Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Evan All Righty: But Let’s Talk About The Almighty

Posted by challahbackgirl on June 27, 2007

Morgan Freeman as God in Evan AlmightyEvan Almighty, the Noah’s Ark story set in modern day America is lacking on the laughs and slow to start. It’s a family drama more than a comedy. While it didn’t leave a big impression, it did carry an environmentalist message and other great morals and mitzvahs. I cracked a smile often and it ended with a bang. Politics and religion do a little mingling, but in general religion is left out of the movie. Jewish actor, Jonah Hill, who also played a supporting role in Knocked Up stars in the feature film.

It challenges ones struggle to believe in an Almighty. But just like it’s predecessor, Bruce Almighty, having Morgan Freeman as the all knowing and all powerful one, puppeteer of the plot, contradicted the Judaism I know and love. While God might be one of us, something displayed in this movie repeatedly, Judaism doesn’t give the Almighty an image, but rather attributes. These attributes also known as the 13 attributes of Mercy are the core of Selichot services preceding Rosh HaShana.

Merciful God, merciful God, powerful God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abundant in kindness and truth. Preserver of kindness for thousands of generations, forgiver of iniquity, willful sin and error, and Who cleanses. (Exodus 34:6-7)

For me, God is a part of each of us and yet something beyond us as well. While Morgan Freeman played the role well; having something tangible in the role stood out to me. It’s not the first movie to do this or the last I’m sure, George Burns in Oh God, and the TV series Joan of Arcadia featured God as different people that one interacts with regularly.

If Morgan Freeman was just a voice the movie wouldn’t be the same for sure, his physical presence was needed to make the film work. Which makes me wonder if so many of us struggle with the notion of G-d because it’s intangible. As the saying goes, seeing is believing, right? Just some thoughts.

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