What’s Jewish about that?

I recently emailed a friend (yes, she in an interfaith marriage) who works at Berkeley Rep Theater to ask, “Do you have upcoming plays with a Jewish theme?” She replied, “Maybe I’m not the right person to ask because in my eyes there is always a Jewish theme.” She sent me some of her ideas and I picked An Iliad. If you love literature as I do, then you have probably read Homer’s Iliad since they assigned it to you in high school. Like the ancient Israelites, Homer living in an illiterate society. Both the ancient cultures, the Greeks and the Hebrews, passed on their epic stories through an oral tradition. Both used musical elements and formulaic wording as memory cues to the person reciting. My excitement rose. Why not create a class around these concepts AND go to the play? So that’s what I did. We will go to the Oct. 21 matinee performance of Berkeley Rep’s An Iliad and attend the docent lecture before the play. We will have a couple of class sessions – one with a Classics grad student from CAL and one with a rabbi. I’m wondering if we should all have a discussion gathering in early November. Let me know what you think. (Email me at dawn@buildingjewishbridges.org with your thoughts.)