NEHEMIAH: Our First Politician, a Man for our Times
Presented by Jerry Friedman
Security, economic disparity, intermarriage, religious authority, urban planning, diaspora relations, clerical corruption, conspiracy, local unrest and Jewish renewal. Sound familiar? These issues faced by the modern State of Israel were also faced by Judea in the 5th century BCE with the return of the Jews from Babylon. Join Jerry Friedman for a look at how Nehemiah, recruited from the court of the Persian king in Shushan, came to Judea and confronted these challenges. Using the Book of Nehemiah as our guide, we will examine how our first “politician” dealt with these issues. We will look at his style of political leadership, drawing from the text and his words.
Nehemiah was not well regarded by our rabbis through the centuries, and we will perhaps discover why. We may even come away with lessons relevant to our Jewish state today.