(Photo by Nadav Biran)

Are Jews still “the people of the book”? Are Israelis? What does that even mean today? In the third episode of Israel Story, we’ve got three stories that all revolve around people who rescue books, chase after books, or otherwise allow books to determine their destiny—from a Yiddish book collector based in the Tel Aviv central bus station to a lonely college student to bibliophiles in search of the lost fragments of the Aleppo Codex. And we chat with Israeli writer Etgar Keret, who has some original thoughts on where the “people of the book” tagline came from. (Listen to the full episode here, or download from iTunes. You can find all episodes of Sipur Israeli, the Hebrew version of Israel Story, here, and all our English-language episodes here.)

Prologue: People of the Whaaa?

Act 1: Yung Yiddish, reported by Danna Harman

Act 2: The Most Beautiful Book Ever Written, by Chaya Gilboa and performed by Dana Ruttenberg

Act 3: The Codex Underground, reported by Mishy Harman and Matti Friedman