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Resilience and Ingenuity in Crisis

The following is a transcript of Episode 159 of the Identity/Crisis Podcast. Note: This is a lightly edited transcript of a conversation, please excuse any errors.

Yehuda: Hi, everyone. Welcome to Identity Crisis, a show about news and ideas from the Shalom Hartman Institute. I’m Yehuda Kurtzer, and we’re recording on Tuesday, October 17th, 2023. Israelis are remarkable in many ways. Impossible, often, but also remarkable. 

I’m in Israel this week, visiting my colleagues, doing some teaching, and checking in on relatives and friends. It’s an impossible time to be here, under this veil of mourning that still hangs over all of us from the events of October 7th, and with anticipation, or dread, of the expansion of Israel’s war with Hamas that has slowed all non war related activity in this country to a halt. 

Israelis have been so kind to me for coming, even though I come here all the time, and I had the ticket booked way beforehand. I think they want to be seen right now. I think maybe also you really do appreciate it when someone makes the effort to come to Shiva, even if all they did was sit for a few minutes and grab a rugelach on the way out. 

And as I was preparing to come, we were in touch with several relatives and friends to see what they needed. This one wanted melatonin because the kids can’t sleep. That other one needed a package of underwear for her husband who got called up to the army. And 200 or so headlamps. I’m not sure if I’m confessing right now to a customs violation, but my duffel bag was straight-up full of headlamps. 

Now, I’m not a smuggler. The reason I had 200 was because my friend who asked me to bring some for her husband also saw an opening. If he needed headlamps, other people probably also needed headlamps. Some WhatsApp messages began to flutter, an Excel spreadsheet materialized, an Amazon order was placed, and finally I showed up at her door from 7, 000 miles away with a duffel bag full of headlamps. After I dropped it off, we were chatting in the stairwell when one of her friends came over. It turns out she was one of the headlamp buyers in this distribution chain, and she was elated that she could now get her package of 20 to send to her loved one and his unit. 

But meanwhile, though, she was on to a bigger and more important project. The doctors mobilizing in the South needed medical supply kits. She had located the suppliers, she had a clear price list, and now she just needed some cash up front. It was just a million shekel, and we had just met, but maybe I, visibly American, just off the plane for America, maybe I knew somebody? I was dazed by the whole interaction.

There’s so much trauma, and fear, and confusion right now, and also a kind of manic energy in particular corners among those folks in the world. And you know the types of people I’m talking about, who know exactly how to snap into action, regardless of what they themselves are personally experiencing. 

Professor Effie Shoham is a historian at Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva. He specializes in medieval Jewish history. His most recent book is about Jews and crime in medieval Europe. All of that is normal. And maybe in peacetime, his academic research would make for its own interesting podcast topic. But nothing is normal, and Effie’s last ten months have been anything but normal. 

For the past 10 months, until 10 days ago, Effie was devoting the bulk of his time to being a professional Israeli citizen, helping to spearhead the grassroots efforts in Jerusalem called Shomrim al Habayit Hameshutaf, Protecting the Shared Home, a group that was leading the anti-government protests in Jerusalem and mobilizing the Israeli citizenry to take responsibility for its democratic culture. 

Then, overnight, following the Hamas invasion, Bayit Hameshutaf became a grassroots mobilizing effort for supply chains to support the newly vulnerable in Israel, as well as for the needs of the influx of army reservists. The protests went on hold, and the powerful organizing system was instantly redeployed to its country’s most urgent needs.

You know, I understand resilience, and I think I’ve seen examples of it before in the world. And I think I also understand ingenuity. But I don’t know that I’ve seen resilience and ingenuity travel so seamlessly together than in this moment. And I’ll also add that I’m fascinated to see, up close and personal, a truth about patriotism that’s often expressed in banalities, but sometimes you get to see it in nature, in real life, that to love a person’s country is to constantly fight for its betterment, to let go of the divide between support and criticism as though those things are opposites. The same mechanism and the same people that were organizing Jerusalemites against their government a week and a half ago are now organizing Jerusalemites to support each other. It’s not a contradiction, and it never was. 

Effie, thank you for taking a little bit of time out of the important work that you’re doing to join us this morning on this podcast. I want to start just by asking you, just tell us a little bit about what the last ten days have looked like for you, for your family, and in the beginning of this new piece of work that you’ve taken on.

Effie: Good morning, thanks for having me. I should say that the past 10 days have been a challenge. As we walked into the studio I said that I think I cannot remember a worse time in my own life, and the challenges are massive. They’re big. This war befell us at a time when we are vulnerable. We are vulnerable because there is internal argument over the judicial overhaul. I’m sure that our enemies were cognizant of that. They understood the criticism that you mentioned within Israel to be a kind of loophole through which they can try and undermine our society. 

And I think what they’re meeting right now is exactly what you mentioned, the resilience of Israeli society and its mobilization, its pulling together. I have three sons at the front right now, out of my five total, two at home, three in the front. And I cannot sit idle. It’s not in my nature. That’s why I was on the streets for the past 10 months with Shomrim Al Habayit Hameshutaf, and that’s why I’m currently at what we have called, just a week ago, the Jerusalem Civil Command Center, the Hachamal Haezrachi Hayerushalmi

It’s a joint venture made up by a few civil society organizations that have pulled together, not all see eye to eye politically, I should say that Shomrim has joined with Shalem College. Shalem College is a relatively right-wing academic institute that has different views about the judicial overhaul. But since we can partner together and we need to kind of pull everything by the bootstraps, we partner with anyone that we can in order to make the best of what we can do right now as the situation unfolds. 

Yehuda: I imagined that after 10 months of a judicial reform protest, you’re probably in the zone, you knew how to do it, the movement against the judicial reform and against the government actually had scored a bunch of wins in terms of when Defense Minister Gallant got fired, the protest movement successfully restored him. You had slowed a lot of the judicial reform process to a halt. 

I know that there are more, quote-unquote, more important things, but do you feel any sense of kind of ambivalence or loss about having to kind of stop that process and engage with this? Or it’s kind of just irrelevant now, the whole conversation about judicial reform?

Effie: It’s never irrelevant, in my humble opinion. It’s never irrelevant because we are at this point because of what has been done to the Israeli government, to the Israeli system, to the Israeli society over the past 10 months.

So it’s not irrelevant and the criticism is very much there, but we understand that under the circumstances we need to mobilize, and what we did was actually deploy the system that we have put together over the past 10 months at the disposal of these civil resilience institutions that were forming as we speak.

It’s, as you said, a grassroots effort, and it’s, you know, coming of age right now very rapidly. But we have used the systems that we have very meticulously put together over the past 10 months. For instance, I’ll just give you one example. Over the past 10 months, we’ve established probably six or seven WhatsApp groups that have altogether more than 6,000 people that get our messages, get our calls.

Part of these systems were put in motion exactly at the night when Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant was fired and people hit the streets, because you could send out a WhatsApp message to 6, 000 people and say, show up at this point and make your stand and make your claim and voice your opinion, and that’s exactly what happened.

And these protests enabled an infrastructure for mobilizing a lot of people for things they believe in. And currently, most Israelis believe in the need to put shoulder to shoulder and coalesce and confront the situation we are up against, first and foremost in trying to supply our troops, to help our society that is in dire need. I can say that through this emergency command center that we’ve put up in Jerusalem, we’re helping more than 2,500 evacuees. Actually, refugees should be the right

Mr. Haim Jelin, former Mayor, so to speak, of the Southern District, said, stop talking about evacuees, start speaking about refugees. These are people who are refugees in their own country. And these people are set up in hotels and all kinds of makeshift places in Jerusalem. And we need to care for them because some of them have been evacuated from their homes with literally the clothes on their bodies. So we need to get clothes for these people. We need to set them up in apartments and hotels. We need to care for their children. We need to help them find the right avenues to reach out to government to get support, proper support, because we, again, civil society here is stepping in where the government has fallen short of giving aid to these people. 

And there is exactly the nexus between my criticism about society and about what has been going on here and the situation right now. We are moving in and we’re stepping into a void, into a vacuum, that was evacuated by the government, but it has been done over, the chipping of these institutions, has been long.

Yehuda: Yeah. So I want to come back to the government critique in a moment, but you said, you know, when you said we’ve come together with all these other institutions, and across political differences because we currently believe we need to stand shoulder to shoulder. And I feel like that word currently is doing a lot of work.

The reason I say that is because you’re talking about Israeli society is deeply polarized on a set of issues. It’s altogether possible, in a country like this, that even a war effort would be understood through partisan political terms. So what was it that you think made it possible, in this particular case, that left and right had basically coalesced around a shared enterprise? Was it the magnitude of the attack by Hamas? What is it, because I could imagine in America, there’s virtually no issues that wouldn’t instantly feed into polarization as opposed to resist it?

Effie: I’ll say two things. First, the magnitude definitely has something to do with it. I think the core of it is the fact that it was not the military that sustained the heavy blow, but rather the citizens, the people. We have more than 1,300 casualties among Israeli civilians. This is unheard of. I want to remind you that on, during the Yom Kippur War, Israeli society suffered probably 2, 600 casualties. All were military men, hardly any civilians. 

Here, the civilian, I don’t know the, the good English word for orif, but the civilian society has suffered a very, very heavy blow and it cuts across the board politically, as far as denominational groups, not only political groups, but Haredi, Dati, Kibbutznikim, who are complete, 

Yehuda: Israeli Arab.

Effie: Israeli Arabs, Bedouins, and the need for mobilization on a very, very broad front is very clear. So it’s way beyond political ideas and criticism. The need is very, very deep. We hear, we see the people. We meet them. They arrived at our doorstep, literally. So, there’s no other way to respond to this kind of crisis, but rather, you know, stand shoulder to shoulder with anyone who’s willing to extend and, and, and lend a helping hand.

Yehuda: So what, what, there’s something that’s confusing, which is, Israel is by and large a functional society, and yet there’s something that seems so broken that required the kind of civilian intervention that you’re talking about. And some of it that you already hinted is, you know, your sense of the dysfunctionality of government.

But it’s a little bit strange how poor it seems the IDF supply chains were. So what are the forces that are motivating the weakness or, like, what was missing that required this kind of civilian emergency infrastructure to step in and fix?

Effie: So here I’ll lend my, you know, not really professional opinion as a historian, because I’m a medievalist, I’m not a historian of current society or Israeli society, but I’ve been living here for all my life. This country used to be much more social democratic in the sense that there were systems of government that were geared up for being there for civil society.

And over the past, I guess, 15, but more, years, there’s been a constant chipping at that. Many places were abandoned by government and NGOs took over, with relief, with help, even with health care. Health care was founded in this country before the state was founded, right? We’re talking about Kupat Cholim being established in the 1920s. The state of Israel came to be in 1948. 

So social security and medical insurance was here in the Jewish society of Eretz Yisrael prior to the existence of the state, but it’s been chipped at for many, many years, and I think in many ways, this constant chipping, especially under the current government and those especially headed by Mr. Netanyahu, with his ideas about how funds should be distributed, what side of the political map and economic policies should be pulled off, these institutions were eroded, and I think civil society and its organizations and NGOs were established to kind of heed that call during the past 15 years.

And that’s why they are here at the forefront of the aid because government has shrunk and has pulled out and has stepped away from many of its, I think, needed areas of operation. And here, I’m putting forward, my political opinions here are very, very firm. I believe in social democracy. I believe in the involvement of government. I do not believe in complete liberalism.

Yehuda: You want to actually be a historian. 

Effie: I do. Right.

Yehuda: Right. Right. So, in other words, you want the government to effectively doing what it’s supposed to be doing, but absent its, its failures. So, let’s go back actually, if we can, 10 months. I know it feels like 10 days ago was 10 months, but you did basically put your professional career in some ways on hold to get involved as a citizen.

Effie: I tried to juggle.

Yehuda: Yeah. Yeah, I don’t wanna get you in trouble at all, but you do, but you have been

Effie: No, no, I’m not getting in trouble. 

Yehuda: spending quite a bit of time on this. So tell me tell a little bit about like what was it that motivated you to basically become effectively a professional organizer, to move to the streets, and to move from being what most of us would say are disgruntled citizens, frustrated with some aspect of our government, or otherwise, and move from that, to actually saying, I need to move the people to the streets.

Effie: I think what motivated a lot of our core group of people that are deeply involved in this movement called Shomrim Al Habayit Hameshutaf, is the fact that it was like a perfect storm that happened to Israeli society. There were too many things afoot that drew us in. It had to do not only with the very brutal way by which the government tried to change the equilibrium between the branches of government and force its hand on the judiciary in a very brutal way.

But it came part and parcel with the coalition relying on the most extreme and racist elements in Israeli politics and this created an atmosphere that just could not leave you in your home grunting and yapping about it, but actually trying to form coalitions and understandings with people of like minds in order to do something about it.

And indeed, I, as you mentioned in your introduction, the protest movement has won a few victories in at least trying to stop the velocity and the speed in which the government was so determined about implementing these changes. And we have seen how the civil protest, and government spokesmen have spoken to that effect, that indeed the government was caught by surprise.

It seems to be run like a leitmotif in our discussion.

Yehuda: Yup.

Effie: But it was caught by surprise by how disaffected people were by this attempt to kind of de-balance the country in one political way. Again, there are a lot of people who believe in the need for reform and a change, but the way things were orchestrated and the brutality in which the government tried to use a very slim majority in parliament in order to pull this off, and the fact that this majority relied on very, very bigoted and, and racist fractions of Israeli society, all that put together mobilized us to try and pull the handbrake on this.

Yehuda: Just to do something. Yeah. You know, and I think I may have mentioned on this show before, but, when I was here over the summer, and we went to the protests, both in Jerusalem and we went to Tel Aviv, and I spoke at the protest, and, you know, one of my kids said to me as we were walking back, he said, like, Abba, why didn’t Americans take to the street like this at any point during the Trump administration. There was a brief window of time following the inauguration, with the Women’s March, where people showed up, but it had nowhere near the momentum of 40 consecutive weeks of showing up to protest. 

So it wasn’t just there was a trigger, there was a catalyst, and we went to the street. There was also momentum. Talk a little bit about that momentum, like what it took to sustain that momentum over time.

Effie: I’ll go back to this momentum because I believe it has to do deeply with the fact that a lot of Israelis have in their backgrounds military service. And what you are taught, especially if you’re in a fighting unit, like myself and my three sons, what you’re taught are rules of resistance and resilience.

And you know, one of the things you are taught is that you do not abandon your post. And if you realize that this is the post you’re supposed to stick to, then unless you get a direct order saying, we need you now, back, or we’re withdrawing you, you stick to the front lines. And this mobilization is part of the DNA of Israeli society. It has been since the establishment of the state. And a lot of people involved in the protest are people with military background, quote unquote. 

But people who’ve, you know, been in this kind of mindset all their lives, they’ve been either called up to reserve duty. I was in reserve duty for more than 25 years. So this is part of my emotional and intellectual DNA. If this is what I believe in, I do not stand down unless, you know, I get a direct order saying that what you’re doing is completely superfluous and whatever. 

Yehuda: Right. In this context, it means you totally win. 

There’s something that feels very dangerous to me right now about this moment in Israel, and I’m coming in from the outside and observing this, but for the past ten months, there’s been tremendous rage and frustration about the government. That rage has not abated, right. In fact, it’s actually worse now because the 60-plus percent of Israelis who wanted the government to slow down the process of judicial reform or who were angry about one piece of government or another are now joined by a much larger majority of the country that feels that they were major intelligence failures, we don’t even know what they were yet, leading up to this war. 

And you have a situation now, where you are part of a civil infrastructure that is helping to kind of plug the holes where government has failed, which effectively is a means of saying, working in partnership with government. And what feels very dangerous to me right now, maybe fragile, is, the government is going to make other mistakes. It has potential to make terrible tactical mistakes in the war, to try to leverage a war for its own political gain. 

What happens to the coalition of this social and civil intervention the minute that the government begins to teeter even more. And I guess another way of saying that is, is there a political strategy that’s part of this civil organizing?

Effie: So again, the crisis is young, so to speak. The civil strategy is being fought about, as we speak. I’m kind of disclosing to you a lot of the ideas and thoughts that we are all, you know, having in our heads and discussing over the past few days because that’s what we’ve been doing. I’ve been having two hours of sleep a night, A, because I’m concerned and B, because I’ve been, the work that I’ve been doing, we’re trying to get, you know, an idea of what’s going on.

We should remember and I think this is also part of what I’ve been talking about before. Israel has a good civil service. The civil service has been, again, undermined in many ways, but it’s got a very good civil service, and it’s an apolitical civil service, and there’s an etiquette of a civil service that’s apolitical.

And we are partnering with these elements in government, people who we know and they stand out very clearly, because you see that the people who were appointed recently are totally incompetent from, you know, the highest branches of government down. But the people who are within the civil service, and that includes the military, they are competent, they’re trying their best, and they are the people we are in touch with, and they are the people that we feel may be able to help us deliver this deliverance, quote unquote, and help us, you know, cement the holes that have become very apparent in our wall.

On the other hand, I should say we are very alert. In other words, the past 10 months have turned a lot of Israelis into very alert. People are, it’s very hard to spin people’s minds, as it may have been in the past. The past 10 months, even among those who are not avid protesters, people are more suspicious about government and about political machinations and the awareness and the awakening of that within Israel is a good sign. It’s the good sign of democracy, in the sense that people are engaged, they’re involved, they care to the point that they are willing to protest on the streets, on the one hand, but they also have a watchful eye on the people at the helm. 

And I think part of the way government is responding to this crisis is, in hesitation, has to do with the fact that elements in the government are very, very mindful of the fact that they are being monitored, very closely monitored. And in that respect, I share your sense of danger, but I’m also hopeful, because once we have this in motion, I think the number of mistakes will be reduced. There are bound to be mistakes, there’s no question. But I think the government is also mindful that the, the very involved citizens. 

Yehuda: That people are watching. 

Effie: Yeah, they are.

Yehuda: There were a couple of news stories in the last couple of weeks about the mobilization effort, I said the last couple of weeks, last week, obviously, about the mobilization effort. 

Effie: Eleven days.

Yehuda: God. It feels like years. 

Effie: Yeah. It does.

Yehuda: The mobilization efforts where there was kind of like a frenzy around both, you know, supplies for civilians who were whose houses were destroyed and burned. I mean, I’m not sure that folks who are watching for America fully grasp the extent of the devastation of some of the kibbutz and yishuv communities that were

Effie: 128 yeshuvim, 128, not settlements, but towns, villages, were evacuated from the, around the Gaza area. That’s a huge number.

Yehuda: And of the communities that were attacked, fully one-third of the residents were either killed or injured. I mean it’s

Effie: Or abducted.

Yehuda: Or abducted. It’s just extraordinary.

So there’s, you know, there’s the organizing of supplies, support, hotel rooms, transport, babysitting for that population. But then there’s also this, all this stuff about the army is short on supplies and there have been bad stories about it including like, okay, well, we’re going to send these bulletproof vests, but it turns out they’re not bulletproof, or in one case, somebody said to me, they sent all of these black vests, but actually Hamas wears black vests in the field. So suddenly these are not useful.

There’s an immense amount of risks associated with civilians trying to fill in the military stuff. Also, obviously, in moments like this, there’s some amount of kind of black market opportunism, there’s gotta be fraud, there’s gotta be duplication of efforts.

How severe are those challenges in terms of the work that you’re doing, and how much does someone on the outside who’s trying to help need to be cautious about where they direct their support in a moment like this?

Effie: Right. So that, of course, is a very, very hard question to answer, especially given the fact that, again, we’re 11 days into this conflict and we are trying to learn it as we move in.

You’re 100 percent right. I think part of the needs of the army have to do with the fact that a huge amount of people were mobilized. Normally in previous conflicts, the number of people mobilized, people called in for the reserve was much smaller. I was called in for such a conflict in 2009. My son was called in in 2014. The number of civilians who had to change their clothes from civil clothes to military uniform was much smaller. 

Israel is mobilizing almost its entire reserve capacity, which is an enormous number of people by Israeli standards. It’s more than 300,000 people. And of course, when you mobilize such a huge amount of people, some of the supplies that are normally designated for frontline soldiers, which in previous conflicts was a much smaller number, suddenly have to meet the demands of a much larger body of people. So that’s part of it, I guess. 

The number two is that we are way more connected than we used to be to the soldiers on the front line. Think about the discrepancy between soldiers shipped from the U.S. in 1941 and coming back home in 1945 and the only means of communication was a postcard or a letter. Today we are in constant contact with the people on the front line and again. The distances are minute. I mean, my son called me up the other day and said, Dad, I’ve got 12 hours. Can you pick me up? I want to come home and meet my wife and kid. And I said, sure, and it’s an hour and a half ride. So, and of course I could get to his base and pull him out and bring him back in, and of course he could do that because he has a cell phone, I have a cell phone, and the communication lines are very short. Not only the distances, but the communication lines. So the demands are flowing.

Yehuda: So that’s increasing demands because if people know that they can reach their family,

Effie: Right, of course.

Yehuda: And say, hey, can I get another pair of underwear, then they’re going to ask for it. Whereas previously, they might not have asked for it. 

Effie: Right, right, I was in Lebanon sometimes for three, four weeks and I did not change my underwear, I’m sorry for the honest disclosure here, just because I didn’t have another pair. But here there’s this huge outpour of attempt to kind of, you know, hug your soldier, on the one hand and also, everybody is involved, right?

Moms hear their sons on the phone, they say, do you have a bulletproof vest? And he says, well, um, no, because, only one-third of the unit has it, because that’s what the army designates. And, wow! And the mom goes ballistic, right? For obvious reasons. She’s a mom. That’s her job. So you have this sense of, of need that sometimes is not calibrated, so to speak.

I think what we’re going to be seeing over the next few days, hopefully not weeks, but days, is that all the regulating agencies in this respect are going to move in. The army already has done that with the bulletproof vests.

Yehuda: Yeah, the army has kind of indicated, like, stop

Effie: Stop. Right.

Yehuda: On certain military equipment, please stop.

Effie: Right. And again, soft military equipment like headlamps, that’s fine. That’s, it’s nice to have, but it’s not a need. It’s very nice to have, from experience, but it’s not a need. Arms, I understand, are not a need, right? Ammunition is not a need that the government can, you know, ask for, if it needs and so on. And we, we also have the capacity for that.

I think the most pressing need currently is to help the Israeli society reach a point where it can stand tall and stand strong. And for that, we need a lot of help, on the civil level. Again, reaching out to the communities that have been hit, severely hit, traumatized, left with no belongings, literally no belongings, I’m sure one of the things we see on the horizon on, you know, after the conflict will be done, is rebuilding these communities, not only as communities, but the actual infrastructure, the homes trying to convince people to return to live in these places after they’ve been so deeply traumatized. 

So that is, I think, the most pressing need right now for Israeli society to realize that this is where we have to step in, lend a shoulder, lend a helping hand to our brethren and sisters and to all the communities that were affected again from all walks of life, Israeli society, Bedouin communities, Arab, Israeli communities, Haredi communities, kibbutzim, development towns in the south, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, all these, and I, as we speak, we are also facing some serious issues in the North, I hope this will not erupt, but who knows? There are a lot of chips in this game.

Yehuda: So, you know, you’ve been generous with your time and you have more important places to be. I’ll ask you a last question, which is, you have principally a North American Jewish audience here largely, I think, overwhelmingly sympathetic to the cause of what you’re trying to do, probably overwhelmingly sympathetic to the previous cause, fighting against judicial reform, but a sympathetic now and eager to help. 

There’s a whole bunch of mobilization efforts that I, I’m looking around in my community back in New York and I’m like, no, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to build a case of cornflakes and send it to Israel. That can’t quite be right, but people are desperate to help. You know, what’s the most important thing that you would say to North American Jews who wanna support this effort? What do you want from them?

Effie: First of all, I want a vocal support. I think that’s currently the most important thing. I should say that we were taken aback by some of the places that have manifested kind of a misunderstanding of the gravity of the conflict and, and the moral aspects of the conflict. I mean, we’re talking about targeting civilians, old men and women, babies, women violated. You know, there are no two sides to this. There’s good and bad. There’s good and evil. Evil was manifest in this attack to the point that is unfathomable. And I would expect the North American Jewish community to step in and say that out loud and use all its power, its might, its ability to stand with Israel in that respect. That’s number one. 

Number two is, again, as it has done in the past, and, and admirably so, financially support, politically support, Israel at this point. I realize that the government is not the government I’m happy with, but at this point, I would like to have good political support across the house in Washington, and financial support.

And for that I appreciate people like yourself and like other leaders in the American Jewish community who reach out and ask Israeli organizations to vet for them the exact avenues through which to help. And what I expect and what I want is that, for you to trust us, to understand where the needs are at any given moment, and make it as easy and as flawless as possible.

We realize that there is always concern out there. The people’s money and efforts and goodwill will be, you know, misled into all kinds of hoaxes. Please let us help you. Reach out to us, the people that you know personally and that you feel you that are responsible and that you feel that are trustworthy and we will help you, we will guide you, we will direct you. I’m sure that once, you know, the mayhem of the beginning is gonna die down then, then we will be able to give targeted messages as where help is currently needed in the most desperate and most sincere way. 

Yehuda: Well, we’ll put a link to Habayit Hameshutaf on our website, into the show notes. I’m really grateful that you took some time.

Effie: Sure, I’m grateful that you came over. It’s, it’s, as you said, it’s pre-planned, but it’s probably providence that you’re here.

Yehuda: In any event, and I’ll just say the Identity Crisis community and all of us are praying for the health and safe return of your three boys.

Effie: Thank you.

Yehuda: Identity Crisis is produced by M Louis Gordon, and executive produced by Maital Friedman, with assistance from Sarina Shohet and Tessa Zitter. This episode was edited by Gareth Hobbs at Silver Sound NYC.

Transcripts of our show are now available on our website, typically a week after an episode airs. To find them and to learn more about the Shalom Hartman Institute, visit us online at We’ll see you next week and thanks for listening. 

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