Laughing With Dead Poets Robin Williams, the Talmud and Coping With Mental Illness

Judaism offers no solution to depression - for to be depressed is to be a most proper atheist, with salvation utterly blocked - but the Talmud may guide us in using our tragedy to better our circumstances.

Toward the end of Dead Poets' Society, as John Keating is being ushered out of the school following the suicide of one of his pupils, his disciples make a defiant statement of allegiance and respect, of honour and recognition, by standing on their desks and shouting, “Oh Captain, My Captain.” They do this one by one, hesitantly, nervously, and in that moment they enact the poetic passion, the...