On this week’s episode of Unorthodox: whether schools should close for Jewish holidays, exporting American extremism to the West Bank, and Rosh Hashanah resolutions from host Mark Oppenheimer and Tablet staffers Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz.

Our Jewish guest is Rabbi Avi Shafran, director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, an umbrella organization for ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, Jews. He explains why he dislikes the term ultra-Orthodox, why secular Jews shouldn’t feel hostility toward more observant Jews (and vice versa), and the message he wishes he could impart upon non-observant Jews.

This week’s non-Jewish guest is Alex Sheshunoff, whose new book A Beginner’s Guide to Paradise (9 Steps To Giving Up Everything So You Too Can: Move to a South Pacific Island, Wear a Loincloth, Read a Hundred Books, Build a Bungalow, Diaper a Baby Monkey, and Maybe, Just Maybe, Fall In Love) is about the year he spent doing just that. His question for the panel regards the fishing wire he’s seen strung between electrical poles in San Diego, where he lives. What exactly is an eruv?

Tell us what you think of Unorthodox: Email Unorthodox@tabletmag.com with comments, questions, or voice memos. We’ll share our favorites on the air.





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