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The late, great Leonard Michaels both captured and performed this sense of overflowing feeling in his essay .
“The [Jewish] sentence could have been written by anyone who knows English, but it probably would not have been written by a well-bred Gentile,” he writes.
It’s Jewish in its sensibility and concerns, even as both can prove hard to define.
One defining characteristic, clearly present in ’s Mark Oppenheimer writes that “Jewishness—as a sensibility, as a way of seeing the world—is about a surfeit of feeling …
Ali reads up on epigenetics as the show wonders whether the Holocaust has fundamentally changed Jews on a chromosomal level. Rabbi Raquel wants to “protect” Colton, the show’s lone explicitly Christian character, from all the urbane (Jewish! As Josh faces a profound crisis, a situation with no clear right or wrong answer, all audio falls away, save for two children singing one line of a Christian hymn over and over again.
What Oppenheimer calls “the roil of Jewish disorder and uncertainty” has come up against the clarity of Christian doctrine, and it has no answers.
Now, after a third season in which the family scattered to the wind and the show’s focus grew too diffuse to manage, Season 4 sees the clan coming back together, having shed side characters like Rabbi Raquel, Colton, Shea, Buzzy, and Leslie.is also unafraid of that other hallmark of American Jewry: self-loathing.In its second season, the show both explored and embodied the question of whether or not what’s wrong with Jews is that we’re, well, .Steve’s assertion that, “boundaries are everything, boundaries are how people tell other people what they need,” and Ali’s assertion that the false binaries with which we understand the world and each other are destroying us.
’s treatment of Israel is just as ambivalent, contradictory, anxious, and overflowing as its explorations of anything else.
, which returned last Friday for a masterful fourth season, feels like the Jewiest of them all.