The Kabbalah of Popular Culture

Seth Rogovoy frequently writes about the intersection of popular culture and Jewish themes, affinities, personalities, and other less well-known connections. The majority of these pieces have been published in The Forward as part of the ‘Secret Jewish History’ series.

The Kabbalah of Ringo Starr

by Seth Rogovoy Ringo Starr isn’t Jewish, but that didn’t stop a group of Canadian separatists from issuing a death threat against Starr for “being Jewish” in September 1964, before the Beatles were scheduled to perform in Montreal. Starr reportedly wound up playing the concert with an armed bodyguard seated beside him, with his ride…

Seth Rogovoy to Give Virtual Presentation on Bob Dylan

(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Author Seth Rogovoy will deliver a virtual multimedia presentation called “The Kabbalah of Bob Dylan” on Thursday, June 18, at 7pm, as part of the Yiddish Book Center’s ongoing series of Virtual Public Programs. In the talk, which includes narration, song clips, and video, Rogovoy will review Bob Dylan’s life and career…

12 Bob Dylan Songs About Coronavirus

by Seth Rogovoy   (HUDSON, N.Y., April 24, 2020) — In the past few weeks, Bob Dylan has released two new songs, “Murder Most Foul” and “I Contain Multitudes,” which people have combed for references to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Never mind that these songs were most likely written and recorded months if not years…

The Kabbalah of Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul’

by Seth Rogovoy   Bob Dylan’s ‘Murder Most Foul‘, a newly released, 17-minute ballad about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is not only a work of epic genius – formally, structurally, and otherwise – but, like the Talmud itself, it veritably demands a close reading in order to comprehend fully what the Nobel…

The Kabbalah of Dr Dolittle: Robert Downey Jr to the Rescue

by Seth Rogovoy Robert Downey Jr. presumably had a better time making the new movie “Dolittle,” based on Hugh Lofting’s “Doctor Dolittle” stories and opening in theaters on Friday, January 17, 2020, than did his fellow Jew, Anthony Newley, who had a miserable experience on the set of the original 1967 “Doctor Dolittle” film version,…

The Kabbalah of Buster Keaton

by Seth Rogovoy Had it not been for Erik Weisz, the Hungarian-born, Wisconsin-raised son of a rabbi, one of the most influential film artists of all time may have been just an ordinary Joe rather than the extraordinary Buster Keaton, the renowned comic actor, director, and stunt performer widely regarded as one of the greatest…