Israel in Translation

Petty Business: A Tale of Two Families in 1980s Israel

“Petty Business” is a tale of two families, related by marriage, who are shop owners in 1980s Israel. Rarely are middle-aged, petit bourgeois families the protagonists of Israeli literature, but Yirmi Pinkus, who is also a graphic artist known for his humor, delivers a strangely compelling story.

The Meaning of Home: Poems by Sheikha Helawy

Today we feature poetry by Sheikha Helawy, a Bedouin woman born in the unmarked Bedouin village of El-Roi, on the outskirts of the city of Haifa, and who today lives in Jaffa. Her poems were originally written in Arabic and in Hebrew.

The Peculiar Case of the Cursed Sabakh Diamond

Moshe Sakal’s novel, The Diamond Setter, is part mystery, part family history, and part myth. The plot centers around a lost blue diamond called Sabakh. The novel’s main storyteller, Tom, becomes romantically involved with a young man from Damascus who may or may not be connected to the cursed diamond.

If You Awaken Love: A Novel by Emuna Elon

This past Saturday night, we celebrated the holiday of Shavuot. And in honor of the festival, we read from Emuna Elon’s novel, “If You Awaken Love”.

If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir by Ilana Kurshan

Originally written in English, the memoir translates the study of the Talmud’s “Daf Yomi” into a life story. The Talmud is the main book of rabbinic teachings and is the basis for all codes of Jewish law. The memoir begins in the wake of a painful divorce, when Ilana decides to begin this 7 ½ year long study, one page at a time.

The Words of Aouni Sbeit from David Grossman’s “Sleeping on a Wire”

In this episode we read from David Grossman’s “Sleeping on a Wire: Conversations with Palestinians in Israel”, translated by Haim Watzman. The narrative that Grossman records are the words of Aouni Sbeit.

Past Euphoria, Towards Wisdom: Amos Oz’s “The Meaning of Homeland”

Tonight marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Moving past all the euphoria and towards attempts at wisdom, this episode will feature excerpts from the essay “The Meaning of Homeland” by Amos Oz.

Poems of Holocaust Remembrance

In honor of Yom HaShoah, we read the poetry of Paul Celan, born to a Jewish family in Czernowitcz in 1920. The death of his parents in the Holocaust, and his imprisonment in a Romanian work camp are the defining forces in his poetry and use of language.

Bereavement: Jacqueline Shohet Kahanoff and “To Die a Modern Death”

This week, excerpts from “To Die a Modern Death,” an important essay for those caring for aging family members, especially during the holidays.

The Day Before Passover: S.Y. Agnon’s “The Home”

In honor of Passover, this week’s episode features an excerpt from S.Y. Agnon’s story, “The Home.” Agnon is the only Hebrew-language writer to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature.