By my third year of grad school, my life, externally, was great. I had friends and a boyfriend who made a lot of money. I was in great shape, competing in a triathlon. But inside I was miserable. I found myself questioning everything: If life has no meaning, what does it matter if I live another day? And what happens after I die?
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.