And yet, there was arguably never a bigger celebrity of the 20th century than Elvis Presley. But he proudly served his country in the army between 1958 and 1960. Clark Gable was pretty famous. He served in the Air Force between 1942 and 1945. Bill Cosby served in the navy for four years. As far as women are concerned, Julia Child was an intelligence officer with the wartime Office of Strategic Services.

I could go on.

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But even if Refaeli had enlisted in another form of national service – anything that promotes others’ needs – in lieu of the military, that would have been acceptable. That includes being a supermodel who serves as a de facto Ambassador of Israel’s values. And what are those values?

Throughout the Middle East women are treated as chattel, the property of men. Creatures who need to be hidden behind tent-like clothing because they are too alluring and cause men to sin. But Israel treats women as the equals of men. Israel has had a female Prime Minister when even the United States has not yet had a female head of state. More women are in Israeli universities than men. Yes, women should be physically attractive. Their beauty need never be denied or suppressed. But neither need it be exploited. The healthy middle ground is what we seek. Neither the extreme of fundamentalist Islam that sees only a walking invitation to seduction, nor the extreme of Western sexual exploitation which sees a woman’s body as a marketing opportunity.

At the very least, we can take consolation that Sodastream, an Israeli company that me and my family love, had an outstanding Super Bowl ad for all to watch featuring a great product that combines carbonated water and soft drink mix in mass quantities, without having to buy individual containers separately, thereby saving the environment from untold millions of plastic bottles.

Hurrah for Israel. A positive Super Bowl coming out party at last.

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, "America's Rabbi," whom The Washington Post calls “the most famous Rabbi in America,” is the international bestselling author of 30 books including his most recent “The Israel Warrior.” Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Change the channel when that stuff shows up. You cannot stop them from shipping such crap, but you can stop it at your virtual door. And you have a responsibility to protect your children. And that requires you to monitor what they watch AS they watch it–TURN the channel when that stuff shows up.

    Yes, Scooby Doo cartoons will get boring, but it has been my experience that they'll watch less total TV because YOU will want to do something else. Anything else.

    When we pulled the TV plug 14 years ago it was I who went into DT's and had withdrawal pains. Of our 5 grown children not one of them subscribes to cable or other TV access (viewing: Netflicks & RedBox) but actively choose what they'll watch. There is great freedome in this.

  2. If you haven't already heard, the hoopla comes from Bar passionately kissing a man who can safely be described as a 'nerd' type.
    I follow the Jewish Press mostly for coverage on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from all angles (they are the right wing/conservative angle). While not all of their writing is so…reliably right wing, quite often some silly article like this pops up.

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