Episodes

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Shalom Stranger

How do we greet a stranger in the elevator, in Hebrew? How about a neighbor from our building? Could we perhaps just look down and not say anything at all? Guy presents a concise guide to Israeli elevator etiquette 101.

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Can Constitutions Save Us?

All societies are divided, and constitutions are supposed to set the rules for a peaceful life. In her book co-authored with Asli Bali, “Constitution Writing, Religion and Democracy,” Hanna Lerner explains that Israel isn't the only country with a thorny constitutional complex.

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The Name Is Arendt. Hannah Arendt

Ken Krimstein, an illustrator and graphic novelist, discusses his new book “The Three Escapes of Hannah Arendt: A Tyranny of Truth.”

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The “Pleas Don’t Please” Edition

We discuss 1) the announcement by Avigdor Lieberman that he'll force Likud and Blue & White to form a centrist, secular govt. 2) the plea bargain that put an end to Sara Netanyahu’s 4 year long trial for ordering expensive take-out food in contravention of govt. rules 3) on its 100th anniversary, what role does Ha’aretz play in Israeli politics and public life

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“The Life:” The Biography of Flavius Josephus

We continue what we began in last week's episode, discussing the historian Flavius Josephus, focusing on his biography, “The Life.”

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Hold on Tight and Don’t Let Go

Letting go of someone or something can be a difficult thing to do. How do we let it all go, in Hebrew? Guy explains.

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Getting Better All the Time?

Michael A. Cohen and Micah Zenko have a radical proposal: The world is getting better, not worse. Their book “Clear and Present Safety” looks beyond sensational and short-term political trends and finds that all global indicators have improved - as a result, Americans need not live in perpetual fear.

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The “Labor Savers?” Edition

We discuss 1) who should replace Labor Party head Avi Gabbay 2) new tricked-out hi-tech checkpoints that dramatically reduce the time it takes for Palestinians to enter Israel to work 3) newly appointed Likud Minister of Justice, Amir Ohana, the first out minister in Israel’s history, who was jeered and hounded from the Jerusalem Pride Parade

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Your Israeli Soundtrack for Pride Week

Kol Cambridge is joining the annual TLV pride celebrations with our soundtrack dedicated to the best pride songs over the years and celebrating Israel’s LGBT artists.

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Josephus’s “Jewish Antiquities”

To mark the completion of the Shavuot holiday, this week Marcela reads from Josephus’s account of the giving of the Torah, in his volume “Jewish Antiquities.”

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The City That Never Stops

Guy noticed that even his most advanced students have problems with the Hebrew words for city, town, and municipality, so he decided to dedicate this episode to these words, once and for all.

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Cause or Effect? The Media’s Role in Democratic Decline

Having experienced virtually the most devastating crisis in its history, what can the media do to safeguard democracy, in an increasingly hostile environment? Susan Glasser, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, analyzes the challenges of the American media in the age of Trump.

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The “Money, God and Country” Edition

We discuss 1) the complaint that our do-over elections are costing us a ton of money 2) what accounts for the rise of Milton Friedman style capital-C Conservatism 3) whether or not non-Orthodox Judaism has something to offer Israeli politics

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Blame It on the Boogie

This episode features true stories from Israel on the theme “Blame It on the Boogie,” as told by Miriam Herschlag, Alon Tal, Avigail Morris, Milton Roller, Elana Dorfman, Eli Rockowitz, Bill Slott.

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The Poetry of Arab Israeli Women

Arab Israeli women are one of the most underrepresented groups of writers in Israel and the world. It’s very difficult to find such work that's been translated into English. And so today, we spotlight the poetry of three such women.

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Zero Is the New Hero

Reflecting on the recent decision in Israel to go to elections again only months after the last, US President Trump said that Israeli politics are messed up and that the country needs to “get its act together.” So on today's episode Guy talks about the verb להתאפס (to get one’s act together).

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The Way We Were: Biography of the 1948 Generation

Prof. Hanna Yablonka, a historian at Ben-Gurion University, discusses her book “Children By The Book: Biography of a Generation,” painting a collective portrait of a unique generation of Israelis who were born together with the state.

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A History of the Jews in 23 Million Objects

Stephanie Halpern and Leo Greenbaum of the YIVO archives take us on a stroll through decades of Jewish history via historical documents and paraphernalia that have made the institute the primary guardian of Jewish macro and micro history.

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The “Over Again” Edition

We discuss 1) what the hell happened that set us on the path to new elections (again!) 2) whether the huge demonstration this week set the Center-Left on a new path 3) what we ought to make of the counter-protest that set Jerusalem ultra-Orthodox Jews scurrying, eyes covered, as women took off their tops

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Your Israeli Soundtrack for Shavuot

Brand new tracks from Noa Kirel, Dudu Aharon, Moshe Peretz, Lior Narkis, Omer Adam and a peek at the new Eyal Golan album. With Shavuot approaching we’ve also found time for traditional songs to get you in the mood for the holiday.

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Celebrating Eid Al Fitr Through Poetry

The fast of Ramadan ends soon. In Israel, lights are strung up all over the cities of Jerusalem, Haifa, Akko, Jaffa, and many smaller towns and villages. It is a season of heightened charity and prayer. To celebrate the upcoming holiday, we read from the poetry of Sumaiya El-Sousy.

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You Can’t Fire Me! I Quit!

There is a small yet significant difference between the Hebrew words פוטרתי and התפטרתי which share the common root פ.ט.ר. The former means “I was fired” and the latter means “I quit.”

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Can Anyone Own Kafka?

Israel claims it owns his papers, but so does a German archive and an old lady on Spinoza Street in Tel Aviv. Nothing is more Kafka-esque than the story of his papers, chronicled in Benjamin Balint's “Kafka’s Last Trial: The Case of a Literary Legacy”.

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Tel Aviv Review Live in New York: Michael Walzer on the Problem of the Left

Michael Walzer, political philosopher of international renown and Professor Emeritus of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, joins the Tel Aviv Review on the premises of YIVO for a discussion on his latest book, “A Foreign Policy for the Left.”

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The “Heroes & Beeros” Edition

We discuss 1) what to expect from once-and-future Likud leader, Gideon Sa’ar 2) an ultra-Orthodox boycott of a glass factory that keeps its furnaces glowing on Shabbat 3) the Zionist love affair with Bar Kokhba, who led a 2nd century revolt against the Romans that ended in disaster, and whether it's time to find new heroes

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