By Hody Nemes From the Seesaw at The Jewish Daily Forward
I’m a Tolkienite and a lover of everything hobbit. There, I said it.
As a child, I read — and reread — all the hobbit-related books, painted the Misty Mountains, set a Tolkien poem to music, and played the “Lord of the Rings” Risk board game whenever I got the chance. Theoden’s speech at the Battle of Pelenor Fields, playing on loop, gave me the courage to write my senior thesis in college (“Forth, and fear no darkness! Arise, Riders of Theoden!”). Now I read the series over again almost every year.
For Jewish hobbit folk like me, this is a big week: “The Battle of the Five Armies” is hitting theaters — and on Hanukkah, no less.
Here are 7 Jewish reasons why you should join me in seeing the end of Bilbo’s quest on the silver screen:
When I was a child, my father read two books to me before bedtime: the Book of Joshua and “The Hobbit.” I loved both books and pleaded with him to keep reading long after I should have gone to sleep. The two have become muddled in my mind — and with good reason: both describe great battles (the Battle of the Five Armies and the Battle of Jericho, for starters), magical wizard leaders (Joshua and Gandalf, duh), treasure hunts, and — most importantly — exiled peoples reclaiming their lands.
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