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

    • Judaism
    • 4.9, 263 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.

    Chaim Saiman on the “Zoom Seder” and Its Discontents

    Chaim Saiman on the “Zoom Seder” and Its Discontents

    As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in the United States and Israel, and those nations’ governments and public institutions responded with quarantines and social-distancing guidelines, the Jewish community was placed in a unique bind. Passover—the most widely observed holiday in the Jewish world, on which families and friends traditionally gather for the seder—was just around the corner. With the world on lockdown, what would the seder look like?
    The liberal denominations of Judaism responded quickly, encouraging the use of now-ubiquitous video conferencing technology to host “Zoom seders” and providing guidance on how to do so. But the Zoom seder was not such a simple answer for the Orthodox, who generally refrain from using electronic devices and other technologies on Shabbat and holidays. In late March, a group of Israeli rabbis from the Moroccan community issued a radical ruling, permitting the limited use of Zoom on the seder night. But this ruling was met with swift backlash among the majority of the Orthodox rabbinate, which ruled Zoom seders forbidden.
    What was behind this intra-Orthodox debate? What does the opposition to Zoom seders among most Orthodox authorities tell us about the nature of Jewish law? And in standing against the Zoom seder, what were these traditionalist rabbis standing for? These are the questions Chaim Saiman seeks to answer in his Mosaic essay, “In Rejecting the Zoom Seder, What Did Orthodox Jews Affirm?” And it’s what Professor Saiman discusses with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver in this Tikvah Podcast.
    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 as well as “Ulterior” by Swan Production.

    • 48 min
    Leon Kass on Reading Exodus and the Formation of the People of Israel

    Leon Kass on Reading Exodus and the Formation of the People of Israel

    The biblical book of Exodus “not only recounts the founding of the Israelite nation, one of the world’s oldest and most consequential peoples...but also sheds light on enduring questions about nation building and peoplehood.” So writes Dr. Leon Kass in the introduction to his scintillating, profound, and meticulously close reading of Exodus, Founding God’s Nation, forthcoming from Yale University Press in January 2021. In this remarkable commentary, Kass masterfully draws out, line by line and chapter by chapter, the enduring moral, philosophical, and political significance of this most important biblical book.
    In April 2020, just ahead of Passover, Mosaic published an excerpt from Dr. Kass’s book, as “The People-Forming Passover.” The essay focuses on the events of the night before and the morning of the Israelites’ departure from Egypt—events rehearsed each year at the Passover table—and on their significance in the formation of the Jewish nation. In this week’s podcast, Kass sits down with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver to explore and elucidate his essay.
    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 as well as “Ulterior” by Swan Production.

    • 46 min
    Einat Wilf on the West’s Indulgence of Palestinian Delusions

    Einat Wilf on the West’s Indulgence of Palestinian Delusions

    The so-called “right of return” is one of the the Israeli-Palestinian conflict’s thorniest issues. During Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, as many as 700,000 Arabs fled or were driven from what had been mandatory Palestine. Since then, and unlike most of the world’s other refugee populations, the official number of Palestinian refugees has not declined, but exploded. The United Nations has decided that the refugee status of the Palestinians passes down from generation to generation, so that children born today are classified as refugees in the same way their grandparents were—an attitude that is contrary to its policy for all other displaced groups. And as a consequence, even when neighboring Arab countries make an effort to integrate Palestinians and their descendants, they are counted as refugees.
    Why did this happen? In The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace, Einat Wilf and Adi Schwartz explain that the persistence of the Palestinian refugee problem is part of the broader Palestinian war—waged not only with rockets, knives, and bullets, but also through international bodies, NGOs, and the media—against the very existence of the Jewish state. They also show how Western indulgence of this manufactured problem has harmed the effort to achieve an end to the conflict.
    This week, Jonathan Silver sits down with Einat Wilf, a former Knesset member, to discuss the roots of the refugee problem, the role it plays in the Palestinian war against Israel, and why peace will never be achieved until Palestinians abandon the dream of destroying the Jewish state.
    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 as well as “Ulterior” by Swan Production.

    • 44 min
    Matti Friedman: The End of the Israeli Left?

    Matti Friedman: The End of the Israeli Left?

    Have you ever seen the old murals that decorate the walls of Israel’s historic kibbutzim? They often feature young, brawny Jewish men and women working and plowing the land. They evoke the pioneering spirit of early Zionism: glorifying the mixing of sweat and soil, focused on what Hebrew labor could achieve through cooperation and collective action, and strikingly statist, even socialist. These murals are, in fact, a stark reminder that the Jewish state was founded in large part by Labor Zionists, and that the Israeli Left once dominated the country’s politics.

    Things have changed a great deal over the past 72 years. Israel is now a nation with a strong conservative consensus. The Labor Party of David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir—the political organization that erected the governing structures of the country—has been reduced to a mere three seats in the 23rd Knesset. And a poll conducted earlier this month shows that if elections were to be held right now, the party that dominated Israeli politics for decades would not win a single seat in the next Knesset.
    What happened? And what does Labor’s decline tell us about contemporary Israel? Earlier this week, the journalist and author Matti Friedman wrote a piece in the New York Times examining “The Last Remnants of the Israeli Left.” In this podcast, he joins host Jonathan Silver to discuss the history and precipitous decline of socialist politics in Israel.
    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 as well as “Ulterior” by Swan Production.

    • 31 min
    Yehoshua Pfeffer on Haredi Society and the COVID-19 Crisis

    Yehoshua Pfeffer on Haredi Society and the COVID-19 Crisis

    Like so many nations around the world, Israel has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, the Jewish state has over 14,000 confirmed cases of the virus, and over 180 deaths. Among those who have suffered most from the pandemic are Israel’s ultra-Orthodox. The haredi public was slow to recognize the threat of the disease—keeping its synagogues and houses of study open even as the rest of the country closed down. Many haredim initially failed to observe the “social-distancing” protocols that have helped to slow the virus’s spread, and the results are clear: confirmed coronavirus cases in the haredi neighborhoods of Jerusalem and in predominately ultra-Orthodox cities like Bnei Brak are among the highest in the country
    Though things have begun to turn around, with more leading rabbis instructing their followers to observe social distancing to curb the pandemic, the question remains: why was the haredi public initially so reluctant so join the rest of Israel in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19?
    No one has written about this with more insight, nuance, and wisdom that Tikvah’s own Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer. In an essay for Tzarich Iyun, Tikvah’s journal of haredi thought, Rabbi Pfeffer explores the principles and ideas that have been behind the haredi response to the virus and takes a hard look at the societal vulnerabilities this crisis has exposed. He joins this week’s podcast to discuss his important essay.
    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.

    • 51 min
    Menachem Wecker on Yoga and Idolatry

    Menachem Wecker on Yoga and Idolatry

    Yoga represents a $16-billion industry in the U.S., reaching an estimated 36.7 million people in 2016 alone. And the Jewish community enjoys it as much as any other. One hears of synagogue-sponsored yoga programs and yoga minyanim (quorums). Even a right-wing Orthodox educational organization like Aish HaTorah has seen fit to re-post on its website an item titled “How Orthodox Jews Taught Me Yoga.” In a stimulating Mosaic essay on the subject, Menachem Wecker asks if the very thing that gets people excited about yoga, namely that it is not just physical exercise but spiritual nourishment as well, should force us to think about how it relates to Jewish faith. How much of contemporary yoga, a product of today’s “wellness culture,” is still seriously connected to its Hindu origins? What about the statues and other visual representations of non-Jewish divinities that adorn so many yoga studios? Is yoga a form of contemporary idolatry?
    In this podcast, Jonathan Silver is joined by the author Menachem Wecker to discuss his March 2020 essay, “Shibboleths and Sun Salutations: Should Religious Jews Practice Yoga?” published in Mosaic.
    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

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
263 Ratings

263 Ratings

Sabra122 ,

So erudite and challenging

I love, love, love your podcast. It is so exciting, intellectually stimulating and informative. Your guests are phenomenal, articulate and thoughtful. I am learning so much about the vibrant life of American and world Jewry and Judaism which is mostly invisible in and to our daily lives. I had no idea about most of the thinking, dialoging, conflicts and collaborating which are taking place in the different Jewish communities. You have opened my eyes, ears, heart and mind to the many, varied threads of thoughts existing amongst us. Your interviews are so invigorating that I end up sending them to all my friends, acquaintances and family members. I want them to enjoy the podcast as much as I do. Thank you and please keep on doing what you are doing!!!!

07.05.19. Still some of the best best best interviews with some of the brightest and most interesting people. Love it.

Sometimes, when both Daliah and Gilad are both on the air together, I want to tear out my hair, or even better, to tell them to stop competing for who has a more relevant and insightful question. Especially Daliah. In almost every interview she succeeds in overshadowing at least one of Gilad’s questions by interjecting some fact, or trying to amplify the question, or redirecting the conversation, etc. It is soooooo annoying and soooooo disrespectful. Now, once she does it, I think, that Gilad’s maleness suffers a severe ego injury and then he starts to do the same to Daliah’s questions. And off they are on a power struggle and the listener becomes the collateral damage. Of course, then the interviewee becomes off balance, like a child between two fighting parents, and the interview suffers. All I can say is:”Stop It!” Behave like adults. You are both smart, informed and articulate. There is no need to show off. We love you both. Individually each of you are fabulous interviewers. Together.....well, not so much!

BaruchAdam ,

My favorite podcast!

Riveting, intelligent and challenging material.

Sabich18 ,

Fascinating

As a new listener, I’m amazed at how much I
learn and how engaged I feel with each episode. Just listened to the Richard Goldberg interview with Talia Katz. Absolutely fascinating.

Top Podcasts In Judaism

Listeners Also Subscribed To