Wed, 24 May 2017
This episode originally aired on July 13, 2016. We bring it to you today in commemoration of Yom Yerushalayim and the 50th anniversary of Israel’s remarkable victory in the Six-Day War.
In this podcast, Tikvah Executive Director Eric Cohen speaks with Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Bret Stephens about political life in Israel and America and the challenges of the Middle East and the Modern West. They discuss the legacy on the 1967 war, the work of Peter Beinart, and the dilemmas of Israeli decision-makers.
Thu, 18 May 2017
The revelation at Sinai was central to the transformation of the people of Israel into a nation. Fresh from their Exodus from Egypt, at the foot of that mountain, a nation of slaves heard the Lord Himself pronounce His law—His “Ten Commandments”—prescribing proper conduct toward God and man. It would be hard to overstate the influence of the Decalogue in the history of West. Even in our increasingly post-Christian age, the Ten Commandments remain a potent cultural symbol. Yet, for all this familiarity, their true significance remains elusive.
In 2013, Leon Kass—one of America’s deepest thinkers—sought to shed light on how the Ten Commandments ought to be understood. Published as Mosaic’s inaugural essay, “The Ten Commandments: Why the Decalogue Matters” analyzes the meaning of each Divine command, placing it in the context of the Bible as a whole as well as the permanent conditions of human nature.
In this Tikvah Podcast, Professor Kass joins Jonathan Silver for a reconsideration of this important piece of commentary. In a conversation that looks back toward creation and forward to the civic character of the modern Jewish State, Kass and Silver take a deep dive into the first five commandments and their meaning. Their wide-ranging discussion touches on the nature of God’s covenant with Israel, man’s relationship with nature, and the indispensable role of the family in the life of the people of 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 Ich Grolle Nicht, by Ron Meixsell and Wahneta Meixsell.
Wed, 10 May 2017
This episode originally aired on June 29, 2016. We bring it to you this week in honor of the re-publication of Norman Podhoretz’s memoir, Making It, as well as the upcoming celebration of the liberation of Jerusalem.
In this podcast, Eric Cohen is joined by Norman Podhoretz, the legendary former editor of Commentary. They discuss Podhoretz’s essay, “Jerusalem: The Scandal of Particularity.” Cohen talks to Podhoretz about the circumstances that inspired this piece, the feelings that being in Jerusalem stirs in him, and why modern men and women find Jewish particularity such a scandal.
Direct download: Eric_Cohen_and_Norman_Podhoretz_-_Jerusalem_The_Scandal_of_Particularity_Rebroadcast.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 11:48am EST
Thu, 4 May 2017
Using the essay "Innovation and Redemption: What Literature Means,” Ruth Wisse joins Eric Cohen to discuss the insights of famed literary critic, Cynthia Ozick. They ask if literature has a moral purpose, and observe how different approaches to the past inform creativity and the writing of fiction. Not only do Wisse and Cohen explore innovation and redemption, but they contrast innovation with experimentation. The distinction turns on an author’s view of cultural heritage, and whether inherited ideas can sustain and refresh the future, or the solipsistic notion that each generation creates artistic expression from nothing at all.
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.