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For Heaven's Sake
39 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
#34: Is “Shrinking” the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict the Right Strategy?
Proposed by Hartman senior fellow Micah Goodman, the idea of “shrinking the conflict” is a new strategy for moving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict forward. What does it mean and what does it entail? Is it a step forward or a step backwards? In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain discuss the moral benefits and the moral pitfalls of this new strategy, and whether it is a permanent solution or a temporary one.
45 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
#33: Is Funding the Iron Dome Really An Israeli Victory?
Last week, Congress voted overwhelmingly to approve a billion-dollar restock of Israel’s Iron Dome missile system. Is this dependency on American aid healthy for Israel? If not, is there an alternative? Is this the type of relationship Israel and American Jews want with one another? In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain explore these questions and the costs of such relationships.
37 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Yom Kippur, 9/11, and the Mistakes of the Past
As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 during the Days of Awe, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain take stock of how American and Israeli reality has been shaped by the tragedy and the wars that followed. Yom Kippur is a summons to examine our mistakes and begin anew. What were the missteps after 9/11 that all of us, regardless of our politics, need to examine together?
29 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
#31: Can Nations Repent?
As we head into Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, our minds turn to thoughts of atonement and self-improvement, but usually only with regard to ourselves, our families, and our friends. In this episode, Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi discuss what it might mean for a nation to repent and how it might consider its internal divisions and past behavior.
43 minutes | Aug 4, 2021
#30: Are Jews Abandoning Their Own Story?
Disagreement is a cornerstone of the Jewish experience. But across the political spectrum, Jewish discourse around Israel has moved beyond the realm of disagreement into something much more toxic. In the second half of this two-part episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain share their hopes and fears for the future of Jewish peoplehood as they continue to confront the urgent challenge of a moral, nuanced, and diverse Israel conversation, within and between Israel and North America.
46 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
#28: Land of Contradictions: Navigating the Arab-Israeli/Jewish-Israeli Divide
What are we to make of Israel, a country that one moment finds itself caught in a war with Hamas and then just a week later forms a governing coalition with an Arab Islamist party? And what are we to make of Israel's law against Palestinian family reunification within the state of Israel—is this an act of discrimination, or a necessary self-protection against the Palestinian demand of a "right of return?" In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss what it means to live in a country that contains these contradictions and the ways in which religion can help heal the wounds between Muslims and Jews.
35 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
#27: The Prime Minister’s Kippah
Almost overlooked in the dramatic political changes of the last two weeks is an historic moment in Israeli history: Naftali Bennett is the first Orthodox prime minister of Israel. Not everyone in the religious Zionist community is thrilled. Some accuse Bennett of betraying religious Zionism through his preference for political pluralism over an exclusively right-wing coalition. In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain explore how Bennett's so-called betrayal opens up tantalizing questions about the direction of religious Zionism and for Israeli Jewish society as a whole.
37 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
#26: And Now... A Time of Hope
Unexpectedly, after one of the most traumatic periods in recent Israeli history, many Israelis are feeling hopeful. But beyond replacing a longstanding prime minister, what, exactly, can this strange and unwieldy "government of change" really change? In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss whether and how the new coalition can begin healing Israel's political and religious divisions, and they share their hopes for a new era of dialogue within Israel and between Israeli and Diaspora Jews.
44 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
#25: The Return of American Jewish Vulnerability
Of all the concerns about the Jewish future, many of us took at least one aspect of Jewish life for granted: the safety and well-being of American Jewry. But now antisemitism is back at the center of the American Jewish agenda. The recent conflict in Gaza has been the pretext for physical assaults against Jews in New York and Los Angeles and elsewhere around the country. Synagogues have been vandalized. Some American Jews are afraid to display Jewish symbols publicly.In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss a responsible Jewish approach toward contending with vulnerability and power.
45 minutes | May 20, 2021
#24: Special Episode: This War is Different
This is not Israel’s first war with Gaza, but this time it feels different. World opinion and American opinion have been more vocal in its criticism of Israel and support for Palestinians, and many Americans, especially on the left, have lost patience with Israel. In today’s special episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain talk about where we go from here, and whether it’s possible for Israel to be a moral voice while it continues to fight asymmetrical wars.
41 minutes | May 13, 2021
#23: Special Episode: Welcome to the Israeli Rollercoaster
Gaza, going for another round. Riots by Arab Israelis, the burning of synagogues, Jewish and Arab lynch mobs roaming the streets, and the seeming end of hope for a new era of coexistence between Israel's citizens. How did we get here? Where do we go next? In this special episode of the podcast, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain check in with each other and talk about how one can respond to a moment like this.
42 minutes | Apr 28, 2021
#22: We Can Have a Better Jewish Conversation About Iran
The debate around the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was one of the most acrimonious in recent American Jewish history. Since then, much has changed in both America and the Middle East. The Trump administration suspended the deal and reinstituted massive sanctions against Iran; now, the Biden administration seems intent on returning to the deal. In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss how the Jewish community can reopen the debate with greater civility and mutual respect, and explore what Jewish tradition teaches us about navigating our most intractable disagreements.
32 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
#21: Yom Hazikaron, Yom Ha'atzmaut, and the Space in Between
What is the connection between Yom Hashoah, Yom Hazikaron, and Yom Ha'atzmaut? Why do we mark these Israeli holidays in this order, and what does it feel like to move between them? In this very personal episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss their own experiences of Israel’s “high holidays” and the annual national experience of moving, in the space of a few hours, from a day of mourning to a night of celebration.
30 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
#20: Post-Election Update: Center vs. Right
As the dust settles from Israel's fourth election in two years, the direction of the country's political movements has evolved and changed in ways worthy of reflection and evaluation. In the first part of this special, two-part election series, Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi define and discuss Israel's political center and its right wing as two 'tribes' shaping the national discourse.
38 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
#19: Is Israel's Orthodox Monopoly Ending?
The decision by Israel’s Supreme Court recognizing Reform and Conservative conversions performed in Israel has reignited attention around issues of state and religion, especially in the eve of what has become a bi-annual national election. In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain analyze this landmark decision - discussed in the Supreme court for over a decade - which recognizes that perpetuating Orthodox authority over issues of personal status violates Israel's legal commitment to human freedom and dignity for all of its citizens, regardless of nationality, religion, ethnic, or sexual identities.
30 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
#18: Can a Joke Be Dangerous?
When does a joke stop being funny and become offensive and even dangerous? Many in the Jewish community are asking this question after Saturday Night Live comedian Michael Che chided Israel's claim to 50% vaccination success saying, “I’m going to guess it’s the Jewish half.” In this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain discuss whether Jews are being overly sensitive, or whether we need to recognize that with attention will come criticism, and possibly jokes.
29 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
#17: Israeli Society and the Haredim: A Turning Point?
Anger is growing among Israelis across the political spectrum over Haredi or ultra-Orthodox behavior in response to Corona, with massive disobedience to government health regulations despite soaring Haredi infection rates. But why has Haredi society failed so badly to meet the Corona challenge? What are the conflicting values at the heart of the Haredi dilemma? And what does it mean for the coming elections and, more profoundly, for the future of Israel? In the latest episode of “For Heaven’s Sake,” Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain unpack one of the most vexing challenges facing Israel.
30 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
#16: Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs: A New Contract?
The complex relations between Arab Israelis and Jewish Israelis are at a turning point. A convergence of events – Corona, the Abraham Accords and Israeli political gridlock – has created an unprecedented opportunity for opening the Israeli mainstream to 20 percent of Israeli citizens on the periphery. Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain explore the possibility of a new social compact between Israeli Jews and Arabs and what that means for Israel's future.
28 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
#15: The Two Israels
Israel is on track to become one of the first immunized countries, and its public health system is among the best in the world. It has also entered its third lockdown amidst skyrocketing Covid rates. Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain explore how the pandemic is bringing out the best and worst of Israel and discuss the cultural shifts required to establish a sustainable social contract.
32 minutes | Dec 30, 2020
#14: The Return of the Crisis Narrative
For millennia, the threat of antisemitic persecution has made an acute sense of vulnerability one of the defining features of the Jewish experience. More recently, the stability and belonging--the "at homeness"--that the American Jewish community enjoys has largely supplanted this crisis narrative. Today, rising antisemitism in the United States has North American Jews increasingly defining their existence through a lens of crisis. Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain discuss the impetus and ramifications of this perceptual shift on Jewish identity and Zionism in North America.
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