Arts & Culture

Top 5 Jews-Out-of-Water

In the NY Times review of Justin Taylor’s fantastic new book of short stories, Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever, the reviewer makes the point that one of the stories is a "classic Jews-out-of-water tale.  This got us to … Read More

By / February 12, 2010

In the NY Times review of Justin Taylor’s fantastic new book of short stories, Everything Here Is The Best Thing Ever, the reviewer makes the point that one of the stories is a "classic Jews-out-of-water tale.  This got us to thinking, who are some of our other favorite Jews in somewhat un-Jewish situations? 1.  Fievel Mousekewitz

After surviving a cat pogrom, the Mousekewitz family make their way to America, only to lose their little Fievel in the process.  While the idea of a Jew as a rodent isn’t always necessary the most flattering, Fievel is a crafty little guy, making friends with other immigrant mice, and is eventually reunited with his family.

2.  Alvy Singer We’ve seen Annie Hall a billion times, but is there a scene in the history of film or television as awkward as Woody Allen’s character sitting at the table with Annie’s psychotic brother played by Christopher Walken, and a Jew-hating Granny Hall? 3.  Larry David To answer the question posed in #2, yes, there is a scene more awkward, and of course, it’s provided by none other than Larry David.  For a guy who married the queen of all shiksas, peed on Jesus, and took a prostitute to a baseball game, Larry David’s most awkward Jewish moment had to be his accidental crashing of a baptism in the second season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. 4.  Jewish pirates Granted they weren’t technically out of water, but if you read through the book, Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean, you will learn fast that in the time between the Macabees and the Jewish gangsters of the 20th century, outlaws like Sinan Barbarossa were the baddest Hebrews on the seven seas. 5. Rahm Emanuel Who would have ever thought a Jew would be running the country?  Way to go Rahm!