In our very first episode, the Israel Story team delves into the realm of fakes, forgeries, and mimicry. Three stories, from different periods and places, of people pretending to to be something they are not. (You can find Sipur Israeli, the original, Hebrew version of Israel Story, here.) [Listen to full episode here, or download from iTunes.]

Prologue: The Israeli This American Life?! Mishy Harman talks to Ira Glass, host of the popular public radio program, about what it feels like to have an Israeli copycat. [Listen.]

Act I: Truly Fake. In 19th-century Jerusalem, Moses Wilhelm Shapira created fanciful forgeries of ancient Moabite artifacts that shook the world. But even today, 130 years later, no one is quite sure what to make of them. Are they fake? Real? Or both? (A version of this story first aired on PRI’s To The Best of Our Knowledge.) [Listen.]

Act II: Buzz Kill. An IDF cadet proves that there basically isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for love. [Listen.]

Act III: Disharmonia. Noa Guy was a promising Israeli composer and world-class pianist. When she came to New York 21 years ago to rehearse for a concert with Isaac Stern at Carnegie Hall, she never imagined the city would become her permanent home, or that her relationship to music would change forever. [Listen.]