No Black Hat For Black

The Jewish Journal reports,

As a child, [comedian Lewis] Black said he developed an unhealthy obsession with the Holocaust and a fear of Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. He so worried that God would write his name in the Book of Death that he stewed over every misstep.

Black said his concerned parents ended up sending him to a shrink to deal with his neurosis. It’s hard to know whether he’s kidding.

As a graduate student, Black and a friend attended services during the High Holidays. The rabbi used the occasion to raise money for Israel. “I was thinking, ‘No, not today. You idiots,'” he said in his trademark growl.

On the other hand, Black said he dreamed of becoming a religious leader until his early teens, when his temple hired a rabbi who turned him off. Black has fond memories of his bar mitzvah, which netted him “the big bucks.” He said his Jewish background gave him a strong moral foundation and empathy for the less fortunate.

Still, Judaism, like other Western religions, holds little appeal for Black.

“The Jews created guilt. The Catholics codified it. And the Protestants transformed it into tension,” Black said with a chuckle.

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