web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Judaism » Torah »

Movie Star


Life-Lessons-logo

Even if nobody sees us, everything we do is being watched and recorded on video…by Hashem. Our conscience, that part of us that makes us feel guilty if we do something we shouldn’t have, is Hashem’s loving way of reminding us that He knows what we did, and knows that we’ll feel better, and become better by coming clean and putting it right. In the times of the Mishkan a person could go about putting right the mistakes that he made, even those only he — and Hashem — were aware of. Today, the way is to become aware of the fact that we’re always “on video,” and let that motivate us to try our best to act in a way that will make ourselves and Hashem proud.

In our story, a kid sees life differently once she realizes the camera’s rolling.

You’d think it was a different class. I’d never seen everyone looking as good, and behaving as well. Everybody was tucked in and sitting up straight. The noisy kids in the back row, who usually spent the whole class whispering and giggling, were paying attention and as quiet as mice. Even Rena, the class clown, for once had put her antics on hold. What was the cause of this miraculous turnabout?

It was all because of the woman standing quietly in the corner of the classroom, or I should say, because of the video camera she was pointing our way. They were making a movie of our school to show at the annual fundraising banquet, and everybody, from our parents to the principal, would be watching. Naturally, none of us wanted to be caught on film at any less than our very best.

But soon enough the lunch bell rang, and everyone poured out of the classroom, relieved that the “show” was finally over.

“I bet you’d like it if the camerawoman was here all the time?” I quipped to Mrs. Markowitz, our teacher, on the way out.

I thought she would just laugh, but instead she gave me a thoughtful look and said, “Tammy, we are always on camera, it’s just that that the camera is usually hidden.”

What? Were there hidden video monitors in the classrooms?

She explained: “Hashem is watching us all the time, and taking pictures of whatever we do. He’s recording our every word too. If people would only realize it, they would act a lot differently.”

I never quite thought of it that way, and deep down I knew she was right. But soon enough the thought slipped out of my head as I joined the rest of the kids in the cafeteria.

“Oh no,” I thought looking at the huge line. I was really hungry, and it was going to take forever to get through.

Just then, I heard someone whisper my name. “Psst, Tammy! Come cut in behind me. Quick, while nobody’s looking.”

It was my friend Rachel. “Great.” I slipped into the line, and sure enough no one noticed. There was a strict rule that nobody was allowed to cut into line or save places for anyone else. It made sense — if not, people would be always pushing and fighting. But still, if you could get away with it — why not?

We started to chat. “That was some class today, huh Tammy?” she said. “It’s hard to be on camera. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and be myself again.”

I nodded and smiled, but something inside didn’t feel right. I thought about the teacher’s words, “We’re always on camera…” Did that mean I had just been videoed sneaking into line? That certainly wasn’t a movie I’d want anybody to see. We moved forward, and I felt a little guilty as I thought about the ‘hidden camera’ still running.

“Why so quiet, Tam?” asked my friend. “Anyway, did you hear what Yael did yesterday? You know she…”

I perked up my ears. Rachel always had the juiciest gossip. But then I thought, “…and He’s recording our every word too…” Was this gossip session also going to be part of the tape? I squirmed. How could I explain to my friend that the video camera was still running?

“You’re never going to believe what she did…”Safran-041213

I had to act fast. “You know what Rachel, I realize forgot something,” I mumbled as I pulled myself out of line.

Rachel protested. “But Tammy can’t it wait a few minutes? We’re almost at the front of the line and you haven’t even heard the story yet.”

“Sorry — gotta go!” I zoomed out and went straight to the back of the line where I really belonged.

You know, the wait didn’t even seem so long. In fact, I enjoyed every minute of it as I felt the camera rolling, and making the kind film that someday, both Ha-Shem and I would enjoy seeing.

Questions

Ages 3-5

Q. How did Tammy feel when she first cut into line?

A. She was happy that she wouldn’t have to wait so long, and that nobody saw her do it.

Q. How did she feel in the end?

A. She remembered the Hashem was really watching, and it helped her be strong enough to do the right thing and take her right place in the line.

Ages 6-9

Q. Why did the class act differently just because they were being videoed?

A. We all have a conflict between how we know we should act and how we sometimes feel like acting. We can convince ourselves that what we are doing really doesn’t matter. When someone important is watching, and especially if we are being videoed, we become aware that our actions do count, and are going to leave an impression, and become motivated to connect more with our true inner desire to act properly.

Q. Is Hashem really watching our every move? And if so, does He really care what we do?

A. Absolutely. Hashem is right there with us 24 hours a day seven days a week. He put us in the world, cares very much about us, and wants to help us make the right choices that will bring ourselves, and the whole world to reach our greatest potential for happiness.

Ages 10 and up

Q. Is guilt a positive thing?

A. Guilt has gotten a bad rap. If used properly, a guilty conscience can be one of the most potent tools to help us reach our ultimate goals and desires. Healthy guilt is the tugging of the G-dly, spiritual part of ourselves, working to keep us from straying off the path of spiritual and personal growth. Without guilt, a person would be a slave to his momentary whims, and could really hurt himself and others in the process. Guilt should never make us depressed, but rather empower and motivate us to live by our deepest and truest values.

Q. Is there any way to edit or erase the parts of our “life movie” we’re not proud of?

A. Amazingly, Hashem has given us a loophole to do just that. The process is to contemplate the parts of our movie where we blew it, and were untrue to our values. We should speak to Hashem about these incidents, freely admitting our mistake, and affirm our commitment to do better in similar situations from now on. This is called teshuva – repentance. Depending on our level of sincerity, Hashem will “edit” our movie, and either erase the embarrassing parts, or even rewrite them to show us in a positive light.

About the Author: Nesanel Yoel Safran is a published writer and yeshiva cook. He has been studying Torah for the last 25 years, and lives in Israel with his family.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Movie Star”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
B'Tselem ran a campaign this summer attacking Israel for its actions when searching for the missing Israeli teenagers. They called the campaign, "Hitching a Ride."
Israeli AG: Anti-Israel NGO Can Utilize National Service Volunteers
Latest Judaism Stories

On Sunday, Jews will be refraining from food and drink from dawn until sunset to commemorate the Fast of Gedaliah. Following Nebuchadnetzar’s destruction of the First Temple and exile of most of the Jews, the Babylonians appointed Gedaliah ben Achikaam as governor of Judea. Under Gedaliah’s leadership, Judea and the survivors began to recover. On […]

On the beach

As we enter the Days of Awe, we must recognize that it is a joy to honor and serve true royalty.

Rabbi Avi Weiss

On Rosh Hashanah we are taught that true self-analysis involves the breaking down of walls

PTI-092614-Shofar

When we hear the words “Rosh Hashana is coming” it really means Hashem Himself is coming!

Who am I? What are the most important things in my life? What do I want to be remembered for? If, as a purely hypothetical exercise, I were to imagine reading my own obituary, what would I want it to say? These are the questions Rosh Hashanah urges us to ask ourselves. As we pray […]

We recently marked the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 – that terrible day when the symbols of man’s power and achievement crumbled before our eyes and disappeared in fire and smoke. For a very brief moment we lost our smugness. Our confidence was shaken. Many of us actually searched our ways. Some of us even learned […]

Why am I getting so agitated? And look how we’re treating each other!

While women are exempt from actually learning Torah, they are obligated in a different aspect of the mitzvah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

We must eat, sleep, work, and care for our dependants. How much time is left over after all that?

Once we recognize that our separation from God is our fault, how do we repair it?

Chatzitzah And Its Applications
‘Greater Stringency Applies To Hallowed Things…’
(Chagiga 20b-21a)

To choose life, you must examine your actions in the period preceding the Days of Awe as an unbiased stranger, and render your decision.

Rabbi Dayan took a challah and some cooked eggs. He then called over his 15-year-old son, Aharon. “Could you please ask your friend Chaim from next door to come over and help me with the eruv tavshilin?”

This world has its purpose; it has been ideally fashioned to allow man to grow.

More Articles from Nesanel Yoel Safran
Safran-120613

In our story a couple of kids discover Chanukah within the walls of a gym.

Safran-110113

A lot of life comes down to one choice – are we committed to things and behaviors that have real, lasting value, or are we ready to give them up for a momentary thrill?

The world was created soooo long ago that we can feel like it’s “old news.” But by just opening our eyes and seeing the amazing design of the natural world around us, we can feel like we have front-rows seats to creation. Hashem made the world and everything in it — including us — with a master plan. By tuning in to the awesome design in everything around us, we can feel connected to that plan and to Him.

What does it mean to be close to somebody else? One way is to be physically near them, but another, more spiritual way is to try to learn from them and emulate their good qualities. When the Torah instructs us to make ourselves close to, or cleave to Hashem, it doesn’t mean by trying to get to heaven in a rocket ship! Rather it means to think about Hashem and emulate His qualities of kindness, patience, fairness, etc. That is the real measure of how close a person is to G-d.

The three weeks period between the 17 of Tammuz and Tisha b’Av, besides being a time to remember and mourn the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash in Yerushalayim, is a very special time to focus on love. The spiritual root cause of the churban and all the other tragedies of Jewish history that resulted from it was sinas chinam, disliking and hating each other for no good reason. So it only makes sense that the way to remedy this is to go out of our way, especially during these three weeks, to try to like and love each other — even for no good reason.

No one lives in a vacuum. No, that doesn’t mean we didn’t get sucked up through a vacuum cleaner hose in the pre-Pesach cleaning frenzy, it means that whether we like it or not, our environment—the people and things around us—makes a big impact on who we are.

How can a person make sure that things will work out right? By doing what is right. When Hashem told the Jewish people to rest their fields and not plant any crops every seventh year, shmitta, it was a huge test of faith, as no crops meant no food! But Hashem also told them that if they did what’s right and listen to Him, they wouldn’t lose out because He’d miraculously give them enough crops in other years to more than make up for the year of rest. And that’s what happened.

Even if nobody sees us, everything we do is being watched and recorded on video…by Hashem. Our conscience, that part of us that makes us feel guilty if we do something we shouldn’t have, is Hashem’s loving way of reminding us that He knows what we did, and knows that we’ll feel better, and become better by coming clean and putting it right.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/torah/hashkafa-based-stories-for-kids-of-all-ages/2013/04/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: