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She initially encourages Jake to keep in contact with his dead brother’s wife and her mother.She is, of course, shocked when Jake marries Leah and makes it clear to him that their relationship is essentially over until he divorces her.This coming Sunday, Hallmark Hall of Fame presents a telefilm version of Jewish playwright P’Nenah Goldstein‘s romantic drama stage play, “Loving Leah.” (Sunday, Jan. on CBS) I had a chance to see the telefilm in advance of the TV showing and I did a telephone interview with interfaith actor Adam Kaufman, 34, who plays the male lead character, Jewish doctor Jake Lever.Though Loving Leah is better than most romantic comedies or dramas in the movie theaters, it’s not Pulitzer Prize material.Jake and his mother are not religious and both have largely lost touch with Benjamin over the years as Ben became religious and, later, a rabbi.Jake and his mother travel to Brooklyn for the funeral where they meet Ben’s widow, Leah, and Leah’s mother (played by Jewish comic actress Susie Essman, 53).The fact that Carol is not Jewish is not addressed in the script.Carol never raises the issue of religion or whether Jake is attracted to Leah because she puts him in touch with the spirit of a brother he loved or the Jewish culture he seems drawn to when it is served up to him on a silver platter (or in the form of Leah’s excellent Jewish home cooking). He said at the beginning of the film, Carol is talking about bridesmaids, so you assume Carol and Jake are engaged.
C, gets a phone call telling him his brother Benjamin, a Brooklyn Hasidic rabbi, has died unexpectedly.
As you probably can guess, Jake finds one or another excuse to put the divorce on hold and what began as a platonic marriage becomes a romantic one.
Along the way, Jake comes to appreciate aspects of a traditional Jewish religious home that Leah brings into his life.
Kaufman also told me that she is doing fine and she is very funny in real life.
Back to the plot: Jake is shocked when, shortly after his brother’s funeral, he is asked to honor the ancient Jewish Levirate marriage law.