Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Was it Proper to Use Tsunami Footage in the Video to Save the Boys in Japan?

Important Update Below

The Cool Jew, VIN, and Shirat Devorah all had posted about a new video that was made to help the Yeshiva boys who are incarcerated in Japan after suitcases they were carrying for someone else contained drugs.



Let me first start out by saying that I mostly enjoyed the video, which was well-done, and brought back memories of the old Dveykus song that I like. I hope the video has an impact and I do wish the boys will be freed soon.

However, at about the 6:15 mark, tsunami footage is shown. This seems to connect the two events showing that the tsunami was due to the incarceration of the boys.

Now, I'm not here to say whether there is a connection or not. There very well may be. The gemara Berachot 59a (which says that Hashem causes earthquakes when Jews are in trouble and its sound goes from one edge of the earth to the other) was used by one of the boys himself in a recent article. Furthermore, a prominent Hasidic Rebbe said that the punishments on Japan were caused by the incarceration of the boys.

However, I'm just questioning using tsunami footage in the video. This must have been an 11th hour decision to add it. I'm not quite sure it was a good idea for a few reasons:

1) It takes away from the main message - which is to get the boys out. Adding the footage will not scare the Japanese into freeing them nor will it inspire more Jews to give to their cause. If anything, it will just confuse them into asking "Why was this put in?" which I've already seen on the VIN comments.

2) It implies that this was a definite reason for the tsunami. As I said, according to a prominent Rebbe, it is, but does everyone hold this way? Also, aren't there other Hata'im that it could be attributed to (like WWII and its brutal war against China to name a couple)?

3) It makes you feel Rahmanut for the Japanese at a time one should be feeling sorry for the boys. There's nothing wrong and everything right for having Rahmanut for them, but Ma Inyan Shemitta Eitzel Har Sinai?

Again, I enjoyed the video. I am just a bit shocked that this footage would be added.

May the boys see their freedom soon among all the imprisoned of Kelal Yisrael.


Update: The YouTube description of the song now says the following:
Please note: The Tzunami footage in the clip was implemented as a sign of solidarity with the tragedy that struck the great Japanese nation.
I'd be foolish to believe this, but I'd be cruel to not believe this.  So, I will be Dan Lechaf Zechut here against my better judgement.

I still believe that the footage should be removed to remove any appearances of the alternative reason.

21 Comments:

At Wed Mar 30, 01:46:00 AM 2011, Blogger Devorah said...

I agree, I thought the same thing as I watched it, but in the end the plight of the boys in jail, and the quality of the song and production won me over and I published it anyway.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 04:14:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was mortified watching the picture of the tsunami, wondering if Heaven-forbid it might reach the jail in Chiva. Hashem Yeracheim!

Hot tears welled up in my eyes as I watched and listened to that moving song...

I see no connection in the video showing the tsunami in Japan as alluding to Divine retribution at all.

BTW In our "Ashrei" prayer: (Psalm 145, verse 8) we declare:

"Gracious and merciful is Hashem, slow to anger, and great in [bestowing] kindness. "cont.../... verse 9.
"Hashem is good to all; His mercies are on all His work".

May Hashem show goodly miracles for all the world to behold.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 07:17:00 AM 2011, Blogger Creed Of Noah said...

Yaak,
I'm quite surprised at this posting Bichlal re:tsunami footage and what in Heaven's are you trying to provoke or what message are you trying to send to the masses? If you watch the whole video from beginning to
end the ENTIRE FOOTAGE is shot in Japan.

The video clip footage is basically showing the timeline of daily life in Japan from how it was since the time the Bochurim arrived up until now.

The scenes show daily life in Japan from their arrival, prison, daily business life and how life is currently in Japan today, ending with footage of a plane flying (obviously homebound to Eretz Yisroel with the Bochurim aboard it!)

The tsunami footage wasn't run any longer than any of the other frames in the video clip. Most of the footage is shot out of the window of some sort of transport showing the business district of Japan.It depicits daily life of what was and what now is. So please...you're point being???

I think the message in the video was that ANYTHING in life can change in a SPLIT MOMENT. We must have Emunah & Bitachon and not despair of what was & what will be. Everything is in the hands of Hashem.

May Hashem give Yaakov Yosef & Yoel Zev the strength to hold out physically & mentally & be able to rise above their current situation and may they immediately be liberated and know the true meanig of L'fichoch Anachnu Chayovim!!!

 
At Wed Mar 30, 08:03:00 AM 2011, Blogger Creed Of Noah said...

Here is a recent quote from Yaakov Yosef, (one of the Bochurim being held in a prison in Japan) regarding the cause of the earthquake and tsunami:

"Yakov Yosef added: “The gemara in Berochos daf 59 tells us, that when Jewish children are held in captivity, Hashem kaveyochol drops two tears into the ocean thereby causing an earthquake. This equates to the tsunami Japan have experienced.”

"Yakov Yosef expounded on this, citing the Mahrsho in Maseches Chagiga on the issue of Bechirah klapei Shmayoh."

http://matzav.com/verdict-for-yaakov-yosef-in-japan-set-for-may-16

 
At Wed Mar 30, 08:35:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember when the Mississippi flooded across Iowa and there was so much damage?? This I think happened during the tribulations of SMR (may he have a yeshua very soon).

So, I believe the tsunami footage was very appropro for this video. May the Jewish boys in Japan as well as all Jews held in captivity have a yeshua very soon.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:57:00 AM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous 4:14 and Creed of Noah,

I don't buy the contentions that it was included in the video to show how we were worried for them in prison b/c of the tsunami or how it's showing scenes of Japan and the tsunami is one of them.

Creed of Noah, my point of all this is just a little constructive criticism - not ח"ו to provoke anything.

The quote from Matzav is the same quote that I referred to in my link, but from YWN.

I think the message in the video was that ANYTHING in life can change in a SPLIT MOMENT. We must have Emunah & Bitachon and not despair of what was & what will be. Everything is in the hands of Hashem.

That's nice, but if so, the tsunami footage should not have been used to depict this. It's obviously a Divine Retribution message (which I'm not against, just not in the video).

Anonymous 8:35, that's interesting, but for the reasons mentioned in the post, it still does not justify putting it in the official video. This is not the place for it.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 11:13:00 AM 2011, Blogger ratzon said...

i don't think any of us realize the extent that hakadosh baruch hu loves am yisrael. no one is rejoicing at the terrible tragedy in japan regarding the earthquakes and tsunami, but the video footage of the tsunami certainly is not amiss with the allusion that there is a connection between this and these boys imprisonment.

these are the simple ABCs of how the world works. Jews need to get over their inferiority complex and non-Jews need to know that God loves the jews unconditionally far beyond what anyone, including jews apparently, can conceptualize. this is a fundamental principle of of mainstream judaism.

the world isn't hefker so why shy away from publicizing such a thing? the video won't get the boys out, the same God who brings earthquakes and tsunamis will. Maybe He is waiting for us and the rest of the world to connect the dots already.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 01:14:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Neshama said...

Thank you for posting the video. I had not seen it, and thought it was only a song produced to raise funds. The video was very interesting. The music was moving.

About the flood waters, if you take it on face value, all you see is some of the flooding waters for a few seconds. This is different than the videos of the tsunami showing miles of destruction, people and animals, together with news updates.

I can see how some would find it uncomfortable, but there are Torah sources. This is the first time I am reading what Yaakov Yosef wrote (and am amazed):

"Yakov Yosef added: “The gemara in Berochos daf 59 tells us, that when Jewish children are held in captivity, Hashem kaveyochol drops two tears into the ocean thereby causing an earthquake. This equates to the tsunami Japan have experienced.”

"Yakov Yosef expounded on this, citing the Mahrsho in Maseches Chagiga on the issue of Bechirah klapei Shmayoh."

As Torah Jews we need reflect all that happens in the world against what our Holy Torah tells us.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 01:14:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Neshama said...

Thank you for posting the video. I had not seen it, and thought it was only a song produced to raise funds. The video was very interesting. The music was moving.

About the flood waters, if you take it on face value, all you see is some of the flooding waters for a few seconds. This is different than the videos of the tsunami showing miles of destruction, people and animals, together with news updates.

I can see how some would find it uncomfortable, but there are Torah sources. This is the first time I am reading what Yaakov Yosef wrote (and am amazed):

"Yakov Yosef added: “The gemara in Berochos daf 59 tells us, that when Jewish children are held in captivity, Hashem kaveyochol drops two tears into the ocean thereby causing an earthquake. This equates to the tsunami Japan have experienced.”

"Yakov Yosef expounded on this, citing the Mahrsho in Maseches Chagiga on the issue of Bechirah klapei Shmayoh."

As Torah Jews we need reflect all that happens in the world against what our Holy Torah tells us.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 02:01:00 PM 2011, Blogger Neshama said...

Sorry, don't know how it doubled the comment.

Addenda: My husband mentioned at the time, that we should remember how Pharoah was punished for not letting the people go; and also when Sorah Imeinu was taken captive, a plague was sent to punish them.

So, if we truly investigate, we might find other comparisons. Our place in the time capsule called the world is not like any other nation or people. We are HaShem's children.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 03:12:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about making a music video like this for Jonathan Pollard or Gilad Shalit.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 05:28:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps, by linking the earthquake in Japan with the imprisoned Jewish boys, we are reading the wrong message.

I do not want to be a scaremonger, but the Zohar (Shemot 17b), states that an earthquake occurs when a leader (or one of the guardian angels?) arises to do evil to ‘Am Yisrael.

Before that the Zohar (Shemot 6b) states that, 30 days before an attack on the [Jewish] people occurs in the land [of Israel], that matter is announced throughout the world.

Both of the above sayings are in the context of the verse in Mishle 30:21 “Because of three things the earth shakes”.

Now the terrorist bombing in Jerusalem of 23rd March 2011 occurred 30 days after the devastating earthquake in New Zealand (21st February 2011 UTC).

We should ask ourselves, is Hashem sending us a second and stronger warning with the much more severe earthquake in Japan (11th March 2011 UTC) for the 10th April 2011 (ח"ו)? If so, we may be missing the point? However, we are still in time to take preventive action, with a lot of soul searching and true Teshuva.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 06:22:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

I think your message hit the nail on the head. Jews should stop blaming the goyim for their problems. There's no one to blame except ourselves.

Yosef was put in jail even though he was innocent. But he emerged victorious as the ruler of Egypt.

Time will tell. Teshuva is THE ANSWER.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 06:44:00 PM 2011, Blogger Creed Of Noah said...

Yaak,
I'd be interested to hear some feedback from you on what you make of what Yaakov Yosef has personally stated regarding the earthquake & tsunami. Just curious what your thoughts are.

 
At Wed Mar 30, 09:23:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

My thoughts are found in the post itself in the paragraph that begins with "Now" where that was referenced.

 
At Thu Mar 31, 06:59:00 AM 2011, Anonymous shaya g said...

to Creed:

I just want to respond to your posting of the quote from YY,The torah also says "m'dvar sheker tirchak. Even if they were TRULY so naive to believe what they were doing was ok, they LIED when they said no one gave them anything.


People, They need our rachmanus like any other jew. But, they are not victims. If YY is so smart to take a gemara and turn it into a tsunami onesh, then he also should have known what was illegal to do.

enough false rachmanus and victimization.

 
At Thu Mar 31, 07:29:00 AM 2011, Blogger Creed Of Noah said...

Yaak,
Thank you. Sorry got caught up in the moment & seems I must've missed that paragraph @ "Now".

Shaya,
I don't believe their actions were premeditated so one needs to be Dan L'Chaf Zchus & ok lets say they lied @ "no one gave them anything". Shtetl mentality naivity maybe? Do you believe they deserve the really HARSH torturous treatment & punishment they have endured for the past 3 years. Are they not entitled to be treated humanely & within reasonable human rights?
The Yungerman who conned them into taking it isn't getting anywhere near the horrible treatment as the 3 Bochurim have & I'm not wishing it on him.

 
At Thu Mar 31, 07:52:00 AM 2011, Blogger Creed Of Noah said...

Shaya,
"enough false rachmanus and victimization". Is there even such a thing as "FALSE rachmonus"? One either has rachmonus or they don't!

As Yidden we must strive to develop this great virtue of mercy. It is one of the first of the Thirteen Middos HoRachamim. The core of the Selichos prayers is the 13 Attributes of Mercy, the very words that Hashem taught Moshe for the people to use whenever they needed to beg for divine compassion.

We must have compassion with other creatures, even though they may not be worthy of our love. Mercy is one of the great qualities with which Hashem created the world. It is embedded in our Neshomah. We must strive to develop this great virtue of mercy. We only have to give this quality a chance to be expressed in our daily life.

"Forgiver of error - Hashem forgives a sin committed out of carelessness, thoughtlessness, or apathy".

 
At Thu Mar 31, 10:23:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Ha_Safran said...

@Creed - You previously said this: "Do you believe they deserve the really HARSH torturous treatment & punishment they have endured for the past 3 years. Are they not entitled to be treated humanely & within reasonable human rights?"

Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention to this, but what exactly is the "HARSH torturous treatment & punishment" to which they have been subjected?

I haven't heard anything about this - are they having their fingernails pulled out with rusty pliers? Are they being waterboarded? Are the soles of their feet being repeatedly caned? What's going on?

 
At Thu Mar 31, 07:28:00 PM 2011, Anonymous shaya g said...

1. I have rachmanus for the fact that they are in jail. that doesn't change the fact that I think they are guilty. false rachmanus refers to assuming they are being treated less fair than other japanese prisoners for similar crimes, and in many cases, people say they are completely innocent! ah chutzpah.

2. japan treats all drug smugglers harshly, that is the risk they took. there is no shtetl mentality for lying, and it's an insult to shtetls to say so. Did you take something from someone else? yes or no. there is no heter for lying and its disgusting that you could find a poor attempt at "dan l'kaf z'chus" to try. DKL doesn't mean assume the stupidest reason, it means judge favorably. i did, I never said they knew there were drugs. BUT THEY DID LIE!!!!

3. the video and all you apologists for the boys are sad and sick. until as orthodox Jews we admit our mistakes and take our lumps, we will never get out from this cloud of shame we now live under.

noone says they should receive daily beatings, but a fair trial, equal treatment equal punishment is fair and acceptable. Next time don't smuggle drugs and lie!

a lecture in "jewish rachmanus" is insulting and a red herring for the fact that they lied!

 
At Sun Apr 03, 02:02:00 PM 2011, Anonymous smb said...

Yes, some Jewish individuals do things that they shouldn't do, it's true. But these boys really didn't know there was drugs in the lining of the case, but believed they were delivering something else for their friend. - If we are given something to deliver, we should be careful and check it very thoroughly.

Guilty or not, they shouldn't be tortured in Japan, but sent to an Israeli jail. We should dislike bad actions and do something about it, but still love fellow Jews. We should deffinately improve ourselves and be the people we should be. But just like we wish for Hashem to have mercy on us, so too we should have mercy on others, and help give them an appropriate correction or sentence

 

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