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Had To Get This Off My Chest

As I was typing the previous post I was listening to a "shiur" given by a Rabbi where he compared having a car to watching television as we have to sanctify both. A car can be used to go to shul so it is positive. A TV is also a good thing if used properly.

I am obviously missing something! What on TV brings one closer to Hashem or adds kedusha? I once heard this same person say that one should go to the theater. Is the theater HOLY? Has something changed sinced I was immersed in western culture. Do they now promote only positive, wholesome values? Are all of the women dressed according to the standards of Jewish law?

I try to keep an open mind but this is a hard one for me. Was the Chofetz Chaim missing something because he never saw reality TV? I, Baruch Hashem have never seen such a show either. If I am missing something that will enhance my Avodas Hashem - PLEASE enlighten me!

People say the silliest things sometimes. May the Good Lord save me from such a fate.

PS - This is obviously not meant as a personal attack against the aforementioned speaker. That is why I didn't mention his name. If you know who I am referring to - please don't share your knowledge.

Maybe the speaker meant that something good could, theoretically, come out of tv? Like, I don't know, someone sees a program on Jewish history and becomes a baal teshuvah. It doesnt justify television, but at least something good may come out through even such bad things.
Or maybe tv equipment (which was used at a shuir I went to recently for people who couldn't fit in the room)?

classof07 mod


i've actually been planning on putting up a blog post about lines of mussar that one can get from television. if i get around to writing it, i'll be sure to send you the link.

sometimes, one needs the "reality" of television (whether scripted or not) to really wake you up.

also, there are shows out there that do promote some positive, wholesome values, though not exclusively. we live in a world where we will have to identify and decipher between such values and לא עלינו the other kind of values. it is up to us to apply what we hold to be true and right based on our learning of torah and mitzvot.

why should this realm of "reality" be any different than other daily activities?

just my own humble opinion.

Theoretically - lots of good can come out of tv.

Of course there are lines of mussar that one can learn from tv. But what percentage is good wholesome mussar and what percentage is a waste of time at best and filth at worst?

Nobody in Holywood claims that there are positive values that one can learn from their brand of entertainment. They will admit that they will show anything in order to attract viewers which translates into $. I see no reason to try to find limudei zchus for such a damaging medium.

Love and blessings!

I can't imagine that the speaker meant that TV is a great thing. Maybe he meant that all technology - including TV - can be used for good. Same with internet. There's alot of junk out there, but people can...and do...use it for holiness.

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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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