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Justin Alexander Shetler playing a wooden floot in the Parviti valley. This photo graph is from his Instagram feed.
“Lost in the Valley of Death” and the new relevance behind the story of Purim, (encore)
March 09, 2023
We talk with Canadian journalist Harley Rustad about his powerful nonfiction book, Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Death in the Himalayas. And then we take a new look at the meaning of Purim with Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman.
Harley Rustad
Lost in the Valley of Death: Seeking Justin Alexander Shetler, (encore) March 09, 2023
Harley Rustad recounts the life of Justin Alexander Shetler, an American man who vanished in India’s Parvati Valley in 2016. Shetler, described as a sort of “lost boy” by his friends, was on a spiritual quest, one that caused him to push himself to greater and greater extremes and eventually, fatal danger.

Rustad recounts his journey to India to trace Justin Alexander Shetler’s footprints and describes how the 35-year-old embarked on a perilous hike as a disciple of a holy man he barely knew. In the end, two men went up to the sacred lake, but only one came back.

Harley Rustad. Author, most recently of Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas, and features editor at The Walrus magazine. His writing has appeared in Outside magazine, The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, Geographical, the Guardian, CNN, and elsewhere. He is also a faculty editor at the Banff Centre's mountain and wilderness writing residency, and the founder of the Port Renfrew Writers’ Retreat. and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Lost In The Valley of Death. Harpe Collins
Lost In The Valley of Death
Harpe Collins
An ancient story challenges us to ask...will we rise to the moment? (encore) March 09, 2023
Earlier this month the Jewish community celebrated the festival of Purim. It involves feasting and wearing costumes, while remembering the story of how a queen saved the ancient Jewish people. And we hear from two women who are finding new inspiration in this ancient story to stand with oppressed women in the #MeToo era.

Abigail Pogrebin, author of My Jewish Year: 18 Holidays, One Wondering Jew
Martyn Oliver, director of Arab Studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University
Maharat Ruth Balinsky Friedman, of Ohev Shalom: The National Synagogue 

An early 20th-century depiction of Esther denouncing Haman.


This week's closing music, New Hope, by Audiobinger,
used under a Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 license.

Additional music by Blue Dot Session.

Remixes and sound design by Dissimilation Heavy Industries.