I have written before on why I love “The Promised Podcast” out of Tel Aviv each week broadcast on TLV1, and today I double-down on why I hope you will download the App and listen especially to this week’s episode called the “Ash, Dust & Compassion” Edition.
Each week three very smart, articulate, and thoughtful American olim to Israel including host Noah Efron (teacher of science at Bar Ilan University), and commentators Allison Kaplan Sommer (a regular Haaretz journalist covering the American Jewish community), Don Futterman (Director of the Moriah Fund and a leader in turning around under-performing low income Israeli elementary schools), Ohad Zeltzer-Zubida (a literature critic for Haaretz), and Miriam Herschlag (the opinion and blogs editor at The Times of Israel) reflect on three of the most important issues confronting Israel in any particular week.
I remember thinking to myself years ago that I needed to read Tom Friedman in the NY Times each week in order to know how to think about matters large and small confronting America, Israel, and the Middle East. I now listen to “The Promised Podcast” for the same enlightenment concerning Israeli affairs.
Today’s program was an extraordinary experience as a listener. For the first time I can remember (I’ve been listening for years weekly), Noah took the entire podcast time to reflect on the significance of the 40th anniversary of the first song appearing in Israel on the theme of the Holocaust. Noah is a superb writer and today he was illuminating on the meaning and significance of the Shoah for survivors who came to Israel in the early years after the liberation and Israelis in those years, the intermediate years initiated in part by Menachem Begin when he was elected Prime Minister in 1977, and the growing division in Israeli society on how to respond to the call “Never Again” especially vis a vis Israel’s relationship with the Arab world and the Palestinian people and leadership.
Noah interweaves his commentary and narrative with the words of survivors during the Eichmann trial and since, and in the themes expressed in Israeli popular music (of which he is an expert) beginning with Hannah Senesh’s “Eili Eili” and through to contemporary Israeli popular and rock.
Every English-speaking Jew (and others who wish to understand Israel today) would profit by listening each week to The Promised Podcast. It is that good.