272 Bedford St, Stamford, CT Phone: 203-967-3660.
7:30 pm. Hosted by Rabbi Josh Hammerman. DEFENDING YOUR LIFE, the 1991 comedy starring a typically neurotic Albert Brooks and a strikingly uncomplicated Meryl Streep, invites us to probe deep questions about death and the hereafter, as well as the choices we make here on Earth. Brooks' character dies tragically in a car accident and instantly finds himself in a sort of '90s-L.A. version of purgatory called "Judgment City." Assisted by his sort-of lawyer, played by Rip Torn, Brooks awaits a sort-of trial to determine whether he qualifies for a sort-of salvation or whether he needs to go back to Earth and try, try again. With a nod to eastern spirituality and reincarnation and Christianity's focus on the redemptive power of love, the film also echoes major themes in Jewish thought, including soul searching, an especially timely topic with the High Holidays approaching. The film is prescient in imagining a world where technology enables every moment of our lives to be eternally replayed, reviewed and second guessed. Is such a world heaven? Or is it hell?