Monday, September 10, 2012

One Picture - 1000 Words

I can't think of a more fitting tribute to Rabbi Asher Lopatin and his goals at YCT than this picture of him speaking to Rabbi Yehoshua H. Eichenstein. His goal at YCT which he has been hired to lead is to make it more open - to the right. As I said in my own tribute to him on my main blog, if there is anyone who can do it, it is Asher Lopatin.

For more on this story read the JTA article on it. Here is an excerpt:
Lopatin says he wants to ground the students more firmly in Orthodoxy by exposing them to the “full Orthodox spectrum.” That includes, he said, exposure to and instruction from haredi Orthodox yeshiva leaders.
“When it comes to things like Gemarah and halachah and hashkafah and Tanach,” Lopatin said, using the Hebrew terms for Talmud, Jewish law, philosophy and Bible, “those are things that need to be taught fully, classically Orthodox. Those are the main meat and potatoes of smicha” – rabbinic ordination. 
This is a great goal and a change of direction sorely needed by YCT. Will it be enough to gain acceptance by the wider Orthodox community? Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Filling a Void

This looks like a movie I want to see. In fact Fill the Void  may be a movie even Charedim may want to see. That's because it was made by a Charedi Jew - a woman by the name of Rama Burshtein (pictured). Which means that it probably adheres to Charedi standards of Tznius.

Most depictions of Orthodox Jews  end up as silly caricatures. Although we are depicted as good people - we  are also depicted as overly clumsy... or overly eccentric...  or ridiculously foolish or extremely naive. I guess that's the way non Jews or secular Jews see us. But director Burshtein knows what Orthodox Jews are really like since she is one of us. We are people. Not caricatures. That should mean that unlike other films where Orthodox Jews are featured we will get some realistic images and scenarios here.

One of the pluses of this film is that it seems to be getting some good reviews from mainstream reviewers like the one in the entertainment industry rag, Variety. Hopefully this means a bit wider distribution than is ordinarily the case. which means that more people will see it and see us in a more accurate light. And that is a hood thing... and about time it happened.