Thoughtful debate elevates us all. In For Heaven’s Sake, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain revive the Jewish art of constructive discussion on topics related to political and social trends in Israel, Israel-Diaspora relations, and the collective consciousness of being Jewish.
What are Israelis Saying with Their Votes?
Israeli voters have been stalwart in their political party loyalties and no amount of campaigning seems able to sway them. When voters define themselves by their party, what values are they actually expressing? Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain ask what are the meaningful divisions that we can discern within the parties themselves and is the political divide an expression of ideological, tribal, or cultural divides?
#57: "Jewish Calendar = Israeli Calendar?"
What can public and private observances of Rosh Hashana teach us about the relationship between Jewishness and Israeliness today? Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain explore how the High Holidays are experienced in Israel, what this tells us about the state of Judaism and Jewish identity in the country, and how Israeli observance is different from that of American Jews.
#56: Kahane, Ben-Gvir, and the Religious Right
With Israeli elections less than two months away, polls are showing that the Religious Zionist party, a coalition of religious ultra-nationalists and followers of the late, racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, could win as many as 13 seats, making it an indomitable political force. After a summer hiatus, For Heaven's Sake is back with Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain to ask about the causes of this unprecedented rise in religious fanaticism in Israel?
#55 Why Isn’t Tisha B’Av Working?
The ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av (Tisha B'Av) commemorates the destruction of the two Temples and the exile from the land of Israel. It is a day of national reckoning with our collective sins and failures asking us to mourn as a means of preventing future tragedy. How realistic is that expectation? And if Tisha B’Av isn’t working, how do we encourage a culture of collective introspection in our increasingly polarized society? Join Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi as they explore whether national sovereignty is a condition for collective penitence and spiritual renewal.
#54: The Antisemitism We Tolerate
When Haredi men recently attacked American Jews celebrating a Bar Mitzvah at the egalitarian section of the Western Wall, there was little outrage in Israel. When Jews are attacked anywhere in the world, we respond. Why does Israeli society tolerate this kind of antisemitism? Listen to Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain's live recording from Jerusalem as they discuss the roots of Haredi aggression against fellow Jews and the seeming indifference of the Israeli mainstream.
#53: The Role of Truth in Israeli Politics
This week, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett dissolved the one-year-old government that he formed (in his words) “l’shem shamayim,” for the sake of heaven, to affirm the unity of the people of Israel. Bennett’s opponents on the right have insisted that they, too, were acting for the sake of Heaven by affirming their deeply held truths. Join Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain in an episode recorded live from Jerusalem as they discuss the balance between truth and love of the Jewish people and ask: when is one required to affirm his or her truth and when is compromise necessary?