Since the destruction of the Second Temple at the hands of Rome, most Jews, for most of Jewish history, have lived in the Diaspora. What are the survival strategies, built up over centuries, that allowed far-flung Diaspora communities to endure and to remain connected to the broader Jewish people?

In researching her forthcoming book, Exile: Portraits of the Jewish Diaspora, Swedish-born journalist Annika Hernroth-Rothstein visited a dozen communities from Iran to Tunisia, Uzbekistan to Siberia, Cuba to Venezuela, to profile Jewish life in small communities around the world. And what she learned about the miracle of Jewish continuity is sure to fascinate and inspire you. In this podcast, Ms. Hernroth-Rothstein joins Jonathan Silver for a conversation about her journeys around the world. You’ll hear about what it was like praying in a synagogue with Tehran’s remaining Jewish community, what she learned speaking with pious Jews of Djerba, and how, while fleeing a warrant for her arrest in Venezuela, she was reminded that wherever Jews find themselves in the world, they are family.

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This week on America’s most beloved political podcast, we get deep in the weeds on impeachment: can it happen, how would it work, and the politics surrounding it. But first, we travel to Venezuela where our intrepid correspondent Annika Rothstein, who tells a harrowing story that we won’t spoil here (yes, we know the audio on her segment was sub-par — socialists run lousy telecommunications operations. Go figure.). Then, if you want to understand a possible Constitutional crisis, you should ask a Constitutional law professor. Luckily, we have John Yoo on speed dial (kids, ask your parents what speed dial is). He delves into the legal ramifications of impeachment and contempt of Congress before he had to rush off to his next TV hit. Do read his Washington Post op-Ed for more detail. Finally, we wrap up with another edition of our “Handicap The Democratic Field” segment. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who’s going nowhere fast? We break it all down for you (spoiler alert: It’s been a bad few weeks for Beto).

Music from this week’s show: Matilda by Harry Belafonte

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Annika Rothstein, an independent journalist, has been reporting for some time on the miseries – and resilience – of the Venezuelan people. Last weekend she went to the Colombian border, where government forces had assembled to keep an aid convoy from entering the country. 

The story she got was one she was lucky to survive. We speak to her in relative safety, where she recounts the story of a very bad day in a dangerous country – and what the people she encountered say about the forces wrecking Venezuela.

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This week on the Big Show, we start in frigid Minnesota, home of one James Lileks, who describes life in a Polar Vortex for those of us who live in more temperate climes. Then, we’re off to the swamps of Jersey for a visit from Commentary’s Noah Rothman to talk about his fascinating new book Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America. Then, it’s off to Venezuela where Annika Rothstein is on the ground in Caracas reporting on the collapse of a revolution. Finally, we end up back in the good old U.S. of A for some Super Bowl picks from the hosts. Who ya got?

Music from this week’s podcast: Not as Much as Football by Mojo Nixon

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