Groundhogs, Grudges, Graft: What We’re Reading this Weekend

Here’s what we’re reading this weekend. Enjoy, and let us know what you think! 

  • This past week, morning talk shows across America celebrated Groundhog Day. Bill Murray fans recognize this day for the cinematic classic that sets one man in a cycle of rebirth as he struggles to move on to the next day. If you haven’t yet considered the religious profundity of this film, this weekend might be the right time to start. 
    • You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, Dylan said, so maybe our relationship with the weatherman in question says more about us than it does the weather. Which is all to say that you should start with a few Buddhist commentaries on the film to get the ball rolling. 
    • Naomi Alderman joins On Being in considering the spiritual depth of Groundhog Day in a truly lovely conversation. 
    • If you’d like something to complain about, feel free to learn about why Groundhog Day is actually heretical, in Groundhog Day’s Christian—and Pre-Christian—Roots at Tablet
    • I haven’t yet found my Jewish commentary to this film that scratches my personal spiritual itch (to my very limited understanding), so let me know what you are thinking at yehudafogel1@gmail.com, or at @Yehudahamaccabi on Twitter. Say hi!
  • Are our religious institutions financially transparent? In the words of Avital Chizhik Goldschmidt, journalist, truth-teller, and 18Forty guest from her recent article titled “How Houses of Worship Became Hotbeds of Graft” at The New Republic: “If religious leaders care about staying relevant in the long-term, and not just powerful in the fleeting here and now, they ought to be heeding the biblical call for honesty.” Read her sharp article for more.
  • The latest read to break our heart is this deeply moving article from one victim of Chaim Walder. This article is intense and can be triggering, and it asks hard questions of all of us who are members of a Jewish community.
  • Should the Talmud be on TikTok? As the Jewish world shakes from the delightful daf yomi videos of Miriam Anzovin, David Zvi Kalman argues that yes indeed we must laugh with and at the daf, and why irreverence may be the greatest reverence. 
  • Should library books be nodes of connection between its readers? In the unbiased perspective of the writer of this listicle, we lost something profound when we stopped being able to see the names of all who read a library book before you. One perfect tweet presents a perfect plan for us 21st century readers:

  • This weekend, delight in the simple relish of reclaiming an ugly emotion, starting with this love letter to grudges, in “Why Holding a Grudge Is So Satisfying” in the New York Times.

 

And if you haven’t yet listened to the editorial team at 18Forty face our existential terror of having our voices on the public record, be sure to tune in to hear the cracks in our laughs and nervous jokes immediately.