Sept. 8, 2020

Tevi Troy on Deuteronomy 4:4 – “Continuity Through Action”

Tevi Troy, the best-selling presidential historian and former White House aide, joins Mark for today’s episode. As Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Tevi was the chief operating officer of the largest civilian department in the federal government, and as a Domestic Policy Advisor, his portfolio included relations with the Jewish community. He is the author of Fight House: Rivalries in the White House, from Truman to Trump, as well as What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted: 200 Years of Popular Culture in the White House, and Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management in the Oval Office. The passage he has chosen to discuss today is Deuteronomy 4:4.

The conversation begins with Tevi summarizing the passage and sharing the meaning it holds for him as it explains the remarkable continuity of the Jewish people. He and Mark then explore how Judaism is an ‘action first religion’, and Tevi recounts how this became his favorite biblical verse and offers his perspective and advice regarding the Jewish people maintaining their continuity into the future. They then review the many ways to connect to Judaism, and the success of the Chabad Lubavitch Movement, before Tevi concludes the episode with the lessons he has learned about mankind. Listen in today to these two learned seekers of biblical truth as they reveal just how ‘the Sabbath has kept the Jews’ through the past and the present, and can continue to do so in the future.

Episode Highlights:

  • Tevi’s summary of the passage and the meaning it holds for him
  • How it explains the remarkable continuity of the Jewish people
  • Judaism as an ‘action first religion’
  • How this became Tevi’s favorite verse
  • Tevi’s perspective on Jews maintaining this continuity into the future
  • His advice for individuals and institutions around maintaining continuity
  • The many ways to connect to Judaism
  • The Chabad Lubavitch Movement
  • The lessons about mankind which Tevi has learned


“Here, he gives one of the greatest political speeches in history.”

“The Jewish people are still here, and I think it’s in that sentence that we really see why.”

“Judaism is about the practice.”

“People who are still maintaining their tradition this long, they will surely again see their temple rise.”

“And yet it’s through this dynamism that we’ve maintained this constancy.”

“The Jewish Law applies equally to all of us…no one is lesser in the eyes of God.”

“As long as you have people who are able to rediscover Judaism and stick with the religion stick with the tradition and follow the path that the Lord laid out…then we will have a pathway for Jewish continuity now and into the future.”

“The old will be made new and the new will be made holy.”

“We need to train our children so that when they go off to these schools, they’re able and willing and eager to defend Israel and recognize what a beacon of hope, freedom, and light it is.”

“God has a plan for us and we just need to not get in the way.”

Deuteronomy 4:4 while you, who held fast to the LORD your God, are all alive today.


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