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The Film clip

01/02/2020 02:55:58 PM


Shalom Lewis, Rabbi Emeritus

He was a member of our shul and passed away a number of years ago. In the eulogy delivered, I shared the excitement of seeing him on YouTube playing a Miami cop in the Jerry Lewis comedy classic The Bellboy.


During the shiva his three children told me they never knew of his movie role, hearing of it for the first time in my graveside words. They were thrilled and couldn’t wait to resurrect the film clip and catch a glimpse of their deceased father. I can only imagine the joy when they saw their dad telling Jerry Lewis to move his car.


A friend of mine texted me this week telling me that he saw my father in the Netflix movie The Devil Next Door. A powerful, chilling documentary on the trial in Israel of John Demjanjuk, accused of being Ivan the Terrible, a sadistic guard at Treblinka.


I was skeptical, but he insisted it was Ab (My close friends growing up called my father Ab rather than rabbi). He provided the needed information. Episode two entitled Nightmares of Treblinka. Six minutes and fifty-three seconds in at the narrator’s words, ‘Eleven survivors’. And so, anxious, curious and doubtful I figured I’d give it a try. I pushed the appropriate buttons. Stared at the TV screen for six minutes and fifty-three seconds and as the crowds poured into the courtroom, clear as day, there was Ab. No mistaking him for a Jerusalem doppelganger. His silver hair covered by his signature, black knitted kippa. It was absolutely him. Though the footage was taken years before he passed away, it was a marvelous discovery and an unexpected, nostalgic blast from the past. I can’t imagine that Ab ever thought while watching that historic trial that years later, he would be on Netflix.


I wonder if Ab was ever in a Jerry Lewis movie?  There was Martin and Lewis so why not Lewis and Lewis?

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Tue, April 7 2020 13 Nisan 5780