Oct. 1, 2020

Ambassador Michael Oren on his new book -- “Portrait of the Artist as a Jew in Full: Reflections on The Night Archer and Other Stories” - S1E63


Today’s edition of the podcast is the first to not involve a discussion of a biblical verse, but is instead a special discussion with returning guest, Ambassador Michael Oren, regarding his new book The Night Archer: and Other Stories. In addition to having served as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael counts serving as a Member of Knesset and as Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, among his many achievements. This book marks his first collection of short stories, and to make today’s episode even more special, the first 50 listeners to email daniel@therabbishusband.com will receive a copy absolutely free!

The episode begins with an acknowledgment of Israel’s recent peace agreements in the Middle East, the hacking of Michael’s Facebook page, and his overview of his collection of short stories in The Night Archer. The remainder of the podcast is devoted to a series of questions for Michael supplied by a number of contributors regarding his book, writing, and Israel. Providing in-depth and extensive responses, Michael shares summaries of some of his stories, what inspired them, his writing process and discipline, his editing process, how writing the book has changed him, and his hopes for it in the future. He also reflects upon the difference of writing fiction as opposed to history, giving up his American citizenship, the nature of heroism, the Jewish nature of his book, inspiring the love of Israel in young people, and gratitude. As Mark notes, The Night Archer is a ’really beautiful book’ whose 51 short stories reveal so much about their author. You will most assuredly enjoy today’s very special edition of The Rabbi’s Husband as it introduces you to the unique opportunity of glimpsing the soul of this undeniably accomplished and evolving man of action.

Quotes:

“Grateful for this moment to be alive. This moment in Jewish history - it’s very special.”

“I decided to write 51 stories that are completely different – every one.”

“I want to be able to say something in each story that is essential about the human condition.”

“Every single story…is a revelation for me.”

“I have no memory of writing any of these stories, because it’s a spiritual experience, and it’s a meditative experience.”

“What’s in this book is me, the central part of me, and the people who read it…I will be inviting into my soul.”

“History writing, when it’s at its best…reads like a novel.”

“Right now, I look at what’s going on in America, and it’s heartbreaking to me.”

“I believe that America is for humanity a last best hope…the noblest experiment that modernity has produced.”

“Short stories are singularly Jewish.”

“Freedom is a hallowed Jewish concept.”

“We celebrate the holiday of freedom by having extra restrictions put on us…it’s the paradox of Jewish freedom.”

“I have to say in 3 pages what a novelist says in 300.”

“Being free incurs responsibility.”

“We have the ineffable privilege to be alive at a time in Jewish history where Jews have the ability to screw up in a sovereign, free environment.”

Links:

The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: http://therabbishusband.com/

Mark’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/markgerson?lang=en

The Night Archer: https://michaeloren.com/new-book

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