Big Lebowski Jerusalem Fest

June 15th 2011

Chicago’s done it, London’s had it, and Jerusalem for the first time ever, is bringing it into the Eastern Hemisphere. What is it?

It’s a trend that is taking the world over by storm. Move over, Rocky Horror Picture Show, we’ve got another cult classic ( The Big Lebowski) taking center stage and regaling the world with “Lebowski Fests” that the simple man on his Israel tour can partake in.

The Big Lebowski showcases the fictional life of Jeffrey Lebowski, played by Jeff Bridges, known by the name “The Dude.”, who spends his time bowling with Walter Sobchak, played by John Goodman, and Donny Kerabatsos, played by Steve Buscemi.

I’ll provide some quotes from the Big Lebowski with all obscenities removed, to see the big Jewish connection behind this Lebowski phenomenon. Walter Sobchak is the Vietnam Vet turned unconventional Jew, obsessed with his bowling league yet committed to keeping the Jewish Sabbath (as he famously reiterates over and over again, “ I don’t roll on Shabbos”). This bizarre, comedic  Shomer Shabbos set up adds a whole new dimension to the Jewish religious/cultural representation on t.v and movies.

Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don’t work, I don’t drive a car, I don’t ride in a car, I don’t handle money, I don’t turn on the oven, and I sure *don’t roll*.

And again,

The Dude: Will you come off it, Walter? You’re not even Jewish, man.
Walter Sobchak: What are you talkin’ about?
The Dude: Man, you’re Polish Catholic–
Walter Sobchak: What are you talking about? I converted when I married Cynthia! Come on, Dude!
The Dude: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah–
Walter Sobchak: And you know this!
The Dude: Yeah, and five years ago you were divorced.
Walter Sobchak: So what are you saying? When you get divorced you turn in your library card? You get a new license? You stop being Jewish?

Okay, for those of us with a gentle heart and are explicity foul and inappropriate language, I wouldn’t suggest actually watching the movie, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate with the best of the BL-obsessed. Whether or not you’re a huge fan, a “The Dude” in training, or just want to be a part of something really random and culturally bizarre in Jerusalem,  this is where it’s at.


On June 16, at the Jerusalem Bowling in Talpiot, you can indulge in a full-length screening of the classic movie in its finest, be a part of a massive team bowling tournament, chill back to a  live Creedence band, enter into a rambunctious costume contest of the movie’s character, partake in a competitively silly trivia contest, and digest all of the White Russians you can drink ( White Russians are “The Dude” ‘s favorite drink, FYI).

Be aware! Attendance is by RESERVATION ONLY.

Let the games begin. Just not on Shabbos.