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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘story’

Rama Burshtein: A Window Into Her World

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

“Fill the Void” is the title of Rama Burshtein’s film that played to critical acclaim at the recent Toronto International Film Festival and earned seven Ophir Awards — the Israeli Oscars — including one for best film and best director, and has become Israel’s entry into the 2012 Oscars’ foreign language category.

What is this film that has generated so much professional interest?

Amazingly, it’s the story of an average family in a strictly religious, charedi, community in Tel Aviv. It focuses on the family’s 18 year-old-daughter Shira who is in the throws of her first attempts at arranged dating. In the process, unbeknownst to him, Shira spots her intended in the dairy section of the supermarket and a spark is ignited, setting off preparations for the wedding. Then tragedy strikes: Shira’s older sister Esther dies in childbirth, and the family, crushed by grief, delays the wedding. As Esther’s husband, Yochai, is encouraged to remarry a widow living in Belgium, Shira’s mother, desperate to keep her only grandchild in the country, pleads with Shira to marry Yochai instead, and become mother to her older sister’s child.

It is a moving but simple story whose uniqueness lies in that it is a film about charedi life directed by a charedi woman, exposing the true nature of that world for a secular audience. “I felt it was time to tell a story from within, and say something that comes from really living the life,” Rama Burshtein, member of the Tel Aviv charedi community, said. “That’s what I felt was important: to just tell a story that has no connection with the regular subjects that you deal with when you talk about the Orthodox world. People don’t know much about this world, so it’s not a question of celebration or criticism, it’s a window into this world.”

The film offers a rare glimpse into the Orthodox way of life, its customs and traditions, but also deals with the wider themes of relationships and family pressures.

Mrs. Burshtein, a native New Yorker who grew up in Tel Aviv, became religious

at age 25, shortly after graduating from Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

“I love this world, I chose it, I was not born in it,” she told reporters.

In preparation for the filming, she spoke with members of her own community – women who had married their sisters’ widowers – and found a surprising phenomenon: the marriages contracted for the sake of fulfilling religious and family obligations evolved into relationships of love.

“At the beginning of the research, it sounded like it was impossible to understand how it works,” Burshtein said. “And then at the end of it, it was like the natural thing to do, to marry within the family.”

With the backing of her rabbi, Ms.Burshtein began production in January 2011 in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment, not far from the home she shares with her husband and four children. Her three sons and daughter, all in their teens, are enthusiastic supporters of her work. On all occasions Rama takes time to express her thanks to them and to her loyal husband, a highly respected public figure in the charedi world.

By opening a window to the charedi world I believe Rama Burshtein, even without the predicted Academic Award, has done a great benefit for Jewish life in Israel which is in dire need in improvement.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

From the NFL to Judaism and Israel

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


Yishai and Malkah present the third segment from a crowded Jerusalem café to introduce Yosef and Emuna Murray, a couple from the United States that are in the process of finishing their conversion to Judaism and visiting Jerusalem. Yosef is the Hebrew name of Calvin Murray, an American football player (retired) who was a star college player for the legendary Ohio Buckeyes under Coach Woody Hayes and went on to play in the NFL (Philadelphia Eagles) and USFL (Chicago Blitz). The Murrays tell their beautiful story of spiritual journey from being youth leaders in a Christian church to choosing Torah and Judaism and visiting Israel.  Don’t miss this interesting and insightful segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

A Lie Once Told…

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

A lie once told seems to be repeated over and over again. Once again, it is the story of a small Palestinian child swapping up blood. And so, they post, “oh god, Gaza…” but no, it wasn’t Gaza – not then, not now.

The original tweet:

And the picture to which they refer:

A lie repeated many times – is still a lie.The picture isn’t from now. It wasn’t from March, 2012. The picture isn’t from Gaza. The blood wasn’t from his brother. The Israelis weren’t involved. It is a young Palestinian boy told to wipe up the blood of a cow slaughtered in his family’s slaughterhouse in Hebron.

I documented it back in March, here: Palestinian Child Washing His Brother’s Blood?

A lie told once, or twice, ore more – is still a lie.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

Times Square Screening of New Documentary on Theresienstadt

Friday, November 30th, 2012

The premier screening of the new documentary, “The Resort,” hosted by the World Forum of Russian Jewry (WFRJ) took place Wednesday evening, November 28, at a screening room in New York’s Times Square. The audience included Ambassador Ido Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, Dr. Igor Branovan, Vice President of the American Forum of Russian Jewry, Mr. Ron Meier, Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – New York Region, and Mrs. Svetlana Portnyansky, Producer of “The Resort.”

“The Resort” is an award-winning film about the Theresienstadt internment camp during World War II. Theresienstadt was used by the Nazis as a propaganda tool to dispel rumors of extermination camps by giving the false impression that Jews were being held in resort-like conditions. The representation of Theresienstadt as a resort couldn’t be further from the truth. By the end of the war only 19,000 of the camp Jews survived, out of 160,000.

“The Resort is a very important film that tells the unique story of the exceptional Jews of Theresienstadt who refused to allow the Nazis to break their communal spirit,” said Alexander Levin, President of the World Forum of Russian Jewry (WFRJ). “This is a story everyone should know about, and WFRJ is proud to sponsor this important event to help share the story of these special Jews, who even when facing Nazi atrocities, maintained their hope and courage.”

The movie reveals an unexpected story of a congregation of the brightest minds, and the most well-regarded intellectuals and artists of the European Jewish World. Collectively refusing to accept their likely tragic fate, and collaborating even under the harshest of circumstances, these artists, poets, writers, philosophers and composers left behind colossal evidence of the cultural grandeur experienced at Theresienstadt.

“The Resort” has already received its first award at the Houston International Film Festival, and has been chosen to show at the Montreal World Film Festival. Click to watch the trailer.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Arafat to be Exhumed Today

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

As reported in JewishPress.com, the process of exhuming Yasser Arafat’s body is to be completed today.

Palestinian’s believe that Arafat was poisoned with radiation, by Israel.

JewishPress.com is following the story, and will try to bring you photos.

Jewish Press News Briefs

The Doll’s Tale

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Dear Readers:

The following short story is fictitious, but the situation of Jewish children during the Holocaust being raised by gentile families or in Catholic convents and orphanages is not. While some were re-united with family members who survived the death camps – many were not, and remain lost both physically and religiously. This story is in memory of all the lost children. May they be reunited with their families with the coming of Moshiach.

The Doll’s Tale

Nine-year-old Ruchi was not at all upset when her brother and cousins nicknamed her “Ricki.” She liked the sound of it and it certainly suited her – had it been up to her, she would have been a boy. Boys had more fun and never had to wear dresses and other girly clothes. Her brother Dovi got to wear pants, giving him the freedom to hang upside down on the monkey bars in the park, and to turn cartwheels – while she was prohibited from doing such fun things – because hanging upside down while wearing a skirt was not tznuisdik. After all, she wasn’t three anymore!

And then there was the matter of the ridiculous gifts she got on her birthday or from out of town guests. Dovi would always get a fun toy like a truck, while she, without fail, would be given a useless doll with a smile plastered on its plastic face. Ruchi’s only consolation was that forthwith, the dolls would become perfect targets for Dovi’s water guns or darts. Often they would play “barber” delighting at the pale, pink head that would surface, the outcome of the doll’s “haircut.”

Yet Ruchi was to gain a deeper appreciation for these plastic entities than she would ever had imagined.

The 180-degree change in her attitude took place when she and her family traveled to Israel for the bar mitzvah of the grandson of Bubbi’s older half-sister, Malka. Malka was a rare entity, a child survivor of the Holocaust. She had been born in Poland – unlike Bubbi, who had been born in Israel several years after the war had ended.

Sadly, Malka had passed away three years earlier, at the young age of 65, just months after her and Bubbi’s father. Malka had had a massive stroke, brought on, it was said, by her extreme distress upon losing her father.

Erev Shabbos, Ruchi watched in wide-eyed astonishment as the bar mitzvah boy’s mother lit the candles, hugging a very ragged, ripped up cloth doll. After her tefillah, she kissed it, as did her children.

“What was that all about,” she asked her 11-year-old cousin, Chana, as they lay in their beds that evening. “Why did your mom do that – is that a family minhag? It’s weird!”

It was then Chana told her the story that would forever change Ruchi’s view on dolls.

It was 1942, in Nazi-occupied Poland, and their great-grandfather, Shimon, was beside himself. It was only a matter of days before he, his wife and daughter would be taken out of the c transported to the camps. A former employee of Shimon’s dry-goods store, a Polish girl who appreciated her kind and generous boss, had sent word that her aunt, a highly-placed nun at the convent on the outskirts of town, would hide his child.

Shimon was torn between his desperate desire to save his child’s life, and the horrible thought of placing her in this completely foreign environment.

Two days before a mass deportation, Shimon surrendered his three year old, blond haired daughter, Malka, into the waiting arms of a nun. He and his wife had left her crying inconsolably, fiercely clutching a Raggedy Ann doll – a gift from a relative in America and her constant companion.

Three years later, a gaunt and battered Shimon returned to his town, alone; his beloved wife Zisel had starved to death. While he was incarcerated in Auschwitz, thoughts of finding his little Malka were what kept him alive.

Shimon had been hearing horror stories of Polish families that had been entrusted with Jewish children deliberately disappearing with them. Sometimes, even if the child was found, he, or she, refused to leave the only home he knew, denying any connection with the walking scarecrows who showed up claiming to be kin. The child would make the sign of the cross to protect himself from the sickly looking vagabonds who belonged to the people who had killed the beloved savior.

Cheryl Kupfer

The Secretive Casualties of War

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

During the recent Opration Pillar of Defense An Israeli 35-year-old man told his wife that he had been recalled to the reserves, said good bye to her and to their children and headed south – not to the Gaza border, but, instead, to the hotel Le Meridien in Eilat, to celebrate his unexpected freedom with his mistress, the daily Yediot Aharonoth reported Thursday.

The mistress called the wife from the road, pretending to be an IDF official, and informed her that her husband had been drafted and sent to the border.

As luck would have it, the husband, who took his wife’s car to save on gas fuel, made one mistake: he parked his car in front of the hotel garbage cans. A sanitation truck driver who came the next morning to pick up the garbage called the number listed on the car bumper, obtained the woman’s cell number and called her. After a short conversation, the woman realized that her husband was engaged in an entirely non-militaristic activity.

The woman hired a team detectives documented the husband’s southern adventure, and she is planning to sue foe divorce this morning. Last night, unaware that his life as he knew it was over, the husband called to tell his wife about the rough time he was having away from her, in the army.

True story – because I saw it in Yedioth.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/the-secretive-casualties-of-war/2012/11/22/

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