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Though the first intifada paved the way for the wall, the second - known as the Oslo War - brought it into being. This episode makes a bridge between these two conflicts, tracing the arc from suppression to separation and asks the question -why not sovereignty?Rav Mike
 
Violence often has an arc, and in this episode we trace how the intifada progresses together with the Israeli policies of suppression and separation. Along the way we outline the birth of the Hamas terror organization and end on a childhood note from yours truly.image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/marypmadigan/3191791902lic: https://creativecommon…
 
When the intifada erupted it caught the Israeli army and leadership unprepared. Part two of the series exploring the evolution of the separation barrier explores Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin's "iron-fist" policy response as part of arc of government decisions that move from suppression to separation - all in avoidance of sovereignty.…
 
In this episode we take a break from tracking the evolution of Israel's separation wall to consider the deeper issues of violence on which it is built. Rav Yehuda Hakohen of the Vision Movement joins me for a conversation about Max Nordau, Zev Jabotinsky and Frantz Fanon. Along the way we consider issues of decolonization, settlement and the hope f…
 
Almost two thousand years ago the Sages determined that Am Yisrael was bound in exile by an oath not to go up to the land "like a wall." Now two millena later there is a wall built by the Israeli government running through the heart of our biblical homeland. Here is the introductory episode to a new series that aims to break down the evolution of I…
 
Here is the final installment in the series detailing the evolution of Israel's electoral system. It brings us almost all the way to the present, touching on topics like the Oslo Accord, electoral reform and Israel's Supreme Court along the way. If you want to have a better understanding of our current electoral dysfunction, then tune in now.…
 
The unity government wasn't born yesterday, it has a long history in Israel. Tune in to this ongoing exploration of the evolution of Israel's electoral system to learn about the government shared by ex-underground fighter Yitzchak Shamir and Shimon Peres through the 80s, how it held together Mizrachi pride, religious tension and territorial confusi…
 
Here is an interview with R' Aharon Ariel Lavi, expert on the biblical sabbatical year - shemitta. This is our first taste of a "future vision" for the Jewish people, as well as some stirring thoughts for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.Rav Mike
 
Season six has finally begun! Here is a prologue to help frame the chapter to come. In it I touch on the power of prophetic sight, the book of Daniel and why in the month of Elul we say that the king is in the field.image from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasawebbtelescope/52212049510license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode…
 
Another one of Rav Mike's favorites. Just because I'm taking a break doesn't mean the content has to! Don't forget to sign up for TJS live starting Aug 28th! jewishstory.co/the-jewish-story-live-2/graphic license - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcodeRav Mike
 
Another one of Rav Mike's live favorites! The author of the Zohar is traditionally said to be R' Shimon Bar Yochai, but since its first appearance in the hands of R' Moshe DeLeon in 13th century Spain its origin has been in dispute. The Zohar has been a source of spiritual strength in the Jewish Story for more than a millenna, which is far more imp…
 
All things good things must come to an end, so here is the concluding episode of season 5. In it you will find an exploration of how to relate to the brokenness of the world, some thoughts on our present posture and even hints about what the future might hold. See you in the fall!Rav Mike
 
Here is a talk with Rav Yehuda HaKohen of the Vision Movement, the first in couple of conversations which will close our exploration of American Jewish life in the 80s. We range from the personal to the political, touching on tough Jews, Soviet Jewry and what is was like growing up at a time when American Jewry flourished so well.graphic attributio…
 
American Jewry in the Eighties were as safe and comfortable as a Jewish community had ever been - and yet the shadow of the Holocaust still loomed large over their identity. Here is an exploration of how the political power and personal charisma of Meir Kahane intersected with this fear - and had explosive results. https://www.flickr.com/photos/mar…
 
The 1980s saw many seismic shifts in the fabric of American Jewish society, and among them was the earthquake of the Pollard affair. The 1985 arrest of the Navy analyst rocked the US/Israel relationship and accelerated the fragmenting of attitudes toward Israeli among Jews in the US. Whether you see Jonathan Pollard as a traitor or a prisoner of Zi…
 
Here is the third and culminating episode in a story that we have been following since season four. The Eighties saw a welding together of American Cold War policies and the struggle for Soviet Jewry in a dramatic fashion. Super power summits, glasnost, the release of Natan Sharansky and the Freedom Sunday march all came together to achieve one pur…
 
As we circle in toward the end of season five, it is time to check back in with American Jewry. The Eighties were a time of economic and social security for the Jews of the US, and the overall growth of their religious communities was boosted by a surprise source - the kollel. It was a decade in which the assumption that Jews vote Democrat was firs…
 
Jerusalem Day is a time when past and present come sharply together, and have the potential to define our future. Social activist and former city councilor Rav Aaron Leibowitz joins me to discuss the potential of the holy city and this momentous day.Rav Mike
 
Menachem Begin has been part of our exploration of the Jewish Story since the uprising against the British back in 1944, and the Lebanon War was the last chapter in which he took an active role. In order to give a fitting wrap up to such an important character, here is an interview with Dr. Daniel Gordis, author of the biography Menachem Begin: the…
 
Even if you only count until 1985, Lebanon was Israel's longest war and so it's no surprise that it left some of the deepest impressions. The birth of Peace Now, the murder of Emil Gruzweig and the personal struggles of soon-to-be famous Israelis like Avraham Burg and Donniel Hartman all illustrate how far Israel's social fabric was stretched by th…
 
The RRG Bet Midrash Torah Cafe hosts Rav Mike for a live word of Torah on Yom Haatzmaut. How does history create obligations, and why is it important to rejoice? If you want to discover the connection between gratitude and redemption, listen all the way to the end of this Yom Haatzmaut 5782 Interlude!…
 
The assassination of Phalangist leader Bashir Gemayal was an explosion which rocked the region, and the massacres at Sabra and Shatila which followed in its wake horrified the world. This episode touches on a rabbinic debate over the morality of war, the political struggle over its consequences and sets the stage for a sea-change in Israeli society…
 
Crossing into Lebanon to destroy PLO started as a successful mission, and when the IDF destroyed the Syrian SAM belt in the Bekaa Valley through Operation Mole Cricket 19 it looked like victory was assured. Nonetheless as Defense Minister Ariel Sharon pursued Yasser Arafat (and his dreams of a peace treaty) into the Siege of Beirut, he discovered t…
 
We are all actors in the Jewish Story, and part of the art of becoming a main character is knowing how to seize the moment. Here is an interview with former Ambassador David Friedman which explores how he came to be in his position, the contributions he made and his vision for where Israel might be headed.…
 
Sometimes a listener question can cause a whole interlude. Here is an exploration of Jewish leadership and its roots in the Jewish story. Along the way we touch on Ukrainian president Zelenskyy, R' Chaim Kanievsky and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. There is also an opening attempt at defining leadership and a chance to ask the question - what exac…
 
Operation Peace for the Galilee begins with Israeli jets pounding Yasser Arafat's PLO bases in southern Lebanon, but there is always a backstory. In this episode learn about the complicated history Lebanon's civil wars fought between Christians, Moslems and Druze. Meet Ariel Sharon in his new role of Defense Minister, ever the bulldozer and now hop…
 
Before we can discuss the outbreak of war between Israel and the PLO in Lebanon, we must lay out the political context. As Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian liberation army were massing troops along the border, and the city of Kiryat Shemona was facing bombardment, Prime Minister Menachem Begin visited US President Ronald Reagan in Washington to so…
 
Israel's leadership came to be part by never forgetting the principal of "when one comes to kill you, rise early and kill first." Menachem Begin's 1981 bombing of the Iraqi reactor Osirak on the distant banks of the Tigris gave birth to the "Begin doctrine" of absolute opposition to enemy possession of nuclear weapons - which is still being questio…
 
People like to talk about the price of peace, but they rarely define what peace actually means. This makes evaluating the price impossible. In April of 1982 Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula and for the first time destroyed established Jewish homes in the name of peace. This episode explores the price.…
 
There are some conversations which Am Yisrael is just not having. As a follow up to some of the issues raised in the last few episodes Rav Mike is joined by R' Yehuda Hakohen of the Vision Movement for a conversation on power and violence in the State of Israel.Rav Mike
 
Today the media loves to discuss "settler violence," but it is rarely interested in its historical origins. This episode picks up the story of Yehuda Etzion and Menachem Livni who had set out to trigger redemption by any means necessary. As it turns out, events went in another direction and their actions continue to have consequences down to our da…
 
In politics as in physics - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Menachem Begin's signing of the Camp David Accords did not produce a singular response, but it did send shock waves through every aspect of Israeli society. Among the idealists of the settlement movement, it birthed an underground element which felt called to cont…
 
Sometimes one man's story sits at the intersection of so many threads it becomes a horrible knot. By the same virtue its potential is boundless. Here is David Ben Moshe's story in his own words, please listen close and consider making his fight your own.Rav Mike
 
It is rare that someone who begins a movement is still leading strong fifty years later. Daniella Weiss was part of the original settlement of the Shomron in the early 70s, and remains a militant force within the settlement movement today. Here is an interview which touches on her experience of past and present, as well as her views of the future.…
 
Is anyone else feeling a little frayed around the edges? Here is an interlude where I give some insight on how to avoid snapping under the pressure of our world, and even how to fray with grace. Send me an email at ravmikefeuer@gmail.com if you want to set up a counselling session about how to take these ideas deeper into your life.image by author …
 
The domestic political upheaval of 1977 was followed quickly by an international earthquake in 1978 when Israel and Egypt agree to make peace. Here is the story of how shifts within two societies, and two leaders, led to the signing of the Camp David Accords.Rav Mike
 
Begin's victory in 1977 was the beginning of revolutionary change for Israel, not the end. Some who rejoiced will be bemused, others who were skeptical will be surprised. This episode explores the aftermath of Begin's election as it intersected fault lines within his society and within himself.Rav Mike
 
There are few events in the history of Israel's democracy which have had a greater impact than the elections of 1977. When all the votes were counted three decades of Labor Zionist rule had come to an end and Menachem Begin's Likud party was victorious. It is known in Israeli history as 'the earthquake,' and this episode explores what forces underl…
 
Many people look at the world today and feel the foundations of American power shaking - and most are afraid. Here is an episode about empires, made in the spirit of Hanukkah. Rav Mike takes a look backward to seek wisdom for survival in imperial transitions Am Yisrael has weathered in the past, touches on the problems of the present, and even take…
 
Have you ever wondered why exactly Hanukkah lasts eight days? You may be familiar with the 'jar of oil' answer, but this interlude will give you a lot more to think about. Tune in to Rav Mike's annual class on Hanukkah in honor of the yarzheit of his father, Charles Feuer, obm.Rav Mike
 
Heroism is a precious quality, and one strong enough to change the world. Here is the story of the Israeli mission to free hostages on Entebbe, perhaps the most heroic mission of its time. At its heart lies a person who in many ways embodies the qualities of his generation - Yoni Netanyahu.Rav Mike
 
Rabin faced conflicts on all three fronts of Jewish history - within Am Yisrael, between Israel and the nations, and as a people in their land. This episode focuses on the third, as the Arab/Israeli war shifts into the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This new phase of struggle will see the rise of the PLO as a legitimate political force, the strength…
 
When most people think about Yitzchak Rabin as Israel's Prime Minister they focus on the Oslo Accords and his tragic murder, but many are unaware that Rabin's assassination ended his second term. Here is an episode on his opening round as Prime Minister, when Rabin's choice as the first native born Israeli to head the government opened a new era. W…
 
Many things within Israeli society were threatened with collapse in the wake of the Yom Kippur War, and perhaps the most profound danger was a loss of spirit. This episodes explores the rise of the 'bloc of the faithful,' vanguard of today's "settlement movement" who moved to inherit the pioneering spirit of Israel in this difficult time.…
 
Historian and author Gil Troy joins me for a follow up to the 'Zionism is Racism' episode. We talk 'Moynihan's Moment,' the rise of the PLO, the mental health crisis on American campuses and much more. Tune in also for a fascinating discussion that lays out 'Identity Zionism,' a vision which offers hope for Am Yisrael and the entire world.…
 
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