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Sunday, November 10 • 9:30am - 10:15am
Golden Age Travel

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What if Hebrew poet Yehuda HaLevi, born 1070, Spain, came to Toronto today? “Golden Age Travel” is a play about time travel, in which HaLevi, at a crisis in his own life, accepts the invite of a 21st century Toronto Jew, YYZ.

In Toronto, HaLevi grapples with the great changes in Jewish history, especially Israel’s establishment. What a contrast to his time, when Crusader Christians and Muslims fought over Jerusalem. But when HaLevi attempts to board a plane for Israel (paralleling the pilgrimage to Jerusalem HaLevi undertook in 1140) he is arrested for travelling under false identity. Court refers him to a psychiatrist to determine his sanity (he claims to be a famous 12th century poet - sounds crazy!)

So the second grappling is in dialogue between HaLevi and Dr. Miri Maimenbaum, court psychiatrist. This parallels the dialogue of HaLevi’s philosophical work, The Kuzari, between King of the Khazars and a learned Jew.  Dr. Maimenbaum’s rationalist outlook mirrors Rambam, in contrast with HaLevi’s mystical, nationalist, romantic outlook. Dialogue explores issues of identity: who we are based on what we believe; and our narratives - the stories we tell ourselves, personally and collectively. A staged reading of portions of the play.

avatar for Benjamin Rubin

Benjamin Rubin

Benjamin Rubin is a Toronto lawyer by trade. Under his pen name, eBenBrandeis, he composes poetry, lyrics and YouTube video poems. He has edited and published a book of contemporary Jewish humor; translated from Hebrew an autobiography of life in pre-war Pinsk, Poland; was the creator... Read More →

Sunday November 10, 2019 9:30am - 10:15am EST