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Movie Monday (February 1st, 2016) ‘Groundhog Day’

For this week’s Movie Monday we feature a movie with the same title as tomorrows, ‘Groundhog Day celebration, (February 2nd).


In the movie Groundhog Day, a weather man, played by Bill Murray, is sent for the 4th straight year to report on if the local Groundhog will see his shadow. When he wakes up the ‘next’ day he finds that it’s Groundhog Day again, and again, and again.


One reason for choosing this movie, is its parallel with the notion of never dying, and having the opportunity to hit the reset button. It makes you think about the reality of living each day to its fullest.


Another reason is its unlikely association with one of the most famous books on death and dying. To depict the stages Bill Murray’s character went through, the movies screenwriter, Danny Rubin, actually took Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of death and dying as a modal – and used that as a template for his progress.


Many have also written about the spiritual nature of this film. Dr. Niles Goldstein, rabbi of the New Shul congregation in Manhattan, and author of ”Lost Souls: Finding Hope in the Heart of Darkness” (Bell Tower, 2002), said in an article, that he “observes Jewish resonance in the fact that Mr. Murray’s character is rewarded by being returned to earth to perform more mitzvahs — good deeds — rather than gaining a place in heaven, which is the Christian reward, or achieving nirvana, the Buddhist reward. The movie tells us, as Judaism does, that the work doesn’t end until the world has been perfected,” Rabbi Goldstein said.


We also remember Groundhog Day writer, director Harold Ramis, who died 2 years ago this month.


The following sources were used as a reference for this blog post:
Groundhog Almighty
Groundhog Day’s Stages of Grief

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