Friday, July 23, 2010

Some questions about A Serious Man

The following relates to the video seen here.

Things I wish to know:

(1) Is Good shabbos good yomtuf as a way of saying "and it happened quickly and unexpectedly" an authentic idiom for that time and place? (For the sake of this discussion, lets call the time and place late 19th century Poland.)

(2) The old man is wearing a shtreimal on a weeknight. Is that true to the period?

(3) He confesses to having shaved his cheeks that morning. ITTTTP? Would any Jewish man of that time and place shave any part of his face?

(4) When he enters, he compliments the wife on her appearance. ITTTTP?

(5) Was ice used for anything in 19th century Poland? Especially in the middle of the winter?

(6) Why isn't Dora's head covered. ITTTTP?

(7) Dora? What kind of name is Dora? ITTTTP?

(8) Is the old man Jesus? Is that why Dora answers his kindness by stabbing him, and slamming the door on him? Before Dora's rejection, her husband was eager to share some good news, a wonder that had him quite excited. Do the Coen's believe "rational men" recognize the favor performed by the maybe-he's-dead-maybe-he's-not Jesus, while only the cold, haughty and superstitious refuse to be budged?

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