Pop Culture Embraces Tradition, While Tradition Embraces Pop Culture—but Only One Succeeds

Sept. 15 2020

In American Pickle­—the latest vehicle for the actor Seth Rogen—a Brooklyn Jewish slacker encounters his shtetl-born great-grandfather Herschel through a plot twist reminiscent of Rip van Winkle or Woody Allen’s Sleeper. The younger character eventually comes to appreciate the wisdom and power of Herschel’s traditional religiosity. “In theory,” writes Liel Leibovitz, such a plot “should delight anyone hankering for a movie that takes faith seriously.” In practice, however, it falls flat:

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Read more at First Things

More about: Hasidism, Hollywood, Jewish music, Judaism, Popular culture

Hamas and Hizballah Won’t Give Up Their Radical Goals for Economic Benefits

June 18 2021

In his first interview after leaving office, the former head of the Mossad, Yossi Cohen, admitted that he had erred in believing that Israel could come to some sort of accord with Hamas. In his own words:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, Mossad