Shalom everyone! Welcome to the first installment of a brand new podcast, Jew Oughta Know. My name is Jason Harris and I am your host. I came up with the idea of doing a podcast because…people are very busy. There is too much to do and not enough time to do it all, certainly not attend lots of lectures and events about Jewish topics. BUT I am hoping that you do have 15 minutes here and there to engage with some Jewish content, be entertained, and learn something.
A couple years ago I was staffing a Birthright trip in Israel for college students. We were at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. In the middle of the tour, one of my participants came up and said “Jason I have a question. I’m really confused about something that I keep hearing on this trip. Several people have mentioned it but I don’t think it’s like really a thing, so can you explain this to me: something about the Jews having been slaves in Egypt? Does that seem right?”
“Well yes,” I said. “A key part of our tradition is that we were slaves in Egypt in ancient times.”
“Wow,” he said. “That’s incredible, I never heard this before. Where does this information come from? Like where can I find out about it?”
“Well, the Bible. It’s one of the key stories of the Bible.”
“Huh,” he said, really confused. “I’ve never heard that this was a thing!”
“Well, you probably have,” I said. “You know, like Moses. If I say to you ‘Moses and the Ten Commandments’, you have some idea what I’m talking about, right?”
“Oh yeah,” he said. “Moses. I’ve heard of that guy!”
From this encounter I realized that many of my Birthright participants had a hunger for wanting to learn about all things Jewish, and there simply wasn’t enough time on a 10 day Birthright trip to get to it all.
Hence this podcast! Here at Jew Oughta Know I am going to cover any and all things Jewish — history, philosophy, religion, ideas, people, Israel, current events, culture, you name it. Basically, it’s a compendium of all the questions I get asked on Birthright trips, plus other stuff I think Jews oughta know.
I LOVE talking about Jewish history and ideas and current events, and I am really excited to bring this unique podcast to you all.
So let us begin.
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© 2017 Jason Harris