The Tikvah Podcast

More than half a million Jewish men and women served in the U.S. Armed Forces in World War II. They fought in every theater of the war, from North Africa and Italy to France and Belgium to the Philippines and Japan.

In the process, many of them fell in service to their country. In the fog of war, some of them were buried in military cemeteries under Christian gravestones in the shape of the Latin Cross. Decades later, there’s now an organization dedicated to working with the families of the fallen and the American military to replace the crosses with stars of David to honor more properly the heritage of the Jewish war dead.

This week our podcast is joined by the president of that organization’s board of directors, Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter, a historian at Yeshiva University who previously joined the podcast to discuss Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik’s essay “Kol Dodi Dofek.” This week, he speaks with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver about the work of Operation Benjamin—and shares his belief that the organization’s mission is an expression of devotion to the memory of these fallen Jewish heroes and to the nation they died to defend.

Direct download: Schacter_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 11:07pm EDT

In October 2013, Robert Nicholson wrote a defining essay in Mosaic, “Evangelicals and Israel: What American Jews Don’t Want to Know (but Need to).” It in he outlined the wide and deep support that millions of Christian evangelicals had for Israel. He also sounded a note of caution: that support could diminish over time.

Nearly ten years later, that warning may be coming to fruition. At the very least, the communities of American Christian evangelicals who formed the basis of Christian Zionism have decreased in numbers and influence. But there's some countervailing news: in other places around the world, from Brazil to Nigeria to Guatemala, evangelical Christianity has expanded, and with it, the possibility of support for Zionism. On this week's podcast, Nicholson, the president of the Philos Project, joins us to explain what's driving the changing face of evangelical Zionism in America and the rest of the world.

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.

Direct download: Nicholson_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 10:48pm EDT

Before the state of Israel was founded, some early Zionists argued not only for the recovery of Jewish political sovereignty, but also for the emergence of a new type of Jew. This “New Jew,” as they called it, would be free of Judaism’s bookish habits and the weight of diaspora Jewish history and be able to take the reigns of the newly independent Jewish polity.

Three-quarters of a century after Israel’s founding, what is the state of the New Jew?

Last month, the Mosaic columnist Eli Spitzer contended that Israel’s 21st-century success made it outmoded. Looking around Israel today, he sees the fascinating reemergence of older, diasporic forms of Jewish life rather than the triumph of the New Jew. On the same day that Spitzer published his short reflection, the Mosaic contributor Daniel Gordis published a newsletter in which he came to the opposite conclusion: the state of Israel, he thinks, is “not the end of the Jewish people, just the end of a certain kind of Jewish people.” To him, the New Jew is alive and well.

What could we do but convene a conversation on the matter? In this conversation, Gordis spoke with the Israeli historian Asael Abelman and Mosaic‘s editor Jonathan Silver about the the New Jew, the Old Jew, and the types of human personalities that the state of Israel tends to cultivate. This discussion took place live on Tuesday, July 12, in front of Mosaic subscribers. 

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.

Direct download: Gordis-Abelman_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 11:30pm EDT