In just a few hours, Jews around the world will gather together at their Seder tables. They will drink wine, ask questions, search for the Afikoman, and recite the obligation to see themselves as if they personally had come out of Egypt. And that is, really, what the Seder is all about, the telling and retelling of the greatest Jewish “coming out” story of all time: a story of venturing out into the unknown, of wandering in physical and metaphorical deserts, and of seeking refuge in a new home.

In the prologue, “Miklat Israel,” host Mishy Harman goes into Rabbi Susan Silverman’s Jerusalem kitchen. There they talk about a 40-person-vegetarian Seder and a 40,000-person-humanitarian campaign.

Act 1: “The Hasbara Hero.” Payam Feili could have been the darling of Israeli hasbara. He could have gone on speaking tours, received standing ovations at AIPAC, and become a symbol of all that is good about the Jewish State. But that didn’t happen. Instead, his application for political asylum is stuck somewhere in the slow pipeline of Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority. In the meantime, he lives in a legal limbo—unable to legally work, obtain health insurance, or even open a bank account. Samuel Thrope brings us the story of an unlikely, and ambivalent, Zionist.

The original music in this episode was composed and performed by Ari Wenig, with help from Yochai Maital. The final song, “Avarnu Et Par’o” (“We Overcame Pharaoh”), is by Meir Ariel. The episode was edited by Julie Subrin, recorded by Ben Wallick, and mixed by Sela Waisblum. Thanks to Tamara Newman from the Hotline for Refugees & Migrants for editorial help.

Listen to the full episode here, or download a longer version from iTunes. You can hear all of Israel Story’s episodes in English here and in Hebrew here.





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