I was recently reminiscing over Pulp Fiction, a cult-classic movie from the early 90′s. Phenomenal film, it is ranked as the #5 movie of all time and won the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. 
Now I wouldn’t watch the film again, unfortunate as it may be, its decadence is not conducive to the realm of kedusha and hence must remain on the “other side”. However, there are many potent images and motifs brought to mind, that I consider it meritorious to “redeem some sparks from the husks” and delve into one of the characters, Jules Winnfield.
Jules Winnfield is a hired hit-man, who feeling no qualms about his chosen profession, enacts vengeance upon those who dare disrespect the domain of his boss, Marcellus Wallace. However, following a close encounter with near death, Jules feels that a miracle has taken place and that is a wake up call from G-d to “quit the life”. He tells his partner Vincent, that he feels the need to “walk the earth, like Caine from Kung Fu”, and keep on wandering “Until God puts me where he wants me to be”.
While in the midst of conversation with Vincent , they are held up by Ringo and Hunny Bunny, who demand that they hand over the “suitcase”. Jules, grabbing his pistol, enters into a Mexican standoff, and begins to reveal his soul, a poetic confession cloaked in the darkness of profanity fused with holiness.
“There’s this passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17.  ”The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is The Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
I been saying that s*** for years. And if you heard it, that meant your a**. I never gave much thought to what it meant. I just thought it was some cold-blooded s*** to say to a m****** before I popped a cap in his a**. But I saw some s*** this morning made me think twice.
See, now I’m thinking, maybe it means you’re the evil man, and I’m the righteous man, and Mr. 9 millimeter here, he’s the shepherd protecting my righteous a** in the valley of darkness. Or it could mean you’re the righteous man and I’m the shepherd and it’s the world that’s evil and selfish. I’d like that. But that s*** ain’t the truth. The truth is, you’re the weak, and I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.
A similar tale of redemption amidst profanity is the tale of R’Eleazar ben Durdia, who following a strange encounter with a prostitute begs G-d to forgive him, the pangs of guilt bringing him to an early death, but a place as a redeemed man in the World to Come.
“They said about Eleazar ben Durdia that there was no prostitute in the world with whom he did not have intercourse at least once. He heard that there was one particular prostitute in a town near the sea who would receive a purse full of dinars for her services. He took a purse full of dinars and went to her, crossing over seven rivers. During intercourse she passed gas. She said: Just like this gas will never return to its place so too Eleazar ben Durdia will never have his repentance accepted (literally – will never return).
He went and sat between two mountains and hills. He said: Mountains and hills, request mercy for me. They said: Before we request mercy for you we have to request mercy for ourselves, at is says (Isaiah 54:10) “For the mountains will be moved and the hills will falter…”
He said: Heavens and earth, request mercy for me. They said: Before we request mercy for you we have to request mercy for ourselves, at is says (Isaiah 51:6) “For the heavens will dissipate like smoke, and the earth will wear out like a garment…”
He said: Sun and moon, request mercy for me. They said: Before we request mercy for you we have to request mercy for ourselves, at is says (Isaiah 24:23) “The moon will be humiliated and the sun will be shamed…”
He said: Stars and constellations, request mercy for me. They said: Before we request mercy for you we have to request mercy for ourselves, at is says (Isaiah 34:4) “All the host of the heavens will dissolve…”
He said: This matter depends solely on me. He put his head between his knees and began to tremble from crying until he died. A heavenly voice declared: R. Eleazar ben Durdia is ready for the world-to-come.”
- Tractate Avoda Zara 17A 
There are many lessons to be learnt from these narratives, tales that give a man hope, faith and the promise of a better tomorrow. It teaches us that no matter what level we are are on, or how far we have fallen, there is always the possibility of redemption, a returning to the lights of holiness and submersion in the realm of the One.
To quote Reb Nachman of Breslov:
Regardless of what happens, he should remain strong and follow the guidance of King David: “If I ascend to the Heaven, there you are and if I make hell my bed, behold you are there.” (Psalms 139.8). Even in the lowest pit of hell, a person can draw himself closer to God Almighty, for even there he can be found. This is the meaning of the words of the Psalm: “If I make hell my bed, behold You are there”.
- Likutey Moharan I:6
 See the IMDb Top 250 listings [http://www.imdb.com/chart/top]. I find it interesting to note, that all top 5 films deal with the theme of redemption, perhaps expressing the latent draw of humanity towards visualising the ultimate redemption of mankind and physical existance.
 I have not seen the TV series “Kung Fu”, but the idea appears to be reminiscent of the Biblical Cain, who after killing his brother Abel is forced to walk the earth as a “wanderer and an exile in the land”. See Genesis 4:14
 Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta, the film was instrumental in revitalising his career
 Ezekial 25:17. The actual verse as quoted is a fictional conglomeration of multiple verses, rather the full verse is “And I shall wreak great acts of vengeance with rebukes of fury, and they will know that I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon them.” See [http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16123]
 See the “Real Story of Rabbi Eleazer” by Rabbi Gil Student [http://talmud.faithweb.com/articles/eleazar.html]