Do Not Become a Hideous Beast

May 20th, 2017 — Shabbat Behar

Rabbi Sharon Brous

Eugène Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” opened to standing ovations in Germany in 1959; audiences recognized it as a fair portrayal of the ways that authoritarianism (fascism, Nazism, Communism) seeps into the popular culture and turns regular people into unrecognizable beasts. Shmita (and other ancient prescriptions) call us back to the margins to remind us that we must resist the temptation, refuse to capitulate.