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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Silverman’

Sarah Silverman is Not to Blame

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

To be perfectly honest, until yesterday, I had never heard of Sarah Silverman. I never saw a photo or a video of her; I never heard her jokes, nothing.  While a great deal of junk American culture seeps into the Land of Israel, still we are sheltered from much of it, thank G-d, and I never heard her name mentioned in Israel at all. Until yesterday, when to my surprise and chagrin, I saw the immodest photo of her on the homepage of The Jewish Press, in her sleeveless top and her butt sticking into the air. Gevalt!

Reading on about the silly fuss, I was further chagrined. Rachmonis on rabbis in America if this is where their heads are at. First of all, looking at photos and videos of young ladies like Sarah is the Torah transgression of straying after one’s heart and one’s eyes. From the description of her comedy routines, listening to her is a violation of taking part in a gathering of mockers and scorners. So what is a rabbi doing in a place he doesn’t belong?

Furthermore, is he now going to set out on a campaign to rebuke every Jewish comedian in Hollywood, and every Jewish actor, director, playwright, musician, politician, Facebook inventor, and Jewish Federation president who married a gentile? Why single out Sarah? Pick on Simon and Garfunkel instead.

But I want to say something much deeper than this. Why blame Sarah? She’s the product of the culture she grew up in. Why should she believe in the Torah? Why should she follow the Torah when the rabbis in America don’t follow the Torah either? If they did, they’d all live in Israel.

Sure, they do more mitzvahs than Sarah. She honors her parents, and gives charity, and don’t worship idols, or murder; and they observe all these commandments and more, but as long as they’re not living in Israel, they’re picking and choosing the mitzvahs they do, just like Sarah, so what’s the big squawk? Why point a finger at Sarah?

For the last two thousand years, three times a day, religious Jews have been beseeching God to bring us back to the Land of Israel, and now that God has opened the doors of aliyah and miraculously rebuilt the Jewish Homeland into one of the leading nations in the world, as He promised He would, why linger and languor in Dallas of all places? Where is Dallas, Texas mentioned in the Torah? If rabbis in America don’t want Jewish children growing up with their heads filled with trashy American culture and slang, then let them move to Israel and set an example for others, just like our forefather Abraham did.

If the rabbis of America want the young Jews in America to respect and love the Torah, then let them champion a true version of Torah and move to Israel, just like it says in the Torah over and over and over again.

Of course Sarah Silverman thinks the Torah is phony. That’s what she sees all around her – Orthodox Jews keeping the Torah in a place the Torah isn’t meant to be kept; Orthodox Jews who prefer living in the impure land of the gentiles rather than living in the Holy Land of the Jews; Orthodox Jews who tell their kids that they are Americans with wonderful American futures waiting for them, when the Torah and all of the Prophets of Israel call to us from the Torah to come home, come home, come home – and now that the Almighty has given us our own Jewish State, with a solid Israeli economy, more Torah learning and Torah giants in Israel than in any other place in the world, and a free airplane ride with Nefesh B’Nefesh, what are the Orthodox Jews waiting for? Of course, Sarah thinks that the Torah and its Orthodox practitioners in America are phony. But why attack Sarah? Physician heal thyself!

Tzvi Fishman

Sarah Silverman Took Us Down

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Apparently nothing is more important in the world than Sarah Silverman and her uterus. As the entire world, and her father, have decided to visit (and revisit) the website to read and comment on Rabbi Rosenblatt’s article.
Unfortunately, our server is having trouble keeping up with this unbelievable volume of traffic.

We apologize if you’re among those who haven’t been able to access the site (but then how are you reading this?), and congratulations, if you’ve made it to this point.

We’re temporarily tweaking the server’s capabilities right now to handle this very incredible spike, and appreciate your understanding. If you can’t get on, please try again in a few minutes.

Jewish Press Staff

I Want to have Your Baby, Sarah Silverman

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

For the record, I’m a huge fan of Sarah Silverman and have been following her career forever, watched her Jesus movie on Netflix, followed two seasons of her sitcom on Comedy Central, absolutely loved her bit on the Aristocrats movie, and caught her act whenever possible. Unlike, say, Jon Stewart, or Adam Sandler, whose entire Jewish thing is about making funny cheh sounds, and Jerry Seinfeld, whose Jewish thing is, basically, Presbyterian, I believe Silverman is on a par with the serious Jewish-American comics of the day, Larry David and Richard Lewis.

This is because all three comics have pain in their comedy, and they use it to make us laugh so hard, our kishkes get shpilkes in our shkolniks.

Jewish Author Shalom Aleichem was funny because he took the repression and poverty of life in the pale of settlement in Czarist Russia and turned them into hilarious scenes. We laugh because it’s so sad. That’s Jewish comedy.

When Larry David’s dad doesn’t invite him to his mom’s funeral because he didn’t want to bother him, he’s so busy – that’s Jewish pain. When Richard Lewis, clad in black, is fearful of life itself for the mean things it has in store for him – that’s Jewish pain. When Sarah Silverman depicts herself as a mega-narcissistic LA girl, bereft of empathy or even an awareness of others – that’s Jewish pain.

And so, to start, I believe Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt missed the point when he was attempting to counsel Sarah Silverman on how to become happy and fulfilled as a woman. Because if our comics had any idea at all, or the inclination, really, to be happy and fulfilled, they wouldn’t be exposing themselves on a bare stage with nothing but a mike and a cutting tongue to protect them from drunken hecklers at two in the morning.

I tried it one summer in New York, I have no idea if the good rabbi ever did. Believe me, I have good reasons to admire Sarah Silverman, but to expect her to be a happy mother is like expecting (insert funny noun) to be happy (insert inappropriate verb).

And although I agree that the You Tube clip attempting to seduce Billionaire Sheldon Adelson was offensive, it was also funny and angry and a legitimate political attack. What folks on the right should do is come up with equally funny and effective clips — may I suggest a certain aging Hollywood star who enjoys talking to empty chairs.

Having said that, let’s talk about motherhood and babies, because, soon enough, the 170 comments on Rabbi Rosenblatt’s article veered away from dealing with the gifted comic and settled on the idea of compulsory child bearing for modern American women.

Or at least that’s what you’d think Rosenblatt was advocating, to judge by those comments. Which, of course, he didn’t. He only suggested (I’m paraphrasing because it’s more fun that way) that women by nature are hard-wired to be married and bear children, which is why some young girls start planning their weddings at age 7 and have the albums to show for it.

Put aside sentiment and politics, let’s talk economics. Here are a few of the leading countries in the world in terms of real Gross Domestic Product growth annually.

There’s Argentina, with 8.8 real GDP growth rate, and 17.34 births per 1000, as opposed to 7.36 deaths per 1000.

I propose that Argentina’s astonishing growth economically has everything to do with the fact that it has three times more people being born than dying.

In Turkey, there’s 8.5 real GDP growth rate, with 17.58 births per 1000, with only 6.1 Deaths per 1000.

India is another great example: 7.8 real GDP growth rate, births per 1000: 20.6 Deaths: 7.43

Even Israel, with a very good 4.8 real GDP growth rate, shows the same healthy trend: with 18.97 births per 1000 and only 5.5 deaths. In fact, Israel’s situation is even better than most because of its excellent medical services. Also, Israel isn’t showing the same stunning growth rate as, say, India, because our economy here has been pretty fabulous for some time, and so we are higher up the bell curve.

Now check out some liberal Western democracies, with self-fulfilled, emancipated women who have better things to do than get married and pregnant:

Yori Yanover

An Open Letter to Sarah Silverman

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Dear Sarah,

You have grown political as of late, and your politics have traction. Your YouTube video “Let My People Vote” has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. You have 3.4 million Twitter followers apparently eager to consume your mix of sexual references and political barbs.

I wouldn’t be writing these words had your most recent video not been framed in biblical language. Its title held deep significance to me, as I am sure was your intention.

Your name is Silverman. My name is Rosenblatt. We both have Jewish ancestors; I am not sure what else we share. You are good at what you do – comedy – and I try to be good at what I do – being a husband, dad, rabbi, and manufacturer of kosher meat. My wife and I are blessed with six children and my day is spent earning for the brood.

You stand out among comedians because your comedy is sharper than theirs. It is crude and clever, simple and punishing; your perception of the human condition is acute, which is why your punch lines bite deeper and hurt longer. You have a knack for finding faults and inconsistencies in people and blowing them wide open with carefully plotted language and cleverly nuanced pauses.

If I were to be gratuitous, I would say you mock what is imperfect because you know what perfect should look like and you seek the ultimate perfection.

But I won’t be so gratuitous. You are in show biz. I am in the rabbi biz. You entertain people. I serve people. I believe I have your number. You will soon turn 42 and your destiny, as you stated, will not include children. You blame it on your depression, saying you don’t want to pass it on to another generation.

I find that confusing, coming from someone as perceptive as you are in dissecting flawed arguments. Surely you appreciate being alive and surely, if the wonder of your womb were afflicted with your weaknesses and blessed with your strengths, it would be happy to be alive, too.

You said you wouldn’t get married until gay people can. Now they can. And you still haven’t married. I think, Sarah, that marriage and childrearing are not in the cards for you because you can’t focus on building life when you spend your days and nights tearing it down.

You have made a career making public that which is private, making crude that which is intimate, making sensual that which is spiritual. You have experienced what traditional Judaism taught long ago: when you make sex a public thing it loses its potency. When the whisper is replaced with a shout there is no magic to speak about. And, in my opinion, Sarah, that is why you have had trouble forging a permanent relationship – the most basic desire of the feminine soul.

Human beings have many acquaintances and fewer friends, but only one spouse. Judaism celebrates the monogamous, intimate relationship with a spouse as the prototype of the intimate relationship with God. Marriage, in Judaism, is holy. Family, in Judaism, is celebrated. But for you, nothing is holy; in your world, nothing is permanent. Your ideology is secular. Your culture may be Jewish, but your mind is not.

I think you have latched on to politics because you are searching for something to build. There is only so much pulling down one can do without feeling utterly destructive. You want to fight for a value so you take your belief – secularism – and promote it. As an Orthodox rabbi, I disagree with just about everything you say, but respect your right to say it. All I ask, respectfully, is that you not use traditional Jewish terminology in your efforts. Because doing so is a lie.

Nothing you say or stand for, Sarah, from your sickening sexual proposal to a Republican donor to your equally vulgar tweet to Mitt Romney, has the slightest thing to do with the most basic of tenets which Judaism has taught the world – that the monogamous relationship is the most meaningful one and that a happy marriage is the key to wholesomeness.

You are driven. You are passionate. I pray that you channel your drive and direct your passion to something positive, something that will make you a better and more positive person, something that will allow you to touch eternity and truly impact the world forever. I pray that you pursue marriage and, if you are so blessed, raise children.

Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dear-sarah-silverman/2012/10/11/

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