February 26, 2016
Rabbi Samuel M. Cohon
Last night my daughter Cipora and I went to see the latest Coen brothers’ movie, called “Hail, Cesar!” A farcical tribute to the old studio-controlled movie business of the early 1950’s, with broad parodies of Cold-War themes, it centers around the making of a kind of Quo-Vadis/Ben Hur Hollywood epic with Christian religious themes. At one point the studio fixer, Eddie Mannix, played by Josh Brolin, calls in four clergymen to inoculate the studio against charges of impiety and being sacrilegious. It is a very, very funny scene, mostly because the other clergy—the bishop, the Greek Orthodox patriarch, the Protestant minister—are mostly agreeable, while the rabbi pretty much disagrees with everything. No great surprise… Of course he does.