Brain Pickings Icon
Brain Pickings

Schlimazeltov! A Short Film About Luck in Jewish Culture

The nature of “luck” has fascinated scientists and philosphers alike for centuries. Schlimazeltov! explores the concept of “luck,” or “mazel,” through a tapestry of voices from London’s Jewish community. From global economics to lucky charms to quantum physics, the film blends humor, philosophy and visual poetry for a layered investigation of the ancient sensemaking mechanism that is our belief in the invisible hand of luck.

We live our lives like a piece of embroidery — we see the rough side of it, but there might be a very beautiful side on the other side we can’t see. We only see all the stitching on the wrong side of the fabric.”

People are looking for deterministic things because the world is very confusing. Religion, a lot of times, is about trying to relieve anxieties and fear.”

It all depends on your psychological standpoint, whether you call a thing ‘luck,’ ‘chance’ or ‘fate.’ Luck makes us feel a little bit better, you know — you feel there’s a dice rolling and it could’ve easily rolled a different way and maybe it will in the future; chance creates the impression of a universe in chaos; and fate creates the impression of some big bastard who’s controlling it.”

The documentary, written and directed by Christopher Thoma Allen, was commissioned by the UK Jewish Film Festival and is currently a finalist in the first annual Vimeo Festival Awards.

For more on the tension between superstition, science and religion, see The End of God, the BBC documentary we recently spotlighted.

via NPR Picture Show


Published October 7, 2010

https://www.brainpickings.org/2010/10/07/schlimazeltov/

BP

www.brainpickings.org

BP

PRINT ARTICLE

Filed Under

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I get a small percentage of its price. That helps support Brain Pickings by offsetting a fraction of what it takes to maintain the site, and is very much appreciated