Longing for the extinct Jew
By Vered Zaykovsky | 08/10/2009
After years of study, Moni Ovadia, a star of the Italian theater, found that “Yiddishkeit” is the most profound ethical component of Western consciousness, and he has therefore set out to revive it. Yiddish culture, says Ovadia, makes important statements on humane, spiritual and cultural issues. Vered Moni Ovadia As Tevye the milkman:
Zaykovsky met him in Milan who we are and where we came from
“Ben-Gurion wanted to create a ‘new Jew', as if the ‘old Jew' wasn't good anymore, or as if what happened was the Jew's fault. But a Jew has parents and grandparents; he has a recollection of his life story, of the suffering, of all he went through and all that made him who he now is. And I believe that memory is vital for the future of Israel, of Jews and of mankind. No good will come from forgetting”
“I am both an Italian and a foreigner. Yes, this is my language, I know the streets of Milan like my own back pocket, but I know my soul lies elsewhere. I can't say my life here has been difficult, but my inner life has been. I went through many hardships, including having to deal with my parents' suffering and questions about identity. I went through eight years of psychoanalysis”
Moni Ovadia – singer, musician, author, actor and director, a leading figure in the Italian theater, who was proclaimed by the poet Giovanni Raboni, an influential columnist in Corriere della Sera, as one of the most original and important creators of our time – was born in 1946 in Bulgaria, into a Jewish family.
Replete with a great love of Jewish culture and Yiddish customs in particular, and a love of mankind in general, Ovadia's creations are infused with a deep political-moral, present-day awareness. His work is warmly admired by the public and held in high esteem by reviewers.
Ovadia's family immigrated to Milan in the late 1940s. After concluding his studies in political science, of all things, Ovadia set out on his artistic path as a musician and singer. Initially, he collaborated with the ethnic-Italian musician Roberto Leydi, and in 1972 formed the “Gruppo Folk Internazionale” band, dedicated to the study of traditional music. The band focused on Italian music and eventually began researching the traditional music of various peoples, in particular Balkan music. In 1978, the band underwent some transformations and changed its name to Ensamble-Havadià.
Ovadia was introduced to Eastern European Jewry in the late ‘70s and was utterly enthralled. The encounter led him in a new direction: the theater. Here he incorporated his study of Jewish thought and humor with the search for an artistic and theatrical expressionism. Following the success of collaborative projects with major Italian theater artists, Ovadia inaugurated the Theaterorchestra in 1990, which comprised 12 Balkan, East European and Italian musicians. The ensemble provides Ovadia an opportunity to merge his musical and theatrical capabilities with his quest for research. In 1992, he achieved widespread acclaim thanks to the cabaret show “Oylem Goylem”.
“One day”, says Ovadia, “the wife of the Chabad rabbi of Milan called me. ‘I wouldn't change one iota of this show', she told me. ‘This is by no means an Orthodox play, but it helped the people who work with our school to better understand us. In just two hours, this show accomplished what we have not been able to accomplish in two months: it clarifies who we are, where we came from, why and how.'”
Some years ago, I saw his rendition of the musical “Fiddler on the Roof”. Ovadia's performance as Tevye the milkman, the cast – musician/actor/dancers who skillfully balance between heaven and earth on the rooftops of Anatevka, against the backdrop of a wonderful set inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall, which brings the “shtetl” to the stage with a bare minimum of elements – the songs, the wonderful melodies and dances, and the exultant blend of Yiddish and Italian – all of these combined to produce an extraordinary theatrical, emotional and visual experience.
“A great star, a magnificent interpreter – and very, very original”, wrote La Repubblica reviewer Alvise Sapori after the opening night. “A simple, moving, ironic, enjoyable show, sad as life itself, far from the rigid parameters of classic musicals, paradoxical from the start, presenting one of the more mysterious characters that inhabits Marc Chagall's world: the fiddler on the roof who embodies courage, pride, the ‘optimistic' insanity of a person attempting to escape the hardships of everyday life, who searches for the middle ground between heaven and earth in order to persevere and survive. It is obvious why such a topic would be of interest to Ovadia, the greatest interpreter of the Yiddish theater... Between the applause that continued through every scene (three hours!) and the cheering as the curtain came down... this is not merely a good musical... this is a show through which the winds of progress blow...” (Maria Grazia Gregori, “L'unità”)
When a wave of violence bursts out during Tzeitel's wedding party, the dancing ceases, instruments are silenced, all the characters on stage freeze and scenes from actual movies dating back to the days of the pogroms against the Jews in czarist Russia are projected onto their bodies, as if onto a wall.
A surge of chills
Later on in the play, following the expulsion decree, the townspeople incite to rebellion: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. Tevye-Ovadia challenges them: “Is that what you want, to live in a world where everyone is blind and toothless?” He then turns to the audience: “And is this what you want, as well?!”, he bellows in his deep, husky voice. A chill cuts through the air; the theater is silent. A moment later, a rumble of applause erupts, even though the scene is not yet over.
I have always had a special sensitivity for Shalom Aleichem's beautiful story, and the manner in which Moni Ovadia revived the story brought me to laughter and tears. The magic with which he succeeded in turning a painful memory into renewed energy, full of joy and creative stimuli, was an electrical charge that impelled me not to keep this all to myself, but to tell as many people as possible about Moni Ovadia's amazing experience on stage.
“What would you like to drink?”, Ovadia asked me.
Due to his schedule, so tight as to be surreal, three months went by before I managed to set up an interview with him. When he comes back out with two large glasses and a bottle of mineral water, he begins to tell his story, and I feel that time is standing still. He is totally oblivious to the fact that the time is already 14:30. He still has to write his weekly column and send it to the newspaper, and will be performing this evening in “The Wandering Banker” – a cabaret show he directed and stars in, currently playing at the “Piccolo Teatro”.
Moni Ovadia's home in Milan is a former paint factory. To reach it, you pass through a quiet, intimate courtyard that surrounds several other former factory buildings. Two bicycles lying right outside the front door of one of the houses remind me of Tel Aviv back in the good old days. The door is wide open. We sit down in the yard. On the lawn in front of the house, opposite a yellowish wall that touches the sky, which is a deep blue color just like in Israel, I ask:
Where do you find the strength to stand on stage in front of thousands of people and declare: “I am the ‘little Jew', whom you have hated for generations, and whom some of you hate still. The time has come to talk about it.”?
“I had the immense fortune to have met Jews from Eastern Europe, from the shtetl, and they astounded me with their values, their love of the underprivileged, in tiny towns with houses made of wood and mud; an entire people without a homeland, holding its God in its bosom, and arguing with Him. It's true, sometimes this ‘little Jew' is a charlatan, a whiner, but he is capable of living and striking a balance between heaven and earth. The human creature is embodied in Yiddishkeit (Jewishness) in all its human glory, without means, without strength, without land – a human being, no more and no less. And who emerged from this people? Kafka, Freud, Einstein, great poets, revolutionaries, philosophers. The Jew is the pioneer of freedom of thought, the Jew represents universal values of justice, humanity and kindness, of love thy neighbor. The Sabbath is a place of sanctity, liberty, equality – for everyone, everywhere – not anchored to land or time.”
“Look”, he says to me, “people in the West are now complaining about the Jew with the weapons, the Jew that shoots and then slips away, but the other Jew, I tell them – you murdered that Jew! So you got what you wanted! If you would have left that Jew alone, he would have remained the way he was, he was better off the way he was... That Jew, the pale, scrawny Jew with the big nose, the Nazi-propaganda Jew, he was destroyed due to a lack of understanding, no one really knew him and everyone told ugly lies about him. He was too fine a person for this world.”
“When I first came upon Yiddishkeit – in books and later on in real life, it was as if I were possessed by a Dybbuk: those people hadn't really died, that's not the way to die. They left behind an unexpressed energy, and I am one of those people within whom a tiny particle of that Dybbuk was absorbed. That's what gives me the strength to do what I do.”
Under the spell of continuity
It soon becomes apparent that when Moni Ovadia begins to talk, he does not stop. And I hate to stop him with questions since he already seems to have embarked on a voyage, sailing through a sea of connotations, examples and stories. I am cast under the spell of continuity and drop my list of questions.
When Moni Ovadia talks about the shtetl Jew, I hear pain, rage and sadness, but even more than that, I sense the enormous power that stems from his absolute belief, intensified by his vigorous activities, that the world really can be a better place. Years of study, listening, reading and research, have taught Moni Ovadia that Yiddishkeit is the most profound ethical component of Western consciousness. Which is why he has set out to revive it. Ovadia believes that Yiddish culture makes essential statements on humane, spiritual, cultural, and stylistic issues, largely due to its multi-colored facets, without which we would be meager in spirit and much less human.
Ovadia is critical of the humiliating treatment Yiddish was given after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. He understands the choice of Hebrew as the spoken language, but does not agree with the negation of other languages that possessed a vast cultural richness: “Ben-Gurion wanted to create a ‘new Jew', as if the ‘old Jew' wasn't good anymore, or as if what happened was the Jew's fault. But a Jew has parents and grandparents; he has a recollection of his life story, of the suffering, of all he went through and all that made him who he now is. And I believe that memory is vital for the future of Israel, of Jews and of mankind. No good will come from forgetting”, he says. “I believe that Yiddishkeit holds great value for Jews and non-Jews alike. I have seen this in the course of my work. And there is nothing unusual about it, since Yiddishkeit glorifies man's weaknesses. In the desert, Moses, a stutterer, created the identity of a people, from a bunch of slaves! The Jew sets out on his path from down below, not from on top. The rulers are on top; the Jew does not want to be ruled. A nation of slaves becomes the Chosen People, and we want to forget that our claim to aristocracy is based on having been slaves in Egypt?”
Tell me about your childhood in post-war Europe. Can you pinpoint any particular event that influenced your life and determined the path you would take?
“I was very young when my family moved to Italy and I always knew I was a foreigner. I always knew I came from a different story. I went to a Jewish school. I always knew my people were persecuted and I always knew my place... In games we used to play in the neighborhood, I was always the protector of the people from the South – in those days, people in Milan didn't like the Italians who migrated from southern Italy to the north – I said: ‘If you don't let them play, then I won't play, either!'. These were my friends.”
“I am both an Italian and a foreigner. Yes, this is my language, I know the streets of Milan like my own back pocket, but I know my soul lies elsewhere. I can't say my life here has been difficult, but my inner life has been. I went through many hardships, including having to deal with my parents' suffering and questions about identity. I went through eight years of psychoanalysis.”
Speaking Italian in Yiddish
An important turning point came when, “During prayer service at the big temple of Milan, someone pestered me and hounded me until I followed him to an apartment where 200 ‘Yiddishkeit' Jews were sitting. I discovered the Yiddish theater right here, in Milan. They spoke in Yiddish, laughed in Yiddish and argued in Yiddish the whole time.”
Those Jews taught Ovadia how to create a Yiddish for Italians: “You see, whenever foreigners speak a new language, they still speak in their own language. There's a famous joke about an old Jew that goes: ‘I speak 17 languages, all of them in Yiddish.'”
“Speaking Italian in Yiddish” enabled Moni Ovadia to build a theater language that has achieved huge success. He was expecting that maybe ten Holocaust survivors would show up at his performances; as it happens, it grew into a theater that is visited by hundreds of thousands of people.
“Yiddishkeit let me be myself as a Jew, as well as an Italian. And this is one of Judaism's greatest mysteries: the Jews always remained Jews, and even succeeded in becoming the most prominent representatives and creators of the cultures of the countries in which they lived. Gershwin, a Jew, was the one who cast the elements of black music into American popular music. Who wrote ‘White Christmas', the most famous Christmas song of all time? A Jew, Irving Berlin. Perhaps the most famous Italian author of the 19th century, who wrote the masterpiece that is a pillar of Italian literature, ‘Zeno's Conscience', was Italo Svevo – a name fit for an Italian pilot – who was born Ettore Schmidt, a German Jew. The ability to be two entities at one time is another reason for the hatred: ‘Are you from here or from there?' ‘From here and from there!'. Now I understand the immense potential of that dual meaning. It exists in Israel, as well, and it must be acknowledged and understood: to be an Israeli and a Jew at the same time, there should be no contradiction in that. It's time to be both.”
Go unto yourself
The sun beats down, and we enter the house. We pass through an open kitchen with an enormous wooden table. Further on, we are greeted by ceramic pots, some upright, others bent, like a congregation of worshipers; shadows on the windowpane. White curtains dim the light and noise, leaving them on the other side of the high windows. We sit down on comfortable white sofas. The soft carpet and the open lofty space, and its play between existent and non-existent, indicate the presence of a feminine touch. Eliza, Ovadia's wife, a fashion designer by profession, designed the house.
Ovadia has published seven books to date, including “Perchè no?” (1996), an instant bestseller; “Speriamo che tenga” (1998), an autobiography; and ‘L'ebreo che ride” (1998), an essay on Jewish humor. In 2002, Ovadia published “Vai a te stesso” (“Go unto yourself”), in which he presented the Jewish tradition as a journey to freedom for both Jews and non-Jews. He fights an all-out battle against any idea that might serve as a pretext for the justification of war. Emotions, concepts and sentiments are melded together to fight the battle of the living mind against any form of enslavement to power – the inexhaustible source of war.
Abraham's struggle against idolatry lies at the heart of the book. The Jewish people's highest synthesis is its opposition to idolatry. Therein lies the reason for its having been murdered. Take Hitler, for example. Who was this ugly Austrian with the ridiculous hairdo and clown-like moustache? He wanted to be God himself. He wanted to be Pharaoh. He knew that his enemies were the Jews. For who is the greatest enemy of idolatry?
“Idolatry” is any form that is external to man and which controls man. It can be money, work, a precious stone, a political party, a concept. The problem does not lie with the statues themselves, but with the people who make them into idols. The statue is nothing more than a statue. Even the best of ideas is liable to suffer a hardening of the arteries, is liable to become an ideology that enslaves its followers. However, the same idea, with the proper observation and reexamination, is filled with life and contributes to the processes that lead to redemption.
Man's lure to idolatry is part of human nature, is it not?
How can one rise above it?
“Through constant struggle. It's our journey to the infinite.” Ovadia continues: “Where do people worship idols these days? Everywhere, even in Israel. I believe there are many Jews who worship idols these days. Love of Israel is compulsory for the Jew. Well, if you feel protective, have feelings of love and intimacy, that's fine, but you cannot replace a country with God. Careful – Zionism is a political movement that provided what was then a major need for Jews. The fact that all Jews, even those that pass judgment, have the right to immigrate to Israel is of great consequence, but it cannot turn into the Almighty himself. One must always bear in mind that the game of Judaism is different.”
“Moses is afraid to approach Pharaoh, he needs help, and what does God tell him? He doesn't say: ‘I am here, I am with you', he says ‘I am that I am' – you cannot carry me within you, Moses, I am not an ‘idol'. I am the God of freedom and I am free, and indefinable. I am infinity.”
“Nonetheless, belief in the Torah that founded monotheism is in itself risking idolatry. Tevye the milkman nearly made the same blunder, when out of his terrible agony he ostracized Hava, his younger daughter, for having married a gentile... Only toward the end of the play does he lift the ban and give Hava his blessing. Tevye ultimately chooses to make love his first priority.”
“The core of Judaism is life. We know this. The Talmud says: ‘He, who saves one soul, it is as if he saved an entire world', and, ‘Saving a life defers the Sabbath'. If we are able to bring life back to the core, therein lies the answer to idolatry. We have the tools to do it, but we are afraid, and this fear is all too understandable.”
“What is the significance of ‘Going to the desert'? For us, who have no desert in the tangible sense, what is the meaning of going to it? We can study the act of going to the ‘desert', i.e., the source of awareness, through the quality of relationships that make up our lives and our sensitivity toward them... The path to human redemption, which our forefathers sought, must pass through a new, tolerant, profound reexamination of the measures carried out by the West against those who were among its founding roots.”
In 1995, Ovadia staged “Dybbuk”, a play about the Holocaust that was adapted from S. Ansky's turn-of-the-century Yiddish drama (“Der Dybbuk”), which has been performed in many variations. Ovadia's version included “The Song of the Murdered Jewish People”, by the Yiddish poet Yitzhak Katznelson, who was murdered in Auschwitz in 1944.
“The Holocaust still cries out”, wrote Osvaldo Gurrieri in La Stampa (April 9, 1995). “It is impossible to describe the events that take place in ‘Dybbuk'. There are no theatrical activities per se. Instead, there are fragments of activities that Ovadia's presence binds together (as the narrator, he plays the part of the historic conscience of all that is about to unfold)... The constant singing, the entreaties, the rage, the sarcasm and the melancholy. Moni Ovadia has never looked more grand. He expresses himself virtually only in Yiddish... and yet, coming from his lips, the mystery of the language is not a handicap. On the contrary, it is more deeply etched into the audience's consciousness... Rarely have we witnessed such a mysterious and vital theatrical rite, so moving... so much so that we feel we are not captivated in the spell of a stage spirit but are in the very center of the longest tragedy history has ever known…”
“The souls of millions of victims come back, to sing what cannot be spoken”, writes Giovanni Raboni in “Corriere della Sera” (March 18, 1995). “...A brilliant author-actor-singer focused to the depths of his soul, like a proverbial mission, on matters that someone or something ordained him to delve into, in a manner that cannot be undermined... Alongside the wonderful musician-actors... he is there, non-stop... donning the attire of the ‘witness'... the conjurer, the guide, the master of revelation, the director, and above all... the living man, into whom the souls of all the dead wish to enter – him, Moni Ovadia: with his songs, his razor-sharp words hurled into the air, his prayers. He is at the center or at the margins of every event... one hundred minutes of continuous, virtually, never ending, unbearable emotion … and ultimately, victory.”
Blows to the gut
“A Jew walks out of a Warsaw radio station, a furious look on his face. A friend passing him on the street asks: ‘What's the matter, Moishele? Why are you so angry?'. Moishele, a stutterer, answers: ‘F-f-f-f-orget it, I o-f-f-f-ered t-t-t-o b-b-b-e an a-a-a-n-n-n-nouncer, b-b-but th-th-they d-d-d-didn't t-t-t-t-ake m-m-m-me, th-th-those an-n-n-t-t-t-is-s-sem-mitic d-d-d-dogs.”
This story opens a discussion on anti-Semitism in the chapter “The Jews and the West” in Ovadia's book “Vai a te stesso”. Further on, Ovadia harshly critiques the European left, the pacifists who suffer from disquieting ignorance, and the media. In the play “The Wandering Banker”, which was staged in Milan in 2003, Ovadia ridicules the unfounded disparagement of the Nazi propaganda. Later, he comes out strongly against the “new economy” and capitalism. “It's no coincidence that in Hebrew the synonym for ‘money' is ‘blood'”, he throws up to the people of Milan, “because money is like blood. As long as it remains in circulation, all is well. But once it stops flowing and begins to accumulate, that's when trouble begins.”
“Seeing is believing”, wrote Rita Sala in Il Messaggero, in an article entitled ‘The Poet and the God of Money'. “Amid the humorous songs and stories, the audience absorbs a series of blows to the gut. And at the end of the play, when the excited viewers burst out in tremendous bouts of applause, something interesting happens: all at once, the stage lights go down and the theater is illuminated instead by floodlights that sweep across the audience with blinding light. Attention is diverted. The audience becomes the center of interest and is invited to take a look inside.”
In your experience, what lesson is learned?
“When it comes to money, Jews have been labeled. Why? Everyone has the same fixation, but they are ashamed of it, so they attached it to the Jews. Jews didn't have a special aptitude for money, they had a special aptitude for learning. Today, everyone is a Jew in the stereotypical sense: everyone plays the stock market, new economy, everyone's making money out of thin air. I relate these facts in a humorous manner. The goal is that one day we will be able to laugh at the Jew like we laugh at the Scotsman, without wanting to hit him or shut him up in a ghetto, because the Jews really are funny, just like the Scots, just like everyone else.”
“Everyone is a little Jewish. People began to discover the Jew in themselves, and thus began to acknowledge the Jew. I have seen people who discovered new things, who came up to me and embraced me, young people who began to study Yiddish. Others began reading Jewish literature and taking classes.”
Practically half of Ovadia's audience is young people, 95 percent of them non-Jews. The reactions are encouraging. Moni Ovadia is inundated with letters and emotional requests. But there are other reactions, as well. I ask him about the letter he received from Beppe, a Catholic intellectual, who showers him with accolades, praises Ovadia's autobiography, and emphasizes: “...You are a special Milanese, a very special Milanese, and therefore, an utter Italian, one who brings us great honor, since as an artist you have invented a language that is entirely your own – amazing, in my opinion – since this is a pure and profound Christian form... Without undermining the complex values of your roots, you have risen above them...”. Ovadia published the letter in his book (“Vai a te stesso”, p. 103).
Is Beppe an exception?
“Beppe belongs to a group of Catholics that actually know nothing about Judaism. Those who have begun to study and learn about Judaism would never express themselves in this manner. Cardinal Martini, the Pope... gradually, and with a lot of effort... they realized through the story of the Holocaust that they had failed. Two thousand years ago they crucified a Jewish fellow and two thousand years later they crucified six million Jews. What happened here for two thousand years?! Is it not the Catholic that should suffer, sacrifice, save humanity?... No. It's the Jew. The Jews, the Gypsies, the homosexuals, but not the Christians.”
“Let me tell you a true story: You know, in 1987 the Church declared that Jesus was a Jew and that's the way it will always be. A Catholic friend told me that in church on Sunday, during mass, when the priest made the astounding announcement, he was sitting next to an old lady who seemed to be having a hard time believing what she heard. My friend, who felt the need to help her and explain the priest's words, turned to her and said: ‘Yes, grandma, it's just like he says, Jesus really was a Jew'. The old lady then exclaimed: ‘Really? Okay, okay. But then he converted to Christianity!'”
Ovadia refers to the false, cruel rumor that on September 11 there was not a single Jew in the Twin Towers. According to the biblical criteria for ethical behavior, writes Ovadia in “Vai a te stesso”, the judgment for libel is the same as the judgment for murder, the severest of crimes. Ovadia encourages his readers to be conscious of the power of the word and to understand the severity of the ramifications when language is put to evil use.
“Once again, it isn't easy being a Jew.” He looks at me, lets out a deep sigh, and after a brief pause, resumes the journey: “I fight with all my might against prejudice but I cannot stand on the right merely because there are fools on the left. That's a part of my Jewish identity, too. Should I forget who we are?”
“Just because we have a strategic alliance with Turkey does not mean we shouldn't side with the Kurds. The Kurdish people, like the Jewish people, has suffered, and is not given a land of its own. I hate to criticize the Turkish government, but we cannot support injustice. In Argentina, half the Jewish community was exterminated during the ‘dirty war'. Why didn't anyone protect them?”
“The Jews were the ones who first wrote: ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself'. It doesn't say ‘Love thy Jewish neighbor as thyself'. It doesn't say: ‘Love thy neighbor that you like as thyself'. Why is it that the word ‘Jew' doesn't appear in the Ten Commandments?”
“In each generation, we are called upon to renew the journey to freedom, we are called upon to create a world of social justice. What is happening right now is a monstrous farce: six million people dying of hunger every year on the planet; two-and-a-half million dying of dehydration; and we, the People of the Torah – what do we do? Stand by and watch? What do we care, as long as our supermarket is kosher? A great place in which to unwind and be like America?”
We have substantially deviated beyond the time allocated us, and I ask him one last question:
On stage, are you an actor or a thinker?
“I think, therefore I do theater. The theater is my way of expressing my thoughts. It is thought's freedom of expression that creates emotion.”
Ovadia quickly clarifies: “I am neither thinker nor philosopher. I use thoughts that come from below, not from above. I propose reflection, thoughts, point of view. If we take a great example, Fellini never depicted Rimini the way it really was, rather as it was in his eyes.”
Osvaldo Gurrieri's very apt wording in La Stampa (March 2, 1996) effectively links the Yiddishkeit of Ovadia's world with Rimini, Fellini's home town: “For Moni Ovadia – the most incredible theatrical phenomenon of the past few years – being Jewish is a form of art.”
At the end of each play, after the third encore, Ovadia invites the audience to give charity and concludes with the following words: “As long as there is one hungry child in the world, we cannot be truly free!”. He himself sets aside one-tenth of his earnings for the underprivileged, and supports organizations that promote human rights.
“Why did Chaplin say he was a Jew, even though he wasn't?”, Ovadia asks me at one stop on his interpretive journey. “Because he understood! There, in London's West End, he saw the immigrant Jews in the poor neighborhoods, workers who were being cruelly exploited... The Chaplinesque figure is a synthesis of all the shtetl characters: luftmensch, shlemiel, shlimazel, nebech – the little man whom no one knows where he comes from, except that he has come from afar; he is weak, yet he never bows his head, never abandons his identity, is always willing to help the weak and always marching toward the sun! In the last scenes of the movies, we see him walking toward the future. The Jewish people walked toward that sun, and took it with them. That is the Torah!”
This article was translated into English by Zorrotranslations for All about Jewish Theatre (jewish-theatre.com), where the English version originally appeared.
Vered Zaykovsky is a designer and illustrator who lives in Milan