Walls are something you can see. Something you can touch. Something you can run into and get a nasty bump on your forehead. Or are they? In our episode today—Part III of our miniseries—we tell the stories of three walls that don’t appear on a map. Three walls you’d probably miss unless you heard about them … well, here. But don’t think that makes them less important or present in Israeli society. Not at all. In fact, they help us trace our history all the way from its earliest beginnings to its menacing future.
Prologue: “Kacha Lo Bonim Choma.” Host Mishy Harman talks to Yoram Arbel, Israel’s quintessential sportscaster. Together they go back in time to Ramat Gan, 1989, where—in the middle of a pivotal World Cup qualifying match between Israel and Australia—an unimaginably iconic catchphrase was born.
Act 1: “Building a Wall.” When senior producer Yochai Maital tried to send a text message with some good news to his friends and family, he discovered that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp had all simultaneously crashed. That got him thinking. How much of his life, he wondered, relied on web-based platforms? What would happen if they all collapsed at once? And what really was being done to protect our ever expanding digital presence? Luckily, he knew just the man to ask: Gil Shwed, a computer geek from Beit HaKerem, Jerusalem, who—among other things—is widely considered to be the inventor of the modern computer firewall. Shwed recounts how, from his start at a local Orthodox community center, he went on to found and run Check Point, one of the world’s biggest software giants.
Act 2: “Lenny at the Gate.” What happens when an internationally renowned artist stands in front of his inspiring muse? Mishy Harman tells a tale which all began when, in November 1957, one particularly prominent New Yorker opened his Sunday morning Times and read about an outstanding biblical discovery halfway across the globe.
The original music in this episode was composed, arranged, and performed by the Israel Story band led by Ari Wenig and Dotan Moshonov, together with Ruth Danon, Eden Djamchid and Ronnie Wagner-Schmidt. The new lyrics to Leonard Bernstein’s “Maria” were written by Ari Wenig, who also sang it. The end song is our band’s cover of “Shomer HaChomot” (“The Keeper of the Walls”), written by Dan Almagor, composed by Benny Nagari, and originally performed by Zevet Havay Pikkud HaMerkaz. Additional music by Broke For Free, Lee Rosevere, Dotan Moshonov, Yochai Maital, Podington Bear, Kevin MacLeod, Biz Baz Studio, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Sensorama, Wayne Jones, and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. This episode was edited by Sara Ivry, Yochai Maital, Zev Levi, and Mishy Harman, and was mixed by Adam Milliner and Kfir Shai. Thanks to Latif Nasser, Revital Iyov, Lawrence Bull, Rafi Schoffman, Dani Schoffman, Yotam Michael Yogev, Nili Priel, Chanan Mazal, Adar Waldman, Gil Messing, Noam Bar, Shira Kaplan, Israel Finkelstein, Neil Silberman, Avner Goren, Gideon and Nechama Foerster, Shlomit Bechar, and Shlomo Maital for both dubbing and guiding us through the world of Israeli cybersecurity startups.
It is based on Israel Story’s latest live show tour, “The Wall.” Thanks to all who made that tour possible, including Sutton Place Synagogue, Ben Murane, and Hannah Cohen from NIF Canada, Peter Fehlhaber, Lynn and Aubrey Kauffman, Elisa and Gil Palter, Brian Garrick, Mindy Shipon, Rachel LeVine, Chris Phillips, and Chris Renda.