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.
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?
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.
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.