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