And Now, More Jewish Food for Thought

Love and Fear, Part II, follows the recently posted first part of a trilogy, which delves into Jewish wisdom on these seminal human emotions separately and in relation to each other.

The new segment brings to six the number of shorts in the Jewish Food for Thought series created by Hanan Harchol, a New York-based film and video artist. 

Others examine notions of gratitude, forgiveness, apology, love, and an interpretation of one section of the Passover Haggadah. A seventh, Love and Fear, Part III, will be released next week.

Each of the animations depicts an Americanized and secular son in conversation and searching debate with his wise kibbutznik father, an Israeli nuclear physicist – exchanges and interactions mirroring Harchol’s own experiences.  And debuting in the Love and Fear trilogy is the son’s mother too.

True to the animated form, they are at times funny and exaggerated in mannerisms and tone, but always true to life and provocative.

“The medium is subversive,” Harchol, 41, said in a 2011 interview with The Covenant Foundation. “When someone watches an animation or cartoon, they tend to let their guard down more, because a drawing is one step removed from reality.  The medium allows me to access hearts and minds in a deeper way, which is especially useful when dealing with this rich and meaningful subject matter.”

When the series is complete, it will include approximately ten similarly styled animations presenting the Jewish angle on various themes.

The objective, Harchol said, is to push Jewish teachings and perspectives on such issues in a very populist way, appealing to Jews across the spectrum of observance and educational settings and helping viewers apply Jewish thought to everyday life.

Created with funds granted by The Covenant Foundation and fiscal sponsorship from the Foundation for Jewish Culture, Jewish Food for Thought includes study guides – authored by Rabbi Leora Kaye, Program Director at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City – anchored to each segment and usable in formal and informal settings.