FINE CHINESE DINING
'A wonderful adventure in fine dining" - Danny Raskin
JN: Is there a trend now in modern
Israeli literature to flee from reality?
SM: I think so, because all postmod-
ernism in literature is a kind of flight
from reality. But it's impossible to flee
Therefore, postmodernism in Israel is
different from postmodernism that's
written in France or Italy or England.
Because Israeli postmoderism has a lot of
anxiety, a lot of fear, a lot of worry, a lot
JN: But it's a real worry. You get on a
bus and don't know if you'll get off.
SM: Exactly. It's exactly like that.
Therefore, when people ask me when I'll
be arriving, I tell them, "I know when
I'm leaving the house, but I don't know
when I'm returning."
SM: I think it's the worst thing to say,
"We've created a 'new' Jew." I think
that this attitude stems directly from
communism, from Marxism, from the
ideology of Arab nationalism — all of
which tried to create a new person.
First of all, it's a lie. As soon as one is
speaking about a "new" Jew, they're
referring to the proud Jewish fighter, the
hero — Samson. It's so old, so ancient;
his teeth are so rotten and his corpse
stinks so much that I can't bear it. There
is no such thing as a "new" Jew.
JN: It's as though people tried to
jump over the exile.
SM: That's right. And in essence the
exile created such beautiful things —
the Talmud was written in exile,
Moses lived his entire life in Galut —
he never entered the Promised Land;
he died, the poor soul, outside of it.
In essence, the most important
things in Judaism were created outside
the borders of
JN: Do you think the Jew lives out-
side of history? Is he always a
SM: I think that the
Jew is the most
active actor in histo-
JN: And amid
ry: The Jews are
Israeli society —
always part of the
what do you see
avant-garde in every
revolution in the
SM: Look, the
strangest thing is
In every devel-
that despite all
oped culture, the
Jew is there; the Jew
and wars, it's
is like the torch of
amazing how a
the Olympics. The
Israel can exist in
tion isn't always held
these kinds of
in Greece — it
moves all the time
A scene from the film version of Sami
it can have such
from one place to
Michael's 'A Trumpet in the Wadi"
another — and we
do that, too.
and cultural institutions amid a battle-
For 2,000 years, Jews in essence
field — that is really something.
have carried spiritual treasure from
But, you know, the Jewish people
one place to another. We haven't been
always live amid madness. ❑
strangers — believe me.
© 2000-2003 Featurewell.com ; all rights reserved.
I would say Jews are the barometer
of a civilization. When a civilization is
developing, it invites Jews to come in.
And when a civilization is deteriorat-
A Trumpet in the Wadi, based on
ing, it begins to oppress the Jews. The
Sami Michael's novel of the same
one who is a stranger to, say, German
name, screens 5 p.m. Wednesday,
history, is Hitler — not the Jews. He's
April 30, at the Birmingham 8 in
the one who betrayed German culture.
Birmingham; 5 p.m. Thursday,
I don't think the Jews are strangers
May 1, at the Palace Theatre in
in America or Europe or Iraq. In Iraq,
Windsor; and 8 p.m. Monday,
we felt like we belonged more than the
May 5, at United Artists Theatres
Arabs themselves because we had been
in Commerce Township. (248)
there through the Babylonian and
Persian and Greek periods.
It opens Chicago's Israel Film
Festival, running May 8-15. For
JN: Is there such a thing as a "new"
more information, go to
Jew? Is the Israeli a new breed of Jew?
Or is it all a continuation of Jewish
call (877) 966-5566.
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