Quantcast

Jewish Journal

JewishJournal.com

October 2, 1997

Seinfeld Borrows a Talmud

Community Brief

http://www.jewishjournal.com/articles/item/seinfeld_borrows_a_talmud_19971003

'Seinfeld' Borrows

a Talmud

By Ruth Stroud, Staff Writer

The Jewish Community Library is used to catering to the literaryneeds of groups of school children, Yiddish scholars and day-schoolteachers. But seldom does it get a call for Talmudic texts to gracethe set of a sitcom. That changed a few weeks ago when librarydirector Abigail Yasgur received a request from the "Seinfeld" artdepartment to borrow a set of the sacred books. The 29-volume redSoncino Talmud filled the bill. The books, borrowed for a week, willappear in an episode scheduled to air next Thursday (Oct. 9) on NBC.

The story line centers around a bar mitzvah to which JerrySeinfeld's friend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is invited, apparentlyas a kind of token shiksa. The bar mitzvah boy has a crush onher and, since he is now a man, figures he can grab a kiss. After hekisses her, his dad kisses her, and she ends up seeking the rabbi'sadvice on what to do about her rampant "shiksa appeal." The rabbi, inwhose office the books appear, assures her that there's no suchthing.

In the past, the Anti-Defamation League has fielded complaintsabout other "Seinfeld" episodes that Jewish viewers felt traded onwell-worn stereotypes -- including a very high-energy mohel ata bris. But ADL-Los Angeles Associate Director Jerry Shapirodidn't seem too concerned about this one, pointing to episodes thatmake fun of other ethnic groups, the disabled and the elderly. "Ithink everyone is fair game on that show."

If "Seinfeld" or other TV shows have further requests for propsfrom the library, they may have to wait awhile, since the libraryclosed its doors last week in preparation for the Jewish FederationCouncil's move to a new location in November. So far, a new spot forthe library's 30,000-piece collection of books, videos and softwarehasn't been found. "This is a temporary inconvenience, I hope,"Yasgur said. "We'll do whatever we can to maintain visibility in thepublic eye." Maybe they should have the rabbi on "Seinfeld" make apitch for space.

JewishJournal.com is produced by TRIBE Media Corp., a non-profit media company whose mission is to inform, connect and enlighten community
through independent journalism. TRIBE Media produces the 150,000-reader print weekly Jewish Journal in Los Angeles – the largest Jewish print
weekly in the West – and the monthly glossy Tribe magazine (TribeJournal.com). Please support us by clicking here.

© Copyright 2014 Tribe Media Corp.
All rights reserved. JewishJournal.com is hosted by Nexcess.net
Web Design & Development by Hop Studios 0.1402 / 34