So the gloves are off among Jewish communal leaders at the prospect of Mel Gibson’s producing, directing, and perhaps even starring in a movie about Judah Maccabee. “Judah Maccabee deserves better,” Abraham Foxman said. Did Foxman not see that Joe Eszterhas is on board?
We here at Tablet Magazine have long known that contributing editor Jeff Goldberg has been planning a book on Judah Maccabee—he’s been writing it for our sister organization, Nextbook Press. But I cannot honestly say I was aware that Goldberg had sat down with Mel Gibson to discuss his childhood hero, the great Jewish warrior.
I don’t want to spoil the interview excerpt for you. Suffice to say it mainly revolves around circumcision, and includes the BREAKING NEWS that Gibson himself has been cut.
Meanwhile, I think my favorite of what are surely many Freudian slips comes when Gibson ponders the prospect of depicting for the silver screen the process of un-circumcision, in which you wear weights down there to make the skin do something that sounds really, really painful. “You have to mention it,” Gibson notes, “but you wouldn’t want to make it a thing in the movie. ‘Hold them down!’ Jesus.”
Hold them down, Jesus! (Um, don’t actually watch this.)