Satire is a key part of Jewish identity. Without the ability to laugh, I don’t think the Jewish people would have survived to this day. Even as a rabbi, some of the best advice I received as a rabbinical student was to take the work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. I’ve tried to live by those words for the better part of a decade now. For better or for worse, as a professional Jew, I spend a lot of time immersed in the sacred and holy, and it is all too easy to live a life consumed by the seriousness that we use to approach much of Jewish life. Maybe that’s why satire is necessary for Jewish identity—to cut through narcissism and ego like a knife through butter.
In my opinion, no one does this better than the hit Israeli TV series, “The Jews are Coming.” They imagine the ridiculous explanation Abraham gave to Isaac, and Ishmael right before their circumcision. They imagine what would have happened if one of the Israelites left their wallet in the sea after Moses led them through to safety. They imagine what the first interaction must have been like for the first Druze soldier inducted into the Israeli army (hint, not exactly warm and welcoming).
After Thanksgiving, Rabbi Rachael and I are co-teaching a series on the hit Israeli TV show, “The Jews are Coming.” To say we’re obsessed with the show might be an understatement...if that’s not a ringing endorsement, I’m not sure what is. We’re going to have a good laugh at ourselves, learn about Israeli culture, and see the potential for humor in even those most sacred of texts. No prior knowledge of Hebrew is required, everything will have subtitles.
Tuesdays, 7:00pm-8:00pm Zoom Only
Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13
Wednesdays, 12:00pm-1:00pm In-Person Only
Nov. 30, Dec. 7, 14