In a recent episode of “Wine with Adam,” host Adam Bellos interviewed Tuvia Tenebom, a theater director, playwright and author.

Over a glass of Jezreel Rose from Jezreel Valley Winery, the two discussed Tenenbom’s upbringing, his books and the antisemitism he faced.

Tenenbom, who was born in Bnei Brak and educated in Mea Shearim, left the haredi world. He opted to go into the IDF and move to America for university. But he still felt a need to express Talmudic learnings and Jewish humor. As such, he turned to theater.

“All these things were being pushed into me, all put into me, into my soul, into my being, and now I have to put it on stage.”

Tenenbom’s work has highlighted underlying anti-Semitism in gentile culture.

“Was this your intention to even highlight this or did you fall into it as well?” Bellos asked.

Tenenbom revealed it was never his intention.

“It’s exactly like being a plumber. You have to go to the toilet. It’s dirty…

“This was my dream… I ended up [here] because of my background in theater, and because I know I never have a fear of meeting a villain… In theater, the feeling is it’s a very necessary character. It’s a character who drives the story forward,” Tenenbom said.

Bellos ended the session by asking Tenenbom for the best lesson he could give to a bar mitzvah-aged boy.

“Judaism is not kugel or gefilte fish,” Tenenbom said. “Judaism is not hummus or falafel. Judaism is not a flag. Judaism is the holy books, the ancient books, written by Jews, starting with the Tanakh.

“You gotta read it, all of it, if you want to know what Judaism is,” he continued. “It is beautiful books.”

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