What Seth Rogen Could — and Should — Have Said


To the Editor:

Thank you for your measured commentary on Seth Rogen‘s podcast delirium (“Seth Rogen’s Israel Problem — and Ours,” Editor’s Column). Just when I was thinking I could never watch another Seth Rogen film again, you have restored my ability to do so without guilt. You are so right-on about the complexity of the situation and subject in general. And also about what a 38-year-old Jewish comedian could, should and might be able to understand, given his own upbringing. I have a lot of relatives who fall in the Seth Rogen camp, too.

Jeff Morgan
Berkeley, Calif.

To the Editor:

I don’t believe that the issue in Seth Rogen’s case is “suppression,” but rather why the press insists on publicizing the fringe. Who exactly decides that certain “Jews merely by birth” have views that need to be disseminated?

Seth Rogen and Peter Beinart are certainly entitled to their expressions. But do we all really need to hear them and discuss them as if they represent anything more than their personal opinions?

Joseph Blank

To the Editor:

I enjoyed your take on the Marc Maron/Seth Rogen interview. I agree with you: Rogen’s opinions can’t be dismissed or cancelled and show a problem with our educational experience and message in modern times.

Interestingly neither Maron nor Rogen have opted to have children which also says a great deal about their approach to Judaism. The fact that they dont feel compelled to “pass it on” says as much or more than their podcast interview.

Rochelle Sherman

To the Editor:

Every time Seth  Rogen opens his mouth about Israel he demonstrates he knows nothing about Israeli history. (“Seth Rogen Has Regrets About His Jewish Education,” Aug. 4). I doubt he aware that on Nov. 30, 1947 the Palestinian Arabs rejected a country called Palestine when it was offered to then by the United Nations General Assembly. Their leader, Nazi war criminal and Grand Mufti Amin al-Husseini, when he rejected a Palestinian state, simultaneously commanded the Arabs to “Murder the Jews. Murder all of them.”

Mr. Rogen thinks Jews don’t need Zionism because, like Peter Beinart, he has never needed Zionism himself. The great Jewish poet, Nathan Alterman, with great prescience, makes clear what kind of Jews Seth Rogen and his ilk are: “Then Satan did say: How will I conquer this beleaguered one? He possesses courage, ingenuity, resourcefulness and the tools of war.’ Then he said: ‘I’ll not rob his strength, nor bridle him, nor rein him in, not enervate his hand. But this I’ll do — blunt his mind, till he forgets his cause is just.'”

Richard Sherman
Margate, Fla.

is editor at large of the New York Jewish Week and managing editor for Ideas for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.