Jewish comedians have gently poked fun at their own religion— or their own doubts about the existence of God—for a long time. In Woody Allen’s movie, Broadway Danny Rose, Danny has the following conversation with his love interest, Tina: Tina: Who’s got time for guilt? Danny: What are you talking about? Guilt is important. It’s […]
“What special day do we celebrate next?” said a little girl to her father as she climbed into his lap. “Well, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot come just after summer,” he replied. By her unmoved expression he gathered that she was not terribly impressed. This was no surprise since she had only been four years old at last year’s services. Still, he had hoped that she would show a spark of interest, have some memory of the fall festivals. Was her lack of interest due to the relatively small Jewish community in their town? Or perhaps he’d not been intentional enough to balance his non-Jewish spouse’s inexperience with Jewish traditions. Whatever the case, one thing was certain: he was feeling stirrings of guilt. “Well,” he began, “Rosh Hashanah is . . . ,” but before he could finish, she had wriggled out of his lap and run out of the living room.
It could be a scene from a Neil Simon play or a Woody Allen movie. As the curtain opens we see our character, a young mother of two. She has just finished cooking a large pot of chicken soup, filling her Minneapolis house with the fragrance of well-being. The phone rings. It is Mother—her sick […]
How guilt haunts us! Picture yourself in Macbeth’s shoes. Here is a man who had ascended to the top. Everywhere men respected and feared him. At his slightest whim, a kingdom mobilized to please him. He knew wealth, fame, and power. Yet, instead of a sense of exhilaration and fulfillment, as we should expect, the […]