Janet Leigh was a good sport, who got a kick out of [Hitchcock’s] off-color limericks, puns, and pranks. The worst jokes on Leigh seemed to come just moments before her most important scenes—and she found most of them terribly funny.
“The silent pictures were the purest form of cinema; the only thing they lacked was the sound of people talking and the noises. But this slight imperfection did not warrant the major changes that sound brought in… In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’ When we tell a story in cinema, we should resort to dialogue only when it’s impossible to do otherwise.
Jewish humor is filled with self-deprecating observations. We poke fun at our peculiar foibles, and frequently address our greatest anxieties — intermarriage, Jew-hatred, weight-gain — with a take-no-prisoners attitude.
If you want to know how Jews are really feeling about something or someone, pay attention to the jokes Jews tell each other.
A few days ago, Karen and I attended a lovely wedding in Pacific Palisades.
During the smorgasbord, a friend approached, made the obligatory l’chaim and asked:
“On which Jewish holiday did Barack Obama die?”
“Obama’s not dead.”
“The day Obama dies is going to become a Jewish holiday.”
Here’s the second punch line: the guy who told me the joke is one of the few Orthodox Jewish Democrats — most Torah Jews are Conservative Republicans — with whom I’m acquainted. But he is, in his own words, “Doing teshuvah, for helping elect a straight-up Jew-hater.”
Here’s an array of fun pictures to help us get through the weekend.
All great movies are, at the core, love stories. And it follows that all great novels are also love stories. And it is for this reason that novels written by Orthodox Jews about Orthodox Jews have been noticeably absent even with the astonishing modern rise of Orthodoxy in North America and Israel. How is a talented author supposed to plum the depths of the male and female heart without succumbing to descriptions of physical love that are considered holy and deeply private? Modesty is a mitzvah. But the modernist novel has become an ocean of nihilistic physical sensuality.
Enter the courtyard of Ruchama King-Feuerman, a fine novelist who just happens to be Orthodox. Seraphic Secret greatly enjoyed her 2004 novel, Seven Blessings, and has been eagerly looking forward to her next offering. The long wait has been worth it.