This bonus episode of Judaism Unbound is presented in partnership with Theatre Dybbuk. We are proud to feature their third season’s fourth episode as a bonus episode here on Judaism Unbound’s feed. In each episode, they bring poems, plays, and other creative texts from throughout history to life, all while revealing their relationships to issues still present today. Subscribe to The Dybbukast on Apple Podcasts, or anywhere else that podcasts are found.


In this fourth of our five-episode series in partnership with the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University, we explore The Book of Tahkemoni, a collection of tales written in Hebrew in the early 13th century. Authored by Yehuda Alharizi who was born in Toledo, Spain in the middle of the 12th century, the book uses the structure of the Arabic literary form known as maqama.

Dr. Jonathan Decter, the Edmond J. Safra Professor of Sephardic Studies, discusses the history of Jews in the region of The Book‘s creation and shares about the cultural influences and experiences present in Alharizi’s work.

This episode is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Read the transcription for “The Book of Tahkemoni.”