On today’s Israel Uncensored with Josh Hasten, Josh tackles the horrible Monsey stabbing, where a machete-wielding hater of the Jews attacked a Hanukkah lighting ceremony in Monsey, NY this past Saturday night. Josh says that those who continue to ask “why” this attack and the many other anti-Semitic attacks are happening, need to wake up to the reality that if you are a Jew you are a target. Josh says that communal Jewish leaders, Rabbis, and others who host public gatherings within the Jewish community are negligent if they don’t provide adequate security in this day and age.

Photo Credit: Flickr / Heather

Hanukkah is the ultimate Israeli independence holiday. But does Hasmonean-style independence mean xenophobia? Rabbi Yishai Fleisher ponders the challenge of assimilation in light of Joseph’s dreams. Then, Malkah Fleisher on the Festival of Lights from the deep Negev and on Astronaut Jessica Meir’s Hanukkah socks from space.

This is a live interlude from Rav Mike Feuer – his annual class in memory of his father, Charles Feuer, OBM (of blessed memory). It is an exploration of the Hanukkah light as it has been gradually released through the challenges of history, theology and personal experience.

Gil Hoffman and Rabbi Stewart Weiss talk about miracles and Hanukkah and the challenge of forming a government in Israel. Rabbi Weiss says one of the messages of the Hanukkah story is that it is up to the Jewish people in Israel to end their internal fighting, in order to face the many external challenges plaguing the Jewish state. Gil says he believes with complete faith that a messiah will still come and prevent a third election, even though it currently looks detached from reality, and that the Jewish people never lose hope.

Photo Credit: Laliv g / Wikipedia

Deep in the Negev Desert, amongst ruins of a massive Byzantine city, Yishai talks about Hanukkah and the battle that continues to rage for Jewish cultural  independence as well as Israeli sovereignty in the Holy Land. The latest challenge to the Jewish presence in the ancestral  homeland is the discriminatory boycott policy of Airbnb and the fallout that could come if we don’t respond correctly to this challenge.  Will darkness beat out the light or will the Maccabee’s once again be victorious?

 

Why do nearly half of Israelis believe that their political leadership is corrupt and that their democracy is in danger? Gil Hoffman asks Israel Democracy Institute President Yohanan Plesner, a former Kadima MK, whose think-and-do tank has just published the findings of its annual comprehensive study, the Israel Democracy Index. Plesner explains why Israel is actually in good shape compared to other countries and how his study found that Israelis are very proud of their country, Israeli Arabs included. At the end of the show, Gil discusses the political impact of Israel’s operation on the Lebanese border, how special Hanukkah is in Jerusalem, and his pride in winning the annual Nefesh B’Nefesh Hanukkah Panoply Quiz Night.

The day after Hanukkah Rabbi Yishai is not satisfied. Can we make Hanukkah great again? Or will Christmas, and other fake narratives win the day? Will the great lie of “make Palestine great again” replace the light of Israel?

Gil Hoffman explains how the lessons of Star Wars and Hanukkah about good and evil, light and darkness, are one and the same. He applies those lessons to current events related to US President Donald Trump’s announcements about recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American embassy there and how the world reacted by bullying Israel at the UN and the Palestinians by firing rockets at a kindergarten. The show concludes with Gil talking about his scoop that Israeli cabinet ministries do not believe immigrants to Israel from English speaking countries have special needs and why they should make aliyah anyway.

Rabbis Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel connect the dots between Hanukkah, Joseph and the miracle unfolding in the hills of Judea.

Hanukkah is about Jewish victory over dark forces, and it’s certainly about empowerment. However it’s also about GRATITUDE – it’s about thanking God for the gifts of valor, purity, the Land of Israel, and the greatest gift of all – life. Join Rabbi Yishai in Judea as he discusses the courage of Joseph to accept redemption NOW and how to utilize gelt (holy money) and ward off guilt by replacing it with gratitude.

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