and he proceeds to beat the audience about the head with it. (Jaz laughs) And that just reminds me of this cuz it's like, take a stick, write these very obvious things on it, and then bring them together. (laughs) 
Jaz: It's like a political cartoon. 
Lulav: Yeah. So, one thing that I would note is that bringing them together in one also involves bringing them together under Hashem. 
Jaz: Mmm. 
Lulav: Rather than the practices of the north. 
Jaz: Say more. 
Lulav: Well, there's the important thing about like, bringing them together as a single nation in the land, but then 37:23, nor shall they ever again defile themselves by their fetishes and their abhorrent things and by their other transgressions. Fetishes meaning like, objects— 
Jaz: Idols. 
Lulav: Into— 
Jaz: Yeah. 
Lulav: Yeah. Right. 
Jaz: Yep. 
Lulav: Not like, they won't be kinky, even a little bit. 
Jaz: No, I don't know why they translated it as fetishes. “Gilgul” does mean idols. 
Lulav: Yeah. I think there's like a connotation or possibly even denotation with fetishes that it's something that you can carry around and remember, like a rosary for instance. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: Sorry, not the be on the whole “Catholics are pagans” steeze, but that was just the first thing that came to mind. 
Jaz: I mean, Catholicism is inflected by pagan religions only because all religions are, like Judaism is no exception. 
Lulav: Woahhh. (laughs) Yeah. 
Jaz: Not neo-pagans, just like, regular pagans. No disrespect intended to neo-pagans, but. 
Lulav: So yeah, it's basically like, they're gonna behave better, but who is this servant David?
Jaz: Right, so then there's this list of different things that they won't do which is different types of idolatry which do have different, as you were saying, connotative meanings about them, that are like, idols or detestable things or idols that you can carry about, or stuff like that. 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: And once it's like, well we'll get rid of all of those, then there's the line that's like, “David shall be king over them. There shall be one shepherd for all of them and they'll follow my rules and laws.” The word “v’avdi”, they render that as “my servant.” That's the same word you have for servant and for slave and for worker in general. 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: It's ambiguous in what exactly the status is but it is definitely someone who works for you. 
Lulav: Okay. But who is this guy, because David haMelech died like, 400 years ago or more. 
Jaz: Yes, but the implication, I think, is that this is somebody in David's line. That it's one of his descendants. 
Lulav: Ohhh, okay. 
Jaz: David, as you may remember, had lots of children and lots of descendants, (Lulav giggles) and we retain to some extent that as part of this story, right? Like— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: Not this version exactly. Ezekial is talking about a more literal, there will be a king from David's line, I think, but we have definitely retained the idea that when Moshiach comes, Moshiach will be a person descended from David. 
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: And I think that the Christians took this one too, right? That the Christians were like, Jesus is descended from David?
Lulav: Oh yes. There's at least one synoptic gospel that has a genealogy tracing the line of Jesus back to David haMelech. 
Jaz: Okay. I don't understand how that works exactly, like is Mary supposed to be a descendant of David, or is it... 
Lulav: (sighs) Okay, so while I look this up do you want to talk a little bit about how you feel about how moshiach being in a specific line?
Jaz: Mmm, (sighs) so, okay, we have a lot of different myths around the idea of moshiach that can turn out in a lot of different ways and one of my preferred ones is that in every generation there is somebody who could be (Lulav giggles) the moshiach, and it just sort of depend on the conditions of the world. So, if the world is ready in that generation, ready to listen to that person and, I like that idea. That idea appeals to me. 
Lulav: Okay. But not necessarily of relation to— 
Jaz: A specific person? I mean I think that gets messy, right, like, (Lulav giggles) one is that I think that then there's the temptation to take it too literally— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: And, you know, I would want to live in a Jewish community that isnt about blood relations so much, you know? Like— 
Lulav: Right. 
Jaz: Such a significant portion of the people in my Jewish community who are dear to me and important to my sense of Jewish community are people who have converted or are in the process of converting or people who are patrilineal, like people who dont fall under the auspices of lots of the traditional rules of inheritance and so— 
Lulav: Right. 
Jaz: Those rules give me pause because even when you're talking about a semi-mythological figure, if you're holding up the idea of inheritance as the main thing there, it opens the door to non-mythological treating people badly. 
Lulav: Yeah, also how many times over the course of Torah did somebody flout inheritance rules?
Jaz: Constantly. I— yeah. 
Lulav: (laughs) Like it doesn't seem to be very important to us as a people. 
Jaz: I'm not sure if there's any cases that immediately come to mind where they just gave the inheritance to the behor. (Lulav laughs) You know, to the oldest son. 
Lulav: Thank you for reminding us of the word “behor,” it's been a minute. 
Jaz: Yeah. One of the things I do like about it a little bit is the idea that, because we have conflicting ideas of what Moshiach is like— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: That on one hand the Moshiach is supposed to be from very humble means, like, they come through town on a donkey, they don't have worldly possessions, they don't have- you know, like— 
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: And at the same time they have this ancestral link to Judaism that is as old as any Jewish lineage and this idea that moshiach should be a contradiction, seemingly— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: Does appeal to me to some extent, partially because I think it is an encouragement to say like, look David had a lot of children, right? (Lulav giggles) Uhm, and to say that any of these people who come, who look like nothing and nobody to you might still be the moshiach and might still be related to David and you would just never have known. 
Lulav: Yeah. That's great. 
Jaz: Yeah. 
Lulav: I really appreciate that. So, fact check from before, the good news according to Matthew is the gospel that is basically saying proto-rabbinic Jews? That's not the way to be Jewish. Christianity is the way to be Jewish. And so it starts out with a triple genealogy where it's like, Avraham to David was 14 generations, David to the deportation to Babylon was 14 generations, and the deportation to Jesus was 14 generations. And then it goes immediately into the birth story of like, being born out of wedlock. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: So, they were definitely going for humble origins and a long, long Jewish history. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: And that's not a thing that's repeated in any of the other gospels, with that bent or level of details—
Jaz: Mmm. 
Lulav: Because that's the one that's specifically written to other Jews, about like, here's how to be a Jew. 
Jaz: It's been a while since I learned this so, is Matthew one of the earlier writers?
Lulav: Matthew, Mark and Luke are the synoptic gospels, which means they tell essentially the same story. I think the best that we know is that the text came from like, the 70s. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: So, about 40 years after Jesus would have been crucified by the Romans. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: John is the real fanfition of the fanfiction, which comes in like, 120 or something. 
Jaz: So he's not even able- like, I knew there was at least one who was writing long enough later that it wasn't like, he even knew anybody who'd been alive at the time. 
Lulav: Oh G-d, no. (laughs) Yeah. Thats John. 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: John is also the one that gets quoted a whole bunch if you ever shopped at Forever21 and you got one of those yellow bags to carry your clothes in, on the bottom it said John 3:16, which was "for G-d so loved the world he gave of his only begotten son". 
Jaz: Is that on Forever21 bags?
Lulav: It sure is. 
Jaz: Wild. Wild. 
Lulav: Yeah. (laughs) 
Jaz: Anyway, then we go back to finish off the last few lines of the text. 
Lulav: (snorts) Thank you, big digression. 
Jaz: G-ds talking about, I will make a covenant again. This translation renders it as like, covenant of friendship, (Lulav giggles) but it's like brit shalom — 
Lulav: Mm. 
Jaz: And brit olam. A covenant of being peaceful for time immemorial. 
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: And there's this additional repetition that there will be an agreement. 
Lulav: Cool. 
Jaz: Yeah, and then it’s like, (g-d voice) "my presence will rest among them. I will be their G-d and they shall be my people, and when my sanctuary abides among them forever, nations shall know that I, the Lord, do sanctify Israel". 
Lulav: Ahh. Does that have like, specific meaning? Like, when everybody comes back, it will be very clear that the house is sanctified, or what?
Jaz: It's a good question. So I'm not sure, and there's not a lot of easily pulled up rabbinic commentary on this line, but I- we were talking about this being messianic. 
Lulav: (giggles) Mm hmm. 
Jaz: It's a good question. So I'm not sure, and there's not a lot of easily pulled up rabbinic commentary on this line, but I- we were talking about this being messianic—
Lulav: (giggles) Mm hmm. 
Jaz: And to me this is an invocation of a rebuilding of a temple. 
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: That's what's implied by the sanctuary. 
Lulav: Okay, cool. 
Jaz: That all of the other peoples in the world and the Jewish peoples will know G-ds there and is back and is there for the people. 
Lulav: Mm hmm. So Ezekiel pretty firmly argues for temple worship. 
Jaz: Yes. 
Lulav: Much like a lot of the other prophets, maybe all of them.
Jaz: Did you say that they all do?
Lulav: Remind me of a prophet who is just like, yeah we don't need temples. 
Jaz: I don't know that there's a prophet who argues that we don't need temples and instead we need another specific thing, but certainly Isaiah's frequently quoted as somebody— 
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: Who is like, you're doing wrong and (Lulav giggles) you need to do better and that's way more important than the rituals that you practice. 
Lulav: Mmm. That's fair, thank you. So Jaz, the schedule says we go into Rating G-ds Writing here, can you remind me what that is?
Jaz: This is our segment where we pick two scales— 
Lulav: Ohhh. 
Jaz: And rate the parsha accordingly. 
Lulav: Oookay, so like, we each write a name on the scales and we bring them together and it makes one rating?
Jaz: (laughs) Something like that. 
Lulav: Jaz, if you were canonizing Mishnah, would you, based on this haftarah portion, include Ezekiel?
Jaz: Woahhh. (Lulav laughs) That's so intense. 
Lulav: Right?
Jaz: I'm just saying if I was canonizing Mishnah and I got to decide what was part of the Tanakh, and what wasn't — 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: Like, I’d throw in a few more, like, queer poets (Lulav laughs) in the vein of Shir Hashirim. 
Lulav: Oooh. 
Jaz: Then I would focus on all of this but on the other hand, some of those poets might be doing, I don't know, goth projections of the end of the world, so. 
Lulav: Okay, so your rating is yes but I would also have a larger, queerer and gother Tanakh in general?
Jaz: That's a really out there thing to say, I'm not sure that that's exactly what I'm saying. 
Lulav: Okay. (laughs) 
Jaz: I'm just saying that if I got the power to write my own scripture of what was included— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: I think my criteria would be different than the ones that the Mishnaic rabbis had. 
Lulav: Okay. So, but, do you think you would include Ezekiel based on this particular excerpt?
Jaz: Probably. 
Lulav: Okay. (giggles) Cool. That is a really big question. I wouldn't hold you to that. 
Jaz: This was a really overwhelming question for me and I feel fine about offering ratings about things that are canon— 
Lulav: Mmm. 
Jaz: But I feel some type of way about being like, would you make it not canon? Cuz like, it— that's the— that's Tanakh. 
Lulav: Okay. 
Jaz: I'm not getting rid of it. 
Lulav: Yeah, right. 
Jaz: Even the things I don't like I don't want to get rid of. 
Lulav: No- and em- to be clear that wasn't what I was saying, like, clearly a bunch of people put a bunch of thought into this and this was a thing that was explicitly included. I was just asking for like, an opinion. (both laugh) I'll come back to you in five years and see what you think after rabbinical school or whatever the next five years holds for you. 
Jaz: Lulav?
Lulav: Yes, Jaz?
Jaz: Of two sticks, how many sticks would you give this parsha?
Lulav: Okay, I am gonna give this two sticks. One of the sticks has “McCarthyism” written on it— 
Jaz: Okay. 
Lulav: And the other stick- okay, so we took an Avenged Sevenfold album cover, and then like, stretched it so that it would wrap around the stick once, and so that's the second stick. We've got McCarthyism and an Avenged Sevenfold cover, and I am bringing them together for this rating. 
Jaz: (giggles) Okay. One of the things I was thinknig about as I was saying that thing about different types of poetry that I’d wanna include and queer poets and stuff like that—
Lulav: Yeah?
Jaz: And what I would want to include in the text, and then thinking about this text is that sometimes you read things by queer poets, you know, and theres nothing in the particular poem youre reading, or theres nothing in the particular writting, it doesnt have— 
Lulav: Mmm. 
Jaz: To be poetry, that's like, talking about bodies or gender— 
Lulav: Hm. 
Jaz: Or sexuality or, it's not a love poem, or, you know what I mean? And yet, fundamentally, the way they approach it is different than the way you might expect, than like, the normative way to approach something. 
Lulav: You mean they engage in queer ontologies?
Jaz: Thank you. 
Lulav: (laughs) Sorry, it's been so long since I was in academia. I don't often get a chance to say ontologies. 
Jaz: Great. 
Lulav: More often than you might think, but. 
Jaz: I feel like you could rustle up some reasons. (Lulav laughs) Anyways, so that's just part of what I'm thinking about here is that I think that's also part of the way that when we look at Ezekiel and I'm like, "yeah he's the goth kid having, you know, opinions", (Lulav giggles) even if the way that we interpret the writing isn't the same way that the rabbis of the Mishnaic period would have interpreted it— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: That there is still value in saying here is the text and here's what it promised and here's what we can do instead with the idea of the messiah, you know?
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: To hold that there can be value in thinking about the messiah as somebody who is deeply rooted in the community, you know? Which is the most, sort of, generous interpretation— 
Lulav: Mm hmm. 
Jaz: Of the David thing, (Lulav giggles) and somebody who is outside of it in some way, right? 
Lulav: Yeah. 
Jaz: That like, the people who are most able to bring the world into its better and more perfect form are those who've been marginalized in some way and yet, are also deeply rooted to the communities in it. 
Lulav: Yeah. Can I give a real quick, extremely trans reading. 
Jaz: Please. 
Lulav: So, the bit with mechayeh metim, it makes me think about like, you can go through all this, this exile where your body essentially turns to just bones, and you can be remade, and it's not that you are like, being returned to the original from that you originally had and are always meant to have—
Jaz: Mmm. 
Lulav: It's not that you are being put into a perfect body de novo —
Jaz: Mmm. 
Lulav: Like, from the bones there are sinews and flesh and skin and that makes the you that comes back from exile, the you that participates in the new world. So that you is informed by the past, is brimming with the future— 
Jaz: Mmm. 
Lulav: And uh, yeah. That’s my engagement with queer ontologies. 
Jaz: We don’t bring our old names back, we just bring ourselves. 
Lulav: (laughs) Yeah. So Jaz, can you take us to the close?
Jaz: Yeah. Thank you for that beautiful reading, and thanks for listening to Kosher Queers! If you like what you’ve heard, you can support us on Patreon at, which will give you bonus content and help us keep making this for you. Also, if you can’t commit to ongoing support but would still like to contribute, you can give to our Ko-fi, which is at Find out more information about our podcast, including bios for our team, and links to our social media at Also, please spread the word about Kosher Queers. Our artwork is by the talented Lior Gross. Our music is courtesy of the fabulous band Brivele, whose work you can find on Bandcamp. Go buy their album, they’re great. Our sound production this week is done by my lovely co-host, Lulav Arnow. 
Lulav: Wha- uh, sorry, I was just sniffing the pajama pants that I am wearing which were washed with your detergent, and so it smells a little bit like you, and, hi.
Jaz: By the time this episode comes out, also listeners, Lulav and I will be in the same place, though we're not as of the time of recording, and also, if we're really lucky, we'll have made some merch for you all, so probably go check that out.
Lulav: Yeah, anyway, point is, Jaz Twersky, who smells pretty nice, and Reuben Shachar Rose, who I do not know the scent of, make sure every episode is fully transcribed. You can find a link to those in the episode descriptions at, where you can also see if Jaz and Shachar roped in additional help for the episode.
Jaz: You are so gay.
Lulav: I really am.
Jaz: I’m Jaz Twersky and you can find me @WordNerdKnitter on Twitter. I recorded this audio on the traditional lands of the Lenape people. 
Lulav: I’m Lulav Arnow and you can find me @spacetrucksix on Twitter, or yell at me @palmliker! I recorded this audio on the traditional lands of the Wahpékute and Anishinaabeg.
Both: Have a lovely queer Jewish day.
[Brivele outro]
Jaz: This week's gender is: G-d.
Lulav: This week pronouns are: Voi.