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Let’s Talk Turkey

September 21, 2011

SHABBOS SERMON – SEPTEMBER 17, 2011
RABBI MITCHELL WOHLBERG

Let’s Talk Turkey

By now most all of you know that I have many unique talents.  And one of them I am going to put on display this morning, as I am about to do something that very few rabbis can do.  I am going to review a movie that I haven’t seen!  The name of the movie is “The Debt” and it is playing in several local theaters.  And it has all the ingredients that would normally attract me to a movie … it tells the story of a Nazi war criminal who, in the 1960’s, is tracked down by three agents of Israel’s Mossad.  The story is told from a perspective of some 30 years later and has intrigue, suspense and a surprise twist.  It’s my kind of movie!  But I didn’t go see it because I read these words in one review of the movie: “Viewers of “The Debt” are left with troubling questions.  These questions are based on the film maker’s assumptions – assumptions about the existence of a Jewish guilt complex, the pervasiveness of secrets undermining the legitimacy of the protagonist’s larger intensions and the common cinematic belief that guilty consciences lead to redemption, or at least enlightenment.”  When I read that, I said to myself: I’ve seen this movie before.  It is basically the same idea behind Steven Spielberg’s movie, “Munich” about the Mossad team that tracked down the Palestinian terrorists responsible for the massacre of the Israeli Olympic team in 1972.  You might remember that, in that movie, the Israeli hero is overcome with so many questions and doubts and a guilty conscience that he eventually decides not to return to Israel.

I’ve had enough of these kinds of movies … enough about Jewish guilt, enough about us always being wrong.  For that, I don’t have to pay to see it in a movie … I can get it for free just listening to this morning’s Torah portion.  READ MORE

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