Thursday, February 24, 2005

Portman Part II

Miriam Blogd says: "My guess is that Director Amos Gitai needed that scene for the movie and didn't fancy hiring extras. When the movie's released, I'm willing to bet (albeit not a lot...) it'll contain a bunch of Ultra-Orthodox men rushing towards the characters played by Natalie Portman and Aki Avni, shouting, "Immoral! Immoral!"

In her comment section, I replied:

...I can't agree with you. Even if the director wanted this precise reaction, it doesn't excuse the rioters.

And a kiss in a parking lot hardly counts as temple desecration. As a commentator on my site reminded us, in the very old days far worse was tolerated on the same kotel plaza we venerate today.

The director may have provoked this reaction, but bad history and bad manners is what made it inevitable
Update: Miriam was kidding.

Another blogger wishes to deflect blame from the rioters asking:"Why are some bloggers more concerned about the reaction of the Hareidim than the obvious stupidity of filming Peritzut at the Mekom Hamikdash?"

The simple answer: Natali and he co-star weren't kissing "at the Mekom Ha'Miskdash." They weren't even on the plaza. Are you going to argue that in all of history no kiss has ever been delivered in the parking lot outside the Shaar Ha'ashpot?

The more complicated answer would require a detailed study of Jewish law. Because no one will sit through it, you'll have to trust me when I say that a little lip-action -even on the Mekom Ha'mikdash itself - does not justify a riot. In fact "rioting" is not provided by halacha as a legal remedy for any religious crime, so far as I know.

I'll agree that the director made a bad decision, but those who reacted with bad behavior, insulted a tinok she'nishba, and splashed embarressing reports about Judaism across the Fox-owned newspapers are not entitled to your protection.