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Jew of the Week: David Blaine

Revolutionary Magician

David Blaine White (b. 1973) was born in Brooklyn to a Puerto Rican father, and a Russian Jewish mother who raised him alone through tough times. He saw his first magic act on a subway at age 4 and was inspired for life. He loved drama, too, and would appear in several TV commercials and soap operas. By 21, he was already doing magic for wealthy private audiences and celebrity parties. Blaine recorded one of these performances and sent the tape to ABC, who were hooked immediately. At 24, Blaine’s first TV special, Street Magic, was aired and has since been hailed as revolutionizing the world of magic, with fellow magicians Penn & Teller even claiming it was the “biggest breakthrough done in our lifetime.” His subsequent amazing stunts included entombing himself in a 3-ton underground tank for 7 days, encasing himself in a block of ice for over 63 hours, standing atop a 100-foot high (and 22 inch wide) pillar for 35 hours straight, going 44 days without food while sealed in a case above London’s River Thames (losing 25% of his body weight!), freeing himself from a rotating gyroscope on which he spun for 52 hours straight, and holding his breath for over 17 minutes (see how here). Blaine uses his magic for good, too, performing in countless children’s hospitals and charity events throughout his career, and fundraising for organizations like the Salvation Army (from whom he’d received clothing as a child) during his stunts. He also holds several world records. David Blaine can certainly be included among the great Jewish magicians, including past Jews of the Week Harry Houdini and David Copperfield.

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Words of the Week

“The Jewish people, no matter where they are, they become the best in the world.”
Joseph Mengele, Nazi Officer and Physician