Friday, July 02, 2004

Accountant on the Roof

I recent overheard a radio interview with the writers of Fiddler of the Roof about the original show & the current (controversial) revival. It got me thinking a bit about the show.
I do not dislike the Musical & Movie because it has a kitschy Broadway view of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. The is only to be expected when Orthodox Judaism is digested by Hollywood/Broadway. (Incidentally, I actually liked the Simpsons digestion of Judaism.) What I dislike is how it plays into a simple bifurcation. Either one chooses the simple piety, poverty, and practices of the Old Country or one chooses to assimilate into ignorant American Jewish Suburban life. As pointed out by the writers, the Musical & Movie is all about change between the "Old Way" & the "New Ways". For those American Jews watching Fiddler, it reenforces the assimilationist choices that they have made (as the Shtetl is clearly no longer an option). However, they undermines & diminishes the choices of those who went beyond this simple bifurcation to maintain their religion or culture, while becoming completely Western or American.

Comments-[ comments.]


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4:43 AM  

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