Sharing a Spiritual Message through Podcasting

A Story of a Successful Daily Jewish Podcast: The 5-Minute Daf Yomi podcast

The 5-Minute Daf Yomi podcast with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld is a daily show that’s recently achieved 100,000 downloads.  Rabbi Herzfeld has published more than 700 straight episodes of the podcast, which provides commentary and insight into a page of the Talmud in around five minutes. These concise spiritual lessons have been popular with listeners around the world. Rabbi Herzfeld’s podcast was recently featured in a Jewish community newspaper, which shared stories of the many ways the Rabbi has spread Jewish teachings over the years and how podcasting is extending that.

Read more to learn how podcasting can be a simple and fruitful way to share a spiritual message. Interview with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld:

Why did you decide to start a podcast?

I started to do a podcast because I found that not enough people in our congregation were able to attend my daily Talmud class. I originally started it so that I could share one short spiritual teaching with our congregation on a daily basis.

Was starting a podcast easy for you?

I am technologically inept so I was very skeptical about being able to do a podcast. I thought it would take me hours of extra work and that I wouldn’t have the resources to do it. I was shocked at how easy it was for me to record a podcast using the Podbean app. Basically I just use my smartphone and speak into it and then upload it. It’s so simple.

What have you discovered since having a podcast, or what’s surprised you?

When I started I was shocked at how many people listened. The Talmud is a very esoteric text and I use a lot of technical terms but clearly there are fans of the podcast. This gratifies me because I believe the message of the Talmud is a pure spiritual message worthy to share with people.

I am always surprised when strangers tell me that they hear my podcast. One time a lawyer actually cited one of my podcasts as part of a legal proceeding. I got a kick out of it.

But my favorite times are when my children listen to it and cite it back to me.

What tools have you used to promote your podcast?

The only promoting of the podcast that I have done is that I use it as my signature in my email and I post every episode on my Facebook account. (Podbean has auto share options that make social media easy!)

What’s in the future for your podcast?

There are over 2700 pages of the Talmud and it is my goal to do a show for each of the pages. I have less than 2000 episodes to go!

When I am recording the podcast I feel that I am not only making an episode for people today but also a teaching for my children’s children and future generations.

What one thing would you tell someone thinking about starting a podcast?

To all those who think they have a compelling message to share I suggest you don’t worry about how many listeners you will have, just be true to your message!

5-Minute Daf Yomi with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld can be found on Podbean. Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue provides commentary and insight into the daily Daf (a page of Talmud studied around the world), offering spiritual lessons from the Torah and Jewish tradition.

Want to know about creating a podcast to share your message? Read more and learn about recording a podcast right from your phone with the Podbean app. You can also join the Podcasting Smarter Facebook group for tips and resources.

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