How Movies Inspire Me for Rosh Hashana by Rabbi Marvin Popular

How Movies Inspire Me for Rosh Hashana

Rabbi Marvin Popular

Every time I have to write a Drasha for Rosh Hashana, I sit back in my easy chair and begin to think of the things that inspire me religiously. Like popular movies.

Really when you think about it Rosh Hashana and Indiana Jones have a lot in common. Like Indiana Jones, we begin Rosh Hashana on a “quest” for “treasure”, spiritual treasure of course. We carry with us our whip of repentance, our jaunty fedora of humility and our leather jacket of godliness. And at the end of the quest, we realize that the real treasure is the one inside us all.

Also Rosh Hashana and Star Wars have a lot in common. Like Luke Skywalker, we begin Rosh Hashana on a quest to find our father on another world, equipped only with our lightsaber of humility and the “Force” within us that enables us to connect to a higher power which we never knew we had inside us all along.

And need I mention The Manchurian Candidate. Like Sgt Raymond Shaw, we have been brainwashed by the Communist Chinese of materialism. Turned into shopping machines at the flash of an ad. Only for Rosh Hashana to serve as the wake up call for us to return to spirituality.

Then there’s The Princess Bride. Like the stableboy, we’re trying to save a princess from Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant, only to realize that it isn’t the princess that matters, but the princess inside us all. The princess that can only be released through prayer and self-reflection. Rosh Hashana gives us the chance to get in touch with the princess inside each and every one of us.

Another movie I watch to bring me into a proper mood for Rosh Hashana is Night of the Living Dead. Throughout the rest of the year, we live like zombies, thinking of nothing but feeding on other people. But on Rosh Hashana we must fight the zombies that threaten to devour our sense of spiritual wholeness and awaken from the deathlike state to a new life in a new year.

Finally no list of inspirational movies is complete without Glitter starring Mariah Carey. Like Carey, we often lack faith in our own “voice”. On Rosh Hashana we find the faith to let our voice soar and sing on high, and hope that the Great Record Producer will sign us to a new “contract”.

Other movies that inspire me for Rosh Hashana include, Miracle on 34th Street (a movie about the power of faith), A Christmas Carol (a movie about the power of indigestion), The Passion of the Christ (a movie about the power of nailing people to stuff) and Catwoman (a movie about the power of latex).

Sure I could talk about the meaning of Rosh Hashana in religious terms that aren’t aimed at retarded five year olds. But I’m too lazy and you’re too stupid. So stay tuned next week for my essay on how Yom Kippur is just like Super Mario Bros. Because if you keep dumbing down Judaism enough it’ll become popular. Just like Christianity. Exactly like Christianity.


Rabbi Marvin Popular explains difficult concepts in Judaism to stupid people who can’t tell a Menorah from Batman. He is a regular essay writer at

British Court of Appeals Bans Judaism

By many standards, the JFS applicant, identified in court papers as “M,” is Jewish. But not in the eyes of the school, which defines Judaism under the Orthodox definition set out by Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. Because M’s mother converted in a progressive, not an Orthodox, synagogue, the school said, she was not a Jew — nor was her son. It turned down his application.

In an explosive decision, the court concluded that basing school admissions on a classic test of Judaism — whether one’s mother is Jewish — was by definition discriminatory. Whether the rationale was “benign or malignant, theological or supremacist,” the court wrote, “makes it no less and no more unlawful.”

The case rested on whether the school’s test of Jewishness was based on religion, which would be legal, or on race or ethnicity, which would not. The court ruled that it was an ethnic test because it concerned the status of M’s mother rather than whether M considered himself Jewish and practiced Judaism.

“The requirement that if a pupil is to qualify for admission his mother must be Jewish, whether by descent or conversion, is a test of ethnicity which contravenes the Race Relations Act,” the court said. It added that while it was fair that Jewish schools should give preference to Jewish children, the admissions criteria must depend not on family ties, but “on faith, however defined.”

Now let’s pretend you have an IQ above 100 and are therefore not qualified to be a British judge.

The Court of Appeal decided that the Orthodox Jews’ Free School was engaging in racial discrimination because it required an conversion under Orthodox, rather than Reform auspices. In fact the Jews’ Free School was applying a religious test, rather than a racial one. Had they rejected a child because of a non-Jewish mother, that would have been a racial test. Instead they rejected the child because of a religious test. From a racial standpoint, the mother remains the same ethnicity and race that she did regardless of what conversion she undergoes. Her DNA does not change.

What this decision does though is nullify any conversion requirement, Orthodox or Reform or anything period. Which allows a British court to dictate the definition of Judaism by declaring its requirements for admission to be racist, something they have no right to do.

Now if Israel were to declare that the Catholic Church’s requirements for accepting Communion are discriminatory, there would be natural outrage. But now that the British Court of Appeals has decided what Judaism should be like, they can create their own version of Judaism.

Shin Bet Arrests Yaakov Teitel for Killing Jesus

The Israeli Authorities have done it again with the arrest of Yaakov Teitel, charged with committing every single unsolved crime in Israel over the last 2000 years… by no particular coincidence in time for the big Rabinaversary.

Yaakov Teitel has been charged with a long string of unrelated crimes committed with entirely different weapons over 10 years with no connection between them, except that after getting the crap beaten out of him for three days, Yaakov Teitel confessed to them. It’s not clear where exactly Yaakov Teitel managed to get explosives training, how he managed to make getaways from half a dozen crime scenes or even more incredibly smuggle an assault rifle past both US and Israeli customs… but the indictment does say that he’s actually the Jewish RAMBO.

Shin Bet spokesman Ilan Sheker has assured reporters that this is not at all a case of the Shabak grabbing some random mentally unstable right winger on their list and beating the crap out of him until he confesses to a bunch of crimes that it would have taken a Jewish James Bond to commit all together. And then planting a ton of weapons in his house. Not at all. The Shin Bet actually officially stopped doing that last year.

This is a totally legitimate case. Like the time that the Shin Bet totally did not send a guy to keep taunting Yigal Amir with chants of “When are you gonna do something about Rabin”, and then put a totally unrelated girl in jail for not warning them about it! Or creating a fake Jewish terrorist organization and then airing an undercover news report about it! No more! The Shin Bet now makes up only completely true stuff.

Anyway no celebration of that guy who got shot and we all felt sorry about it, cause we called him a Nazi… except it turned out that it was actually a Shabak agent who was holding up a Nazi poster… oops… would be complete without the ceremonial arrest of the right wing extremist for every crime over the last 2000 years… including killing Jesus.

I know those Shabak guys are great and all, but here’s my proposal. How about arresting some of those guys currently holding Gilad Shalit. Yeah I know, that’s too tough. It requires actually going into enemy territory and doing your job. Much easier to grab some patsy, scream at him and knock him around for a few days, and then dictate to him every unsolved crime he can confess to… so it totally looks like you’re not a bunch of incompetent thugs.

Anyway we can all sleep at night now, because Yaakov Teitel has finally been brought to justice for pipe bombing gay arab Jesus with an M-16.