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The Opening Of The Jewish Mind:Part 2

The point of the previous post was as follows. Everyone is closeminded AND openminded. We just choose where to open and where to close. Example : Many parents are open to allowing their children to attend Penn or Princeton - but not Ponovitch. Maryland - but not Mir, Boston University - but not Bais Yaakov. Many are open enough to go to a movie or the theatre - but would never consider attending a Rebbe's tisch. People don't think twice when buying a Sports Illustrated or Time Magazine but would never think of buying a Jewish Observer. This must be understood before we make value judgements with respect to what to accept and what to reject.

Now a value judgement! When I was growing up I found that most TV shows and movies revolved around a certain three letter word that ends with an "x" [not fox]. And violence. Study after study has proven that exposure to the media is linked to increased violent and aggresive behavior, early onset of sexual promiscuity, increased high risk behavior, alcohol and tobbaco use etc. etc. These studies don't emanate from Lakewood or Williamsburg but from Non-Jewish academics. If you don't believe me google "harmful effects of television" and see for yourself. And since I am very closeminded when it comes to allowing my children to watch peole having intercourse - I don't have a TV! What responsible parent would approve? Some parents say that they monitor their kids. Impossible. Did it work in your home? And if I lived in New York I wouldn't allow the New York Post in my home because of the pornographic pictures. [Then again if I lived in New York - I would make Aliyah.]

The internet is also replete with filthy material. But if one has a kosher homepage [I recommend Alleyways] and uses it only for Torah or business or to access information, it is possible to avoid the filth. [Not that I think that ideally a person should have internet. I think that they should consult with their Rav]. With respect to TV, movies and most newspapers - it is impossible to avoid. [Some would claim that there is nothing worthwhile in the popular media, but since that is debatable I won't make that claim. But all would agree that there is a large degree of harmful material.]

One more point. The media doesn't claim that they are trying to impart positve values. They admit that their purpose is to ENTERTAIN. And therein lies the danger. V'dai l'mavin.

Anyway I have to run. It is motzaei shabbos and I am going to my beloved Rebbe's Tisch. When I was a child my saturday nights were usually spent watching "The Love Boat" "Fantasy Island" and "Saturday Night Live". And no, I don't miss Eddie Murphy.

Love and blessings from God's backyard!!!!!!!

עבדו את ה' בשמחה

Elchanan ben Henna Miriam

I have trouble visualizing Rebbe watching "The Love Boat." I am not sure what it's about but I imagine it's not appropriate.

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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