Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Ron Dermer, joins Mark for today’s episode. Born and raised in Miami Beach, Florida, Ron went on to become a graduate of both the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and Oxford University. He has been a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, and has served both as Israel’s Minister of Economic Affairs in the United States, and as one of the closest advisors to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The passage he has chosen to discuss is Esther 4:14.
Ron begins the conversation by sharing the story of how he met his wife, before going on to summarize the passage and why it is meaningful to him. He and Mark then provide a thorough analysis of the passage, including how it represents the third round of battle between the Jews and Amalek, and its demonstration of the greatest statement of faith and Esther’s role as a navigator. The relevance of these themes throughout history and modern times are discussed, particularly in the context of Prime Minister Netanyahu's speech to the American Congress and the standing ovation that Esther received there. Their conversation concludes with Ron offering the lessons he has learned about humankind, which leads to a discussion of the need to be able to disagree with others without impugning them and the evolution of the Jewish relationship with the United States. Ron’s thorough grasp not only of scripture, but of history, politics, and diplomacy as well, renders him uniquely qualified in ‘bringing the Bible to modern times’ here today, as he passionately inspires all who listen to recognize and play their role in life, especially as it relates to securing the Jewish future.
· The story of how Ron met his wife · His summary of the selected passage and why it’s meaningful to him · Esther as a talented navigator · The greatest statement of faith · The three rounds of battle between the Jews and Amalek · Esther’s role and intention in saving the Jewish people · The passage’s message to those devoting their life to service · Esther’s standing ovation in the American Congress · Mordecai’s stand against Haman · The impact of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s 2015 speech to the American Congress · Playing our part in securing the Jewish future · The lessons about humankind that Ron has learned · Disagreeing without impugning others · The Jewish relationship with the United States
“My hutzpah is what got me my wife.”
“This, to me, is probably the most famous passage in the Book of Esther.”
“It’s the navigators that actually win.”
“I know the Jews are going to be saved.”
“I see it as a primordial battle between good and evil.”
“In confronting evil, we can’t rely on God – we have to do it ourselves.”
“It’s whether or not Esther will be an instrument in that salvation.”
“I think in life, we’re all put in different places in different times, and we all can have an impact.”
“You have to be a believer that there is a destination towards history.”
“It lights a fire underneath you that you have to do everything you can.”
“Anything that any of us do could reverberate in a way that will be experienced 2500 years from now, and that’s, kind of, the great thing about living in God’s world.”
“She is…one of the ultimate heroines of our people.”
“What I’ve learned over time is the importance of people.”
“Israel’s emergence as a rising power among the nations has started to impact our diplomacy and our relations with different states.”
“The United States and Israel are not just countries, we’re causes.”
“Israel’s strength, bringing along peace because the interests connect.”
“Our interests drive relations with states.”
“Israel’s been in ‘September 12’ for 72 years every day, and that affects it."
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