Monday, December 4, 2006

This Week: Eritchka Goes Russian Red

In honor of this year’s Ofek Jewish Book Festival, Hillel and the JCC teamed up to create the first-ever “Literary Casino.” The makeshift casino, set up in the large hall in the Minsk Jewish Community Campus, featured gambling, bowling, and a disco Tec. Each activity integrated Jewish literary themes. For example, before a player could get her points in a game of darts, she would have to answer a question such as, “name the author of the book, Der Judenstaat,” or, “Who invented the character Gimple the Fool?”

To create a real atmosphere of competition, players had to gamble with “Ofek Money.” The unlucky gamblers could buy only a cup of juice with their Ofek dollars. The lucky ones, however, had the photo opportunity of a lifetime—to take a picture with the most famous piece of Jewish literature of all time, the 10 Commandments, held by the modern Belarusian Moses. Adorned in red fabric and wearing a red wig and a sparkling gold hat, Eritchka looked like a Moses who would star in a Jewish “La Cage aux Folles.”

Nonetheless, participants in the casino night lined up to take pictures with this strange-looking character holding a Russian version of the Tablets. By the end of the night, Eritchka, acting in the benevolent way of God’s favorite prophet, even took pictures with those who had played away all of their money.

This was the 10th annual Ofek Literary Festival. The Festival was a collaborative event organized by the JCC, the Union of Belarusian Jewish Communities, Israel Cultural Center, and the Joint Distribution Committee.


Bob Jesus said...

I love that red sheitel!

Bob Jesus said...

PS: Is he one of the famous Nun Nun friends from Garlem?

Mike said...

The questions should have been asked in Russian, or better yet, Belarussian. Then you'd see who the real smarties were.