Sunday, September 28, 2008

Thank you Paul Newman

Shalom Paul Newman. Rest in peace. Your character Ari Ben Canaan will live on.
The 1960 "Exodus," along with the epic "Lawrence of Arabia," were movies that fueled the fire in my idealistic teenage heart and pushed me to sail to Israel in 1968, with a one-way ticket, disembarking in Haifa.
For the dramatic story of the actual Haganah Ship Exodus 1947 see either Wikipedia (from which the above photo is borrowed) or a Zionist telling of the story here. A great old photo of the Exodus taken from the British ship that intercepted her is midway on the page of a Glasgow website.
Author Ruth Gruber called the Exodus "the ship that launched a nation."

13 comments:

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

very interesting information - i'm also a fan of lawrence of arabia

ichandrae said...

Hi beautiful Dina.

Wow- about your current post-that is scary when you consider how teenagers can be influenced by films and that brings up the controversy of whether excessive violence on the screen should be barred for youthful viewers.I think it is bound to have some kind of negative influence. When I asked a sociology philosophy professor what his opinion was, after having taught sociology for over 20 years, anyway he felt that violence on the screen breeds indifference to violence.

Anyway, I am so happy for you that you returned to your homeland that you love and I am grateful for your messages from Jerusalem.

Thanks for another thought provoking post.

shalom
love&light.

Reader Wil said...

I never saw the movie, but I read the book and was impressed by the main character Ari Ben Canaan. I can understand quite well that Paul Newman played this part very well.

Petrea said...

I don't know much about the movie, though I should. I know a bit about France during WWII; s enough to know why the Jews would want to leave. (At that time, I think a lot of non-Jews probably wanted to leave, too...) I'll have to rent the movie and catch Mr. Newman in one of his most famous works. He'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

Ah, it was a great book and Newman really did his character justice. A great actor, he'll be missed.

Shana tova ve'metuka Dina.

Kfar Sabarit.

Dina said...

Kiwi, mostly because of Peter O'Toole? I love anything he acts in.

Ichandrae, I don't go to the movies hardly anymore. The modern ones have so much violence I have to close my eyes half the movie. I think that professor is right that seeing violence on a screen breeds indifference. Even if kids watch the daily news on TV they get that. I don't have a TV.
Of course the Zionist ideal and the altruism to go be a pioneer in young Israel was in me from age 16 on, and I would have made aliyah even without "Exodus," but I'm glad it reinforced my feelings.

Wil, you've read so many of the books that I always wanted to read. Today the movie Exodus looks a bit silly, but ....

Petrea, there will probably be a run on the DVDs of Paul Newman, z"al, now, no? What brought you to learn the French history in particular?

Dina said...

Kfar Sabarit shalom! Yofi. Shana tov gam lach. Harbeh brachot lachem.

babooshka said...

I know the movie very well. We even used to play the music from the film at school concerts, many tears ago. The film is often on Saturday afternoons in the UK, and yes dated, but still effective. It was interesting to read the inflenece the film had on you and the bearing it has made on your decision to get that one way ticket. Very thoughtful post.Paul Neman, great humnatitarian and I believe Jewish aswell.

Petrea said...

In answer to your question, Dina, before I travel I like to learn about where I'm going. So before I traveled to France in 2006 I read up on French history. I had also read World War II history as my father was a veteran. While in Paris, I was moved by the many holocaust memorials there. It happens that my husband has also studied the German occupation of France in the 1940s. It all came together powerfully at the holocaust memorial in Pere Lachaise cemetery. France will not forget.

Kris said...

I’m a Newman fan and was saddened to hear of his passing too, but I reckon that even he would say that he had a good innings.

I’m intrigued to hear the tale of embarking on such a big adventure at such an early age. I don’t think that I would have had the nerve. 1968 too, very much right in the middle of the whirlwind of Middle-Eastern political upheaval too!

I’d love to hear more about it at one stage. It sounds like the beginnings of an interesting film. The archaeology will allow us some possibility of action-filled hi-jinks too...

USelaine said...

There's a wonderful moment in the movie Exodus, where Paul Newman is "passing" as non-Jewish, and a British officer swears he can spot a Jew easily. Then in a brilliant exploitation of Newman's eyes, his character suddenly 'gets something in' his eye, and he asks the officer to help him remove it. We see the close-up, nothing is found, and it sets up a plot payoff later. The theme music is one of the best ever!

Webradio said...

Ah Mesdames : Vous l'aimez Paul...

Dina said...

Babooshka, really?! Exodus music on the Isle of Man, wow! Yes, I can still sing some of the songs and soundtrack. Newman's father was Jewish and his mother Catholic, I read. So according to Jewish halacha/law he was not Jewish, but for the Church he was. But he said he considered himself a Jew because it was more of a challenge.

Petrea, very interesting what you tell us here. The only forray into France I've made was straight to Taize for 24 hours.

Hi Kris. Well yeah, I was just out of college, old enough. I wrote a bit about my aliyah at http://jerusalemhillsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/03/40-years.html
Yes, I came only 8 months after the Six Day War. Israel was still in euphoria from that surprising victory. Maybe I'll write more about it, but I don't have my photos for it.

Elaine, right, I remember that scene well! I love the music too.