Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer exchange emails

I'm about to begin Jonathan Safran Foer's new novel, Here I Am, and remembered this recent email exchange that ran in the New York Times Magazine between him and Natalie Portman. It exemplifies the sort of emails that I wish I wrote and received more often—the messages are insightful, smart, clever, digressive, and sometimes long. One of my favorite passages is from Portman on Judaism: "I realized how much Judaism for me was connected to yearning — to wanting what you don’t have — which is maybe why Israel is so complicated emotionally for Jews: It’s built into the emotional structure of our religion to yearn for a homeland we don’t have."