Are movies ok?

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    This is mainly a hashkofic question


    The truth is, its pashtus assur to look at any lady who’s not dressed 100% tznius, which is pretty much impossible to find in a goyishe movie. So basically, just stick with the chofetz chayim films if anything. Even those, however, could be an issue of bittul torah. So basically, it depends who you are.
    For little kids its probably ok to watch jewish videos, and for bochurim I would say do not watch movies at all. It distracts you.

    ☕️coffee addict

    Of course they are!


    Please explain. What type of movies ? Jewish ? Non Jewish ?


    The only people movies are okay for, are people who eat pork.


    Why is it only hashkofic? Shulchan aruch says in OC 307;16 that secular novels which have no yiras shomayim qualities are unequivocally assur because of al tifnu. Moshav leitzim, as well as the issur asei the mishnah beruruah brings from the chinuch of veahavta, that when one cultivates a love of olam hazeh things without any spiritual value, he has been “oiver” on this asei and he has some very strong words about it as well.

    This is aside from the sheer ripping of a Jew out of the mindset of torah when experiencing a movie or tv show. Absent all heretical themes that are common nowadays, the fact that he is having his reactions molded by the director’s view of life in every scene…a movie watcher lives vicariously through the characters; heartbeats increase during intense scenes because he sees himself as part of the film. He is being trained that it is normal, for instance, to eat without making a bracha, that when bad things happen he js frustrated and doesn’t turn to Hashem…no one davens and when waking up, people in movies get dressed and go to work, missing our entire morning routine which was designed to put Hashem first and foremost in our lives.

    That’s all regarding the most pareve goyishe entertainment….to say the least, the amount of heresy in most films which can damper one’s convictions or make them at least less bothered by things that are against Hashem. Pritzus is of course everywhere….in a different vein, violence makes a person have the middah of achzarius and anger.

    I can go on for hours about this issue…it took me years to deprogram the sewer that had been dumped into my head in my youth, and who knows if i have totally eradicated it yet? Kulai hai ve’ulai


    Ujm, the gaon once met a person who was a mechalel shabbos and asked him “what’s going to be with bitul torah?”, The man answered…rabbi, do you think i have to worry about bitul torah?? I’m not keeping anything…. The gaon answered him after they punish you for chilul shabbos and neveilos, they’ll give you petch for bitul torah too!!”

    Same thing here


    amazing how everyonne took the troll bait


    I know a guy who i met in kerester in the coffee room who showed me in a Kuntres from a famous unknown Mashpia that movies destroy yiddishkeit.


    Looks like Avira is so much against the movies that his post got censored…

    Any way, beyond the shmutz, Jews in general prefer listening and reading to visual information. There is an interesting difference – when you see an image/movie, it is very vivid and very convincing: all details are presented and it is very hard to disbelieve what you see. When you read, you have to imagine yourself what is happening. You can think logically whether the text makes sense, whether it is fully convincing.

    It is not a coincidence that most brutal modern regimes, Nazis and Commies, came right after movies became mainstream – video propaganda is very convincing. A simple example: Nazi had a documentary showing how Polish hoodlums are breaking windows in Jewish stores (message: we came to make order). Of course, what is not shown is Nazis who just brought the Poles to the filming location and stand with weapons behind the camera. Similarly, Soviet movies about happy peasants right when millions were dying from hunger.


    CS: You’re sounding like a broken record crying troll on every thread. Instead, if you’re handed a lemon, make lemonade.


    Mitzvos and Aveiros that are in the realm of thoughts and personal feelings, Avoda, etc are not “Hashkafa”. They are “Halacha”. Anyone who isn’t a complete Am Haaretz can easily cite a plethora of sources.

    Is lashon hara Hashkafa?

    Why should Histaklus, Lo Sasuru, Bitul Zman, virtual Torah , Moshav Leitizim, miynus , etc be relegated to the category of “Hashkafa” and lifestyle choices ?!?

    Perhaps there are “frum “ educational systems that teach that some of these topics are not Halacha but rather “choices” within orthodoxy. That would explain the attitude. Avira knows….

    ☕️coffee addict

    “amazing how everyonne took the troll bait

    Except me (and you)


    if bitul torah is an issue would playing board games be ok


    @coffee addict common saychel says everything is trolling so i ignore him, but you?


    maskil > Mitzvos and Aveiros that are in the realm of thoughts and personal feelings, Avoda, etc are not “Hashkafa”. They are “Halacha”.

    I agree. It is just the “halakha” may be complicated in these cases and change based on the person and environment, so it can not be easily summarized `in short lectures for children. And when it is, it does disservice to the topic and to the students.


    Farby; bitul torah is a subjective issur – it depends on “where you’re holding” and how much you can learn. See the ohr somayach, 2nd piece in hilchos talmud torah. While the sky is the limit to how much we can and should learn, the obligation starts at the bare minimum of krias shema morning and night, and grows as you grow, to where if you can handle learning 3 hours, then learning 2.5 is bittul torah.

    I didn’t mention bitul torah in my post because of this; the problems with movies and goyishe culture as a whole have little to do with bitul torah and more to do with akiras hadas (and hada’as), deep intellectual, emotional and spiritual contamination, naking you think and feel like goyin, and cultivating other interests and values besides avodas Hashem.


    The entire YWN is also bittul Torah.


    All movies have pure pritzus and, hence, are prohibited. There’s not a single movie, other than animation perhaps, that lack pritzus.

    ☕️coffee addict

    “@coffee addict common saychel says everything is trolling so i ignore him, but you?“

    You’ve only been around and you changed your screen name?


    “The entire YWN is also bittul Torah…”

    Except of course watching movies/videos of archived “asefas” with chashuvah rabbonim screaming that the internet (including YWN and other social media sites) are l’chatchilah ganz assur, much less bitul Torah

    Shimon Nodel

    The Frisco Kid starring Harrison Ford is probably one of the very few kosher movies. It might be just one big leitzunes show, but it’s hardly treif. Truth is that movies shouldn’t be a problem THEORETICALLY.

    Practically, it’s nearly impossible to have one that’s mamash ok.
    And to know if a movie is ok in the first place, someone would have to be the korban to test it for everyone else.
    Asur or not, it’s not ratzon Hashem for certain. And if you’re learning full time, it’s a for sure a complete stirah.

    (Actually, I just remembered a couple of not so parve moments in the Frisco Kid. So I guess there might not be any kosher movies afterall..)


    Shimon, i was specifically talking about such films in my post – the issues involved are not limited at all to pritzus and overt apikorsus.


    Silent movies? Charlie Chaplin?
    you don’t need a korbin, you can use software to auto-skip inappropriate scenes

    ☕️coffee addict

    Meant to say only been around for a month


    AAQ: If you go back to the age of silent films you might indeed find a film without pritzus.

    And you can’t skip pritzus. Once you saw it you cannot unsee it.

    Reb Eliezer

    A movie called Arranged where a Jewish religious girl befriends an Arab girl and she arranges a marriage for her.


    Always ask-
    The fact that issues are complex and there is room for a sophisticated approach doesn’t mean that that it’s childish to say that watching movies almost always causes one to encounter numerous Halachic issues.

    It’s a classic fallacy. “There are those that oversimplify an issue therefore everything you say is oversimplification”. That’s not logical.

    Avira has thought deeply about this and posted insightful points that aren’t generally focussed upon. Many thanks . Kudos.

    Yes, YWN coffee room is certainly bittul Torah.


    maskil, I am not advocating movies, just trying to be helpful to those who are looking for some. I agree with Avira on most of his points here.

    The sad fact is that current generation is reading less and prefer visual-audio information. Maybe they just want easy information. This is general society trend and it is propagating into Jewish community. So beyond social distancing, we need some medicine and vaccine for it also.

    an old joke:
    – do you have a book “how to read a book”
    – yes, we do
    – do you have it on tape?


    ujm > Once you saw it you cannot unsee it.

    I am suggesting using software to delete or maybe “cover” the scenes. I am sure there is something out there, social media routinely censors nudity.


    It’s not a black and white Psak. Depending on the movie it can be worse for your ruchnius but everyone can agree that if you want to be careful, stay away from that goyish shmutz.


    The notion of using software to censor pritzus in movies is hilarious. It’s like trying to find loopholes that would allow the movies to be considered kosher. If the director/screenwriter felt that pritzus, or simply shtus, was integral to their story, then the whole film is shtus, isn’t it?

    I would support an effort to provide hechshers for truly wholesome and heimeshe films, assuming we can allow ourselves a little entertainment. It would be more kosher than watching sports where you can’t avoid the pritzus.


    Once we get into a conversation about which movies are bad and which are good, we’ve entered a free for all where we alone get to decide what is spiritually harmful…would the same sentiment let you decide what is kosher without being a trained Mashgiach? Would you investigate a company and decide to eat it without a hashgocha? I doubt it. I definitely wouldn’t, despite learning yoreh deah. When we watch a movie, are we in investigative mode, where we’re on the lookout for shmutz or bad influences, or are we in relaxation mode, where we want to be entertained and aren’t really paying attention to subtle apikorsus, inappropriate jokes, etc?

    Discussing content misses the “big picture” points of what movies do to us. It’s a red line that the gedolei yisroel drew way back when movies weren’t as bad. They knew what it was and of course what it would become, but not just because of the future…it undoes all chinuch with children. You can spend weeks teaching about lashon hora, and it’s all undone if a disney character says something bad about his counterpart. You can teach how bad jealousy is, but one look at snow white will change that. Speaking of, while we might say to ourselves that children won’t notice, what do you think a story of a woman living with 7 adult men does to their mind? Is it a surprise that we are living in a time when “polyamory” is accepted?

    People don’t look beyond the surface…of course the examples I’m giving aren’t even beyond the surface, they’re just things people miss because they’ve been indoctrination in the “mindless television cult(quote from rav avigdor miller’s ‘awake my glory’). How many people have let their impressionable children watch the egregious “fiddler on the roof” because of its featuring “frum” themes? A quick synopsis would be that a frum man has several daughters, each one deviating more from torah than the previous one. The first daughter marries a supposedly observant jew without Shidduchim. They violate negiah in their courtship. The next daughter marries a non-observant communist who twists the story of yaakov and lavan to his ends. He also breaks the (very minimal) separation of men and women at his wedding after the senile “rabbi” says thar it’s not really forbidden for men and women to dance together. Jewish men get drunk with polish goyim. The last daughter marries a non-jew. The play/movie ends with them leaving their town, implying even more “progress” in the form of assimilation. The main character tevya opposed all changes, sayinf “above all, tradition!”, While accepting them each as they come, saying “our ways were new once too”, implying that Torah was merely a custom cv”s.

    The movie sets up the scenario of the old school “traditionalist” who wants to stay frum merely because of tradition, against the modernist who wants to join enlightened society. This is a straw man in its highest form, because they’re grossly misrepresenting the orthodox perspective, then knocking it down by saying that things change.

    Are you aware that there are jewish day schools that perform this toe’vah in school?

    ☕️coffee addict


    There are hechsherim for movies it’s called the MPAA ratings (g, pg, r) and there are websites that tell you what shmutz or, or Nicky peh there is (and they are on the strict side with regards to pritzus


    avirah. it seems that you have been strongly influenced by Rabbi Avidor Miller, ztz’l, as fortunately i have been.
    is this so?


    The MPAA ratings are not helpful. Fiddler on the Roof has a “G” rating.

    The Frisco Kid was rated “PG”. Oy Gevalt!


    CA, even PG and G have pritzus, kefira and worse.

    Shteigallday, it is black and white. All movies spit out by Hollywood are chazer treif.


    Coffee; i hope you’re kidding.


    Mizmoe; indeed he was; he was one of my first very strong influences

    Reb Eliezer

    Avira, you should not look at movies as you interpret them as a child. Fiddler of the Roof teaches me that if we get the off derech, we get punished. Didn’t they have to leave Anatevka because of pogroms?

    Reb Eliezer

    Fiddler of Roof also teaches that going a little off the derech leads to going off the derech ending with marrying a goy.


    Reb E, at the expense of portraying sinfulness and ignorance, making rabbis senile fools, and promoting the idea that judaism is just a tradition and a culture that’s subject to change.

    They had to leave the village, but that was just a buildup to the next stage of assimilation…it wasn’t portrayed as a punishment.


    Reb E., your interpretations of Fiddler on the Roof are inspiring! But I suspect your wise lessons were not intended by the producers.

    If we are going to tolerate some Pritzus to get a worthy lesson in Yiddishkeit, I would prioritize the Frisco Kid, where the hero gets back on derech, and The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob over Fiddler. Okay, maybe not Rabbi Jacob, ha ha.


    RebE > Fiddler of Roof also teaches that going a little off the derech leads to going off the derech ending with marrying a goy.

    This also teach about what was happening with the Jews at that period. A deep view at one family v. reading books on sociology. And, of course, it is much more likely that the kids now will view the movie than read a sociology book.

    The questions that Avira raises depend on the person and background. One of my friends, a Chabad Rabbi in Midwest, had a kid watching a movie together with regular Jewish school kids. While all kids were enjoying the action, this kid ran out crying… So, will some kids learn from Disney that it is OK for a single lady to stay with seven little gentlemen? for some it sounds preposterous, for others it may be the case.


    what about goyishe books?
    very bad too


    Aaq, i never said a kid will learn in practice that it’s ok, i was saying that the influence is subliminal and takes root unconsciously. Rav shimshon pinkus makes this point, as well as pointing out how many animal love scenes there are in Disney films


    Aposhitehyid, that is a different discussion… The visual effects of enveloping one’s self in all the senses, visual, audio…a movie is far worse. Books can be very damaging, but there are goyishe books that are kosher, such as rav hirsch telling his kehila to read the works of schiller, saying that he has Jewish values. Notice how he qualifies his advice by saying the he has Jewish values, not that he would advocate reading anything you want in the name of openness or “how weak can you be that you’re so easily influenced”, the sort of apikorsus you hear routinely from MO


    Avira > i never said a kid will learn in practice that it’s ok, i was saying that the influence is subliminal

    I get it. Rav Twersky writes about people who work in places where inappropriate language and attitudes are used (not just coarse, but just not nice enough) and then, eventually, bring it into homes. He calls on all of us to guard ourselves when we come home (or to CR).


    Avira > how weak can you be that you’re so easily influenced

    I have explicit psak that the answer depends on the person’s character and life plan. If you plan to go into situations where you need to know this and you can handle it, then you can or should. If not – not.

    Thus, assumption that everyone can handle external info is indeed not correct. I can imagine that a MO Rav will tell it to people who are already pre-selected for this. It does not mean that this Rav would say it to a Jew in different circumstances. Sometimes, speakers do not delineate the boundaries explicitly and address people in front of them. A mistake to assume that the same advise will be given to other people (or that this Rav is even qualified to give psak to a different group).


    A psak that lo sasuru doesn’t apply to individuals who think that they’re strong enough? Seriously?

    Gedolei yisroel don’t tell people that if you’re strong you can do things that affect people negatively spiritually; it’s people who sre very desensitized that are the most at risk for harm

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