Is Harry Potter kosher

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  • #1766299

    doomsday
    Participant

    Some Religious Christians don’t let their children read/watch Harry Potter because it promotes Witch-Craft which is forbidden by Christianity and L’havdil Judaism. While the main characters demonstrate virtues such as loyal friendship and there is a Struggle between “good” and “evil”, does anyone have a problem with the “good guys” being WITCHES and practicing Witch-Craft?

    #1766348

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I hear what you are saying, but Harry Potter characters are not witches, they are wizards. Witches and withcraft are components of pagenism (if i recall correctly) which is assur. Wizardry is a made up thing of fairy tales, despite the fact that people tend to use the terms interchangeably.
    Regarding the fight between good and evil… where does that *not* exist?

    #1766394

    Midwest2
    Participant

    It’s pretty obvious that a lot of people posting here haven’t read the Potter books. I read them all back in the days when they came out and there are two points here:

    1) What is described as “magic” in the books has nothing to do with kishuf. It’s a genetically inherited ability to alter the physical world in ways “muggles” can’t. Thus it is similar to other genetic abilities like perfect pitch or perfect memory. There is no “paganism” involved. Far from seeking it, some wizards / witches actually seek to escape having it. The use of the terms “witches” and “wizards” is simply a play on the English words and doesn’t really refer to what most people over history have meant by them. Also, the wizarding world celebrates Xmas and Easter as well as Halloween (All Hallows Eve – instituted by the Roman Catholic church to replace a pagan holiday).

    2) Having gone to public school, and spent years dodging my concerned friends who were trying to “save my soul,” I know far more about Xtianity than I would like. There is nothing in the books that is explicitly of that religion until the end of the very last book, in which Harry dies and is returned to life to save his friends. And if you didn’t know that was based on their doctrine, you might miss the religious reference altogether. Yes, the virtues of friendship, etc. are there, but there isn’t a visible element of religious belief that could be thought of as missionizing.

    As far as religion goes, as far as I can see the books are OK. They’re well-written and keep kids’ attention while they build reading skills. Whether you allow your children to read them is up to you and your LOR. Books 4-7 of course have the characters as teenagers, and there are plot elements that don’t occur (we hope) in the frum world. If you allow your children to read secular fiction, I would recommend first reading the books yourself before giving them to your kids, and then deciding whether or not to allow them.

    #1766509

    doomsday
    Participant

    There are some Xtians who don’t allow their children to read/watch Harry Potter because of Witch-Craft. They don’t allow the Wizard of Oz either. Some children get very obsessed by the Harry Potter series and start googling witch-craft and have an intense desire to become witches. There is some kind of religion (Wiccan?] that claim to be witches. So Xtian parents have a right to be concerned. I don’t hear of Jewish kids becoming that obsessed with Harry Potter or delving into witch-craft so that is perhaps not a concern fro Jewish parents.

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