Arts & Culture

The Philo-Semite 50: Cyrus, Maurice Blanchot and Madonna?

The nominations for the Philo-Semite 50 keep pouring over the transom, and the Sanhedrin is compiling the list. But I’ll post some particularly interesting nominations as they come in. I suggested last week that readers stop proposing both Jon Voight … Read More

By / December 2, 2008

The nominations for the Philo-Semite 50 keep pouring over the transom, and the Sanhedrin is compiling the list. But I’ll post some particularly interesting nominations as they come in. I suggested last week that readers stop proposing both Jon Voight and Rashid Khalidi (two great tastes that taste great together) for admission. I should have included Madonna on that list, though Goldblog reader Mitch Ginsburg made the case: "I know she’s not exactly the second coming of the Ari, but she’s nothing if not devoted to Kabbalah." Yeah, no. Monica Osborne, a smarty-pants Jewish-American literature expert at UCLA wrote in to say, "Well, of course, Maurice Blanchot should be on this list! (French philosopher, close friend of Jewish-French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas; Blanchot said that ‘Judaism is an essential modality of all that is human.’)" She described him as her "favorite wanna-be Jew of all time." I’ll feed Blanchot’s name into the Philo-Semite UNIVAC as well. Reader D. Shapiro wrote to say, "If you’re placing Truman that high up, I sure hope you include the original King Cyrus (who, come to think of it, could teach Ahmadinejad a thing or two about how to get along with us)." Shapiro also nominates Denis Leary: