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April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
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Jewish Press Radio: Journey Into Passover


Passover Special Radio Show

Passover Special Radio Show

Segment 1: Sharing Pesach Joy – Holiday Special

The Pesach preparations are done and the Seders have come and gone and this special Pesach edition of the Yishai Fleisher Show kicks off with Yishai and Malkah talking about how the preparations in the Fleisher house were done, including musical favorites that were chosen during the cleaning for the holiday.  ‘The Seder Started” by Lenny Soloman, a song that was present during the cleaning is presented for listening pleasure.  Yishai and Malkah talk about their wonderful Seder experience at home in Jerusalem.  Yishai introduces his recent article about Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish American (now Israeli citizen) who has been in prison in the United States since being convicted of espionage in 1987.  The segment ends with the discussion of a plea to release Pollard, presented by Israeli President Shimon Peres, along with the real reason why Pollard has not been released.

Segment 2:  Truly Selfless

Yishai is joined by Shmuel Sackett, the International Director of Manhigut Yehudit, a political organization dedicated to introducing authentic Jewish values into Israeli society.  Sackett talks about his personal experiences visiting Jonathan Pollard in prison.  Sackett stresses that Pollard refuses to be released if it were in trade for Arab terrorists, a policy that has been carried out by Israeli governments in the past. Sackett mentions how Pollard personally told him that there are persons in both the American and Israeli governments that would prefer to see him die in prison. Is anti-Semitism is the root cause of the failure to gain release for Pollard?

Segment 3:  Our Job is to Do Our Job

The third segment of this week’s show features the true meaning of Pesach, presented by David Sacks,  a television writer and producer responsible for programs such as The Simpsons, 3rd Rock From the Sun, and Malcom in the Middle.  Sacks is the senior lecturer for The Happy Minyan, a Carlebach style congregation in Los Angeles, California.  Sacks talks about the need to have an open heart and how difficult it is to remain happy in every day life, including some insight from the Kotzker Rebbe.  Sacks discusses Jewish life events such as the brit mila (circumcision) and keeping kosher and how essential they are to the essence of being and living Jewish.   The final thought of this segment relates to how the heart and mind are in constant conflict and how important it is to realize both in order to find balance.

Segment 4: The Shell of Love

By popular demand, Yishai presents the second half of a lesson given by alternative peace activist Yehuda HaKohen at Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem.  In contrast to the first half, which was presented last week, this part of the lesson focuses less on theoretical concepts and more on actually flushing out the Jewish heart.  HaKohen talks about how love breeds courage and destroys fear, evidenced in an event which occurred in the 1940s and resulted in twelve young Jewish men, members of the Lehi movement, being hung by the British government for opposing British rule in Eretz Yisrael.   HaKohen describes two of these young men, both named Eliyahu, and their various traits but makes it very clear that the one thing that binds them together is an absolute and undying love for the Jewish people but also a steely determination to bring the Jewish people home.  Both of these men were murdered in Cairo for attempting to assassinate the highest-ranking British official in the Middle East.  The thought that a Jew is not allowed to take revenge against another Jew is explained and expounded and how the bodies of these two young men were returned to Israel in the 1970s in order to receive full military burials.

The segment and this week’s show wrap up with the thought of how the 1948 War of Independence was seen as ‘won’ by many but in fact was not because Jerusalem was not held by the Jews and how revolutionary Zionists such as students of Rav Kook and those involved with the Lehi movement viewed the Jewish people as those not with a problem but rather with desire. The return of Jerusalem to the Jewish people fills that desire.

 

About the Author: Moshe Herman has been actively involved in Israel activism since founding the first pro-Israel student organization at Boise State University in 2007. He has been a member of several panels and discussion groups with topics ranging from interfaith dialogue in the Middle East to Israel’s importance as a Jewish state. Herman joined The Yishai Fleisher Show at the beginning of 2012 and currently resides in Jerusalem after making Aliyah in July 2013.


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More Articles from Moshe Herman

Yishai is joined in-studio by Arab affairs analyst Bassem Eid to talk about the Temple Mount, the Holocaust and the Arab concern for dignity over identity. Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by David Bederman, coach to successful CEOs and entrepreneurs, to talk about Israeli independence. He says that Israel does not have a PR problem, but rather an identity crisis. Finally, Yishai is joined in-studio by Jerusalem Post editorial page editor Matthew Wagner to discuss the question of the peculiar phenomenon of the Left being in a global coalition with Islamic fundamentalists?


Yishai is joined in-studio by 88-year-old Kate Bernath, grandmother of his wife, Malkah, to hear her Holocaust testimonial: What was it like as a Hungarian Jew getting off the train at Auschwitz, and how it felt to have your mother separated from you forever by Dr. Mengele.

Yishai is joined in-studio by Walter Bingham, 91 — rescued from the Nazis as a Polish child on the Kindertransport and ended up fighting against them with the British — shares his memories of Kristallnacht and of facing the German Foreign Minister who was first to hang at Nuremberg.

Then, VOI Knesset Insider Jeremy Saltan joins Yishai in-studio to discuss the relationship between the Jewish holidays established in the past and the new holidays born in the modern era of Jewish statehood. They point out that Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, the Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism, Israel Independence Day and Jerusalem Day all are marked during the “counting of the Omer” — the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot (Pentecost).

Voice of Israels’s Binyamin Nakonechny joins Yishai to share the Kabbalistic perspective on rain after Passover. Then, should Israel have public transportation on Jewish holidays? And how does Israel adopt a more environmental, less litter-filled, consciousness? Seth Frantzman, op-ed editor of the Jerusalem Post, and Mati Wagner, editorial page editor of the same publication, join Yishai in-studio to discuss their latest articles, both of which address the question of the character of the Jewish state. Mati also shares his Matza-baking experiences with proud, gun-toting Jews. Finally, Dr. Alan Mazurek, vice chairman of the National Board of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA, and Jeff Daube, director of ZOA Israel, join Yishai in-studio to discuss the possibility of rolling back the nuclear framework agreement; the challenge of the new anti-Semitism on campus; and holding on to history on the Mount of Olives.

Raffa Abu Tarif is a Druze, a retired IDF officer, a PHD candidate in Israel security studies and a social-media activist. He joins Yishai to talk about his fight against anti-Israel delegitimization efforts abroad and post-Zionist tendencies at home. Then, Rabbi Shimshon HaKohen Nadel joins Yishai to talk about the retelling of the Passover story at the seder table to your children. He asks, “Why do we need all the props?” And he and Yishai discuss the meaning of the splitting of the Red Sea.

Yishai is joined in-studio by Momo Lifshitz, the CEO of Lirom Global Education and former director of Oranim Educational Initiatives, the #1 provider of Birthright Israel participants. He shares his dream to bring Jewish and non-Jewish students to study in Israel and get a college degree at a great price, while falling in love with — and in — the country.

Then, Yishai is joined in-studio by Rabbi Avichai Rontzki, former IDF chief rabbi (2006-2010), with the rank of Brigadier General. During his post, Rontzki carried out a mini-revolution in the command, expanding his mandate to allow for a much more active role of rabbis in the army, and creating the “Jewish Awareness Department,” which conducts educational activities in combat units.

David Swidler, whose satire blog PreOccupied Territory pokes fun at daily life in Israel, joins Yishai to talk about bureaucracy, Israeli drivers and other topics that beg to bear the brunt of humor. Then, students from the Golda Och Academy in West Orange, New Jersey, visit Yishai in-studio. Finally, David Friedman — a kippa-wearing Israeli who works for the Major League baseball team the Cincinnati Reds as a global associate in its international scouting staff — joins Yishai in-studio to talk about how his love for Israel and baseball go hand-in-hand.

Avraham Dovidovitch and his wife, Rosa Ester, look like Hassidic Jews, and they are. But they are also Zionists — that is, they are heeding their sense that God is calling his people back home to the land of Israel. They join Yishai in-studio to share the tale of their journey to observance, Hassidism and to making aliyah (immigrating to Israel) to the southern Hebron mountains. Then, Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the COO of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher certification agency, joins Yishai from New York to talk about how he is leading the effort to make medical marijuana products kosher. Finally, Michael Ordman, the founder of “Very Good News Israel,” a site whose name says it all, joins Yishai to talk about his endeavor to show the positive side of the Jewish state.

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