Posts Tagged ‘Rosh Hashanah’

Happy New Year!

Posted in General on September 20th, 2009 by Eugene Finerman – 2 Comments

And now, from the people who brought you monotheism, psychoanalysis and the atomic bomb (you must have noticed the similarities); it is the year 5770!  Yes, it is the Jewish New Year.   I think that the year’s number–5770–was calculated by Bernie Madoff, but we certainly are good for half that amount.

As we look forward to a new year and the new season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (in modern Judaism the two are practically the same), let’s mingle nostalgia and nausea over the events of the last year.

We certainly marvelled at Judd Apatow making the same film 43 times.  In this canon of masterpieces, a schlub always gets a gorgeous shiksa.  Thanks to Apatow’s brilliant, philosophical insight, I know that I could gain another 140 pounds, forgo bathing to the point of putrefaction, and sell my kidneys for marijuana, but I still can seduce Uma Thurman whenever I want.  If Natalie Portman or Rachel Weisz have a similar lust for me, they would do so in someone else’s films because Jewish women do not exist on planet Apatow.  I don’t think that my wife is flattered by Apatow’s perspective but she is interested in hearing Ms. Thurman’s offer for me.

In politics, Congressman Eric Cantor has established himself as the Republican Party’s Uncle Talmud.   Eric endears himself to his Virginia constituents by writing thank you notes for the burning crosses.  Now the House Minority Whip, Eric rose through the party ranks by helping his fellow Republicans with big words and letting them beat him up.  As Eric likes to tell himself, “Wedgies are good for your posture.”

In the arts this year, I was surprised to read that “Death of a Salesman” is a Jewish play.  Normally, I could find a Jewish reference in a hockey game (Quebec is on the Plains of Abraham), but I never noticed any Semitic tinge in Arthur Miller’s acclaimed play.  However, twice in the New York Times, a critic and a director refer to the Lomans as a Jewish family.  Let’s see:  Willy, Linda, Biff and Happy–and they like playing football.  How could I have missed it?  Very easily.  Arthur Miller was a Jew, but that doesn’t make his plays Jewish.  Otherwise, you might mistake “The Crucible” for “Fiddler on the Roof”.     Yes, some writers are unmistakably ethnic but they know it; that might explain why Neil Simon has yet to set a play in 16th century England (“Tower of London Suite”?).  But that is not true with Arthur Miller. Perhaps in real life, Marilyn Monroe waited to use the bathroom while Arthur Miller was reading “The Jewish Daily Forward”,  but you would never know that from “Death of Salesman”.  So–and this will be a first–I have to decline saying “Of course, you know that they were really Jewish.”

(Now in “The Little Foxes”, of course you know that they were really Jewish.”)

Finally, we end the year 5769 by thanking our cousin Jesus for-once again– not having a Second Coming.  If He returned, three-quarters of the world would be proved wrong.  But we might take it personally.  Even worse, His Believers wouldn’t be too thrilled.  The Protestants would be furious that He is a liberal.  Furthermore,  no one would be very happy that He looks more like Ben Stiller than Jude Law.  And guess who they would blame!  We certainly can wait for that.

So Happy 5770!