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There is a kind of enforced intimacy with the reader. The Pfeffermans scream, cry, and argue about everything. Scenes of the family together often begin as a jangle of overlapping, Altmanesque dialogue before the show gets down to business with handheld closeups that highlight every squeezed nerve.The Pfeffermans feel everything too intensely—everything, that is, except empathy for other people—and this intensity regularly seduces and destroys the unwitting bystanders and lovers who fall into their orbit.Thus, , while crossing the boundaries of nations as a transnational people.It is also the incredibly high price paid for maintaining your identity and culture while making this border crossing. , like Josh, has few answers, because another way that the show is Jewish is that it explores its themes dialectically.
’s treatment of Israel is just as ambivalent, contradictory, anxious, and overflowing as its explorations of anything else.[T]he ‘Jew,’ both in his own imagination and in the view of anti-Semites, is that creature from whom feeling bubbles forth.” , or the writing of Michael Chabon and Jami Attenberg.It’s how we know that a character named George Costanza is actually Jewish.Josh, for reasons best left unspoiled, realizes how badly he needs clear boundaries in his life and behavior.Sarah longs for the strict boundaries of both Jewish ritual practice and S&M, and rebels against them.
In the third season, at another nadir of self-hatred, Josh gets baptized.