Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams and the Jewish Problem

There's this old joke about a teacher assigning her students with the task of writing about elephants. The French child wrote about the love life of elephants, or some such thing. The Italian wrote of what elephants ate - all stereotypical responses. As for the Jewish child, he wrote, "The Elephant and the Jewish Problem."

I don't know why I thought of that - maybe I'm looking for a smile.

I heard that Robin Williams had died on the way into work this morning....they discussed his talents, his movies. Said he had three children.

And then the inevitable conversation, "I heard he was Jewish," said one newscaster.

"No, his wife is Jewish," responded the Hollywood-based reporter.

"So, his children are Jewish," said the first.

"No, he was married three times. His current wife is Jewish; his children are from a previous marriage. But he was a mentsch [a good person]."

Maybe that sums up so much - he was a mentsch in a world where there are so few. He was so much a part of my growing up...so many movies, so many smiles. I always thought he was the most human of men, the smartest, the best.

He never struck me, as George Clooney did, as full of himself but rather full of talent. He made America laugh - better I can say of few men.

May his memory be blessed and may whatever tormented him in life, leave him alone in death. May his family be comforted - few live as full a life as he did. He gave great meaning to so many roles, each a message for all of us.


Anonymous said...

Really nice

NancyB said...

He always referred to himself as an honorary Jew. Here's a good post about what a good friend he was to Israel.


NancyB said...


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