Moving on… Did you go to Jew School?
I sure did. Hebrew Academy of long beach. Then I went to public high school, then city college. I went to a pretty hardcore Jewish elementary school. When you’re young and moldable and influential.
Are your parents also hardcore Jews? I guess what I’m trying to say is: Do you disappoint them? Or are they proud of you?
Absolutely…I disappoint them. That’s how you know they’re Jewish. Oh yeah. Definitely.
Mixed pride and disappointment?
I try to make the disappointed in a way that would make them proud.
That being said, I have a question: If your mother had to choose, would she prefer you married a gay Jewish man, or a shiksa?
Shiksa. Yeah. My dad is not so liberal about gay people. He never had a good attitude towards that. He told me and my brothers when we were little that if any of us wind up being gay, I’ll shoot you. In a field.
And I always wondered why he chose a field. Like maybe for the cinematic value…but that’s just gay and artsy. I mean why a field? What about a forest? Will the trees love your gay son? Why a field? That went through my head for a long time. It’s an interesting little detail.
It’s funny that that’s what tripped you up. You’re like ‘Okay, I accept his beliefs…but why? Why the field?’
(continuing fictional questions to dad) Ok, I get that you’d want to shoot me if I was gay, but how about on pavement?
Like it usually is in the city.
Tie me to a tree! Come on! It’s like that Paul Simon song. There’s gotta be 50 ways to kill your gay son.
(Laugh)I always thought that it would be Jewish before anything else.
I think the way to stop a lot of the problems that Jewish kids have with their parents, it to be born with their own kids who are also Jewish. Because if the Jewish kid is born with their own Jewish kid, the parents will leave it alone. They’d be like ‘alright, he already gave us a Jewish kid’. And if they’re gay the parents will be like ‘I don’t care, go be gay. Go marry a shiksa. You already gave us a Jewish kid’.
The biggest fear is that Jews will go extinct. I wonder how different it would be to live in a world that was predominantly Jewish. Like if there was no Holocaust, and nobody wanted to wipe Jews out, that wasn’t a thing. And there was an over-population of Jews even. And they’re like there’s too many Jews right now, there’s not enough Kosher food. So they have to cull the population down. They’d have to have a Jewish hunting season for Jews….this is dangerous waters.
This is something that I really wonder about a lot, just how different it would be to be a Jew if Jews weren’t always being persecuted. Let’s say Jews were never persecuted, there’d be 2 Jewish holidays all year. If the Greeks, Romans, pogroms, Holocaust happened, what would we mean then? I’m probably losing my mind.
No, I think I get it.
A lot of people who are Jewish, not proud to be Jewish, still love Woody Allen. But without Judaism, who would Woody Allen be? If you removed the Judaism from Woody Allen, would you still love him?
(Deep philosophical sigh)[Ed note: I’d like to believe my love for Woody is unconditional, like the love of a family member.]
So if you like Woody Allen, are you saying you like Judaism, even if you say you don’t?
You’d like SOME aspect of Judaism. Agreed. Who would win in a guilt war? Israel or Palestine?
Isn’t that what we have? There’s no winner yet because there’s still enough people to rally to say that Palestine is guilty and to say that Israel is guilty. It’s undecided. History will tell.