Yeah! This is a thing I see a lot in media with Jewish characters. I feel partially it’s that the characters tend to be culturally Jewish but maybe not necessarily observant, or they’re observant in a way that isn’t as directly visible as having, say, a frum character who wears a kippah and brings his own lunches instead of buying food in the precinct cafeteria. So we’ll get a reference to a bar mitzvah, but not a reference to the tallit someone got from their father there. It’s also a lot easier for writers to just use the cultural shorthand in place (wry jokes about circumcision, Jewish mothers, bagels) than to dig for something else, which would require work and might very well confuse viewers.
I don’t think I’ve seen much Jewish religious observance in fiction apart from the occasional ‘Chanuka special’ thing, where, e.g., Marvel will get someone to draw a standalone picture of all their Jewish characters lighting a chanukiah as a parallel to the Christmas-tree-decorating illustrations. I believe that in Babylon 5 one character says the mourner’s Kaddish for her father, but apart from that most of the examples that come to mind are from fiction written by and for a Jewish audience.
It’s tough because there are plenty of real Jews who do the bar mitzvah joke bit but not the kippah bit, and all of the different kinds of us have a need to see ourselves reflected in fiction. I’m glad for every Jewish character, even the lazily written ones, even the well-written ones who don’t observe like I do, but I also wish there were more characters who did observe like me, you know?#discussion #whitetightsmember