Episodes

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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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Nurit Zarchi’s “The Plague”

The story is set during the time of the 14th century great plague in Jerusalem, which killed a quarter of the city’s population. In this story, the monks who lived on the mountain, at a distance of an hour and a half outside of the city, would take turns, by drawing lots, to go into the city to help.

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Come On, Don’t Be Irritating

In order to say “that's irritating” or “I'm irritated” in Hebrew, we first need to learn the root ע.צ.ב, which gives us the word עצבים (nerves). There's a lot of slang in this episode, so buckle up!

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Islam, on the Verge of Reformation

Mustafa Akyol believes that it is high time for Islam to undergo liberalizing reforms and he knows just the person to do it: Mustafa Akyol. In two books along with regular New York Times columns, Akyol articulates an emerging school of liberal Islamic thought and practice.

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The “Keeva & Us” Edition

We discuss 1) the strange glue that binds former Soviets and God-fearing ultra-Orthodox Jews in Netanyahu's government 2) the new credit-rating system that reveals who’s a deadbeat who doesn’t pay back loans 3) the hoopla over the return of the TV series Shtisel

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Your 2019 Eurovision Soundtrack

Today we celebrate the Eurovision song contest which is taking place in Tel Aviv this week. Join us as we journey down several decades of Israel’s greatest Eurovision musical successes.

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Aharon Appelfeld’s “The Age of Wonders”

Appelfeld's novel is told in two parts. Part one chronicles the dissolution of an assimilated Austrian family and the anti-semitism leading up to the war. Part two picks up “many years later, when everything was over,” and where the narrator has somehow escaped to Palestine.

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Hung Out to Dry

The Hebrew root ת.ל.ה gives us the words לתלות (to hang), תלה (hung), and תלוי (hangs). So why does זה תלוי mean “it depends”? On this episode, Guy won't leave you hanging as he explains all things ת.ל.ה.

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Liberalism Is Dead. Long Live Liberalism

Mark Lilla, Professor of Humanities at Columbia University, discusses his book, “The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics,” offering insights into the past failures of progressive politics and how the liberal left can reinvent itself.

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The Good Fight

This episode features true stories from Israel on the theme “The Good Fight,” as told by Daphni Leef, Amit Ashkenazy, Anna Levine, Milton Roller, Nancy Cahners, Harry Rubenstein, Elana Dorfman, Don Futterman, and Philip Nurick.

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The “Songs of Innocence and Experience” Edition

We discuss 1) the all-time high turnover among Knesset Members 2) the brouhaha over the decision to limit how much mayors can pay pop stars to perform for Independence Day celebrations 3) the International Bible Contest, the weird centerpiece of Independence Day celebrations for the past 61 years

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Yom Hazikaron: The Gate of the Valley

In 1948 the poet Haim Gouri fought as a deputy company commander in the Palmach Negev Brigade and wrote a poem commemorating the fighters who accompanied the convoys and fell at Bab el Wad. We read from it and hear it sung on today's episode.

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Anyone Seen the Remote?

Shlita (שליטה) means control. So why do people graffiti שולט or שולטת on walls? And how do we say, “where's the remote?” in Hebrew? Guy takes control of the situation and explains.

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Who Lost Russia?

Who lost Russia? In “The Future is History,” acclaimed author Masha Gessen dove into the heart of the Soviet Union and came up with the root causes of Russia's trajectory in the decades after communism.

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The “Simulacrum and Dissimulation” Edition

We discuss 1) an Instagram Story reconstructing what it would have been like if a girl in the Holocaust had Instagram 2) a commercial for a big-box discount supermarket that presents Ashkenazi “wholesalers” as heartless oppressors of Mizrahim 3) the strange list of honorees chosen to light torches at the official Independence day ceremony

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Your Israeli National Holidays Soundtrack

We attempt the remarkable feat of marking all of Israel’s national holidays (which take place within a week of each other) in one music show.

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Drink Up

Shtiya means drinking, but it could also mean beverages. In the last Israeli elections, political pundits spoke about shtiyat kolot, ‘votes drinking.’ What does it mean, and how did this saying make the jump from army slang to civilian slang?

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Foot Nationalism: Hiking and Nation-Building in Israel

Dr Shay Rabineau, Assistant Professor of Israel Studies at Binghamton University, discusses his forthcoming book “Marking and Mapping the Nation: A history of Israel's hiking trail network,” analyzing Israel's unique culture of yediat ha'aretz, educational outdoor activities.

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The “What, We Worry?” Edition

We discuss 1) whether it's time for the Jewish left and the Arab left to join together 2) the brouhaha in the AIS about a new journal issue that some consider unscholarly and too pro-Israel 3) a recent poll that found Israelis to be less concerned about climate change and other global threats than anyone else in the world

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The Song of Songs

This week we continue exploring Robert Alter’s translation of the Bible and sacred poetry by looking at the “Song of Songs,” which is traditionally read on the Shabbat of the intermediate days of Passover before the morning Torah reading, or on the morning of the seventh day.

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Outsiders United: Blacks, Jews and the American Experience

Dr Jonathan Karp, Associate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at Binghamton University, discusses the crossover between Jewish-American and African-American cultural, economic and intellectual histories.

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“The Young and the Feckless” Edition

We discuss 1) why Israeli young people are more right wing than their elders 2) Peter Beinart’s conclusion that the lesson of the last election is that the time has come to make Israelis suffer for our sins 3) what Exodus story we plan to tell our kids this Passover

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Your Israeli Soundtrack for Pesach 2019

This special holiday episode of Kol Cambridge features Pesach themed songs, together with brand new music releases. This week, new tunes from Eyal Golan, Lior Narkis, Stephane Legar, and more!

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Robert Alter’s Bible: Like Two Worlds at Once

Robert Alter’s historic one-man translation of the entire Hebrew Bible is like two worlds at once, the heavens and the earth, with the translation above and the commentary below. One can spend a lifetime in either of these worlds.

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Setting a Good Example

In Hebrew dugma (דוגמה) is “an example,” and ledugma (לדוגמה) means “for example.” This root, d-g-m, is quite handy and from it we derive words and phrases like fashion model, sample, and the perfect husband.

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