Autographs From Actors. Right or Wrong?

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    So, I was in Tel Aviv last summer, and they were filming a Hollywood movie (it could be it came out already)

    Anyway two VERY famous actors were there, and I instantly wanted to get close, to try to get autographs at the end of the shoot.

    At the end, my Yetzer tov got hold of me, and told me it is not the right thing to get an autograph; It is not something I want to cherish and Idolize like that for my kids for the rest of my life. So I just watched, shook one of their hands, and gave it up. (there were people right next to me who got autographs)

    Then recently, I was staying at the house of a very respectable Rav, and hanging on his wall was a picture of himself with then-president Bill Clinton, with an inscription and autograph.

    Then a gust of regret passed through my whole body. Is it really worse to have an actor’s signature hidden away in your house than it is to have an president on your wall who isn’t at all better?


    In my youth I was at a menorah lighting at a shopping mall where Elliot Gould was the guest of honor i got his autograph what a thrill.


    There’s nothing wrong with enjoying rare opportunities. Famous people, whether for good, bad, or just random reasons, draw our interest. They can be actors, politicians, athletes, artists, academic experts, or, L’havdil, Gedolim. Wanting an autograph is a natural response and is nothing good or bad. You didn’t miss out on anything by not getting it, by I don’t think you gained anything by avoiding it either.


    Sam2- How can you say that? This guy conquered his strong Yetzer Hora to idolize these pruste goyim. Of course he gained.

    playtime- Bill Clinton is so famously immoral that I wonder why the Rav keeps his picture up.

    There certainly is a distinction between a president and an actor. Most likely the picture was taken at some Jewish event. But actors are just empty people of no benefit to the Jewish Community


    Slichos: I don’t think so. If it’s true that because of this he idolized him less then I’d agree with you. But that’s not what this sounds like. It just sounded like he avoided his desire for an autograph for a while.


    What about autographs from famous YWN posters?

    I once got one from PBA:



    I used to work in telephone customer service for a large electronics company.

    One day I got a call, asked the customer for his order number and lo and behold, the name on the order was Alan Alda.

    I asked if he was the actor from M*A*S*H. It turned out to be the actor but his agent calling on his behalf. After helping him with his order, I asked if I could get an autographed picture (since my wife is a big M*A*S*H fan). Sure enough, about a week later, it arrived.

    The Wolf


    I love Alan Alda!!


    Two weeks ago I waited on line for four hours to get Neil Gaiman’s autograph. Worth every second (especially when a lively discussion about Firefly’s cancellation and how the cherubs on the side of the building looked like evil Weeping Angel cherubs ensued as we approached the wee hours of the morning). ^_^


    In this case, I totally agree with SG – conquering the yetzer and understanding that these are not people to admire for anything other than a talent given to them by The One Above and no more is a tremendous thing. I heard that these kinds of battles go into your

    “ruchnius genes” and can be passed down to your children, so who knows what ultimate benefits you will have gotten from that encounter and your battle.

    Sam, as far as keeping a picture of Mr. Clinton, who admittedly we might have said a bracha upon seeing him when he was President of the United States, I think now that he is no longer in that position and the fact that he did such publicly-known immoral acts would discount anybody of any stature, such as a rabbi, from keeping a picture of him, much less having it up on his wall as a sign of pride.

    playtime, IMO, what you did was terrific and you should not regret it for one minute.


    I have gotten an autograph or two over the years. I have also signed a few. 🙂 Specifically at a few tech events I have given away a copy of my book and signed it for someone.


    Hey Zack, r u some famous persona? Singing your own praises?


    you did the right thing!, be proud of it.


    Ill tell you why its wrong. Bc we should only look at our gedolim like he looks at the actors! Our Gedolim our the ones who we should be wanting to get autographs from! They are the EMET. and the actors represent nothing but sheker and immorality. Basically what you are doing is agreeing to the actors morals and values by idolizing them and OOing and Ahhing thaem bc what he does for a living is immoral and stupidity and brings nothing but impurity to the world.

    I used to have the same issue, i saw a famous person and was like AHH! But now as i grew in judaism i realized the emet and whats real and starting looking at the goyim like celebrities. Theres no better feeling now to see a famous Gadol and try to get close to him or get a beracha from him.


    It’s probably in the category of avodah zarah.


    I think you did a very great thing playtime – I think you will be very thrilled with the zechusim of your action. I would not judge people that got autographs from famous people – it’s a kick – but when you have the desire and opportunity and you conquer the whim- you deserve major applause!!!!


    Famous, in a few very small technical communities.


    “and the actors represent nothing but sheker and immorality. Basically what you are doing is agreeing to the actors morals and values by idolizing them and OOing and Ahhing thaem bc what he does for a living is immoral and stupidity and brings nothing but impurity to the world.”

    Not all actors are immoral, not all movies and TV shows are impure, and not all acting is stupidity. Think about what you are saying. It obviously depends on the case.


    Even if there is a rare actor who isn’t immoral, should such an actor exist, you still should not idolize or hold him in high esteem. Certainly no more than the nice fellow from the Department of Sanitation who picks up your waste every day. Him you ought to hold in higher esteem and be thankful for.


    There is a famous Frum Actress Mayim Bialik


    Getting a concert T-shirt signed by the lead singer and then never washing the shirt– that’s “idolizing”. Getting an autograph of an actor scribbled on a napkin or a program– that’s just healthy admiration, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting a souvenir from an enjoyable performance.


    It is no healthier an admiration than getting an autograph from your sanitation guy. There’s no reason to admire an actor; and certainly no reason to admire him more than the sanitation guy. At least him you should be very thankful for picking up your waste twice a week. So get his autograph first the next time his truck rolls around. Then frame it and hang it in your living or bed room.

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