Seth Rogen doesn’t get it. He just doesn’t.
He simply doesn’t understand much about life or about the world and shows very little understanding about what it means to be a Jew. Because to not understand Israel is to not understand history itself.
Now perhaps we should sympathise with him – because he lives in a bubble. It’s a bubble that floats around the world without actually being part of it.
He might be a nice guy – some would say funny too, but unfortunately he epitomises some of the worst qualities of what a Jew is these days.
Because being a Jew is not simply about eating bagel and lox. It’s also not about using the word chutzpah every now and then and it’s certainly not about throwing in the most abused Jewish term there is of tikkum olam.
It goes so much deeper.
It’s about being a part of a people – who are not passengers in history’s story, but active participants.
It’s about understanding the pain and the triumphs, the joys and the sorrows of the journey of our people – a journey stretching back almost 4000 years.
It’s about understanding who we are, where we come from, what drives us and motivates us and what causes us to remain Jews in a world where identity is too often blurred and faded and easily given away.
But when Seth publically and quite proudly said that Israel doesn’t make sense to him, it showed just how far he has fallen from his own people. He thinks Israel is founded on lies – yet fails to see that Israel is probably the only truth in his world – a world that is premised on playing other people in a make believe stage of illusions.
And what he also did when he made those hurtful statements is desecrate the memory of so many millions of Jews throughout time. He desecrated every single Jew now and in the past who has fought for Israel in every conceivable way imaginable. He desecrated the thousands of Israeli soldiers who died defending our homeland. He desecrated the thousands of Jews murdered by Arab terrorists. He desecrated the millions of Jews who suffered such hardships in Europe as they tried desperately to make it to the Promised Land. He made light of the antisemitism sweeping the world right now – and laughed off the Jew hatred prevalent in universities across the United States – targeted in part for their support of Israel. He also mocked every single Jew in Israel today who love their country and he embarrassed every single Jew outside Israel who take such pride in comfort in supporting our homeland. We’re all embarrassed for him.
Israel doesn’t make sense to Seth, because he doesn’t understand his own identity. He doesn’t understand the connection between Jews and our land. And even worse he doesn’t care, because in the same interview he said it wouldn’t have bothered him at all marrying a non-Jew anyway – and therefore severing his future Jewish line. As it turned out though, he did marry a fellow Jew, something that he said was purely coincidental.
I wish Seth’s was an isolated case, but sadly, we see it all too often with many Jews today who have lost their identity and with it the memory of their own people.
For the greatest and most enduring quality of the Jewish people IS our ability to remember. It’s that memory that gives us strength and that memory that drives us forward when it’s so much easier to give up. So many people want us to disappear and yet because we remember who we are and where we come from, we remain – living in the present and the past and the future – simultaneously.
I look at Seth Rogen with a degree of sadness, because here we have someone who is a well-known public figure who had an opportunity to use that fame for good – to support his fellow Jews who are currently experiencing levels of extreme Jew hatred the world over. He had an opportunity to show support for his Jewish homeland – often vilified and denigrated by many.
And yet… he not only blew it, but sided – whether intentionally or not – with our very enemies who are taking great joy in quoting him right now. He has sided with the very people in this world who want to destroy everything about our people and our homeland.
For an actor known for comedy roles, his most enduring one will end up being in that of a tragedy.