First: A Disclaimer! Rabbi Ammi Hirsch is a dear friend. But…I wouldn’t advocate that you waste your time listening to a podcast unless it was unique, stimulating, exciting, thought-provoking, and important. This one is all of that and more.

Ammi started his podcast in mid-May called “In These Times.” Ammi, as Senior Rabbi of the Stephen S. Wise Free Synagogue on West 68th Street in Manhattan, is one of the most eloquent and thoughtful speakers and writers in the American rabbinate today.

The first episode aired on May 18 with Hussein Aboubakr Mansour, a young man born in Cairo and raised in a traditional Arab Muslim family hating Jews and Israel. By the age of 11, he became radicalized and aspired to jihadism. His is an extraordinary story of his journey from innocence to hate to political prisoner and ultimately, to life in America and steadfast support for Israel.

The second episode aired on June 1 with Natan Sharansky, who sought passage to Israel from the Former Soviet Union in the mid-1970s, was arrested, and paid the price: nine years of hard labor and solitary confinement in a Soviet prison only because he taught Hebrew in Moscow and advocated for human rights and the rights of the Jews to immigrate to Israel. The gulag hardened his resolve to leave. Hear Natan’s legendary story of Jewish resistance and his take on Russia’s war against Ukraine.

From Ammi’s Website about the podcast:

“Every other week, Rabbi Ammi Hirsch hosts intellectually honest conversations unpacking current events through the lens of Jewish wisdom. Unbound by politics and untethered by party lines, Ammi and his expert guests discuss everything from race and antisemitism to all the other issues that keep you up at night. Recorded from New York’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, a historic Reform congregation deeply rooted in liberalism, support for Israel and social justice.

Here is the official 1 minute trailer –

You can prescribe here –