How the “Angry Jew” Video Game Helped One Man Embrace His Heritage

The game Mendel’s Quest, affectionately known as “Angry Jew” might seem like a semitic stereotype at first. Players can embody a small Hasidic man as he runs around a shtetl, trying to save seforim (holy books) from angry cossacks while shouting bad names in Yiddish. But the fact that it was developed by three Israeli Jews points to their “taking back” reinvention of a stereotype first invented by non-Jews and their use of humor to process trauma, a first in the world of video games. The game proudly boasts that it was “made by Jews” on its start screen, and its creators have received both hate mail and oil-painted fan art, and has particularly been a hit in yeshivas. One writer for WIRED says that he embraced the “Mendels” in his life who helped him wrap tefillin and get sober. Read more here.

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