Thursday, September 18, 2008

Srugim Lurkers

** Episode 13 spoiler alert **

Despite the bans, despite the prohibition of owning a TV in the first place, all sorts of people are watching the Srugim TV show.

One of those lurkers is Dan Illouz from the "Tzipiyah" blog. He admits he's a closet Srugim fan:
I’m coming out of hiding and admitting that I have been watching the show “Srugim”. While I’m not necessarily comfortable with everything shown on that show, I do believe it brings up a number of powerful serious issues in the religious community in Israel.
Not surprisingly, his posting about the previous Srugim episode is very similar to what I had planned on writing, including creating the short video segment, as well as using the exact same video clip of the jam-packed shul in Neve Dekalim, hours before the Disengagement eviction.

Dan discusses the issue that "no is also an answer" -- when discussing the theological issue of why G-d didn't answer the prayers, that Israel does not evict and destroy the communities of Gush Katif and the Shomron. I thought the issue was well done, and found the acting of Hodaya's teenage cousin,"Shvut" to be a realistic and accurate portrayal of teenage angst, irresponsibility, rebellion and searching.

While Shvut rails against G-d for abandoning the "good people" and for ignoring their prayer, Hodaya chastises her, "there are worse things than the Disengagement"..."No is also an answer [from G-d]".

Shvut runs off that night, and Hodaya worries incessantly about her. When Shvut returns and Hodaya screams at her for going off to party, and Shvut locks herself in the bathroom, Shvut quiety reveals that she was at the Kotel...praying.

What Dan does not touch upon is that while Hodaya may have scolded Shvut, Shvut is still passionately enraged at G-d -- she still believes.



Hodaya's "no is also an answer" lecture comes from cynicism as she no longer cares enough -- or believes enough -- to be angry at G-d.

The show concludes with Ms. Hodaya...watching TV on Friday night...

But I'm not done.

More and more Israeli Chareidim are watching the show. Despite all the criticism of the show, including this rather scathing review in Maariv, Chareidim are watching the show (not on TV, G-d forbid, but by downloading the episodes from the web)

Popular sites are chock full of discussions about the show, despite it being the about "srugim". (Note: Srugim is definitely IMHO, referring to the crocheted kippot of the national religious crowd, not being interwoven into society or anything to do with bars on Jerusalem windows).

While we continue to discuss srugim, be aware that many eyes are lurking as well...

Lastly, I absolutely despise the Nitzan character. Here she is, playing the scared female to enable Nati to show his masculine bravado and kill a roach (jook). Personally, I would have stomped on it...even barefoot.




Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

107 comments:

elchonon said...

Its spelled "roach"

In florida we have palmetto's, they are like 2-3 inches long and fly.. its nasty stuff but very enjoyable watching my sisters run and screech.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

elchonon. yeah yeah - fixed it :)

Thx. Ever killed one with your bare feet?

Shimon said...

I disagree with you on Hodaya.
She is genuinly pained by Shvut's doubts and desperately wants her not to follow the same path that she herself has taken. She tries to give her the best answer she possibly can despite being herself unsure. She herself really wants to believe but is having trouble feeling it emotionally.
Personally I was very angry at her in some of the previous episodes but the scene with Shvut had me totally feeling for and forgiving her.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shimon: So how did you feel about her watching TV on Friday night?

Shimon said...

I was deeply pained.
I also think it was interestingly depicted that the TV was already on and she did not feel the need to get up and shut it as opposed to actively turning it on, on Shabbat.
I think She feels very lost and it is very very sad to see.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shimon: It pained me too...but don't you think it's cynical for her to give Shvut mussar, when she herself doesnt believe any more...(her words, she doesnt even get angry).

I also thought she was making a comeback after she broke up with Avri....

Im glad they brought up this issue.

Commenter Abbi said...

I don't think it was cynical at all. It goes back to the complexity thing.

I totally agree with Shimshon- she desperately doesn't want Shvut to go down the road she's going. I think she wants to believe, for emotional reasons, but at the same time she still probably has so many feelings for Avri, which makes the believing difficult. I think she should just chill out, get together with Avri and do the best they can with what they have (probably because I have many friends who did just that).

I think the pain and anguish probably comes from giving up the family/community aspects, though I'm sure losing belief is plenty painful itself.

And hey what happened to dan l'kav zchut? Maybe she just didn't keep minhag yerushalayim and doesn't light right at the siren (40 min. before shkiah)? :D

Gil Student said...

Thanks for posting. I don't watch the show and don't quite get your fixation on it. But I found that clip about belief and the Disengagement to be very moving and I'm starting to understand. The second clip was offensive. These are supposed to be frum kids?

Lurker said...

While Shvut rails against G-d for abandoning the "good people" and for ignoring their prayer, Hodaya chastises her, "there are worse things than the Disengagement"..."No is also an answer [from G-d]".

Shvut runs off that night, and Hodaya worries incessantly about her. When Shvut returns and Hodaya screams at her for going off to party, and Shvut locks herself in the bathroom, Shvut quiety reveals that she was at the Kotel...praying.

You've got the chronological sequence inverted. The events described in the second paragraph happened first.

Lurker said...

Jameel: It pained me too...but don't you think it's cynical for her to give Shvut mussar, when she herself doesnt believe any more...

Yes, it is. But Shimon is still right. Hodaya genuinely wants Shvut to hold on to her innocence, and not lose her faith as Hodaya has.

Lurker said...

While we continue to discuss srugim, be aware that many eyes are lurking as well...

Mine, for example...
:-)

Lurker said...

Personally, I would have stomped on it...even barefoot.

Eeww.

Lurker said...

Gil Student: The second clip was offensive. These are supposed to be frum kids?

What exactly did you find so offensive?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Abbi: And hey what happened to dan l'kav zchut? Maybe she just didn't keep minhag yerushalayim and doesn't light right at the siren (40 min. before shkiah)? :D

Yeah...right :)

Though, Stacy (the actress!) left a comment here the other day which really threw me. She said everyone was talking about the "reform, lesbian" with tefillin, but she said, "how do you know the tefillin were actually HERS? Maybe they were her Zaidey's?"

That really floored me. (What an ELUL thought).

Gil: Thanks for dropping by! The Disengagement discussion is totally realistic -- I suggest you also read the post over at Tzipiyah -- and see the video of "Tefila L'Ani" that was sung in the shul before the Disenagegment. It's heart wrenching and gives a much better understanding as to how we ended up where we are today.

In terms of the "frum kids"...they are adults in their late 20s early 30s. You can't imagine a scene like that on the upper west side? There are many shades of gray in the dati/modern orthodox spectrum...

I suggest you read Lurker's post from last week "What is Srugim about" to get a better sense of what the show is trying to say.

Lurker said...

Jameel: ..."how do you know the tefillin were actually HERS? Maybe they were her Zaidey's?"
That really floored me. (What an ELUL thought).


Why do you call that an "Elul thought"? Are you implying that the notion that she actually wears the tefillin would be something bad about her? Why would she be any worse than Michal bat Shaul, Bruriah, or Rashi's daughters?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Lurker: How many Orthodox women do you know personally who have their own tefillin?

Commenter Abbi said...

Why would she be any worse than Michal bat Shaul, Bruriah, or Rashi's daughters?

Lurker! How thoroughly modern, feminist and forward thinking of you!

Commenter Abbi said...

"In terms of the "frum kids"...they are adults in their late 20s early 30s."

Notwithstanding my haircutter's comment that I look "so young!" (that's why I pay him! :)) I doubt an adult of 33 could be considered a kid.

Lurker said...

Some commenters on Ilan Eshkoli's blog (he's one of the screenwriters) seem to have been so inspired by the jukim in Nati and Amir's apartment, that they came up with an alternative opening for the show's theme lyrics:

אני רודף אחר ג'וקיך, מחד
מאידך, נעלי אותך רומסת

Lurker said...

Jameel: How many Orthodox women do you know personally who have their own tefillin?

Not many. But why should that mean there's anything wrong with it?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Lurker: Not many. But why should that mean there's anything wrong with it?

I didnt say there was anything wrong with it!

Lurker! How thoroughly modern, feminist and forward thinking of you!

ROFL

:-)

Abbi: I get called a kid all the time...

Lurker said...

Jameel: I didnt say there was anything wrong with it!

Is that a Seinfeld reference? :-)

I thought that by calling the idea that it was her Zaidey's an "Elul thought", you meant that assuming they were her own would be to assume something bad about her.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Lurker: Yes, it was a Seinfeld reference. Good catch :)

And the ELUL thought was about NOT JUDGING OTHERS!

Lurker said...

Hey, why don't we send an SMS question to R. Aviner asking him what he thinks about reform lesbians who wear tefillin on Srugim...

:-)

Commenter Abbi said...

Jameel- that's because you really do look like a kid. But you're an anamoly.

[Must. Stop. Reading.Blogs. and. Bathe. My.... Kids....]

shmuel said...

As difficult as the events of 3 years ago were, it's hard to understand why it and nothing else makes dati leumi youth lose their faith. Have they never heard of the Holocaust? Or the terror attacks of the last few years in which 1000+ Israelis were killed and thousands more crippled for life? And yet the disengagement, and nothing else, makes them lose their belief in God.

The only explanation I can think of is that they did not really worship God in the first place. They worshipped eretz yisrael hashlemah instead. And when eretz yisrael hashlemah betrayed them, there was nothing left for them to believe in.

Commenter Abbi said...

shmuel

Please reread Lurker's previous post on What Srugim means. Just because it happens on the show doesn't mean this is what every d'l youth goes through. Many d'l youth and adults lose faith for myriad reasons having nothing to do with settlers leaving Gush Katif or any other settlements. (Hodaya being a perfect example of that).

Gil Student said...

I have to say that I have no idea what goes on in the singles scene, whether in Israel or in NY. I guess I'm just surprised. And I'm disappointed that it's people on the fringes of religious behavior who are the representatives on TV of the D"L community.

Lurker said...

shmuel: As difficult as the events of 3 years ago were, it's hard to understand why it and nothing else makes dati leumi youth lose their faith.

Care to back up that preposterous assertion with some proof?

shmuel: Have they never heard of the Holocaust? Or the terror attacks of the last few years in which 1000+ Israelis were killed and thousands more crippled for life?

For the record, I have met dati people who lost their faith due to both of those things.

shmuel: And yet the disengagement, and nothing else, makes them lose their belief in God.

As I indicated, this is an outrageous strawman argument. I very much doubt that the "hitnatkut" is even a leading cause of dati leumi youth going "off the derekh". (I'm not speaking about those kids who lived in Gush Katif and lived through the expulsion.) What evidence to you have to support this?

shmuel: The only explanation I can think of is that they did not really worship God in the first place. They worshipped eretz yisrael hashlemah instead. And when eretz yisrael hashlemah betrayed them, there was nothing left for them to believe in.

Children from Gush Katif were traumatized not because they "worshipped eretz yisrael hashlemah", but because their homes and communities were destroyed, and their helpless families were discarded like refuse and thrown to the wolves. It's pretty sad that you can't seem to understand how that could scar a child for life.

I saw a film once where some heartless jerk scolded a child who suffered from multiple sclerosis. The jerk told him, "Grow up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. What you have is nothing; there are other people dying of cancer and AIDS!"

You remind me of that guy.

Lurker said...

Gil Student: I have to say that I have no idea what goes on in the singles scene, whether in Israel or in NY. I guess I'm just surprised.

Surprised at what, exactly? What was it specifically in that clip that you found so offensive?

shmuel said...

I very much doubt that the "hitnatkut" is even a leading cause of dati leumi youth going "off the derekh".

You and "abbi" are right in this, and my statement was overbroad. But I hold by what I meant to say, which is that when dati leumi people lose faith because of a particular event, that event is the hitnatkut rather than any of the more tragic events that have occurred, whether that be the Holocaust, Yom Kippur War, suicide bombings, or whatever else. That indicates IMO a very problematic set of priorities.

Children from Gush Katif were traumatized not because they "worshipped eretz yisrael hashlemah", but because their homes and communities were destroyed,

The vast, vast majority of dati leumi people never lived in Gush Katif and were not expelled. It was much publicized around 2005-6 that many of them, not just some of the relative few who were expelled, had religious doubts as a result.

Lion of Zion said...

LURKER:

"What was it specifically in that clip that you found so offensive?"

i assume gil is objecting, for starters, to yihud and negi'ah?

Lurker said...

LoZ: i assume gil is objecting, for starters, to yihud and negi'ah?

There is no reason to assume that they were in violation of yihud. The door may have been open.

As for negiah: Nitzan was freaking out and teetering on the couch, apparently in a state of panic. (Yes, we know that she was faking it, but Nati didn't know this at all.) Nati came rushing in and grabbed her arms in order to steady her and calm her down. It obviously wasn't derekh hibah v'ta'avah, and thus it was not a violation of negiah. Note that after Nati resolved the "crisis", there was no touching at all between them.

So again, what did Gil find so offensive?

Lurker said...

Me: I very much doubt that the "hitnatkut" is even a leading cause of dati leumi youth going "off the derekh".

shmuel: You and "abbi" are right in this, and my statement was overbroad. But I hold by what I meant to say, which is that when dati leumi people lose faith because of a particular event, that event is the hitnatkut rather than any of the more tragic events that have occurred...

You're not making any sense here. First you say that I'm right that the "hitnatkut" is not a leading cause of DL youth going "OTD". But then you turn right around and say that it is the leading cause!

Again, I am challenging you to produce evidence that this claim is true. I do not believe that it is.

shmuel: The vast, vast majority of dati leumi people never lived in Gush Katif and were not expelled. It was much publicized around 2005-6 that many of them, not just some of the relative few who were expelled, had religious doubts as a result.

Firstly, you are still making controversial claims without bringing any sources to back them up. Saying that something "was much publicized" without citing a source is a classic example of what Wikipedia calls "weasel words".

Secondly, your statement here that "many" DL people had religious doubts prompted by the expulsion, even accepting that this is true, does not imply that most DL people with religious doubts have them because of the expulsion.

Gil Student said...

What I found offensive was both the yichud (it was clearly a case of libo gas bah) and that look on the girl's face as she stared at him.

shmuel said...

You're not making any sense here. First you say that I'm right that the "hitnatkut" is not a leading cause of DL youth going "OTD". But then you turn right around and say that it is the leading cause!

No, I'm saying something simple and I can't believe you don't understand it.

Presumably most people who go "off the derech" never really cared for Torah observance and eventually found it more convenient to leave, were strongly committed to a hobby or relationship that halacha did not permit, or were rebelling against the society they grew up in. I never intended to bring up those groups in the first place. I was talking about those people who were on the derech, and then a single event happened which caused them to go off the derech. And if you take the events which could have caused that, the hitnatkut was the least violent and least traumatic for those involved, yet (compared to other events) it seems to have led to the most people going off the derech. And that disturbs me.

There, is it clearer now?

Firstly, you are still making controversial claims without bringing any sources to back them up. Saying that something "was much publicized" without citing a source is a classic example of what Wikipedia calls "weasel words".

I don't think any numerical studies have been done on the subject, the closest thing I could find online is this.

But you know exactly what phenomenon I'm talking about, and so did the writers of "Srugim" when they put that character in the show.

Anonymous said...

Gil - as has been much discussed, this is not a totally representative picture of DL society. I live in a DL society and many people I know (me too for that matter) would be offended by the same things you are.

Commenter Abbi said...

"No, I'm saying something simple and I can't believe you don't understand it."

Actually, you're saying something simplistic, which is why you're not making a lot of sense.

Have you done broad ranging studies that proved the presumptions you're making? Otherwise, it's hard to see how you've come to these rather factual sounding conclusions. And using a tv show as evidence (the very one we're discussing!) is pretty much circular reasoning. (Lots of dl pple went off the derech because of the hitnatkut because srugim showed a character who went off the derech because of the hitnatkut. That's basically what you're saying.)

I don't think it's even possible to categorize a single group of frum jews "who were on the derech, and then a single event happened which caused them to go off the derech." And do you have statistics to back up the assertion that "the hitnatkut was the least violent and least traumatic for those involved, yet (compared to other events) it seems to have led to the most people going off the derech." ? Cause that's also a pretty broad statement of fact, when actually, since pple are so complex, it would be pretty hard to pin down a single factor that threw someone off the derech.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shmuel wrote: Presumably most people who go "off the derech" never really cared for Torah observance and eventually found it more convenient to leave, were strongly committed to a hobby or relationship that halacha did not permit, or were rebelling against the society they grew up in.

Actually, your presumption is way off base. I suggest you read the research book "Off the Derech: Why Observant Jews Leave Judaism; How to Respond to the Challenge" by Faranak Margolese.

Her analysis is far from your hypothesis.

"Based on a study which involved over 500 Jews who left Orthodox Judaism, Off the Derech presents the first comprehensive examination of the causes of defection from Orthodox Judaism. It clearly and thoroughly explains those causes, and provides solutions to this increasingly common phenomenon. In doing so, Off the Derech enlightens not only the Orthodox but Jewish parents and leaders from all streams of Judaism as the research provides valuable insights into assimilation and Jewish continuity at large.

This highly anticipated work, over five years in the making, is certain to become the definitive handbook on what is emerging as one of the most difficult issues in the Orthodox and Jewish world today. It is a must-have, invaluable handbook for parents, teachers and Rabbis alike"

Going "OTD" has nothing to do with "never having been that committed in the first place"

It's disappointing that you find it difficult to understand why teenagers who were involved in a day to day idealogical battle, and withstood the faith challenege of facing thousands of rocket attacks and terrorist infiltrations, and were then cruelly evicted by the Israeli government -- would not develop deep questions of faith and belief.

In fact, while the "Shvut" character exrpresses her anger at G-d -- she STILL ends up going to the Kotel to daven!

The source you presented is a minority - "Some believers lost their faith in the prophecy."

Just as Srugim focuses on individual characters -- you should not draw conclusions and apply them to everyone. I found the Shvut character very believeable. That doesn't make her the pan-ultimate archtype of all teenagers evicted from Gush Katif.

shmuel said...

Abbi:
1) There are no statistics going either way. Better to examine anecdotes, while bearing in mind that they are less precise, than to avoid the issue entirely. As Jameel said, "the Shvut character [was] very believeable", so evidently people understand what I am talking about even if nobody can provide numbers for it.
2) I dunno, what sources should I have brought to prove the hitnatkut was less violent than the Holocaust?

Jameel:
1) Margolese is not the final word on why people go off the derech, and despite the value of her book, many people have raised cogent criticisms about parts of it.
2) Many of the reasons she identifies are the same ones I brought and which you call "way off base".
3) You bringing up of Margolese is missing the point of my post. The reasons she identifies would equally fall under the category of groups which I "never intended to bring up the first place." Congratulations, you have found a few more examples to go in the category. Now please deal with the situations which are NOT in that category, which were the purpose of my post.

4) "Srugim" is not my evidence for people going off the derech due to the expulsion. It was simply the excuse I took to mention something which had bothered me for a long time.

Zemer said...

shmuel, you keep repeating the same idea, but in different ways. Sure, the Holocaust was in almost all ways more devastating than the Hitnatkut. But the Gush Katif kids didn't live through the Holocaust (TG), did they? No, what they did live through, and what they're having to deal with every single day, is the majorly traumatic experience of being evicted from their homes by the Israeli government.

shmuel, try to accept that these people have different views to you, and that to them, the State is something holy. It's something given to the Jewish Nation as a gift, and it is the beginnings of the Redemption. For the very leaders of the state to betray them in gross perfidy, for the very soldiers, whom the Dati-Leumi public loves(d) so dearly and to whose ranks they bodily contributed so eagerly, to drag them out of their homes, is something that has scarred them, and so many of their friends and supporters, for life...

For anyone to be evicted from his home is a major traumatic experience. But to have that trauma compounded with the trauma of your deepest ideology, deepest beliefs, severely, violently challenged, to be cast away with no-one to turn to, to be abandoned and hurt by the people you trusted to protect you, the people who vowed only a few years ago that they believe in you and what you stand for, is a shuddering blow... To compare their experience to some other difficult national Jewish experience, using statistics and numbers, is callous and lacking in basic sensitivity.

I (who have not yet visited Gush Katif), and many others, have difficulty hearing 'T'fila le'ani' today... I heard of a story where they sang it at a chuppa, and people left... they couldn't take the emotion, the triggering of all the pain and betrayed disappointment that's so tightly linked to that song...

shmuel, it's clear that ideologically you do not see eye to eye with the Dati Leumi people. Fine. But they are human beings (if not fellow Jews!), who have suffered, and are still suffering, from major, major trauma and its rippling after-effects. Where is your compassion? Where is your human mercy?

Commenter Abbi said...

"It was simply the excuse I took to mention something which had bothered me for a long time."

This has been fairly evident from your first comment in this thread, so why not let go of the pseudo-scientific analysis and just say outright that the settler issues bug you and leave it at that? Otherwise, you just don't make a lot of sense, especially with statements like "There are no statistics going either way. Better to examine anecdotes, while bearing in mind that they are less precise, than to avoid the issue entirely."

I'm not sure where you live, but I'm sure your andecdotes or whatever rumors you're hearing are quite different than what I'm hearing or Jameel or lurker or anyone else is hearing. The Jewish community and even the d'l community is far from monolithic. Why do you assume there is ONE set anecdotes that are up for discussion?

Regardless, it's pretty evident that you have an axe to grind, so just be honest about your feelings rather than trying to make broad sociological statements about going off the derech.

Baila said...

Sorry I missed this discussion, I would have liked to participate. I think the Hodaya/Shvut scene was the most moving scene of the series. Hodaya's pain was so evident, and who among us cannot relate to "sometimes the answer is no"?

Commenter Abbi said...

baila it's never too late! the door is open 24/7.

I agree that "no" thing is universal and I think hodaya's pain was very evident. i don't think the tv thing was cynical. I think she was just ready to be honest with herself about where she was really religiously, especially after that discussion.

chardal said...

The article in maariv you linked to helped articulate a big portion of my personal problem with the show.

You see, I am a ba'al teshuvah. I changed my life around because of various reasons, one of which was that I saw something different and special in religious society. This is something that I still see and appreciate day in and day out. However, watching this show, it would seem to a person that religious people are really no different in any real way than chilonim except in that they have this annoying set of rules that makes their lives misserable.

In fact, the only emotionaly healthy person on the show was a chiloni. In other words, if I knew nothing at all about Judaism and watched this show, there would be nothing that would make religious life attractive at ANY level. It would pretty much be like my life was before with just a few arbitrary rules that the charachters themselves seem to have little fondness for and which end up making them more miserable than anything else (that is, when they are not completely ignoring the rules or twisting them beyond recognition).

I am not interested in rehashing the same old conversations that we had on this blog before about the show, however, when a religious person makes a show about religious people and does not find one positive distinguishing charachteristic between his own culture and the surrounding secular one, then one wonders what the point is at all. It certainly does not refelct the wider society that the title indicates (srugim), nor does it even reflect the sub-sub-sub-culture of the bitza - where many people actually have a religious back-bone and *gasp* even enjoy their life and are generally happy! All it does, is take all the angst and failures of a sub-sub-sub-sub cultre and expose them to the world under the name of "srugim."

Commenter Abbi said...

chardal, you're certainly entitled to bring your own perspective to the show and no one can really argue with your experience.

However, as for what chilonim are taking from the show, my husband actually does have a few chiloni friends who are watching the show, and as matter of fact, it does make them want to be religious and they see a lot of positive aspects to being religious- one declared that he'd much rather stay home and have cozy Friday night dinners like on the show than go out to parties with his fiancee. So, please don't assume that everyone approaches the show with exactly your perspective.

And, for the last time, if you really believe that the show represents only a tiny minority of DL/MO singles, you are sadly mistaken. Not everyone makes the same choices you have and to assume otherwise is a bit myopic.

RivkA with a capital A said...

I want to suggest something from a slightly different angle:

The DL children of Israel, who have grown up post-Oslo, have only known a country that is openly antagonistic to them.

These kids live in a country of contradictions, where they are portrayed as public enemy #1, as if they are even worse than the terrorists from Fatach and Hamas.

Despite that, these kids are strongly committed to the State of Israel. They have faith in God, in the leaders of their communities, in the people of Israel, and in the country.

Before the expulsion, these kids had faith that the people in this country would not permit the politicians to destroy their homes(read: their lives). They believed that the soldiers would refuse orders, because they believed that our army had morals.

After the expulsion, many of the children felt lost and betrayed. Some lost faith in the country, some lost faith in the people of Israel, some lost faith in our leaders, and some lost faith in God.

There are too many families that have fallen apart. Most of the farmers are still out of work. Many others have also not yet found new jobs. Many families still don't have permanent homes. The family structure is coming undone, and problems that were almost non-existant in the DL community, are now a serious threat (eg. smoking, drinking, drugs, etc) in certain communities.

This episode of S'rugim portrayed those conflicts well, from the moment Sh'vut removed her skirt, to when she tried to bum a cigarette, to her disappearance, to the antagonistic way she spoke with Hodaya.

Sh'vut is angry. She's an angry, rebelious teenager. But, more than that, she is disillusioned. She feels that ideology will get you nowhere. And that is what is so sad.

If you are not idealistice when you are 15 (or however old she is), then when are you going to be idealistic??

To praphrase Churchill, if you are not an idealist in your youth, you have no soul.

Jerusalemcop said...

RivkA,

as many of us here (including you and me) know from experience after all we have gone thru in the last 15-20 years, Shvut personifies much of our disillusionment. The days where we use to go to hafganot are long gone. The hitnatkut was the last straw for many of us. Even those of us who had strong beliefs in Eretz Yisrael (not Midinat Yisrael) feel somewhat abandoned.

shabbat shalom

Jcop

shmuel said...

shmuel, you keep repeating the same idea, but in different ways.

Because everyone keeps saying, or showing, that they don't understand!

But the Gush Katif kids didn't live through the Holocaust (TG), did they?

They did live through suicide bombings, and the previous generation of kids lived through the Yom Kippur War.

shmuel, try to accept that these people have different views to you, and that to them, the State is something holy.

And to Christians, Jesus is holy. I guess I can try to accept that too. Lehavdil, of course, but there is a point to be made.

But to have that trauma compounded with the trauma of your deepest ideology,

That is what I'm saying. Why is their deepest ideology to the state/land, not to God?

why not let go of the pseudo-scientific analysis and just say outright that the settler issues bug you

I don't see why this is a "settler issue". The Kahanists are more settler-ish than anyone who ever did settle, and they didn't lose any faith because they had no unreasonable expectations that everything would always go their way (i.e. they already thought the government was the enemy). I do not agree with the Kahanists on everything, but on this issue we have something to learn from them.

their homes(read: their lives).

Maybe there is something wrong if you think losing your home is as bad as losing your life.

Where is your compassion? Where is your human mercy?

In addition to healing the damage from the last crisis, I would like to prevent the next crisis.

chardal said...

>And, for the last time, if you really believe that the show represents only a tiny minority of DL/MO singles, you are sadly mistaken. Not everyone makes the same choices you have and to assume otherwise is a bit myopic.

Give me a break. You have no better data than I have and you are basing what you say on your own subjective experience. Like me.

The difference between you and me is that you can not seem to admit that a few hundred singles in Katamon are in no way representative of the wider community - which in general strives for higher religious standards than are depicted on the show.

Of coures, I could be wrong and every day orthodox feminits may be taking layining lessons with merkaz boys who then proceed to kiss them in a public area and after that propose marriage as a tikkun for their sin. This may be a daily occurance that my myopic view somehow missed, but somehow I doubt it.

Lurker said...

shmuel: ...when dati leumi people lose faith because of a particular event, that event is the hitnatkut rather than any of the more tragic events that have occurred, whether that be the Holocaust, Yom Kippur War, suicide bombings, or whatever else.
...
The vast, vast majority of dati leumi people never lived in Gush Katif and were not expelled. It was much publicized around 2005-6 that many of them, not just some of the relative few who were expelled, had religious doubts as a result.
...
I don't think any numerical studies have been done on the subject, the closest thing I could find online is this.


As I understand it, you are making two claims here:
(1) That more DL people lost their faith as a reaction to the "hitnatkut" than as a result of any other event.
(2) That very large numbers of DL people who didn't live in Gush Katif lost their faith as result of the "hitnatkut".
The paper to which you linked does not make either of these claims. Claim (1) is not addressed or touched upon in any way, shape, or form. And claim (2) is, in fact, directly contradicted: The paper identifies and discusses various different reactions of the DL community to the expulsion. It mentions "apostacy" (i.e., going "OTD") as being a relatively rare phenomenon:

"But since the faithful had not seceded from Judaism, apostasy was only one marginal result of this disillusionment, which took several forms besides."
...
"Very little direct evidence for apostasy was found..."


Thus, the very paper that you bring as evidence for your thesis actually refutes it.

shmuel: But you know exactly what phenomenon I'm talking about, and so did the writers of "Srugim" when they put that character in the show.
...
As Jameel said, "the Shvut character [was] very believeable", so evidently people understand what I am talking about even if nobody can provide numbers for it.


Wrong. Your claim is that large numbers of "dati leumi people [who] never lived in Gush Katif and were not expelled" went OTD because of the "hitnatkut". But the Shvut character was not just some DL person, she was a child who did live in Gush Katif, and who was expelled from her home. Once again, you are conflating the ideological crisis faced by the DL community with the personal trauma faced by thousands of people who were expelled from their homes and left to rot. As I said earlier: "Children from Gush Katif were traumatized not because they 'worshipped eretz yisrael hashlemah', but because their homes and communities were destroyed, and their helpless families were discarded like refuse and thrown to the wolves. It's pretty sad that you can't seem to understand how that could scar a child for life."

Apparently, you still fail to understand this.

shmuel: Better to examine anecdotes, while bearing in mind that they are less precise, than to avoid the issue entirely.

In that case, I would point out that the anecdotal evidence in my experience shows that very few DL people reacted to the expulsion with a loss of faith in God or Judaism (which is in accord with the paper that you yourself cited). I have found that a far more common reaction has been a loss of faith in the State and its institutions. (I personally find this to be an entirely appropriate, logical reaction.)

One more thing about the paper you cite, written by Lilly Weissbrod of Savyon: For nearly all of the paper's 21 pages, Weissbrod puts on a pretty good show of presenting an analysis in a detached, academic sort of style. But at the very end of her conclusion, she tips her hat, and exposes herself for what she actually is: A rabidly biased, viciously anti-religious self-hating Jew, who utterly despises the "settlers":

"Yet the Israeli case is probably not unique. A study of the Taliban after their defeat in the Afghanistan war might reveal coping methods fairly similar to the ones found in Israel, since their prophecy also combines religious faith with political action, though the latter two differ in content from those of the Israeli settlers. But, obviously, such a comparison is beyond the scope of this paper."

Apparently peeved by the realization that not everyone will necessarily pick up on the underlying visceral hatred festering subtly between the lines of her entire paper, Weissbrod broke out of character at the very end, and closed with something a bit more obvious to the more dense among us. She just couldn't refrain from putting in a comparison between the hated "settlers", whose crime is attempting to live in their people's historic homeland, and the bloodthirsty murderers who stand behind the most horrible acts of terror in the history of humanity.

Of course, the bizarre statement about the Taliban in her conclusion had absolutely no connection whatsoever to anything written in the entire paper. Nor did she provide a even shred of evidence for her odious suggestion that one would find similarities between the "settlers"' "coping methods" and those of the Taliban. But it must have felt so good to write it.

I suppose I should be impressed that she refrained from including a comparison between the "settlers"' "coping methods" and those of the Nazis after their defeat in WWII.

Lurker said...

Gil Student: The second clip was offensive. These are supposed to be frum kids?
...
What I found offensive was both the yichud (it was clearly a case of libo gas bah)...


Libo gas bah is assumed only in certain particular cases, such as if they grew up together, or are related [see Rambam Hilchot Issurei Biah 22:12], or if they used to be married [see Rambam Hilchot Geirushin 10:18]. None of these are the case here, so an open door would be sufficient for them to have not been in violation of yihud. (Interestingly, the case of intimacy between a divorced couple, and its halakhic ramifications, is something that Srugim is exploring in a separate storyline. But it has nothing to do with the characters in the scene in question.)

Gil Student: ...and that look on the girl's face as she stared at him.

I'm not certain what you're trying to say here. Bear in mind that this particular character is not one who is generally seen in a very positive way. As Jameel said, he "absolutely despise[s] the Nitzan character". That is a sentiment shared by many, including myself. She is conniving, deceptive, and manipulative; in the scene in question, she was completely faking her fear of jukim in order to manipulate Nati, who doesn't really understand what she is doing.

The show has various different types of characters, and they are not all tzaddikim. The point is certainly not to present them as role models. Take a look at my post from a couple of weeks ago on what Srugim is about (and what it isn't about). I can definitely understand it if someone says that the behavior of the girl (Nitzan) is offensive. (I would agree, in fact.) But it doesn't follow from this that the scene is offensive. Portrayal of offensive behavior in a drama is quite a different thing from an offensive portrayal. This is true in much the same way that a portrayal of a bad person is entirely different from a bad portrayal of a person.

chardal said...

lurker, rambam הלכות איסורי ביאה 21:25 seems to contradict what you claim. The status seems to be a situation where pre-engagement לבו גס בה.

That is, for a person one is dating and who is attractive to him and who he will potentially marry, an open door simply will not help.

Anonymous said...

Love the schmoozing about srugim.
Remember its a show, entertainment and wants to gain public interest.

Commenter Abbi said...

"The difference between you and me is that you can not seem to admit that a few hundred singles in Katamon are in no way representative of the wider community - which in general strives for higher religious standards than are depicted on the show."

Chardal, the show is not about "the wider d'l community". The show is about singles in katamon. And, like it or not, this is what singles in katamon are like. Could there be more people who strive for higher standards than what is depicted on the show? Maybe, but not when i was living there 7 years ago. Maybe there's been a massive change in the last 7 years, but I'm not counting on it.

The show is definitely faithful to my experience living as an FFB single in katamon (and the UWS, for that matter). As a baal tshuva, of course you had a different experience- you were probably around a lot more people who like being really really frum all the time. Sorry to burst your bubble, that's just not how the whole community works.

chardal said...

>Chardal, the show is not about "the wider d'l community".

isn't that what I said?? and you responded that the fact that I don't see the behavior on the show as some sort of ubiquitous DL phenomenon is due to my myopia?

So we have a show which calls itself srugim (which is one of the most wide umbrella term you can possible have regardint the national religious community. couldn't they just call it "haBitza" or something?), and which represents a sub-sub-sub-sub group of people. That is not honest.

>Sorry to burst your bubble, that's just not how the whole community works.

You ain't bursting any bubble. I was well aware of the datiloni sub-culture that exists in certain parts of the RZ world. Everyone is aware that it exists. The problem with the show is that it represents every charachter as basically messed-up and the portrials are not ballanced by other segments of society.

It's not just me, one of the writers has already admited on his blog that they shied away from having charachters with a stronger religious backbone since it does not make "good TV."

So in summary, it is offensive to portray all charachters on a show named srugim as basically religously and emotionaly immature basketcases who are basically constantly wallowing in some level of self-pity or religous misery.

Guess what, if I created a show called "parnossah" about the scene of chareidi diamond traders in manhatten and 5 out of 5 of the main charachters cheated in their business dealings, it would also be offensive.

elchonon said...

Just for the heck of it I watched part of chapter 1.. do people really ask on a date where the other davens ?!? thats nuts!

I like the "so do you think the rebbe is moshiach" lol

I dunno I never speed dated but hey i'd get the idea that you dont ask deep questions.

P.S. I cant hear too well, but from reading their lips they seem to be talking in hebrew and the subtitles are in hebrew.. how do americans watch it?

Is rafi G going to admit he watches it?

Lurker said...

chardal: lurker, rambam הלכות איסורי ביאה 21:25 seems to contradict what you claim. The status seems to be a situation where pre-engagement לבו גס בה.

I believe you're mistaken. Rambam here is talking about a man who divorced his wife after erusin but before huppa. In general, he says, such a couple is allowed to live in close proximity. He then adds the proviso that if libo gas bah (which is not the general assumption), then living in close proximity is forbidden. And regardless, this entire case is not "pre-engagement"; it is post-kiddushin and post-divorce. It thus has no application to the case in question.

Lurker said...

chardal: couldn't they just call it "haBitza" or something?

Actually, according to Ilan Eshkoli (one of the show's writers), that was exactly what they originally wanted to call it. But that name was rejected by the producer, who was worried that people seeing the name without nekudot would think that the title was "HaBeitza" ("The Egg")...

chardal said...

>He then adds the proviso that if libo gas bah (which is not the general assumption), then living in close proximity is forbidden.

Yes, I understand the scenario in question. However, it does show that there exists a status of libo gas bah for scenarios other than the ones quoted by you above. Further, the Rambam is just giving examples, he is assuming that we understand the meaning of the phrase libo gas ba. just looking at the use of the phrase in the gemara (for example, ketubot 12a: 'ביהודה היו מייחדים החתן והכלה קודם כניסתן לחופה כדי שיהא לבו גס בה' , the phrase tells of any relationship where the two people are particularly familiar with each other. it does not require a prolonged relationship but rather a short period of time and a 'dating' relationship for lack of a better term. If back then all that was needed was some yichud before the chupah to achieve that status, today, with the manner in which dating occurs, it is obviously the default for any dating couple.

Look, tachlist, this is an academic discussion. I don't believe that characters such as those portrayed on the show particularly care for the ins and outs of hilchot yichud. Frankly, even if there is not libo gas ba here, I doubt that a door was kept open.

Lets just face it. If the show is reflective of reality in the bitza, then what we have is a sub-culture of people who have en-masse been mattir for themselves major issurei Torah and deRabbanan. Some of us are not comfortable with that and don't think that putting such a reality on the screen is desirable. Frankly I don't care how chilonim now think we are 'real people.' Most thought that anyway and those who did not, I am not so interested is groveling for their approval of my 'realness.'

If the show, on the other hand, is reflective of the reality in the greater DL community, which is not the case as I see it (yes, abbi, from my subjective myopic view), then we have a major piruk ol mitzvot that is, frankly, disastrous.

Just my 5 cents

chardal said...

>But that name was rejected by the producer, who was worried that people seeing the name without nekudot would think that the title was "HaBeitza" ("The Egg")...

Ha, so we have to be associated with the behavior on the show because of a few dots...

shmuel said...

"Very little direct evidence for apostasy was found..."
Thus, the very paper that you bring as evidence for your thesis actually refutes it.


It also quotes a Maariv article from early 2006 saying that 25% of DL high school students had stopped believing. The truth is probably somewhere between "little direct evidence" and 25%. Where exactly, is very hard to tell, but the sum of evidence hardly qualifies as a refutation.

Children from Gush Katif were traumatized ... because their homes and communities were destroyed, and their helpless families were discarded like refuse and thrown to the wolves. It's pretty sad that you can't seem to understand how that could scar a child for life.

Many people, all over the world, throughout history have had their homes and communities destroyed yet it did not "scar them for life". To take one example, close to home, the inhabitants of Gush Etzion didn't despair and go off the derech and commit suicide after getting expelled in 1948. Instead they went and built productive kibbutzim in the northern Negev where they live to this day. They certainly did not have the reaction the DL community is having today. That is a crisis of theology, not of having to rebuild your life in a new location.

Apparently peeved by the realization that not everyone will necessarily pick up on the underlying visceral hatred festering subtly between the lines of her entire paper,

If the so-called right wing is unwilling to even discuss these kind of issues, then of course the only googleable analysis will be from the left wing.

Anyway, I don't see any visceral hatred in the paper. You "bizarre" line from the end of the paper explicitly says that Taliban and "settlers" are alike superficially but not in details: "since their prophecy also combines religious faith with political action, though the latter two differ in content from those of the Israeli settlers."

If you see visceral hatred "between the lines" that "not everyone will necessarily pick up on" but you do, then perhaps the hatred is coming from yourself not from the paper. כל הפוסל במומו פוסל.

Commenter Abbi said...

Chardal, you seem to have a very strong need to define the the larger d'l community as one "which in general strives for higher religious standards than are depicted on the show" and the show's community is a sub the nth degree community. Maybe the community where you live can be categorized as the former. In which case, kol hakavod. Do you feel this way because otherwise, you'd have to let go of the "dal" in your name and go whole hog charedi? (sorry for the pun)

How other people live their Torah lives is between them and Hashem. Therefore, I really don't see ostensible "massive piruk ol mitzvot" as disastrous, kol yisrael areivim zeh l'zeh notwithstanding. It's just not my business how people approach mitzvot (unless it personally affects me and then I deal with it on a personal basis.)

Religious observance varies greatly in the d'l community (and even in the charedi community, despite all the public pressure for conformity. Check out all the sheitels and bikinis in Florida at Pesach). It's a fact due to human nature. I have reams of articles from a class on modern religious observance that I took in grad school if you'd like to read them.


You're the one who continues to extrapolate from Srugim to the larger d'l community, which is why I countered that it was not the intention of the show to make large statements about the d'l community. But my point stands.

Your idea of "messed up" just doesn't match everyone else's. (A woman layning a haftarah does not constitute "messed up" in my book.) Just because not everyone man is a yeled tov yerushalayim and every woman is not a good girl studying special ed or ot/pt doesn't mean that they aren't sincere characters struggling with both their religious and personal issues.


And honestly, if you're not comfortable with what goes on with the show, then don't watch it, especially if you don't care how chilonim think of you. If you're not part of a culture that even watches tv, then why isn't this just a big "who cares?" for you? Isn't this just another example of why tv is a assur?

Commenter Abbi said...

Sorry, the last sentence should read "if you ARE part of a culture that even watches tv"

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi Chardal and Gil.

In the US, the "modern orthodox" world has a very wide range that goes from "right wing conservative" all the way to "left wing yeshivish"....and Israel is no different.

You'll find a whole range of people -- at all levels of religious observance. Perhaps whats missing is a character that meets your expectations, but we haven't seen that character in the show yet.

However, if you just look at the range of religious high schools in Israel, the range of observance within Dati Leumi Mamad schools is huge; Yeshivot Bnei Akiva, Chorev, Noam, Himmelfarb, Netiv Meir, Nechaim, Shaalvim, Yeshivat Beit El (high school), Steinzaltz and more.

I suggest you see this posting from "Mom in Israel" which painfully describes a real life situation now in the Nechalim high school.

Religious Observance of the "national religious" community is from from monolithic, and some simply suffice with a kippa on their head and some sort of shabbat observance and kashrut. Is that a bad thing?

Look at the Modern Orthodox high schools in the US; MTA, Frisch, HAFTR, RAMAZ, YULA -- they all produce different types of students with different levels of commitment to Judaism, and many consider themselves modern orthdodox. Even Yeshiva University's undergraduate college has many levels of observance. Right? So the fact that a TV show is depicting what the writes felt would be interesting TV, doesn't mean you should be "disgusted" -- these people are all part of klal Yisrael today...

And for the most part, when they are "zocheh" to leave the swamp (by getting married), I think that most of them revert back to the level of commitment that you're both looking for.

chardal said...

>How other people live their Torah lives is between them and Hashem.

Oh please, we are not in grade school and we know this is simply not true for almost any strata of society - left to right. These are points of ideological contention which are in the public arena for better or for worse. And therefore, to the same extent that srugim can push a particular view of society to the public air waves, there is nothing wrong with someone such as myself having harsh critiques for the appropriateness of bot that decision and the content of the show itself.

>Religious observance varies greatly in the d'l community (and even in the charedi community, despite all the public pressure for conformity. Check out all the sheitels and bikinis in Florida at Pesach).

Yes, I never denied this, so...

>It's a fact due to human nature.

Of course it is. This has nothing to do with whether something is negative or positive. There could be positive things that are against human nature and negative things that are in human nature. What does this have to do with anything?

>I have reams of articles from a class on modern religious observance that I took in grad school if you'd like to read them.

I am not interested because I NEVER DENIED that there are people who fall to weaknesses. What we have here is an apparent SHITA that is mattir issurim (or at least disregards them without much thought). Either way, that is at the very least hypocritical.

>You're the one who continues to extrapolate from Srugim to the larger d'l community

Actually, I claim that the show is about a small and alltogether not very significant sub culture within the DL world. You are the one who keeps on claiming that I am myopic and don't REALLY know of all the decadent behavior that occurs in the DL world.

>Your idea of "messed up" just doesn't match everyone else's.

Did I lay claim to having an objective definition of "messed up."? I think that to most people, living within a religious structure and consistantly violating major strictures of that structure is somewhat messed up. most healthy people would either find a way to function within the system or leave it. If you disagree, then fine - to me it's still "messed up".

>A woman layning a haftarah does not constitute "messed up" in my book.

I actually think that so far she is the least messed up charachter on the show. And I have no real problem with a woman layning a haftarah.

>Just because not everyone man is a yeled tov yerushalayim and every woman is not a good girl studying special ed or ot/pt doesn't mean that they aren't sincere characters struggling with both their religious and personal issues.

You are right, it is the fact that you don't see them very much concerned or struggling with religious issues which shows they are not sincere. Religion is in the way of their life, not something that is central to it.

>And honestly, if you're not comfortable with what goes on with the show, then don't watch it, especially if you don't care how chilonim think of you.

Why? maybe I enjoy kvetching about it on Jameel's blog? I can watch the show and still think its a negative force.

>Isn't this just another example of why tv is a assur?

I don't think TV is assur. Like anything else, it can be a force for good or a force for bad or just plain neutral. As an occasional viewer of TV, I enjoy being critical of it - so there you go.

and acharon, acharon chaviv:

>Chardal, you seem to have a very strong need to define the the larger d'l community as one "which in general strives for higher religious standards than are depicted on the show"

Well, I wouldn't call it a need so much as an assumption. And if that assumption is proved false as you claim (and I don't think you are correct in your appraisal of the scope of disregarding halacha in the DL world), then I will just find my way to a narrower sub-community which shares my values or I will join the chareidi world in some capacity.

You see, my loyalty is not to any particular community but rather to the Torah and Am Yisrael. The moment I believe that these core values are better satisfied in a different society, then that is where I go.

So all in all, I hope you are wrong about DL society. Your portrait of it is certainly not reflective of those parts of it which I know well. If you are correct, however, then certainly, my family will find a society which does not mock our core values.

chardal said...

> and some simply suffice with a kippa on their head and some sort of shabbat observance and kashrut. Is that a bad thing?

In a larger context, it is a good thing. However, context is sorely missing from this show. what does exist on the show is a somewhat monolithic and low level of observance. So looking through the prism of the shoe, it is a negative phenomenon
(*start abbi disclaimer*
according to my subjective myopic opinion
*end abbi disclaimer*).

tafka pp said...

Hi Chardal, (and everyone)

I'm not about to interrupt your ongoing raging debate with my friend Abbi- just wanted to take issue with something you wrote earlier:

So in summary, it is offensive to portray all charachters on a show named srugim as basically religously and emotionaly immature basketcases who are basically constantly wallowing in some level of self-pity or religous misery.

I was surprised to read this from you, based on our previous conversation: Yes, they're almost all portrayed as flawed, but that is particularly and unnecessarily harsh, in my opinion. I think that you and I even agreed on the sad fact that leading a religious life, on even the strictest possible level, doesn't provide any individuals with additional protection against feelings of loneliness, disappointment and despair (not to mention sexual frustration, if discussing single people) so I'm surprised to find therefore that you've castigated all the characters as "wallowing basketcases."

Further, with all due respect to the wondrous Avri, he's not the only emotionally healthy character on the show by any means: I would argue that being emotionally healthy and feeling lonely and confused are not mutually exclusive.

Oh, and Jameel- I thought Hodaya's speech to "Shvut" was outstanding. Fantastic screenwriting all round.

(Can you tell I've spent the weekend watching all the episodes I missed while in the "Golus"? ;-) )

Commenter Abbi said...

"What we have here is an apparent SHITA that is mattir issurim (or at least disregards them without much thought). Either way, that is at the very least hypocritical."

Whoa, last i checked, this was a tv show, not a psak halacha. I think SHITA is a quite a strong way of defining a tv show.

"You see, my loyalty is not to any particular community but rather to the Torah and Am Yisrael. The moment I believe that these core values are better satisfied in a different society, then that is where I go."

Interesting. But what happens if the people in your new community don't live up to your expectations? I guess you can keep jumping around until you're a shul of one. Although honestly, if you have such a visceral objection to people who practice differently than you, and even disregard some mitzvot that are important to you, it doesn't sound like the d'l community is really for you.

As Jameel so eloquently described, the d'l/mo community has always encompassed a very wide range of observance and you can never really escape this- and that's my point about your myopia. The show does not DEFINE d'l observance and I'm not saying, nor have I ever said, that the people on srugim represent a majority of the d'l community. But OTOH, I would hardly say this is a fringe community of d'l, as you'd very much like to believe.


Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about people born of Jewish mother who eat pork on Yom Kippur and call themselves "Jewish"? or men and women getting Reform or Conservative ordination calling themsselves "Rabbis"? Aren't they doing the same thing as srugim- misrepresenting basic tenets of Jewish identity?

chardal said...

>Whoa, last i checked, this was a tv show, not a psak halacha. I think SHITA is a quite a strong way of defining a tv show.

a shita does not have to be particularly deep. A person's shita could be "I don't care"

>Interesting. But what happens if the people in your new community don't live up to your expectations? I guess you can keep jumping around until you're a shul of one.

Expectations? this isn't some sort of game! And I am not some sort of intollerant fanatic. I have never denied that people have weaknesses. However, if by some tradegy, the majority of my yeshuv would get up and say "this negia thing is not for us, from now on, the norm is going to be hugs and kisses all around and who cares what the Torah says, the Torah needs to be updated anyways" - then you bet your bottom dollar I would move! Of course, b"H I don't forsee this happening any time soon so I am not so worried about becoming a member of a shul of one. If anything, the protrayel of religious life in katamon is much more monolithic than what happens in my yeshuv and other yeshuvim I know of.

>and even disregard some mitzvot that are important to you, it doesn't sound like the d'l community is really for you.

Frankly, I don't think that we live in the same community at all - at least not from the way you describe it. In my community, there are people with flaws but flaws are not raised up as the norm nor are they flouted publicly without shame (like on the show). The community you describe seems to have no regard for serious halachic issues, which in the greater context of Jewish life, may be ok, but from the narrow perspective of the TV screen is at best annoying and at worse offensive.

>Just out of curiosity, how do you feel about people born of Jewish mother who eat pork on Yom Kippur and call themselves "Jewish"?

Um, they ARE Jewish. What is wrong with calling them Jewish? I do cringe however, whenever negative Jewish stereotypes make their way to the TV screen.

>or men and women getting Reform or Conservative ordination calling themsselves "Rabbis"?

Rabbi is just an agreed upon title. As R' Shaul Lieberman zt"l once 'supposidly' said when confronted with the discussion of women being ordained: 'the title Rabbi does not conotate any authority or knowledge for our male graduates, why should we care if women use the same title.' I have no problem with this. However, when they start spreading false portrayals of Torah and Halacha on the public airwaives, I cringe as well.

>Aren't they doing the same thing as srugim- misrepresenting basic tenets of Jewish identity?

No, srugim is different. Those people are REFORM rabbis or CONSERVATIVE rabbis or american SECULAR Jews. Srugim is a simple which at its minimal core is a fusion of Torat Yisrael, Am Yisrael, and Eretz Yisrael. Further, I identify with this society, so the portrayal of this society as a hypocrytical one which lacks backbone hits close to home - and I double cringe.

chardal said...

>I would argue that being emotionally healthy and feeling lonely and confused are not mutually exclusive.

lets go down the list

Nati - no comment needed
Amir - has regular relations with his ex. wonderfully healthy, even by secular standards.
Hodaya - can not figure out what she is or what she wants from life - at age 30
Yifat - is obsessed with a guy who does not give her the time of day. Even when she finds a guy who likes her, she still dreams of the jerk.
Reut - frankly, the most healthy person on the show. although, IMO, bossy and overly aggresive.
Yochai - frummi who kisses a girl in public and then within a few weeks, proposes marriage, leaves learning for business and seems to have a basic inferiority complex.

nuff said

YMedad said...

And See what the Hebrew blogs are doing.

tafka pp said...

Chardal: I think we'll have to agree to disagree on the definition of what constitutes "emotional health"- but if they were real people, I think that Nati would be the only one I would send to therapy if he was a friend of mine :-)

The other characters are presented as navigating through their lives as best they can and dealing with whatever they have to deal with, irrespective of how old they are: That doesn't make them "unhealthy" or "basket cases", in my opinion.

I maintain that the writers have a good grasp of what it is like for 30+ singles in Jerusalem and actually the honesty with regard to their flaws (not even in terms of religiousity, but generally) seems to be more empowering than embarrassing.

Hadassah said...

An issue in life is always whether we care more about how others perceive us than how we "really" are. The writers of Srugim could have portrayed the "best" of katamon - people who maintain their religious values - no negia, less flaws, very happy in life etc. (Kind of like the approach in "Friends" to portraying single life in NY - no-one's miserable, no-one's THAT badly messed up etc.)

Maybe then we could sit here in Katamon smug in the knowledge that at least Hilonim have positive image of DL/MO singles in the Bitza. Kiddush Hashem, right?!

The other option was for the writers to hold up a mirror to ourselves, exposing the worst of our floors and to leave us cringing, slightly embarrased to walk to shabbat lunch holding a kugel. Definitely not good for our image but maybe actually good for us, the DL/MO singles in the Bitza. Maybe it's even inspired a few "Natis" to wake up, a few "Yifats" to get out of harmful "plutonic" relationships.

Many often argue that we're all too comfortable here and that's why we're not getting married fast enough. I disagree strongly with that argument but if you do agree with it then at least Srugim has pushed some of us out our comfort zone.

Tafka PP - It's still embarassing. But it's also empowering.

Hadassah said...

Oops - an embarassing typo - flaws not floors!

Alexandra said...

Personally I love Nitzan. I am sure I would hate her if she were a real person I knew, but on the show I think Nati deserves everything he gets. It is about time he's manpulated, rather than the one doing the manipulation.

duamcpi said...

"plutonic" - do you mean a platonic relationship? Or a relationship in which the people are very distant from each other, like Pluto is from the sun? Or a relationship motivated by money?

Name/URL said...

Everyone here who thinks Avri is a perfectly healthy and normal character - do you remember the "archaeological glue" episode where he deceives Hodayah in order to get her to sleep with him (while, apparently, chasing another woman at the same time)? After that scene, does he really come off as better than the other characters?

Lurker said...

shmuel: It also quotes a Maariv article from early 2006 saying that 25% of DL high school students had stopped believing.

Yes, and this is what the paper has to say about the claim made in that article:
"Data from a single survey, however, cannot be taken at face value; the number of pupils declaring their apostasy seems very high."

shmuel: The truth is probably somewhere between "little direct evidence" and 25%. Where exactly, is very hard to tell, but the sum of evidence hardly qualifies as a refutation.

The point is that the paper itself says that going OTD in response to the expulsion is a very marginal phenomenon. That certainly doesn't jibe well at all with your assertion that of "the vast, vast majority of dati leumi people [who] never lived in Gush Katif and were not expelled... many of them, not just some of the relative few who were expelled, had religious doubts as a result".

shmuel: Many people, all over the world, throughout history have had their homes and communities destroyed yet it did not "scar them for life".

On what authority do you make such a presumptuous statement about "people, all over the world, throughout history [who] have had their homes and communities destroyed"? How can you possibly know this? How do you know what happens in the mind of a child who is traumatized this way?

Apparently I was quite on the mark when I drew a comparison between you and that guy who scolded the child with MS that he should stop being a crybaby because people with AIDS and cancer have it worse.

shmuel: If the so-called right wing is unwilling to even discuss these kind of issues...

That's a bunch of bull. I read a 30-page post-mortem by R. Zalman Melamed about the expulsion, and what it means for the dati leumi community going forward. You may not agree with what he says, but your claim that "the so-called right wing is unwilling to even discuss" it is complete nonsense.

shmuel: Anyway, I don't see any visceral hatred in the paper. You "bizarre" line from the end of the paper explicitly says that Taliban and "settlers" are alike superficially but not in details: "since their prophecy also combines religious faith with political action, though the latter two differ in content from those of the Israeli settlers."

Ah, I see. That disclaimer therefore makes it kosher to end the paper with a comparison beween Jewish residents of Yesha and the world's most fanatic bloodthirsty murderers.

By your criteria, then, it would have been perfectly OK for the paper to draw the same comparion between the "settlers" and the Nazis, just as long as it added the disclaimer that the Nazis' "religious faith [and] political action... differ in content from those of the Israeli settlers".

Until now, I gave the benefit of the doubt in my assumptions about you. But now, with your pitiable defense of that repulsive comparison between the "settlers" and the Taliban, you have made it entirely clear exactly what you are.

Lurker said...

chardal: Lets just face it. If the show is reflective of reality in the bitza, then what we have is a sub-culture of people who have en-masse been mattir for themselves major issurei Torah and deRabbanan. Some of us are not comfortable with that and don't think that putting such a reality on the screen is desirable.
...
what does exist on the show is a somewhat monolithic and low level of observance.


I think that you are overly generalizing about the show. It is not monolithic. There are a variety of characters, and they are not all the same.

* Hodaya, obviously, does not observe the halakhot of negiah. (And apparently she's now stopped observing much bigger things, too.)

* Nati apparently does not always observe it either.

* Yifat does observe hilhkot negiah. She once said so explicitly to Nati, and she recoiled when that hiloni-with-a-kippa guy tried to give her a kiss. The fact that, at a time of great emotional strain, she violated the rules of negiah, does not mean that in general she has abandoned observance. (Just as the fact that someone might speak lashon hara on a given occasion does not mean that the person has decided that it is OK for him to speak lashon hara.)

* Amir is a very complicated case. Unless I missed something, he's never touched Yifat b'derekh hibah. Apparently he observes the restrictions of negiah, with one (glaringly enormous) exception. The fact of this abberation in his behavior is actually a powerful illustration of the reasons for the special restrictions placed on divorced couples, cited in the Rambam that you quoted. (Halakhically, btw, I think that he and Na'amah are now technically married again, and he would have to give her a second get in order for her to remarry.)

* Reut has never been seen violating negiah. Remember how shocked and taken aback she was by Yochai's kiss. I believe that one can assume that she is fully shomeret negiah.

I would suggest paying more attention to these differences between characters. I don't think its fair to paint the show with such a broad brush.

Lurker said...

chardal: Reut - frankly, the most healthy person on the show. although, IMO, bossy and overly aggresive.

I think this might be a little unfair. Yes, this is how she appeared in episode 1, when she bit Amir's head off about the kiddush thing. But bear in mind that she had just broken up with her boyfriend, who a few minutes earlier had met her on the street and said awful, hurtful things to her. I think we can cut her some slack...

Lurker said...

Hadassah: Maybe it's even inspired a few "Natis" to wake up, a few "Yifats" to get out of harmful "plutonic" relationships.

duamcpi: "plutonic" - do you mean a platonic relationship? Or a relationship in which the people are very distant from each other, like Pluto is from the sun? Or a relationship motivated by money?

Pluto was the god of the dead. A "plutonic" relationship is a dead one that's not going anywhere, like Yifat's relationship with Nati...

Lurker said...

Name/URL: Everyone here who thinks Avri is a perfectly healthy and normal character - do you remember the "archaeological glue" episode where he deceives Hodayah in order to get her to sleep with him (while, apparently, chasing another woman at the same time)?

He did it "to get her to sleep with him"? Where in the world do you get that from? The thing with the vase was nothing more than a good-natured prank. And Avri never tried anything untoward "to get her to sleep with him" -- in fact, when Hodaya indicated that she was uncomfortable, he immediately assured her that they "don't have to do anything", and that it would be perfectly OK with him, because he loved her. He also asked her to marry him.

And why do you say that he was "chasing another woman at the same time"? Where did you see any such thing?

From what I saw, Avri was a perfect gentleman.

Lurker said...

Gil Student: The second clip was offensive. These are supposed to be frum kids?
...
What I found offensive was both the yichud (it was clearly a case of libo gas bah)...


One other point: The question of whether an open door eliminates the restriction on yihud in a case of libo gas bah is a mahloket aharonim. Most notably, the Shulhan Arukh (Even HaEzer 22:9) indicates that an open door is sufficient to allow a man and woman to be together, and he doesn't make an exception for libo gas bah. [Helkat Mehokek (22:13) and Beit Shmuel (22:13) do make such an exception.] And many MO rabbis pasken according to the Shulhan Arukh in this matter.

I think it's a bit much to decide that a scene on the show is "offensive" because the characters might only be following the opinion of the Shulhan Arukh, as opposed to a more mahmir position.

Anonymous said...

I did not lose my home and family and community because of the Shoah. I did not lose my home and family and community because of expulsion from Gaza.

Nevertheless, as a young adult, I did lose my home, my family, and my community, with no preparation and with constant invalidation of my pain and grief, and now, half a lifetime later, I still suffer great trauma. I have no center, no safety, no history.

orange said...

Anonymous, are you a Palestinian?

Jerusalemcop said...

Hadassah: Maybe it's even inspired a few "Natis" to wake up, a few "Yifats" to get out of harmful "plutonic" relationships.

Many often argue that we're all too comfortable here and that's why we're not getting married fast enough. I disagree strongly with that argument but if you do agree with it then at least Srugim has pushed some of us out our comfort zone.


Wow!! You took the words out of my mouth. It seems to me that that's the message we should all take from this show. I've known many people over my years in the Bitza that reflect many of the characteristics of the characters. Some have tried to overcome these traits and some never got rid of them.

Eventhough he has yet to explore the Anglo community (save Stacy, the tfillin lady), Laizy really seems to know his katamon personalities.

We are all gonna miss this show after next weeks finale. What will we all discuss here?

Jcop

Anonymous said...

Orange, I am neither Palestinian nor attempting to make allusions to the experiences of any group of people. I am a Jew in the U.S. writing of my personal experience, which did cause me trauma.

Also, to all, how can I watch Srugim? Again, I am in the U.S., and the computer setup I use cannot handle video.

anonymous mom said...

Thanks, Jameel for posting on You Tube, finally. Just someone tell me why no one is posting a full 10 minute clip. I can't view the whole episodes that you find on walla and elsewhere. My computer doesn't allow it for some reason. What's the hold up on a full-length scene? Also, Tzipiyah is great. Also, just eavesdropping for a minute and I see Gil Student is disgusted. From the tiny clips I see, I am annoyed that the Kippot can't sit normally on their heads and that they don't seem to show a happy, committed MO/DL Jew. That there are MO singles who have boundary crossing relationships with the opposite sex is pretty old news. Not everyone does, but it sure is out there. And, it is true, that most revert back to the commitment level they wanted to be at after they get married. More on you tube please.

Sara E said...

This is COMPLETELY beside the point but I want to know: anyone else wondering where they are coming up with the idea that kabbalists and rabbanut rabbis are modern orthodox like the characters? I find the show so realistic but this detail drives me nuts, esp after last nites episode.

halevi this were the case but alas...

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Lion of Zion said...

JAMEEL:

1) how realistic is it for a single girl to live in a yishuv of datiyiym?

2) the clip with hodaya and her sister is missing an important part right before, where she tells hodaya where she'd been that night

3) without getting involved in the debate about how these people are portrayed in the show, there is no fooling around, and certainly no sex (the unusual encounters of amir aside)

שבוע טוב ושנה טובה

Jerusalemcop said...

Lion:

sorry to say, sounds like you dont know much about what really goes on in katamon. these things (including sex) do happen. Im not saying its the norm, but I know of people where this has happened.

Jcop

Lurker said...

LoZ: how realistic is it for a single girl to live in a yishuv of datiyiym?

Quite realistic. I know one personally.

Jerusalemcop said...

LoZ: how realistic is it for a single girl to live in a yishuv of datiyiym?

Quite realistic. I know one personally.


I know of a few, myself included

Jcop

Lion of Zion said...

JCOP:

"sorry to say, sounds like you dont know much about what really goes on in katamon."

don't be sorry. never claimed know anything about it.

"these things (including sex) do happen. "

i'm sure they do, but my point was made within the context of those above (or in previous comment threads) who who were upset that these characters give DLs a bad rap and don't reflect the level of commitment that many DLs exhibit. so my point was i see no one in the show having sex. even nati, who was clearly depressed about the prospect of dying a virgin, he could have "scored" with that hiloni nurse but didn't take advantage of the opportunity.

LURKER:

"I know one personally"

ok. one doesn't make it that realistic. also, does the one you know live in a "yishuv" like efrat or ariel, or a "yishuv" like the one in the show (i.e., tiny, homogeneous with religious families, caravans, etc.). and i also assume you don't mean a single who lives in the same yishuv as her parents

JCOP:

"myself included"

i'm confused. your profile says you're a male.

Jerusalemcop said...

LOZ: oops. I meant singles on a yishuv. my bad. I do know a number of females living alone on a yishuv, but you are correct, they are all in places like efrat or ariel. That doesn't diminish the courage that they have moving to places like that tho. I know that living in communities entirely with families is not easy for them.

shana tova

Jcop

Lurker said...

Me: I know one personally.

LoZ: ok. one doesn't make it that realistic.

Sure it does. It makes it completely realistic, by definition. What you probably mean is that it isn't very common. But on the show, it was also indicated pretty clearly that it isn't common.

LoZ: also, does the one you know live in a "yishuv" like efrat or ariel, or a "yishuv" like the one in the show (i.e., tiny, homogeneous with religious families, caravans, etc.).

It's a small, hilltop community, with about 30 caravans, and everyone is dati leumi. I.e., almost exactly like the one on the show. The similarity is uncanny.

LoZ: and i also assume you don't mean a single who lives in the same yishuv as her parents

Nope. She moved out there by herself.

Lion of Zion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lion of Zion said...

LURKER:

the *one* you know does seem to be the exception (note JCOPS comment about the yishuvim his single friends have settled in). and while man can walk on the moon, it's more than just uncommon, it's not realistic for any of us even to entertain the possibility.

but in any case, i wonder if it isn't common only because it is uncomfortable for the girl. is there also a reluctance on the part of the the yishuv? is there any hesitation to accept a single girl?

שנה טובה

Lurker said...

LoZ: the *one* you know does seem to be the exception

Granted. That doesn't make it "unrealistic", though. It just means that you won't find very many single women choosing to do it.

LoZ: and while man can walk on the moon, it's more than just uncommon, it's not realistic for any of us even to entertain the possibility.

Your implication -- that it is similarly unrealistic "even to entertain the possibility" that a single girl would move out to a small dati yishuv -- is just plain silly. Again, it is not common, but entirely realistic. And your attempt to criticize the show on this point is forced and simply incorrect.

LoZ: but in any case, i wonder if it isn't common only because it is uncomfortable for the girl. is there also a reluctance on the part of the the yishuv? is there any hesitation to accept a single girl?

In the case of which I'm speaking, the girl came first and foremost because she wanted to show her support for settlement in Yesha in general, and for this yishuv in particular. (It's one of the yishuvim on Olmert's chopping block.) The yishuv, which is eager for new residents, welcomed her warmly and enthusiastically. There was no reluctance or hesitation at all; quite the opposite, in fact. Within a few months, she even became a member of the va'adat haklitah.

שנה טובה

Lion of Zion said...

LURKER:

"your attempt to criticize the show on this point is forced and simply incorrect"

i actually wasn't trying to be critical (on this point at least). i don't claim to be familiar with the intricacies of israeli society and i was merely curious about how likely this could really happen

"The yishuv, which is eager for new residents, welcomed her warmly and enthusiastically"

hmm. it seems to be a common element in many frontier societies to be more inclusive because out of lack of manpower. (hence the ready acceptance of jews in many american colonies.)

Lurker said...

Me: The yishuv, which is eager for new residents, welcomed her warmly and enthusiastically.

LoZ: hmm. it seems to be a common element in many frontier societies to be more inclusive because out of lack of manpower.

I think some credit should be given to the yishuv's members, who are simply open, warm and friendly toward their fellow Jews.

Jerusalemcop said...

does anyone know when the season finale is suppose to be airing?

Thanks and shsna tova

Jcop

Lurker said...

Jcop: does anyone know when the season finale is suppose to be airing?

This coming Monday night (Oct. 6). It was originally going to be this past Monday night (the first night of Rosh HaShana), but Laizy insisted that Yes not air the show then.

Lion of Zion said...

LURKER:

"I think some credit should be given to the yishuv's members, who are simply open, warm and friendly toward their fellow Jews."

i didn't mean to imply otherwise. for the record, when i was in yeshivah i invited myself to a number of random yishuvum for shabbat and was always hosted graciously

Anonymous said...

please note----- veoh.com with the proper flash player has at least half the episodes online.....

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