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 • 442 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.

    Podcast: Jeffrey Woolf on the Political and Religious Significance of the Temple Mount

    Podcast: Jeffrey Woolf on the Political and Religious Significance of the Temple Mount

    The Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem is the holiest physical site in all of Judaism. Religiously observant Jews ask God to restore the Temple and its services each and every day in the traditional liturgy. For thousands of years, Jews had no access to the site on which that Temple stood, until 1967, when Israeli forces reunited Jerusalem. Since then, Israel has by special arrangement ceded some forms of control of the Temple Mount to religious Muslim stewards supported by the government of Jordan. Under this arrangement, Jews may go up to the site—and many more have been doing so in recent years—but they are not allowed to pray there.
    Why does Israel allow Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, but not Jews? Why are more and more Jews venturing there? On this week’s podcast, the rabbi and professor Jeffrey Woolf surveys the history of the Temple Mount, and explains why, despite its roots in the very distant Jewish past, the site remains a fixture in the religious imagination of the Jewish people. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, Woolf also explores some of the political dilemmas the site represents, both in domestic Israeli politics and in the Jewish state’s relations with its Muslim neighbors.
    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
    Zohar Atkins on the Contested Idea of Equality

    Zohar Atkins on the Contested Idea of Equality

    The idea of equality has a long and intricate history, one that this week the philosopher, rabbi, and writer Zohar Atkins joins the podcast to discuss. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, he looks at how various thinkers in the Western intellectual tradition have thought about equality. Together, they discuss thinkers of equality as various as Plato and Aristotle, Augustine and Luther, and Hobbes and Rousseau and Hayek. Through it all, their point of departure is the foundation of the Western canon: the Hebrew Bible.
    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.

    • 56 min
    Steven Smith on Persecution and the Art of Writing

    Steven Smith on Persecution and the Art of Writing

    There is the argument and there is the context in which that argument is made. It’s easy to sing the praises of American life when you’re sitting in the United States, but you’d likely to express yourself differently if you were explaining your views in Soviet Russia. The context of the argument does not, of course, determine its truth or falsehood, but it does help clarify what’s being said and why. This is true for all arguments, from those made by Socrates and the rabbis of the Talmud to philosophers and politicians today.
    On this week’s podcast, to understand the distinction between argument and context and how it relates to political and religious communities of ideological homogeneity, we turn to one of the 20th century’s greatest thinkers, the German Jewish philosopher Leo Strauss and his 1952 essay “Persecution and the Art of Writing.” Our guide to the essay, and this week’s podcast guest, is the Yale professor of political science Steven Smith, the author of several books about Strauss’s thought. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, Smith explains how, in the view of Strauss, writers like Plato and Maimonides used esoteric writing—writing that expressed true beliefs in a careful and guarded way so as to protect themselves from backlash—to get their ideas across, and he ponders the implications that such an interpretive approach can have for writers ancient and modern.
    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.

    • 44 min
    Jon Levenson on the Moral Force of the Book of Ruth

    Jon Levenson on the Moral Force of the Book of Ruth

    Beginning Saturday night, the Jewish people will celebrate the holiday of Shavuot. During the festival, Jews traditionally study the book of Ruth, the biblical text that tells the story of a non-Jewish widow who becomes the great-grandmother of King David.
    To help uncover why the book of Ruth is so beloved, and to make sense of the intertextual references and literary allusions at work in it, the Harvard professor Jon Levenson joins this week’s podcast. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, he explains how the narrative drive of Ruth moves from death to life, and reveals how its principal figures manifest the virtue of ḥesed, traditionally translated as loving-kindness, and meaning loyal devotion.
    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.

    • 49 min
    Tony Badran on How Hizballah Wins, Even When It Loses

    Tony Badran on How Hizballah Wins, Even When It Loses

    Since initiating a war against Israel in 2006, the Shiite revolutionary movement Hizballah has built a massive arsenal of rockets that continues to threaten Israel's northern cities and towns. Hizballah is able to sustain this military posture because it also holds decisive sway in Lebanese politics.
    Some observers think its political control is waning. In the Lebanese national elections on May 15, Hizballah lost its parliamentary majority, and Reuters reports that there are now “more than a dozen reform-minded newcomers” in the Lebanese parliament.
    This week’s podcast guest takes a different view. Tony Badran is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he writes about the eastern Mediterranean and the Levant. To his eye, the idea of a weakening Hizballah is not only wrong, it’s exactly what Hizballah wants outsiders to think. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, he explains why it serves Hizballah’s interests for Westerners to think that it’s weak when it’s not—and how even when Hizballah loses seats in Lebanon’s parliament, it doesn’t lose governing authority.
    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.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    John Podhoretz on Midge Decter’s Life in Ideas

    John Podhoretz on Midge Decter’s Life in Ideas

    On May 9, the cultural commentator Midge Decter passed away. The author of essays and books, an editor of magazines, and a mentor to generations of writers, Decter was subtle, clear, and courageous in her thinking. Though a member of the Democratic party for most of her life, Decter was an anti-Communist liberal who gradually became more conservative over time, becoming, along with her husband, Norman Podhoretz, a leading neoconservative. 
    On this week’s podcast, her son, John Podhoretz, the editor of Commentary magazine, joins us to reflect on her life. He recently published a eulogy for her in which he wondered what in her background could explain her style, force, and view of the world. Decter wasn’t born into a family of ideas and argument, yet that was where she made her indelible mark. In conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, Podhoretz thinks about his late mother’s life and work.
    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.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
442 Ratings

442 Ratings

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.

JR San Diego ,

The Best Interviewer Around

Jonathan Silver is the most articulate, erudite, and insightful interviewer in the podcast universe. He brings on the show some of the most consequential, intellectually serious and thought-provoking guests and engages with them as if his mastery of the subject matter at hand equaled theirs. Absolutely superb podcast.

VAB 1 ,

Good podcast and it is Free

Entertaining, thought provoking, and worth listening too!

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