Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Saturday, September 30, 2006

"Jewish" Movies and Anti-Semitism

Not sure why this article by Rabbi Daniel Lapin came to mind recently. It was probably because I was watching "The Frisco Kid." (cute movie, but nothing special) But it got me to think about the issue.

For those who don't want to read Lapin's whole piece, basically, he rips movies like Woody Allen's stuff and "Meet the Fockers" for portraying Jews in a negative light. Jews in these movies come across as neurotic, sex-obsessed wackos. And Lapin thinks we should protest such movies.

I partially agree with Lapin, at least in the sense of the clear double-standard here. If a movie came out that played off of all of the negative stereotypes of black people, one can imagine the outcry from Jackson, Sharpton, and plenty of politicians. But when it comes to the Jews, nobody says a word.

But where I disagree with Lapin is that I think nobody takes these movies seriously. Think about it. Many Jews are successful doctors, lawyers, bankers, and businessmen. When a non-Jewish patient goes to a Jewish doctor, does the non-Jew think that he's being treated by a Woody Allen clone, by some super-neurotic nut? I don't think so. If the general public bought all the stereotypes about Jews from these films, I think it would be very difficult for a frum Jew to get a decent job today. And it would be very hard for a Jew to walk down the street without being laughed at or taunted.

What it comes down to is that, Thank G-d, we've done a very good job dispelling any credibility about actual Jewish life from such movies. When people deal with Jews in a professional or social context, they don't think they're talking to Alvie Singer or Cliff Stern. So until these movies' stereotypes have any reperscussions, we've got more important things to worry about than to waste our time protesting them.


Blogger Michelle said...

i think you'd be surprised by how many red-staters who never really came in contact with real orthodox jews maintain those beliefs

8:04 PM  

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