The Tikvah Podcast

Fifty years ago, at the 1972 Olympic summer games in Munich, 11 Israeli olympians were held hostage and murdered by members of the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. Recently, the Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, while meeting with the German chancellor, was asked about the event and whether he would apologize for what happened. Abbas declined to apologize, and instead accused the Israelis of having enacted “50 Holocausts” against the Palestinians.

Why would Abbas, when asked about a crime Palestinians perpetrated against Israelis, reach for the Holocaust as a weapon? To answer that question, the Egyptian writer Hussein Aboubakr joins this week’s podcast. In conversation with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver, he explains what Abbas and so many Arabs think about the Holocaust, and why, in the Arab mind, that event is inextricably tied up with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a twisted logic that has brought many to believe that Israelis are the new Nazis and Palestinians the new 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.

Direct download: Aboubakr_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 2:43pm EST

Earlier this month, Israeli forces captured the head of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in the West Bank city of Jenin after he had been involved in planning a number of terrorist attacks. Infuriated, PIJ threatened to fire anti-tank weapons at Israeli towns from its home base in Gaza. In response, the IDF struck PIJ’s chief of operations in the northern Gaza Strip and killed his counterpart in the south. After that, the Iranian-backed terrorist group began bombarding Israel with rockets and mortars, firing nearly 1,000 rockets, of which nearly 200 fell short and landed in Gaza itself—causing the deaths of several civilians there. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire took effect after about three days of fighting.

To talk about the weekend war, we've invited analyst Jonathan Schanzer, who pays close attention to Gaza and writes about Middle East politics in Commentary and Mosaic, as well as in several books. (One just last year, Gaza Conflict 2021, carefully analyzed the previous blowup there). Here, Schanzer, in conversation with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver, looks at this month's conflict in that political context, explains how it was like and unlike past rounds of conflict, thinks about how its timing relates to the current nuclear negotiations with Iran, and speculates about the future of Hamas in Gaza.

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: Schanzer_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 9:14pm EST

Just as Israeli society has become more at home with Judaism, so too has Israeli music. Across the Israeli music scene, songs and albums infused with religious themes, language, and sentiments have become far more popular in recent years. And a similar movement can be seen in Israeli culture; once dominated by an Ashkenazi elite, Israeli music now relates to its Arab neighbors as much as it does to the musical traditions of Europe and America. 

Haim Louk, a Moroccan-born rabbi, prayer leader, and musical virtuoso, is one of the main reasons that Israeli music is now more at home with itself. On this week’s podcast, we’re joined by the Israeli vocalist and musical director Yair Harel, who takes us on a listening tour of Louk’s music and his artistic formation. Though religious in nature, Louk’s music can, as Harel shows, be easily grasped by non-religious audiences—so much so that one can’t truly understand much of Israeli popular music today without understanding Louk’s influence.

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: Harel_FINAL.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 11:52pm EST

This week, Jews around the world will begin reading from the Book of Deuteronomy each Shabbat. Sefer Devarim, as it is known in Hebrew, is a remarkable work; consisting almost entirely of an address Moses delivered to the Israelites in his final weeks of life, it touches on history, politics, prophecy, and much more. Two years ago, Jonathan Silver sat down with Israeli thinker and scholar Micah Goodman to uncover meaning of Moses's final speech. As we begin again this last book of the Torah, we are pleased to rebroadcast that conversation.

--

The book of Deuteronomy, which Jews around the globe read in synagogue in the period leading up to the High Holy Days, consists primarily of Moses’s final oration to the people of Israel. With the nation on the cusp of conquering Canaan and establishing its own sovereign government, the prophet presents Israel with a set of laws and regulations surrounding power and kingship—what some scholars call the “Mosaic Constitution.”

In his best-selling Hebrew book, ha-N’um ha-Aharon shel Moshe (Moses’s Last Speech), the Israeli writer and philosopher Micah Goodman offers a thought-provoking and original interpretation of Deuteronomy, presenting profound insights about the Torah’s revolutionary political teachings. Though the book has not yet been translated into English, Dr. Goodman recently taught an eight-episode online course for the Tikvah Fund on “Deuteronomy: The Last Speech of Moses,” in which he explores and expands upon the themes and ideas of his earlier work. In this podcast, he speaks with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver about Deuteronomy’s laws regarding the monarchy and what political and philosophical wisdom they hold for us today.

If you enjoy this podcast, you can enroll in Dr. Goodman’s free Tikvah online course at Courses.TikvahFund.org.

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: Goodman_Deuteronomy_Podcast_Rebroadcast.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 3:53pm EST

1