Was born Jewish, raised Jewish and educated Catholic. He is a “Jewsuit”. He is also a husband, father, newspaper and magazine writer, habitual wearer of baseball caps and author of the soon-to-be-released memoir about his son’s bar mitzvah, “The Rabbi Has Left the Building.”
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This week, Rosen has no wifi and his dog is covered with poo, but this is the least of his worries. He is having (another?) Jewish crisis. A chance beach meeting with celebrating Jews has him spinning into a bout of Jewish self-loathing and a very different sort of episode.
Meanwhile, Goldbrener loves being a Jew…except for the religion part. Meanwhile, his partner is opening a vein over his Jewish ambivalence, leading to a flood of questions, suggestions and kvetching (?) about city living, being Jewish and the real meaning of “self-hating Jew,” until finally Goldbrener wraps it up with his interest in Jews’ role in the development of psychology and his hopes for a better society.
Welcome to the Twilight Lounge, no longer a safe haven from San Francisco’s fake summer heat. It’s oppressive, this heat, and though real San Franciscans like Goldbrener are cool and collected, Rosen is not handling it well, preferring instead the freak snowstorm he faced the week before in the Sierras and the glory of his room air conditioner.
What does this have to do with Jews? Nothing. Nor does Goldbrener’s deep dive into the “ban vaping” debate. Does that stop him? No! And gun control? Does that have anything to do with Jews? No! Are we dissuaded? Of course not!
Gandhi feeling sympathy for Jews? Which host would’ve ignored the missives asking all Jews to report to the town square in 1939? What of all the important Jews who died in 5779? And the ones who won Emmys in 2019? And finally…
Is the Joint List good for the Jews?
It seems like this is becoming a regular feature on the (Is it) Good for the Jews? podcast: Israel holds an election and a bunch of questions arise. This time, the Arab Joint List is checking in, supporting Benny Gantz and flirting with participation in the Israeli government. And once again, we turn to Goldbrener to make sense of the whole thing.
This week, Rosen sets up the scene in the Twilight Lounge before moving onto tales of woe from South San Francisco’s best (and slowest-moving) legendary sandwich place, where dogs are allowed as long as they’re not at counter level. Several minutes later, having debated the merits of lactose-free sour cream and noted the miracle of palindrome week, the boys move onto questions of Jewish masculinity and Enes Kanter’s basketball camps, saved torahs and Sasha Baron Cohen.
Around the world, Jews are still getting beat up and Goldbrener has some thoughts, but Rosen wants to know this:
Are fights at Burning Man good for the Jews?
Lets face it; Rosen is triggered by Burning Man. Just bringing up the term sends him spinning off on an extended rant about strict dogma masqueraded as open-mindedness, all but bullying a resistant Goldbrener into joining him on the side of all that is good and fair and then admitting his biggest fear: that living in a big city is costing him his humanity.