Listen, I’ve lived on the fringes of Jewish culture for decades, first in the hippie netheregions of Northern California (where there are plenty of Jews, but they’re too busy meditating at Spirit Rock to join a temple) and now on an island in the coastal South so Christian we are the first Jewish family our neighbors have ever met.
So forgive me for being a little slower than my New York- and Israel-based blogging peers (have I earned the right put myself on their level after almost three years wandering around the JBlogosphere like a well, a lost Jew?) and missing the Movies Important the Jewish Experience on the first, and in most cases the second, round.
In my usual pace of cinematic catch-up (I saw Schindler’s List five years after its release and Paper Clips a mere few weeks ago) I rented “When Do We Eat?” which, thankfully is still in the new releases section. (And while I may be the last Jew on Earth to see Borat, El Yenta Man and I have a date for the 7:50 showing TONIGHT! so I may actually end up ahead of myself movie-wise, anyway.)
I had already read mixed reviews about this story about a dysfunctional family seder involving sex, drugs and matzah balls, but I had no idea it was going to be the highlight of all the DVD’s I viewed this year. You can find out actors’ names and the basic plot, as well as impressive tidbits about the screenwriter somewhere else; let me just recommend it highly to any Jew who has been bored to tears at a seder, wished for more meaning and less schmaltz in their family’s traditions and can laugh at what American Judaism has become in the last half a century. Be sure to watch the rabbi roundtable in the special features. Rent it, rent it now, even if it’s barely latke season and the Passover dishes are buried somewhere in the garage.
(Speaking of packed garages, all the Yenta shtuff is here in the inlaws’ house. Father-in-law is not happy about it. I’m thinking of dosing him with Ecstasy do you think it might help?)