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He Was Making Out During “Schindler’s List”

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In his latest “Seinfeld Yomi”, Jarrod Tanny pores over “The Raincoats”, eps 18 and 19, season 5.

Which is worse making out during Schindler’s List or The Ten Commandments? The Rabbis weigh in.

GEMARAH:

He was making out during Schindler’s List! Who does that? said Bar Kappara convening the meeting in the name of Rav Huna.

I don’t even think a philanderer like Rav Pappa would make out during Schindler’s List! Would you Pappa? Asked Resh Lakish.

I think he would, said Rav Sheshet. My postman caught him groping a young lady of the evening during a screening of The Ten Commandments.

Is that true Pappa? How could you? said Resh Lakish.

Postal Employee Nudelman said Pappa moved on her like Pharoah’s Chariots crashing into the Red Sea.

It was a four-hour movie! And the Golden Calf scene got us all hot and heavy, said Rav Pappa in his defence.

So while God was commanding Moses to not covet thy neighbour’s ass you were literally groping thy neighbour’s ass, said Resh Lakish.

In a manner of speaking, added Rav Sheshet.

Unconscionable, said Rav Kahuna.

In my defence I was not making out during The Holocaust as Seinfeld did, said Rav Pappa. This was an event of liberation; I was expressing my joy at our release from bondage.

Again, in a manner of speaking, Pappa: because my postman said you were bound and gagged as well. Your release from bondage came after the movie.

OK so the timing was a bit off, said Rav Pappa.

You’re literally Rav Ras-Pappa-Putin, Persia’s greatest love machine, said Rav Kahana.

“Ra Ra Raspappaputin, Persia’s Greatest Love Machine!” sang the Sages in unison.

I’m a bit confused. If you were tied up, how did you grope her? asked Shimon ben Pazi.

Because I’m Pappa, I’ve got the Kavorka and I’m the Houdini of Rabbinic Judaism, boasted Rav Pappa.

Let us remember, Chevreh, said Rav Huna, this is precisely why we sent Pappa to Europe to save Judaism from Latvian Orthodoxy. His utter lack of ethics, his dissolution, and his fabled beytzim are what we needed to protect our people, much as HaShem sent the shrewd Oskar Schindler to save us, much as HaShem sent the brawny Charlton Heston to save us.

That Heston sure had somebody on him, said Rami bar Hama. And that perfectly chiselled face. I should drop dead if he’s not beautiful. Who wouldn’t make out during the film? And what about Yul Brynner! wow, wow, wow!

Is there something you wish to share with us Rami? Asked Rav Huna.

Nothing except I agree with Pappa; making out during the Holocaust is far worse than making time during the Exodus: ten Plagues in Egypt, ten commandments at Sinai vs. millions of Jews murdered.

I disagree, said Resh Lakish. As it is written in the Haggadah: Jose the Galilean said there were 50 plagues at sea and Rabbi Akivah said the plagues were in fact fivefold; there were thus 300 plagues on land and at sea. And Moses received 613 commandments, not ten, at Sinai. 300 plagues plus 613 commandments are nearly 1000, so that makes 1000 infractions committed by Rav Pappa. 1000 infractions trump Schindler’s heroism.

“Hey SIRI, how many Jews did Schindler save?” asked Shimon ben Pazi.

“According to IMDB, ‘Schindler’s List’ was released in 1993,” replied SIRI.

Approximately 1100, said Yontl the Librarian, with more than a touch of bitterness at being replaced by SIRI.

It’s very close, concluded Rabbah.

Not at all, said Bar Kappara. The Holocaust constitutes history. The Ten Commandments is Scripture. Divine revelation supersedes mass extermination in solemnity irrespective of numbers. You need to be appropriately disciplined for your transgression, Pappa.

But according to my mailman, interjected Rav Sheshet, his transgression involved being disciplined. In a manner of speaking.

Then let me discipline him, said Zutra the Mohel.

Let’s put him in a basket and send him down the Euphrates, suggested Resh Lakish.

Nah, to quote Blazing Saddles, “too Jewish,” said Rav Sheshet.

I have a solution, said Rami bar Hama. Let me take Pappa to see The Ten Commandments again. And I vow that our eyes shall be riveted on those chiselled bodies of Brynner and Heston the entire time. We will be entranced. I’m even willing to tie Pappa up.

Rami, Are you sure there is nothing you wish to share with us? asked Rav Huna.

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Jarrod Tanny is Associate Professor of History and the Charles and Hannah Block Distinguished Scholar in Jewish History at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He writes and publishes on various “Jewy” topics, including Jewish humor in post-World War II America and its place within the larger context of Jewish history.  
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