Mamet To Assimilated Jews: Sit Down and Shut Up

David Mamet has a new book out, called The Wicked Son. The publisher describes it thusly:

Mamet confronts what he sees as an insidious predilection among some Jews to seek truth and meaning anywhere–in other religions, in political movements, in mindless entertainment–but in Judaism itself.

Mamet writes in the book’s forward:

To… the Jews who, in the sixties, envied the Black Power Movement; who, in the nineties, envied the Palestinians; who weep at Exodus but jeer at the Israel Defense Forces; who nod when Tevye praises tradition but fidget through the seder; who… find ludicrous the notion of a visit to the synagogue… to you, who find your religion and race repulsive, your ignorance of your history a satisfaction, here is a book from your brother.

The L.A. Times, however, chooses this description:

[T]he craven motives that spur Mamet’s inauspiciously named “race treason” are …equally rooted in self-promoting callousness, servile ingratiation and other stigmata of excessive self-love.

As a self-described Lapsed Jew (or, in my more cynical moments, Bolshevik Jew), I would challenge Mr. Mamet to tell me why I should allow myself to be co-opted by a group I never sought inclusion with, presumes to speak for me against my wishes, and that accuses me, should I dare to disagree with its tenants, of hating myself.

He will appear at the Central Library on Wednesday, as part of the ALOUD series. I’m going to try to make it there to ask him these questions myself.

What I’d really love to see is a debate between Mr. Mamet and Douglas Rushkoff, whose book on Judaism, Nothing Sacred, spoke to me more than countless scoldings from any Bal Toyreh.

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