Episodes

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The Creative Soul of the Sad Zionist

In “Zionism and Melancholy, The Short Life of Israel Zarchi,” Nitzan Lebovic inhabits the mind and soul of a lesser-known early Zionist poet. The result is a literary, academic, psychoanalytic - and slightly melancholy - journey through a political movement, via the short life of a poet.

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The “Smile for the Camera!” Edition

We discuss 1) why some Israelis think cameras in polling places will destroy democracy, while others think it will save it 2) who doesn’t vote, and why 3) the angry claim by ultra-Orthodox feminists that progressive do-gooders fighting for the rights of Haredi women are messing up their game

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“My Essay on Stereotypes”

Israeli elections are just one day shy of a week away, and now might be a good opportunity to examine the use of stereotypes to shut down important conversations that we might have, as we elect the people who will represent us.

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You’re So Wrong!

What Hebrew words and phrases can we use to disagree with someone? Which can be written in a reply online but not said to someone face to face? And which can be said but not written, and what intonation will give that extra oomph?

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Not Just Another Cuppa Joe

In “A Rich Brew: How Cafés Created Modern Jewish Culture,” Shachar Pinsker shows how coffee houses then and now, there and here, helped give rise to modernity itself.

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The “Who the Hell Would Vote for Them, Too?!?” Edition

A weeks and a bit before elections, Don Futterman, Noah Efron and Haaretz uber-reporter Judy Maltz, in an act of political empathy and imagination, ask for each of the parties to the Left of the Likud, why might someone vote for them.

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This Week’s Israeli Soundtrack

On today's episode, we play the latest Israeli music releases from Noa Kirel, Ivri Lider, Kobi Peretz, and many more!

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Etgar Keret’s “Fly Already”

Yesterday something wonderful happened—Etgar Keret’s newest short story collection, “Fly Already,” appeared in the world. This collection contains all the charm, the absurdities, the intelligence and surreal sense of Keret’s previous collections, but this time, most of the stories are somewhat longer.

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No Thanks!

Sometimes people offer us things that we simply don’t want. Telemarketing? No thanks. A leaflet about a new yoga studio around the corner? No thank you. What about an offering of a slice of cheesecake baked by your friend when you're on a diet? How do we decline an offer (politely or impolitely) in Hebrew?

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Everything You Wanted to Know About the Israeli Economy but Were Afraid to Ask

Joseph Zeira, Professor of Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, discusses his new book “The Israeli Economy,” an introduction to all matters Israeli and economic.

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The “Who the Hell Would Vote for Them?!?” Edition

Two weeks and a bit before elections, in an act of political empathy and imagination, we try to figure who votes for each of Israel’s right-wing parties, and why. (Next week, we do the same thing for the parties on the left.)

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Buses and Shoes

“He didn't call himself a writer, but rather a craftsman,” Haim Be'er says about Yossel Birstein. Today Marcela reads a story containing Birstein’s two great loves: Buses and Shoes.

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The Role of Social History and Anthropology in Telling the Story of Jerusalem

What does it mean to live in the divided and unified city of Jerusalem? What are the different memories and narratives that inhabit its streets?

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The “Is Netanyahu Over?” Edition

We discuss 1) whether or not Netanyahu has lost his edge, his grip, his inevitability and his invincibility 2) a new group aiming to politically empower English-speaking Israelis 3) what to make of the Israeli HBO series about the 2014 murders of Jewish kids by Palestinians and a Muslim kid by Jews

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This Week’s Israeli Soundtrack

We bring you the latest Israeli music releases from Stephane Legar, Kobi Peretz, Omer Adam, and many more!

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A Fairy Tale by Leah Goldberg

On this week's episode, Marcela excerpts from a fairy tale written by Leah Goldberg. She was a prolific Hebrew-language poet, author, playwright, literary translator, and comparative literary researcher. Her writings are considered classics of Israeli literature.

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Six Is a Beautiful Number

This week we celebrate our podcast’s sixth anniversary. Can you believe it? Six years, שש שנים. It's a good excuse to talk about שש, six, and its family of Hebrew words.

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Vocational Training: The Past – and Future – of Israel’s Economy

Dr Eitan Regev, economist and Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute, analyzes the downsides of Israel's excessive reliance on academic higher education which has hurt its economic prospects and social integration, and offers policy recommendations to rectify that situation.

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Introducing the Tel Aviv Review of Books

The Tel Aviv Review of Books is a new online English-language publication that seeks, by way of book reviews, essays, literary criticism, original fiction and poetry, to give the international reader a glimpse into the Israeli world of letters. Gilad Halpern is joined by his co-editors to discuss the whys and wherefores of a new magazine.

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The “Panthers and Cubs” Edition

We discuss 1) the addition of an activist to the Labor Party list who once called it a party of racist oppression 2) a revisionist history of the settler movement arguing that it was not about religious ideology but rather economy and class 3) whether it's right or not to harangue Avner Netanyahu about the purported “sins” of his father

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The Writings of Naji Daher

Naji Daher, a writer, poet, and playwright, was born in Nazareth and lives there. He has published more than fifty books, including six novels. Daher's works have been translated into Hebrew, English and other languages, and he is the winner of the 2000 Prime Minister Prize.

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Don’t Scare Me Like That!

How would we say, “you really scared me,” in Hebrew? How about a horror film? A coward? This week, Guy doesn't share his deepest fears but rather explains the Hebrew root פחד and its many words and phrases.

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Creating Killers

One of the most controversial questions about the Holocaust is whether it should be seen as a universal human problem, or a unique horror perpetrated by Germans. At the heart of this question lies the work of Christopher Browning, author of numerous books on the history of the Holocaust.

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“The Elephant has Left the Building” Edition

We discuss 1) why the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not a campaign issue in our incipient elections 2) an ad campaign showing PM Netanyahu with autocratish world leaders 3) the revolutionary advance of municipal bus service on the Sabbath

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This Week’s Israeli Soundtrack

We bring you the latest Israeli music releases, including the new Moshe Peretz album and Snoop Dogg on a Hebrew track!

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