Here are twenty out of some thirty television spots filmed by Marc Gafni together with Gil Kopatch, one of Israel’s leading comedians and young thinkers. The spots are a conversation between Gil and Marc Gafni, filmed during the week, and aired every Shabbot on the Weekly Torah Portion.
In the mid-nineties, Gil filmed a series of similar style spots on the weekly Torah portion, which were aired weekly on the popular television show of Yair Lapid. The ultra-Orthodox Shas Party in Israel threatened to leave the coalition and topple the government if Gil’s television spots were not cancelled. Shas argued that they did not give appropriate respect to the biblical figures.
Marc Gafni took issue with this position at the time and publicly defended Gil. Marc Gafni suggested that the very fact that an Israeli comedian was engaging the text, even if serious engagement was mixed with satire, was in itself an expression of spirit. “And since when,” asked Marc Gafni in a public talk at the time, “…since when is laughter only funny and not serious?”
A decade or so later Gil and Marc Gafni studied the weekly portion in Chevruta, study partnership. These television spots emerged from their joint study.