It is not every day that you get to speak with a legend, much less interview one. Here are some precious words I had with the Alter Rebbe of Jewish History, Rabbi Berel Wein. We touch on the nature of history, the Jewish people, the experience of salvation and much more.

History is all about telling the story after the fact, but there is a particular wisdom to be gained in the heat of the moment which is easily lost in hindsight. The first episode of season four begins to explore the impact of the Six Day War on American Jewry through the wisdom of the moment itself.

Just as surely as Shabbat follows the six days of the week, there was a day after the Six Day War. When the guns ceased and the discussion began, the framing of Israel’s victory became the new battlefield. The final episode of the season traces the path to UN Resolution 242, and uncovers some of its roots as well.

Photo Credit: Earth – Africa, Middle East and Europe, 5 March 2015, 21:14, Earth – Africa, Middle East and Europe Kevin Gill from Nashua, NH, United States

There are certain qualities which, when they manifest, define one’s story -determination is one of them. Here is the story of the conquest of the Golan and the close of the war, events which will determine much of the chapters to come.

Photo Credit: Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=59598576

What do you see as the greatest miracles in Jewish History? In many ways, how you answer indicates your understanding of history altogether. This episode deals with the first three days of the war, including the return of Am Yisrael to Jerusalem – I leave it up to you to decide where the miracle lies.

The countdown to war is progressing, and the pieces are almost all in place. As the pressure mounts, some of the fundamental flaws which lie at the heart of the Zionist project are exposed. The question which arises in this episode is – will Israel go it alone?

Photo Credit: Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 3.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22807330

Who can say when historical events like the Six Day War actually began, and what were their causes? It is a daunting task, but not one which we can shirk, nonetheless. Here is the first episode in our lead up to war – a look at a new personality, a battle and some broader context.

The exodus from Egypt was only the first step on the road to Sinai. The bridge between Egypt and Sinai, between liberation and revelation, is embodied in the practice of counting the Omer. Here is a reflection on the biblical narrative, the calendar and our current situation – all with an eye to making every day count.

The Jewish Story is narrative therapy for a nation, but how can it also serve each of us in our quest to be actors in our lives instead of objects? Listen in to this great Purim Torah, an exploration of what the conversation between Mordecai and Esther can teach us about owning our own story.

The present is always built on the ruins of the past, the only real question is – how do we integrate this reality into our identity? This episode looks at the beginnings of a shift in Israeli identity in the early 60s, together with the emergence of a new national consciousness among the Arabs in Israel and abroad.

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