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九色

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May 8, 2024
Jerry Seinfeld attends SiriusXM’s ‘Unfrosted’ Town Hall at SiriusXM Studios on April 30, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

For Jerry Seinfeld there would be

no red lines, as a great comedian;

the only line on which we鈥檇 see

him walk appeared to be the median.

 

While on this line聽he, unbefuddled,

would in a wonderland like Alice

once wander, Jerry never muddled

the media, starring minus malice.

 

His stories were about events

concluding always with confusion,

unspoiled by sheer malevolence,

spite spurned by him as unamusing,

 

his sense of humor never guiding

him towards it as a source

of inspiration聽by deriding

malignancy of this foul force.

 

Reality now causes Jerry

to walk along a different line.

On the median no more merry,

while anti-Zionists malign

 

the right of Jews to have a state,

along a line that white and聽blue

he walks, and does not hesitate

to join his聽maddened crowd, a Jew.


In 鈥淛erry Seinfeld Can No Longer Be About Nothing,鈥 NYT, 5/4/24, Matt Flegenheimer and Marc Tracy write:

Jerry Seinfeld became a mic-cradling, cereal-eating, 鈥渄id-you-ever-notice鈥-ing avatar of American Jewish life with a brazenly shrugging persona: a merry indifference to weighty material as a comedian and in his megahit TV show about nothing, as petty and apolitical as he seemed to be.

Now 鈥 off-camera, at least 鈥 Mr. Seinfeld appears to have reached his post-nothing period.

Since the attacks of Oct. 7 in Israel, and through their bloody and volatile aftermath in Gaza, Mr. Seinfeld, 70, has emerged as a strikingly public voice against antisemitism and in support of Jews in Israel and the United States, edging warily toward a more forward-facing advocacy role than he ever seemed to seek across his decades of fame.

He has shared reflections about life on a kibbutz in his teens, and in December traveled to Tel Aviv to meet with hostages鈥 families, soberly recounting afterward the missile attack that greeted him during the trip.

He has participated, to a point, in the kind of celebrity activism with which few associate him 鈥 letter-signing campaigns, earnest messages on social media 鈥 answering simply recently when asked about the motivation for his visit to Israel: 鈥淚鈥檓 Jewish.鈥濃.

In one recent interview 鈥 part of a promotional tour for the Pop-Tarts movie 鈥 Mr. Seinfeld said he felt 鈥渧ery close to the struggle of being Jewish in the world.鈥

He has also stopped himself short of full-scale sermonizing.

鈥淚 don鈥檛 preach about it,鈥 he told GQ last month. 鈥淚 have my personal feelings about it that I discuss privately. It鈥檚 not part of what I can do comedically, but my feelings are very strong.鈥


Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored 鈥淟egal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel.鈥 He can be reached at gershonhepner@gmail.com.

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