ISRAEL STORY | Ancient Land, Modern Tales ISRAEL STORY | Ancient Land, Modern Tales

Repentance, prayer and charity, we are told, are our saving graces when Yom Kippur comes around. And, of course, confession is a big part of that trifecta. But do we still get the coveted brownie points if that confession took thirty years?

In 1989, Robby Berman – a recent Yeshiva University grad and enthusiastic Zionist – made aliyah and was drafted into the IDF. But nothing in his basic training prepared him for the blood-chilling discovery he made in his friend Tom Cole’s Old City dorm-room. There, dangling from the ceiling, Robby saw what looked like a round Hershey bar. But it wasn’t. Instead, he immediately realized, it was a forgotten WWII hand grenade. Old and rusty, perhaps, but still fully operational. And how does one get rid of a hand grenade? Thirty years after the dramatic events of that evening, and just in time for Kol Nidre, Robby finally comes clean.

In one version of his life, he spends years in jail, as a homegrown terrorist. In the other, he walks away scot-free. What set his life on one path and not the other? In his first-person narrative, Robby answers that question and revisits his encounter with a real-world Detective Columbo.

This is the second of our listener drive specials. The Israel we try to explore is all about its people, about its diversity and complexity. About a place that’s both genuinely wondrous and utterly messed up. That cracks you up one moment, and brings you to tears the next. That’s heartfelt, bizarre, and interesting. So, on the eve of the Day of Atonement, as we open up our hearts and think back to our own story in the past year, please consider donating. Listener support is what makes our show possible.

Read more >>

For many folks, visiting the Kotel is emotional, meaningful and - more than anything - private. In fact, the single most common experience people have at the Western Wall is inherently personal - p...

Walls can make us feel safe, warm and protected. But that's also their greatest danger. After all, walls can cut us off from what is going on outside, and hiding behind them can give us a false sen...

Walls are something you can see. Something you can touch. Something you can run into and get a nasty bump on your head. Or... are they?! In our episode today - part three of our miniseries - we tel...

For the last seventeen years, when people say "the wall' and "Israel" in the same sentence, they're usually referring to something very specific: A four-hundred-and-forty-mile-long barrier - some 9...

Everywhere we turn these days, it seems as if walls are staring back at us. Their powers are magical: They protect and alienate; keep people both in and out; and can even - as we have all seen - br...

Over the last four episodes, we've told the stories behind some of Israel's most iconic songs. When we set off on this musical journey, we hoped to find a unicorn, a unifying island of Israeliness ...

00:00
|
00:00