In memory of Hershey ben Natan (Ramis). (To dedicate a Table Talk, send an email.)
Have you ever heard of a "philosophical comedy"?
That's what Wikipedia calls the 1992 film, Groundhog Day.
There are far more films that I haven't seen than I have, so my opinion carries no gravitas, but it seems to me that this is one of the few films I could watch repeatedly and not get tired of it.
Not only is there no gratuitous anything in this film, there is a lot of good writing, intellectual comedy and this deep philosophical question:
"What would it be like to have a perfect day?"
It's on my mind this week because the writer-director ( passed away this week.
His name was Harold Ramis.
Wikipedia and most of the eulogies focus on his creative career. What they don't tell you is the influence of Judaism on his life and work. As he said in 2009:
Here's my religious creed in a nutshell: The Universe is in a constant state of becoming — an ongoing miraculous creation. And every day we awaken to that miracle with gratitude, respect and compassion for all who share the gift of Being.
(BTW, the LA Jewish Journal eulogy takes that quote as evidence of his disconnection from Judaism! Someone needs to talk to the folks in LA about this....)
What I'm not going to say here is how Groundhog Day answers the question of "What would it be like to have a perfect day?"
In my humble opinion, the film's answer to the question is about as Jewish as you can get. But if you haven't seen it, pick up a copy here for 10 bucks and enjoy.
In the meantime, here's the obvious question for your dinner table:
What would it be like to have a perfect day? Describe it in detail from morning to night.
PS - Like this email? How about putting your mouse where your mouth is: Like it, tweet it, or just forward it to someone who might enjoy it.
As always, this message can be read online at http://rabbiseinfeld.blogspot.com.