An Animated Debate


After being commissioned to produce a short film for the Skirball Center’s Projecting Freedom project, animator Hanan Harchol started thinking more about his Jewish beliefs.

Or, to be more accurate, he started wrestling with them. In his video series Jewish Food for Thought–two episodes have been produced so far, and more are on the way–Harchol argues with his Israeli father about human existence, repentance, philosophy, and the idea of God. Coming from an existential, mid-30s-crisis point of view, it’s a wry and whimsical look at Jewish thought.

Harchol was raised as a thoroughly secular Jew. He’d grown up steering clear of traditional Jewish texts–not because he disliked them, but because he’d always assumed they were boring. “By avoiding classical Jewish writings…I was missing out on thousands of years of deep thought,” Harchol writes. “I had thrown the baby out with the bath water.” Each video contains a nugget of Jewish wisdom, mixed with some humor and plenty of lively debate.

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