Nov. 12, 2020

Ambassador Ido Aharoni on Pesachim 116b – “Survivability and Continuity Through Storytelling” - S1E93

Mark is delighted to welcome Ambassador Ido Aharoni to the podcast today. Currently the Global Distinguished Professor for international relations at New York University’s Graduate School of Arts and Science, Ido is a 25-year veteran of Israel’s Foreign Service, a public diplomacy specialist, founder of the Brand Israel Program, and a well-known nation branding practitioner. He has been Israel's longest serving Consul-General in New York and the tri-state area to date, holding that position with the rank of Ambassador for six years. The passage he has chosen to discuss with Mark is The Pesach Narrative. Their conversation begins with Ido reciting the passage in both Hebrew and English, describing his personal connection to it, and its significance during Pesach. He goes on to describe Zionism and the shared destiny of the Jewish people, maintaining survivability and continuity through storytelling, others’ perspective of the Jewish collective, and the play, ‘A Happy End’. He and Mark also explore the notion of the personal Exodus, the complementary national and psychological implications of the passage, the documentary ‘Children of the Inquisition’, and the impact of discovering one’s Jewish heritage. Ido concludes the episode with his belief in welcoming interested people into the Jewish collective, and the lessons he has learned about humankind. Ido’s wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm shine forth brilliantly in his analysis of this seminal passage here today, as he reveals both its relevance and guidance for all in our modern world. Episode Highlights: · Ido’s reading of the passage in both Hebrew and English · His personal connection to the passage · This significance of this passage during Pesach · Zionism and the shared destiny of the Jewish people · Maintaining survivability and continuity through storytelling · Others’ perception of the Jewish collective · Iddo Netanyahu’s play, ‘A Happy End’ · The personal Exodus · The complementary national and psychological implications of this passage · Joseph Lovett’s documentary, ‘Children of the Inquisition’ · The impact of discovering one’s Jewish heritage · Welcoming people to the Jewish collective · The lessons about humankind that Ido has learned Quotes: “My grandmother actually came out of Egypt.” “My entire public career was devoted to the celebration of Zionism.” “Zionism equals Jewish self-determination.” “Zionism was never a big hit among Jews…the biggest critics of Zionism were Jews.” “Jews substituted history for memory.” “We’re all trying to escape our own personal Egypts at all times.” “The power to define who you are is given to you, but you cannot ignore the others’ definition of yourself.” “It’s them who define who we are, and it’s an interesting lesson to be learned.” “Each person has his or her own Exodus, own liberating process.” “This is how our people survived throughout history.”  “One of our jobs is to provide safe haven for all Jews.” “There’s a contract, a legal contract, between the State of Israel and every person who is Jewish or of Jewish background in the world.” “I think it’s a mistake, from a historical perspective, to reject people who want to be part of the collective.” “It’s about being part of the same narrative.” “At the end of the day, the good guys always win.” “At the end of the day, touch the lives of the people around you.” “Diplomacy is the absolute opposite of war. Diplomacy’s all about relationships. It’s all about the promotion of goodness.”  Mishnah Pesachim 10:5 In every generation a person must regard himself as though he personally had gone out of Egypt,  Links: The Rabbi’s Husband homepage: Mark’s Twitter: The Rabbi’s Husband Newsletter contact:

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