Arts & Culture

The Unkillable Kosher Butcher Of Boardwalk Empire

Here’s one thing I keep noticing on episode after episode of Boardwalk Empire: behind nearly every great criminal act, there is a great Jewish mind helping out. Read More

By / November 21, 2011
Jewcy loves trees! Please don't print!

Here’s one thing I keep noticing on episode after episode of Boardwalk Empire: behind nearly every great criminal act, there is a great Jewish mind helping out.  The real life Jewish gangsters Arnold Rothstein, Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, and Waxy Gordon all make frequent appearances on the HBO series, and all seem content with getting other people to do the dirty work for them.  But the character Manny Horvitz, played by William Forsythe, has become the standout Jew of the season.  The kosher butcher who teamed up with Jimmy Darmody (played by Michael Pitt) has said “boychik” so many times over the last nine episodes, that we’re surprised there isn’t a drinking game in his honor.

On last night’s episode (SPOILER ALERT), Horvitz, who has gone from friend to foe of Darmody (or is he a frenemy?  You can never tell with gangsters), was almost wiped out by an assassin after he decided to help a panicky Hasid who said he needed a chicken for Shabbos.  His mitzvah was repaid with a bullet to the shoulder, but Horvitz survived, and planted a cleaver into the head of his would-be killer.

It’s episodes like last night’s that keep Boardwalk Empire situated next to Glee as the most unlikely really Jewish shows on television; but last night’s episode, “Two Boats and a Lifeguard,” may have also shot Manny Horvitz to the top of the “Best Jewish Characters on Television” list for 2011.