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Idol Chatter

glee-logo.jpgAfter last night’s “Glee,” I think we all have to admit two things: 1) Will rapping – whether it’s old-school Young MC or the embarrassingly classic “Thong Song,” is a little bit bizarre, and 2) there might be something funny about the Jewish holiday of Simchas Torah. Yes, I’ll explain.
I was at a conference in Santa Monica when I started seeing the Tweets from my Jewish friends who were watching last night’s episode on the east coast. “The Jewiness of tonight’s #GLEE is a little overwhelming. I’m loving it!” (susqhb) and “I can’t believe this is happening on national TV. Love it” (lizfilm).
When I got home, I watched, and even though I’d had an inkling from yesterday’s tip about “Sweet Caroline,” it was the Jewiest episode of “Glee” – and maybe of a TV show – ever. Of course, my TV has been showing a lot of Jewish content lately (see “My TV is Jewish: Kabbalah on ‘FlashForward'” here).
Starting at 12:53 into the show, Noah Puckerman starts delving into the inner workings of his Jewish identity, telling us (spoilers, if you haven’t seen it) in voiceover that during their annual Simchas Torah screening of “Schindler’s List,” over Chinese food, his mother told him he should date a Jewish girl. Enter Rachel, in a dream, with a Star of David necklace shining at him and encouraging him to hook up with her. The exact line? “It was a message from God – Rachel was a hot Jew, and the good Lord wanted me to get into her pants.” Not exactly the most altruistic of dream revelations, but who is to question divine inspiration?
So, Simchas Torah – the annual holiday on which Jews celebrate the completion of the cycle of reading the Torah and beginning it anew – serves as inspiration to date within the faith, at least momentarily. But the use of Simchas Torah as punchline also hearkens back to a classic 1984 comedy called “Top Secret!” and written by the creators of “Airplane!” Nick Rivers (Val Kilmer), hearing of a German attack that’s to launch Sunday, says “Sunday? That’s Simchas Torah.”
You can watch last night’s episode of Glee, “Mash-Up,” on Hulu.

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