Gary Shapiro

Gary Shapiro

Comedian. Singer Song Writer. Rabbi. Gary Shapiro is all these things and more. On today’s episode Gary talks with David about everything from Charlie Hebdo to Moses. Plus, we remember actor/comedian Taylor Negron with this classic segment from the show.


  1. Thank you for the Taylor Negron clip, my condolences to you and your colleagues who were friends of Taylor.

    I loved this episode, I think Gary Shapiro is hilarious and I learned a ton from him in this edition. I do have to say that from what I’ve read and from what contemporary research indicates, is that the Exodus story as history bunk and that the Jews (as a whole or in any representative number) were never enslaved en masse in Egypt. It’s funny that Gary mentioned Jewish record-keeping – well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the ancient Egyptians were pretty darn good record keepers as well and there is no evidence that the Jews were enslaved in Egypt for ~450 years across multiple dynasties.

    Yes, subsequent dynasties would sometimes try to alter the records of previous dynasties but never as far back as what we’re talking about here. Would the revolutionary act of the Jews leaving Egypt be embarrassingly unmentionable/unrecordable by the Egyptians, that is debatable, but what is not debatable is that the Egyptians loved to record when they had conquered and enslaved others and there is no mention of them doing that to the Jews. Did they have to pay tribute to Egypt? Maybe/probably, but that’s a different thing than cruel enslavement.

    There are a couple great items here that talk about the archaeology as well as the reasons why this story would be passed down over generations:

    I know there are other online resources that try to prove enslavement, but for all the references of plagues and the (common Egyptian) name of “Moses” – there’s nothing that even remotely proves the systematic enslavement and departure of 2+ million people.

    I think the story a great and useful metaphor in the same way that useful metaphors and stories were appropriated by Christians and other sects, and a very good teaching tool for professors like Gary Shapiro.

    Thanks again, I look forward to hearing more from Gary on your show.

  2. Regarding the Charlie Hebdo issue: First of all, I disagree with the position that France has 5 million disenfranchised and disgruntled Moslems, I don’t think that’s a factual presentation. France’s Moslems have been said to be the “most assimilated” Moslem population in Europe, which may not be saying much, but that “fact” seems to be a long way from saying the entire population is unhappy with their treatment and mobility in the country.

    Charlie Hebdo’s circulation is a weekly with about 60,000 (pre attack), in a country of 66 million that has at least 10 dailies with circulations of 200k or more which makes it seem like a very small fish to take too much notice of – regardless of what they were printing. Look at the monthly, Vice Magazine, which has a circulation of 1.2 million, and that has had plenty of controversial pieces over the years.

    When I go visit a country, much less if I decided to go move to one, I really try to find out the local customs and adjust my behavior accordingly. The (seemingly) secular social order of France was established long before the explosion of Moslem immigration there and its this secular society that not only protects freedom of speech, but allowed for a Moslem integration in the first place. While it might be impolite to parody, satirize, or otherwise make fun of a religion, it is not against the law in that secular country.

    A secular society should not require a guidebook to navigate through the obscure, conflicting, and arbitrary tenets of the multitude of religions whose freedom to practice is protected by that secular society. Via Saudi Arabia, there is now a fatwah against making a snow man, great, now extremists can justify the killing of children making snowmen in another country because they weren’t being sensitive to the religion of Islam.

    Why are we attempting to find a justification for why extremist nut jobs targeted people who made lines of ink on paper? There isn’t one. Why aren’t we spending the time finding a justification for why Islamic extremists slaughtered 2,000+ people a few days ago in Nigeria? Oh, yeah, there isn’t one.


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