[Wine merchant H. Ronald] Jordan has a full head of silver hair with an equally full silver mustache. We’ve met to discuss DRUNK, an evening of art and performance inspired by Jewish texts, coming Saturday, November 18th, at the 14th Street Y. Jordan is the official sommelier for the event, which was put together by LABA, a kind of incubator for Jewish art and culture sponsored by the Y. (Full disclosure: I was a LABA fellow in the 2016-17 season, and the spiritual guides for the evening are the Tablet’s Liel Leibovitz and noted novelist Ruby Namdar).Hopefully the event will go better than this Talmudic story:
DRUNK combines nine LABA artists with five texts and five wines. Jordan’s letting me taste three wines, in order to “keep a little mystery for the audience.” It also seems prudent to limit the number of tastings, because I had to bring my six-year-old son to the interview.
The next text is less tendentious. It’s the famous Talmudic tale of Rabbi Rabbah and Rabbi Zeira and their ill-fated Purim party. The rabbis get hammered, as you do on Purim. But later that night, Rabbah is so drunk that he slays Zeira. The next morning, Rabbah begs God for mercy, and Zeira is revived. The following Purim, it’s no surprise when Zeira refuses Rabbah’s invitation: “Not every time does a miracle occur,” says Zeira. Meaning: Who knows if Hashem will bring me back the next time, and anyway Rabbi Zeira is a mean drunk.Background here.
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