top of page
Hide and Seek

Materials for the holiday

From our Blog: "The Jews are Coming" 

The Jews are coming. Photo: Michal Efrati

"The Jews are coming"is an Israeli TV series that has been broadcast since 2014 until today. It is a satirical series, which "slaughters sacred cows" throughout the Jewish heritage: from the Bible through all of Jewish history to the present day. The series is very popular, but nevertheless - controversial.

The series provoked public discussion and controversy even before it was broadcast, and in 2020, with the release of the fourth season of the series, the program provoked a considerable public uproar. Knesset members, rabbis and public figures called for the removal of the program and even started a strong protest against the public broadcasting corporation.

Following that protest, the creators of the series, Asaf Beiser and Nathalie Markos, drafted the following post and published it on the Facebook page of the series.

We bring their post here, to advance the discussion about the secular faith and the attitude of the secular Jews to their heritage.

 

("secular" - "HILONI" is the term used in Israel to describe non-religious Jews, who are devoted to their heritage, yet perceive Judaism as a culture rather than a religion)

We are believing Jews.

We believe that the Bible belongs to all of us: religious, secular, Ashkenazi, Sephardic, Orthodox, Reformed, Conservatives, wise and foolish. We all have the right to read it, think about it, love it and be angry with it.

More than that - the Bible is the gift of the Jewish people to all humanity. The permission to read it and have a dialogue with it is given to every person.

 

We are believing Jews.

We believe that secular criticism of the Bible is not an "external" criticism of the other's heritage, but part of an internal dialogue. We heard the stories of the Bible from our parents even before we knew how to speak, we studied the Bible for ten years at school, we celebrated the holidays of Israel even before our first birthday (and all this without mentioning the "membership fee" we paid at the age of 8 days). The heroes of the Bible are a fundamental part of our identity, in fact our definition, and the dialogue we have with them today is our dialogue with our ancestors and with our identity. They are not someone else's "sacred cows". They are flesh of our flesh and we are flesh of their flesh.

 

We are believing Jews.

We believe that it's ok to laugh at the Bible. Laughter relieves tension, makes it possible to deal with fears and creates a common ground and a sense of belonging. Laughter is better than insult, condescension, rebuke and of course - violence. You can also find humor in the Bible itself (although not enough, for our taste), and even Rabbi Akiva used to wake up his sleepy students with jokes about Moshe Rabbeinu and Yocheved his mother.

 

We are believing Jews.

We believe that our early ancestors were human beings, like us and you, and not perfect figures free from flaws and weaknesses. They won their immortality and world fame precisely because of their humanity and their great resemblance to us. We believe that criticism towards the past leaders of the Jewish people, its prophets and kings, and even towards God - is not sacrilege or contempt. On the contrary - conducting a critical dialogue with them, in accordance with the values we hold today, is our way of keeping them relevant to our lives, and of continuing to maintain a relationship with them, even 3,000 years after their death.

 

We are believing Jews.

We believe that there is much more than one way to be Jewish. There is no such thing as "more Jewish" or "less Jewish". We are secular Jews, living a secular Jewish lifestyle. We are neither less Jews nor more Jews than the chief rabbi. Sephardic or Ashkenazi.

 

We are believing Jews.

We believe in "us", not "us and them". We feel family members of every Jew regardless of who he is - secular, religious, orthodox, reform or conservative. In Israel and abroad. Even to the senders of hateful messages and threats to the "The Jews are coming" players, we feel a family sentiment, because "Israel, even though it has sinned, is still Israel" (Sanhedrin 43 b). We are believing Jews. And we are coming.

תבליט מנורת המקדש על סלע
מוקאפ לוגו חדש.jpg
bottom of page