Editor | Peter Bowen
Tablet Takes the Gopniks Seriously
Posted December 29, 2009
In "A Serious Marriage," a new piece in the webzine Tablet, Liel Leibovitz reads the marriage at the center of the Coen brothers' comedy A Serious Man through the lens of the Torah. Taking on some critics who have reduced the Gopniks to stereotypes, Leibovitz sees Larry and his lovely wife Judith as refletions of Jewish prophecy, especially as laid out by the prophet Ezekiel. Despite their differences, Leibovitz argues that the pair represent opposing but necessary parts of Jewish heritage:
They need each other, those two. There may be more alluring partners out there, more illustrious and more tempting neighbors and friends. But if the Gopniks are to survive, they need both the seeker and the scammer, the greedy and the godly, the serious man and the sensual woman. The same is true of us Jews. It always has been.
To see other Jewish reactions to A Serious Man, see the FiF piece "The Jewish Serious Man."