Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Everything is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Here I Am, and the non-fiction Eating Animals, joins Dan and Lex for a conversation about the creative process.  This episode is the fourth in a series of episodes on art, creativity, preservation, and museums, brought to you in partnership with The Council of American Jewish Museums.   
(0:01 - 12:57): To begin the episode, Safran Foer dives into the process that goes into creating one of his books. In particular, he emphasizes that his books aren’t particularly pre-mediated, evolving in unexpected ways as they are being written. He then explores the role of Judaism in his works, which he cites as the element of his books that has most surprised him over the years. 
(12:58 - 24:40): Safran Foer looks in particular at one of his most explicitly Jewish books: The New American Haggadah. He looks back at his experiences of Passover, his sense that the holiday was not being observed to its fullest potential, and his efforts to fill a gap in the Passover world through the creation of this new resource. Next, the conversation turns to a non-fiction book that Safran Foer wrote, entitled Eating Animals, which Dan sees as a kind of “halachic” text (a text with implications for how one might act in the world).
(24:41 - 39:46): Providing an overview of the case he makes in Eating Animals, Safran Foer outlines the harmful impact of contemporary meat consumption — on animals themselves and on the environment more broadly.  He and the two co-hosts also explore the extent to which Judaism itself both does and does not comment directly on the question of ethical meat consumption. Continuing, he considers the intersection of religion (and Judaism specifically) with art. To close, he calls for an embrace of creativity — both within Jewish life and outside of it — while simultaneously cautioning against perfectionism.
 Dan alludes to a conversation with painter Yishai Jusidman at this point in the episode. Listen in to that conversation here: Episode 157: Painting the Unpaintable - Yishai Jusidman