Blame the biblical weather for this week’s show, which tries to discuss genealogy but ends up ranting about “big soda” and the anti-semite of the week. Yes, San Francisco is awash in lightning strikes, but that’s no excuse for the Cleveland Jewish News’ overly negative “Top Ten Jewish Events of 5777.” Why no Gal Gadot, Cleveland Jewish News?
Yes, there are Jews in Houston, but what we really want to know is:
Is the return of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” good for the Jews?
Rosen does his best to make this not a slam dunk. Of course Larry David is good for the Jews, but would it be so bad if easygoing Jerry Seinfeld was our avatar? What starts out as a discussion about a TV show becomes a treatise on Jewish comedy, shouting, Jewish role models, “Portnoy’s Complaint,” losing your table to Mort Sahl and striking a balance between cultural singularity and human universality. Will Rosen be convinced?
Get out of the heat and join the boys for a sports- and philosophy-heavy episode featuring the travails of Goldbrener’s wife and Rosen’s dog, followed by an avalanche of Jewish sports news, which is rare, including Goldbrener’s suggestions regarding the “best” NFL team for Jews, the all-time Jewish home run leader, Juan Epstein syndrome and whether UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s nickname is an ethnic slur, which is odd since Rosen doesn’t even consider himself Jewish, leading us to this week’s question:
Is an increase of “cultural” Judaism and a decline of “religious” Judaism good for the Jews?
Rosen did not expect this simple question would spur such in-depth conversation (and disagreement), but it did. Each podcaster has his own take on culture vs. religion, “anecdotal” Jewishness vs. Jewishness as a cornerstone and “you can run but you can’t hide” Judaism.
This week, the boys are bracing themselves for an “excessive heat warning” and imploring you to take your snarky opinions about Houston somewhere else. Thus having established the Official Policy of (Is it) Good for the Jews, Rosen yells “shut up!” at Twitter and tells tales of sprained ankles while Goldbrener challenges traffic laws in West Portal.
There is no question this week. There is, however, news about Julian Edelman and Conan O’Brien, a guide to finding the nearest Sukkah, a shout out to Jerry Lewis and a layered, nuanced discussion about the breakdown of cooperation and consensus in the U.S.