Replace Hebrew School Books With Israeli B-Movies

Opinion

By Mason Lerner

Published September 29, 2010, issue of October 08, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

‘Don’t be a shvitzer,” said the mother to her son as he left to join the IDF. This is but one of the wonderful bits of motherly advice in “Eskimo Limon,” the 1978 Israeli cult classic. “Eskimo Limon” is among the many hilarious Israeli movies from the ’60s and ’70s known as “Bourekas films”: tawdry, cheaply made and rife with political incorrectness and cleavage shots. In other words, kids might actually look forward to learning Hebrew on Sunday mornings if Bourekas films made up the core of the curriculum.

Although these movies were passé in Israel by the 1980s, they remain powerful educational tools for teaching youngsters not only Hebrew but also Israeli culture and history. The films showcase the ethnic tensions that plagued Israel when the country itself was in young adulthood, usually pitting a Sephardic “good guy” against an Ashkenazic establishment figure. The sight of the short-shorts and hairy legs alone would be enough keep Hebrew school students laughing all semester. And the breast shots would help keep even the most rambunctious boys in their seats.

Memo to teachers: Do not show “Eskimo Limon” until the last week of class, lest your male students attempt to imitate the scene in which a young man inserts his genitals into the bottom of a tub of popcorn and then offers his date a handful.

Mason Lerner is the sports editor of The Faster Times.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.