Daniel Pinchbeck and Alan Sabrosky are important public intellectuals who have distinguished themselves tackling controversial topics with integrity and insight. Coincidentally, both just published articles on issues related to Jewish identity politics. (They are both ethnically Jewish but don’t practice Judaism, and are generally non-tribal in political orientation, with Daniel leaning left and Alan leaning right.)
First hour: Daniel Pinchbeck discusses his new article “Jewish Identity, Anti-Semitism, and Tikkun Olam: The Beginning of an Inquiry.” It begins:
“I don’t know why, exactly, I feel this desire — this responsibility — to say the unsayable. I don’t feel totally comfortable unless I am exploring areas of ambiguity and even threat that most people, sensibly, avoid. Sometimes this bears fruit and serves a useful social function. Other times, not so much.
“Why I feel this drive toward the unspeakable remains an open question. Actually, I connect my ongoing desire to explore taboo topics to the subject of today’s essay. This subject is, in part, my own relationship to Judaism. More than that, I want to reflect on Jewish power and influence in the world at this time when anti-Semitism is, once again, on the rise.”
Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of many books including Breaking Open the Head(Broadway Books, 2002), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006), and Notes from the Edge Times (Tarcher/Penguin, 2010), How Soon Is Now (2017), When Plants Dream (2019), and Conspiranoia (2020). He served as Executive director of the Center for Planetary Culture and has written for The New York Times Magazine, Esquire,Rolling Stone, ArtForum, The New York Times Book Review, and The Village Voice, among other publications.