Rabbinical Despotism - E. Michael Jones on the Coen Brothers' 'A Serious Man'

9 posts

Niccolo and Donkey
Niccolo and Donkey

It is a very good film and it resonates with my life. (I hope yours as well?) Especially the story about the goy's teeth.

Niccolo and Donkey
Niccolo and Donkey
Niccolo and Donkey
Richard Hollywood

This is the review that you need to read in order to appreciate this movie to its fullest.
Niccolo and Donkey

I love EMJ, but his review is just all over the place. It's less a review of A Serious Man than it is a biography of Solomon Maimon.

That is really the jist of the essay.

I will summarize as follows: a 10 page summary of the movie interspersed with anecdotes about Solomon Maimon, followed by an isolated biographical sketch of Solomon Maimon, followed by a totally botched interpretation of the ending scene. Then he rants about Pope Benedict's visit to the Synagogue of Rome for 5 pages.

The film does leave a lot of questions unanswered, but by God: if there is any central message to A Serious Man, it's to not preach about that which cannot be known. Here is EMJ's ridiculously contrived explanation of the final tornado scene:

WTF is that?? How do you watch this film with an honest mind and come away with that? David Horowitz?

The meaning of the tornado should be obvious: an enraged Hashem instantiates in a fittingly tempestuous form, just as he was in the Book of Job, and just as he took the latter's sons. Only, in Job's final confrontation with THE LORD-- whose wrath he invoked with his Jewy whining (and woe to whatever deity must answer to this insufferable race of tattlers)-- not only does he renounce the possibility of human knowledge of the supernal, but offers his life unto THE LORD and professes his worthlessness: "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself , and repent in dust and ashes." --Job 42:5-6. It is only then that Job is redeemed and his interlopers made to bring gifts to the righteous.

Larry Gopnik never renounces his worth to Hashem; by changing the student's grade, he attempts to control his own fate, which is a no-no by THE LORD. The Jewish religious existence is contractual: you will, as Rabbi Nachner tells Larry, obey Hashem.... you are obligated to Hashem, and his power is so great that he does not even owe you an answer to: for what in return? This is the sycophancy of distilled Orthodox Judaism: only by giving up your fate to THE LORD may you be redeemed. Otherwise, say goodbye to your son.

I think EMJ really threw this review together after reading some shit about Jews in the 60s. He seems to have this weird fascination with Enlightenment-era Jews (known as Maskilim) like Maimon and Moses Mendelssohn, and that's probably why he made this review about hem. He is very knowledgable on the Pale its sons of the Enlightenment, who betrayed their Kabbal adhering fathers. It is a largely forgotten period of Jewstory, if you think about it.