Presenting another episode of Finkorswim Live on the Stunt Show. On this episode we got to some pretty substantial discussion of the current state and future of Orthodox Judaism.
The show aired at 1 PM ET on July 2, 2015 on NachumSegal.com and the NSN App. The show has been archived and is available as a podcast on this page.
On Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it is unconstitutional for a state to ban same sex marriage. The issue still divides America, though the latest Pew numbers say 54% of Americans are in favor of gay marriage and only 36% oppose.
In the Orthodox Jewish community, the matter is far less polarizing. I could not find any actual numbers, but I think most people are correct in assuming that the vast majority of Orthodox Jews oppose same sex marriage for themselves and for America. All the mainstream Orthodox Jewish umbrella organizations have issued statements over the past few years reiterating this opposition. Some Orthodox Jews are ambivalent on the issue, and a small minority are in favor of gay marriage.
Let’s talk about Inside Out again. But this time we are not just going to talk in the superficial, “go see it” kind of way we did last time. Now it’s time for real talk.
Storytelling and Canvas Building
Movies can be diversions or just pure entertainment, but sometimes movies can be so much more. There are movies that illustrate grand important ideas in a new way that pushes culture and society forward. To me, this is the peak of storytelling. When the story itself is not really the thing the story is saying, because the thing the story is saying is so much bigger than the story, we experience a sort of storytelling magic.
Too often, fiction undermines reality. I’ll never forget this quip from Rabbi Tendler during a private study session. “If you expect marriage to be the way marriage is portrayed in novels and films, you’re going to be waiting a long time for the violins.” In context, he was teaching me that relationships take work and popular culture is not very good at real relationships. Generally, we watch saccharine caricatures of real life with simple resolutions, over-emphasis on raw feelings, and of course, violins.
I love when fiction does not try to rewrite reality. I love when fiction tells us something about reality. Done right, a movie can be a powerful storytelling device that helps us to understand and deal with reality. Fiction can be real.