Why not join Rosen and Goldbrener in the Twilight Lounge to celebrate the new year? But will we reach 5778? One fringe-y astronomer says the rapture will take us out before we even get a chance to atone for our first sin.
Some questions addressed this week: Is God a creator or a manager? Why does Morrissey love Israel? What does Rosen’s kid have in common with the children of REM guitarist Peter Buck? What role did Jews play in the history of German beer? And finally:
Is the internet good for the Jews?
Tablet Magazine says maybe not; internet bigwigs act in ways consistent with Jewish values. Rosen says the internet is a place where anti-semites can get traction. Would they have remained anonymous without the endless reach of technology? Goldbrener says, “Hogwash! The internet pays my bills!”
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.