In 1965, Jackie DeShannon sang, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” Oh, sure, the Burt Bacharach/Hal David song had its heart in the right place. But we’re now living in more perilous times. We have far more crucial needs and concerns. The life of mankind and that of the very planet are at stake. Love alone just ain’t gonna cut it. It has become crystal clear what the world really needs most right now: a Jewish James Bond. But don’t look to the newest Bond film for anything Jewish.
So what would an actual Shlomo Bondstein movie look like?
The 23rd spy film in the James Bond series, “Skyfall,” is out now, featuring Daniel Craig’s third performance as James Bond. Welsh-born Craig is not Jewish. Nor, I believe, are any of the actors who’ve portrayed the ultimate spy over the decades. But even more importantly, none of the Bond stories ever created deal with Bond as a Jew. The character’s creator, Ian Fleming, has even been accused of being Anti-Semitic.
So why even consider having a Jewish James Bond? There are a number of reasons:
As the Chosen People, the Jews have been chosen to be in a covenant with God. If you were in charge of selecting the ultimate spy to save the world, wouldn’t you want one with whom the Almighty had already struck up a deal?
Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg are getting on in years. Jewish youth needs some younger role models.
James Bond as currently portrayed by Daniel Craig has become way too serious. What people loved about the actor considered the best Bond of all, Sean Connery, was his humor and playfulness. A Jewish James Bond opens the character to all sorts of comedic possibilities.
If we can have a black President, there’s no reason why we can’t have a Jewish super-spy.
It would provide a wonderful job for Jewish actors previously not considered for the role: Andrew Garfrield, Adam Sandler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sascha Baron-Cohen, Jonah Hill, Shia LaBoeuf, Jason Segel, Daniel Radcliffe, James Franco.
A Jewish James Bond would differ from the traditional British James Bond in a number of important ways, starting with his name. “James Bond” might well be the least Jewish-sounding name ever, so care should be taken in choosing one that is clearly Jewish and yet still identifies its namesake as the famed spy. A few suggestions:
- Shlomo Bondstein
- Yitzhak Bondowitz
- Avram Bondsky
- Mendel Bondberg
- Moishe Bondfeld
James Bond was created as an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond was also known by his code number, 007, and was a Royal Naval Reserve Commander. In contrast, Shlomo Bondstein could be an intelligence officer in the Secret Intelligence Service Serving Yids (SISSY). His code number might be “007 – but for you, 004.50” Bond liked golf, scrambled eggs, gambling and martinis. For Bondstein, it might be mah jongg, matzoh brei, bingo and Manischewitz.
But what would an actual movie be like with a Jewish James Bond hero? I see it like this:
The film begins in Jerusalem, where Shlomo Bondstein finds fellow SISSY agent Leibowitz wounded and the insides of his Talmud missing. Bondstein gives chase to the enemy, a semi-professional hitman named Bogdan, with the help of SISSY operative Chava, first by matzoh-design skateboard, then by motorized matzoh-design skateboard across the roofs of delis and Jewish holiday supplies stores until the two men finally end up on top of a speeding blintz truck. The two begin fighting hand-to-hand on top of the moving truck, each insulting the other’s mother’s cooking.
Meanwhile, Chava has a telescopic rifle trained on Bogan, but she’s unable to get a clear shot because Bondstein has now engaged Bogdan in the Hora of Death, a traditional Israeli folk dance combined with the Israeli martial art Krav Maga, and they’re just moving too fast. Finally, P (again, Judi Dench) gives Chava the order to take the shot. She does. Bondstein is hit and falls into an enormous vat of borscht, apparently dead.
I don’t want to give away the whole movie, so let’s just skip to the ending. All I’ll say is, as you might have guessed, Bondstein turns out to be still alive. L’chaim!
Bondstein and P travel to Tel Aviv to the Bondstein family estate called Veyizmir. There they meet the slingshot-wielding estate gamekeeper Leibowitz, who offers his assistance in fighting Bogdan and his men. In preparation for the assault, they improvise a series of booby-traps around the house. First, if anyone steps on the front doormat, it activates an ear-piercingly loud recording of Bondstein’s Haftorah reading from his bar mitzvah. Doorknobs cannot be turned as they have been all smeared with a thick coating of schmaltz. Strategically-placed trapdoors in the floor cause whomever steps on them to be propelled downward into subterranean grottos where they are forced to listen to sales pitches from life insurance salesmen.
The second wave of attackers approaches via a helicopter disguised as a Jewish book lending library. Bondstein orders Leibowitz and Q to escape through a secret tunnel beneath the moor that leads to a kosher butcher while he holds off the assault. There, Leibowitz and Q take advantage of the 50% off sale on flank steak.
Bondstein is pinned down by heavy machine gun fire from the helicopter and by Leibowitz throwing matzoh ball-shaped grenades into the house. Despite this challenge, Bondstein succeeds in gathering the ten Jewish males needed for a minyan and completes a prayer service to give him strength. He uses two yahrzeit candles to blow up two gas canisters. The resulting explosion destroys the helicopter, much of the house and kills all but Bogdan and two of his men. It also singes the peyos off two rabbinical students walking by.
Bondstein escapes through the same tunnel as Leibowitz and P. Bogdan spots the gleam of Leibowitz’s bald spot in the distance and sets off in pursuit. Bondstein immobilizes the first henchman and kills the second by forcing him to listen to his Bea Arthur impression for 25 minutes. He arrives at the butcher shop to find Bogdan asking P to nag them both to death to end their misery. Bondstein throws a sharpened mezuzah into his back, killing him, but P succumbs to her previous bullet wound and dies. Her last words are, “Take my flank steak; it shouldn’t go to waste.”
A verklempt Bondstein returns to work to find Chava had declined fieldwork and taken a desk job, revealing that her last name is “Moneypenny.” Impressed with this stable career choice, Bondstein immediately proposes and then turns to the audience and states his name: “Bondstein. Shlomo Bondstein.” He then heads off for his next assignment. Cue the specially commissioned theme song, “Is It Hot in Here, Because I’m Shvitzing Like a Zaftik Manzbil.”