100 episodes

The Tikvah Fund is a philanthropic foundation and ideas institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. Tikvah runs and invests in a wide range of initiatives in Israel, the United States, and around the world, including educational programs, publications, and fellowships. Our animating mission and guiding spirit is to advance Jewish excellence and Jewish flourishing in the modern age. Tikvah is politically Zionist, economically free-market oriented, culturally traditional, and theologically open-minded. Yet in all issues and subjects, we welcome vigorous debate and big arguments. Our institutes, programs, and publications all reflect this spirit of bringing forward the serious alternatives for what the Jewish future should look like, and bringing Jewish thinking and leaders into conversation with Western political, moral, and economic thought.

The Tikvah Podcast The Tikvah Fund

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 470 Ratings

The Tikvah Fund is a philanthropic foundation and ideas institution committed to supporting the intellectual, religious, and political leaders of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. Tikvah runs and invests in a wide range of initiatives in Israel, the United States, and around the world, including educational programs, publications, and fellowships. Our animating mission and guiding spirit is to advance Jewish excellence and Jewish flourishing in the modern age. Tikvah is politically Zionist, economically free-market oriented, culturally traditional, and theologically open-minded. Yet in all issues and subjects, we welcome vigorous debate and big arguments. Our institutes, programs, and publications all reflect this spirit of bringing forward the serious alternatives for what the Jewish future should look like, and bringing Jewish thinking and leaders into conversation with Western political, moral, and economic thought.

    Russ Roberts on the Disappointment and the Promise of Prayer

    Russ Roberts on the Disappointment and the Promise of Prayer

    “Prayer is the language of the soul in conversation with God. It is the most intimate gesture of the religious life, and the most transformative.” Those lines are from an essay called “Understanding Jewish Prayer” by Jonathan Sacks, the late chief rabbi of the United Kingdom. “As the sea smooths the stone,” he writes, “as the repeated hammer-blows of the sculptor shape the marble, so prayer—cyclical, tracking the rhythms of time itself—gradually wears away the jagged edges of our character, turning it into a work of devotional art.” To pray, he says, is to be “brushed by the wings of eternity.”
    Descriptions such as these are inspiring, and, based on them, one might expect prayer to be a powerful emotional experience. Sometimes it can be. But often it isn’t. The structures of prayer in the traditional Jewish liturgy sometimes impede the very sentiments that prayer promises to kindle. That tension is the subject of this week’s podcast conversation between Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver and the president of Shalem College Russ Roberts. Roberts recently published a short essay titled “The Agnostic’s Guide to Jewish Prayer” in which he confesses that “The words by themselves don’t work for me.” Still, he’s prayed three times a day for more than 30 years. Why? “I prayed to have prayed.”
    Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

    • 38 min
    Joshua Berman on Traveling to Biblical Egypt

    Joshua Berman on Traveling to Biblical Egypt

    To understand the inner life of the biblical world, one must look to Egypt.
    In the Hebrew Bible, it plays a role in the psyche of the Jews as the great other, the great alternative. Thus, when the land of Israel suffers from famine, Egypt is a land of plenty. While the land of Israel is subject to the limits and vicissitudes of nature, the Egyptian regime is dedicated to conquering nature and overcoming its cycles of plenty and poverty. And where the land of Israel is full of shepherds wandering in the wilderness encountering God, Egypt, by contrast, is a teeming, tight, narrow imperial capital.
    It's in Egypt, that the children of Israel begin to assume a national identity (or, at least the Egyptians think they do). Once freed from Egyptian bondage, they are haunted by memories of Egypt. And as they build their own nation in Israel, they become the anti-Egypt—in moral sensibility, in legal and constitutional structures, in theology.
    This week, the podcast is joined by Joshua Berman, a rabbi, academic Bible scholar, and the author of several books, including, most recently, Ani Maamin, about biblical criticism, historical truth, and faith. Over the last year, Berman has been leading groups on an Exodus in reverse—on tours back to Egypt to discover that country’s biblical sites. Together with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, he talks about his journeys and reflects on how his engagement with Egypt has deepened his understanding of the formative texts of the Jewish people.
    Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

    • 21 min
    Elliott Abrams on American Jews and the New Israeli Government

    Elliott Abrams on American Jews and the New Israeli Government

    As 2023 began, Israeli opponents of the new government have been organizing protests and demonstrations. Manifest there, and in the newspapers and magazines and television programs of the center and left, is the fevered and frustrated political rhetoric that one expects to hear from politicians who’ve just lost an election and want back into the game. Rhetoric on the subject outside of Israel—expressed by a great many American Jews—is just as heated, and has led some to withdraw their support for Israel altogether.
    What's behind the Jewish hysteria? Joining the podcast this week to discuss the matter is Elliott Abrams, a veteran observer of Israel and foreign policy who is also the chairman of Tikvah. For the February edition of Commentary, Abrams has written an essay called “Jewish Hysterics and Israel’s New Government.” Guided by his essay, Abrams and Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver look at why this government has provoked such passionate emotions in the hearts of American Jews.
    Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

    • 36 min
    Carl Gershman on What the Jewish Experience Can Offer the Uighurs of China

    Carl Gershman on What the Jewish Experience Can Offer the Uighurs of China

    The Uighur people is an ethnic group historically located in central and east Asia; the bulk of its population lives western China. In recent years, the Chinese Communist Party has severely restricted Uighur religious life and has detained many Uighurs in mass re-education and work camps. On this week's podcast, inspired by a conversation he had with the Dalai Lama of Tibet, the democracy activist Carl Gershman joins us to think about whether the Jewish experience can offer anything to the Uighurs. Gershman, who founded the National Endowment for Democracy in 1984, talks with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver about the plight of the Uighurs, how Jews have improbably survived throughout the ages, and what survival strategies the Uighurs might be able to apply to their own situation today.
    Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

    • 36 min
    Our Favorite Broadcasts of 2022

    Our Favorite Broadcasts of 2022

    In 2022, we convened 46 new conversations, probing some of the most interesting and consequential subjects in modern Jewish life: the war-torn Jewish community in Ukraine, the nature of modern sexual ethics, the prospects of Israeli judicial reform, how to read the book of Esther, and the passing of one of the great Jewish critics of the 20th century. In conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, each guest brought his or her unique expertise or viewpoint to some timely issue or enduring question that stands before the Jewish people.
    In this episode, we present some of our favorite conversations from this year. Guests featured include the former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, the Chabad writer Dovid Margolin, the Washington Post columnist Christine Emba, the British intellectual Douglas Murray, the Israeli MK and legal reformer Simcha Rothman, the rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, the journalist Matti Friedman, the professor Ronna Burger, the Christian leader Robert Nicholson, Commentary editor John Podhoretz, and the returning Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

    • 57 min
    Benjamin Netanyahu on His Moments of Decision

    Benjamin Netanyahu on His Moments of Decision

    Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel’s prime minister from 1996 to 1999, and then again from 2009 to 2021. Already Israel’s longest-tenured leader, he just won another electoral victory and is expected to take office again later this week.
    Netanyahu has recently recounted his life in his new memoir Bibi: My Story. He was born not long after modern Israel was founded. In describing his military service, his diplomatic role at the United Nations, and his various ministerial posts through the years, the book shows much about the nation to which Netanyahu has dedicated himself. It also shows a political mind at work, one settling scores, investing in strategic relationships, and making arguments in the public arena to influence the direction of modern Israel.
    Last week, Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver sat down with Netanyahu for an interview. Rather than focus on his early life as depicted in the memoir, or on the current international and domestic challenges and controversies that face him as he returns to office, this interview focuses on the process of political decision-making and how Netanyahu sees it. The discussion zeroes in on three consequential choices Netanyahu made during his career: his decision to liberalize the Israeli economy as finance minister in the early 2000s; his decision to speak in front of the U.S. Congress in opposition to the Iran deal in 2015; and his decision to undertake, and then to publicize, a massive 2018 Mossad operation that resulted in the seizure of a half-ton of records, notes, and plans documenting Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.
    Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
470 Ratings

470 Ratings

Nickelprince ,

Tikvah

This show makes me think even when I disagree I come away with better information. Thank you Jonathan Silver.

wchggl ,

Worth a listen

I very much enjoyed, in particular, the Douglas Murray interview.

dennis.karpf ,

Great Interviews and Analysis

The best conservative Jewish policy and Jewish thought podcast bar none. Highly knowledgeable interviews with always informative subjects. Keep up the outstanding work.

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