Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rated 'H' for Haredi

Reuters tells us about new films made for Haredim, the lastest being called "The Cry of the Dead". The article explains what this is:

There are still limitations for haredi movie-makers. Women are not allowed to be shown due to chastity laws, and abusive language, as well as violence, is prohibited.

"Within these boundaries, everything else is open and we have a lot of free rein," said Ariel Cohen, "Cry of the Dead's" director.

After other pro-film comments, the article continues:

But some in the haredi community have voiced worries the new culture could prove damaging for their traditional way of life.

"Even if the films are done with the right intentions, there is a danger that allowing our children to watch films will make such mediums more acceptable and could lead to sinning," said a leading haredi rabbi and educator, who declined to be identified.

"Family life will also be in danger as people start to watch films. The centre of haredi life is the Book," he said.

Commenters: Do you agree with this slippery slope philosophy or not?

Update: Here's a somewhat related article.


At Tue May 31, 11:32:00 PM 2005, Blogger Akiva said...

Historically I would not have, until it was recently pointed out to me that my teenager was inching their way down the slope (without me noticing).

It's not that it's a movie, and any medium can be used for positive purposes (even, gasp, TV). It is the mindset, it's not to educate, inform, or influence. It's specifically designed to waste time. And since they make their living by bringing more people in, it's designed to be a powerful draw.

And that's the problem. TV and movies make their money by keeping your attention. So it's not just a waste of time, it's a waste of time designed to make you desire it, strongly.

At Wed Jun 01, 05:16:00 PM 2005, Blogger MatzahNacho said...

Okay, I've just got to ask. What makes someone Haredi? I realize there are various groups in Orthodoxy, and I'm aware that some don't own televisions and frown upon using the internet, but yet I see a lot of people online both commenting and with sites of their own who identify as very religious. Any clarification on this would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

At Thu Jun 02, 10:12:00 AM 2005, Blogger yaak said...

What I believe a Haredi is supposed to mean is one who trembles with carefulness with performing Mitzvot. What it ended up meaning became a political classification.

Different Haredim have different rabbis they follow. Hasidic Haredim follow their rebbe. Sephardic Haredim have various rabbis that they follow. The Ashkenazic - and some Hasidic - Haredim follow what they call "Da'as Torah", which is not easily defined, but is close to meaning a consensus that a certain behavior and political leaning should be followed based on the Torah. "Da'as Torah" dictates not having TV or Internet in one's home. Internet at work may be different. Also, many people simply don't follow "Da'as Torah" for various reasons, but still consider themselves Haredi.

At Sun Jun 05, 07:44:00 AM 2005, Blogger Cosmic X said...

It's a tough call Yaak.

Personally we do not have a television at home and my kids do not know how to connect to the internet. We do see some of the "haredi" films on CD.

I remember Shuli Rand of "Ushpizin" fame saying clearly that he made the movie for chilonim and he would not want Haredim to start going to the theatre. Furthermore, I remember reading a letter by the late Rabbi Shlomo Min-HaHar. Former mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert wanted to award him with the title "Yakir Yerushalayim." The award ceremony was to take place in the "Gerard Bachar" theatre. Rabbi Min HaHar wrote in his letter that he cannot come to the theatre since this was against his education: not to enter theatres!

Whatever one chooses to do he must do with caution.


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