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Running on Jewish Time

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Vistors in a Different World

It's been long enough, apparently no one has seen it.

I have secret to tell you, neither have I.

Which is why I dare not give an opinion of the screenplay, the acting, the directing or in any way evaluate its merit as a piece of cinematic art.

But.... there is something unique about the idea of a essentially charedi worldview painted in the light and shadow of a modern media.

For as long as I've known, the charedi world has ignored the modern one as unstable, changable and dangerous and the modern one has disdained the charedi as static, stagnant and fanatical. The values of world completely incomprehensiable to the other.

The security of the arrangement, allows Me'ah Shaarim to remain in Me'ah Shaarim and Tel Aviv to remain in Tel Aviv, and ne'er do the twain meet. But Ushpizim is a chance to for Tel Aviv to see into Me'ah Shaarim.

In creation of the State of Israel, Rav Kook said that the Jewish people have re-entered history. So what do these people who have chosen to forget history see in those who refuse to leave it?

But that's still a question I can't answer.

For us Americans, we vistors to the Land, memories of the world of Me'ah Shaarim are cherised as some sort of beautiful bubble of idealism in the midst of the comprimise that charecterises our existance.

But in the reactions of my friends, those who won't watch movies indignant to the idea that modernity should even so much as attempt to enter the charedi world, even to observe, and those whose daminations of faint praise tell how much they would rather forget a life that is lived as its own prayer to G-d.

Every reaction telling how much the bubble remains intact and isolated or buried and ignored or perhaps, burst and flooded through and permeated the individual's life.

It makes me wonder at what my own reaction will be.

Will it evoke guilt that I cannot rise above the mudane concerns of the daily world?
(What doesn't evoke guilt in a Jew?!)

Will it evoke empathy of other's haunted by their own less than perfect past?
Will it challenge me to become something better than I already am, or will it throw into sharp relief all that which I have walked away from?

Well, I'll tell you after I see it. [smile]


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