Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploration into one key issue shaping Israel and the Jewish World — right now.
This week on What Matters Now, we’re handing the mic to Mishy Harman, the founder of The Times of Israel’s podcast partner, Israel Story.
Since the October 7 massacre by Hamas of some 1,400 individuals, mostly civilians, Harman and his team at Israel Story have pivoted from their long-form, carefully nurtured episodes to producing almost daily Wartime Diaries.
We at The Times of Israel asked the Israel Story team to compile a few episodes and after much deliberation, they selected three:
Karina Ariev, a 19-year-old corporal, was stationed at the Nahal Oz military base on the border with Gaza. Her family hasn’t heard from her since the morning of Saturday, October 7, when she was – most likely – abducted to Gaza. Ariev’s sister, Sasha, shares what life has been like since that fateful day.
For months Sivan Avnery — a physical therapist from Kfar Shmaryahu — was active in the demonstrations against the judicial reforms. Like hundreds of thousands of other Israelis, he felt he was fighting for his home, for the very nature of his country. But he had no idea how true that was about to become.
On Saturday morning, October 7, Avnery received a message that is every parent’s worst nightmare: His 18-year-old son Tal was — unbeknownst to him — at the Supernova party in Re’im, and was now fleeing for his life. Without a second of hesitation, Avnery knew exactly what he needed to do.
This war has forced many people to reevaluate their identities and political sensibilities—not an easy task during these shocking and painful days. Mor Maisel’s opinions are complicated and don’t conform to the norm, which may be challenging for some listeners, and reassuring for others.
So this week, we ask Mishy Harman, what matters now?
Check out the previous What Matters Now episode: