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Happy Groundhog Day!

And don’t forget your booties, ‘cause it’s cold out there!

Marc Tracy
February 02, 2012
Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.(YouTube)
Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.(YouTube)

And also don’t forget to read this classic from the Times about how “the film has become a curious favorite of religious leaders of many faiths, who all see in Groundhog Day a reflection of their own spiritual messages.”

Relatedly, Phil saw his shadow today. So, six more weeks of winter.

From the Times:

Dr. Niles Goldstein … said he finds Jewish resonance in the fact that Mr. Murray’s character is rewarded by being returned to earth to perform more mitzvahs—good deeds—rather than gaining a place in heaven, which is the Christian reward, or achieving nirvana, the Buddhist reward. …

”The movie tells us, as Judaism does, that the work doesn’t end until the world has been perfected,” Rabbi Goldstein said.

But wait. Michael Bronski, a film critic for The Forward who teaches a course in Jewish film history at Dartmouth, said he sees strong elements of not only Jewish but also Christian theology. ”The groundhog is clearly the resurrected Christ, the ever hopeful renewal of life at springtime, at a time of pagan-Christian holidays,” he said, adding: ”And when I say that the groundhog is Jesus, I say that with great respect.”

Groundhog Almighty [NYT]
Earlier: Happy Groundhog Day! (get it??)

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.