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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 14 2021, 9:03 pm
I hate it to start yet another thread on this new show I absolutely despise, but this time its an article I'd like to share it's about the negativity surrounding the show and how this could potentially harmfully impact "Jewish people" because of bad representation.

https://www.glamour.com/story/.....-jews


Last edited by liveandlove.ima on Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 14 2021, 9:06 pm
My Unorthodox Life Is Compelling TV That Could Make Life Harder for Some Jews
The new Netflix reality series is addictive, yes—but potentially harmful.
By Jenny Singer

I could watch 18,000 hours of the wildly compelling new Netflix reality show My Unorthodox Life. It’s thrilling and unexpected, and it doesn’t give me that terrible reality TV feeling, as if my brain has secretly been removed and stored in a facility.

I also think that the show will directly contribute to making life more dangerous for some Jewish people. Let me explain.

On December 28, 2019, a man wielding a machete broke into the home of a Hasidic rabbi in Monsey, New York, during a Hanukkah party. He stabbed five people, killing one. Prosecutors said he had googled things like “Why did Hitler hate the Jews.”

It was the second time in a month that a rabbi was stabbed in the tiny town of Monsey. Earlier a father of four was attacked standing outside of his synagogue. That same month, just miles away in New Jersey, shooters opened fire at a kosher grocery store, killing three people. Authorities said the store was targeted because it was frequented by Jews.

So it is hard for me to enjoy My Unorthodox Life, which follows Julia Haart, a woman who left the Orthodox Jewish community of Monsey, to start a new life as a mostly secular Jew in Manhattan. Haart is incredible—funny and feminist and, apparently, a very successful businesswoman. She and her four children feel like a new generation of Kardashians, but more substantive. Like that family, Haart’s clan is telegenic, with the rare alchemical skill of turning the mundane (eating salad, doing paid Instagram promotions) into high drama. They wear five-inch heels as they walk the line between ambition and entitlement.


But the show works overtime to paint ultra-Orthodox Jews as extremists, as evil people. “They’re fundamentalists,” Haart proclaims again and again, calling her community “dangerous.” Her young son’s religious behavior is “super looney.” The less observant members of the family laugh at and berate the Monsey Jews. At one point Haart’s daughter describes a rumor about a secret all-girl Monsey relations ring. When Haart visits the kosher grocery in Monsey, the camera work turns Orthodox shoppers into a leering monolith.

It’s true that some practices of more Orthodox Jews would be morally reprehensible to many of us. But watching and judging them on TV isn’t activism. Haart’s anger is justifiable, and in parts of the show she and her family engage in beautifully nuanced conversations about Judaism and feminism. (By the way, Haart would still be reality TV gold with less focus on Monsey and more focus on every other part of her life.) But the show pushes one message: Ultra-Orthodox Jews are dangerous.

It’s not acceptable to castigate an entire minority group, no matter how much you disagree with them or how harmful some of their practices are. It doesn’t help Orthodox women; it just puts all Orthodox people in danger. It’s not that portrayals of Jews in the media need to be favorable. It’s that Orthodox Jews live in legitimate fear of attack. Making a reality show that depicts them as monsters could put a bigger target on their backs.

Most people who watch My Unorthodox Life will not be hardened antisemites, looking for further evidence that Jews must be routed out. Instead some viewers, including Jews, might walk away from the show with greater contempt for all ultra-religious people. And that is tragic.

Growing up in a liberal Jewish environment, I pitied Orthodox women. I thought they were victims. I would guess this is how many people think, even if they wouldn’t say it out loud. It took a very small amount of time among actual Orthodox women for all my assumptions to fall apart.

I was totally incorrect to assume that any Orthodox woman must feel trapped and unhappy.

I find my Jewish practices deeply fulfilling. But Orthodox Jews have a level of community and ritual practices so endlessly meaningful that people in the secular world simply cannot fathom it. My pity was misplaced.

In fact, I learned that any given Orthodox woman might rightfully pity me back. When I looked at Orthodox women, I saw victims—forced to cover up, undereducated, kept out of the workforce. But an Orthodox woman could look at me and see a woman who feels the need to wear tight, revealing clothes yet is constantly obsessed with what other people think about her body. They could see a woman who is educated in a system that, in a quieter way, also treats males and females differently. A woman who, if she wishes to have children, has no real support from her culture to do so.

It’s not that I want to justify Orthodox practices that subjugate women. It’s just that I’m in no position to judge the way Orthodox people live. None of us are free from terrible things that could happen during the course of a woman’s life, like abuse, an unfair wage gap, and the underfunding of women’s health care research. And by the way, covering hair and dressing modestly has been practiced, for centuries, in major religions around the world. It’s not extreme. It’s just different from what some of us are used to.

During the Monsey grocery sequence, two local women briefly interact with Haart—neither of them seem like prisoners. If the show had spent any time with people who choose to live in Monsey, it would have painted a more complex picture. But I understand this is a reality show, not a documentary.

Media that depicts people leaving Orthodox Judaism—My Unorthodox Life, Netflix’s hit narrative TV series Unorthodox, and the 2017 Rachel McAdams movie Disobedience—is always misleading, because these works cannot contain the experiences of people who love their communities.

I understand if you’re drawn to these stories—I am too. But it’s a mistake to think that any group of people is beneath you, that their lives are small. I love the fact that when my parents were born, Jews weren’t allowed in some country clubs, and now there is a reality TV show where a family shoves schnitzel into their Louis Vuitton and rushes off to Paris to celebrate Sukkoth in a 13th-century castle.

But that fun shouldn’t come at the expense of Orthodox Jews’ dignity and safety. Julia Haart can reinvent herself, run a company, raise four children, and cook shabbos cholent in stilettos. If anyone can make reality TV more nuanced, it’s her.
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amother




Bronze
 

Post Wed, Jul 14 2021, 9:08 pm
liveandlove.ima wrote:
I hate it to start yet another thread on this new show I absolutely despise, but this time its an article I'd like to share it's about the negativity surrounding the show and how this could potentially harmfully impact "Jewish people" because of bad representation.

https://www.glamour.com/story/.....-jews


Thank you for posting that. Excellent article. Made me feel proud of who I am.
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allthingsblue




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 14 2021, 9:46 pm
Excellent, open minded article.
That’s what I call true liberalism. Liberalism that shuts down anyone who is different than you (and I don’t mean skin color) is just a lie.
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 1:34 pm
and yet another great article by Avi Shafran
https://www.washingtonpost.com......html
Netflix’s ‘My Unorthodox Life’ is an exposé that fails to explain some basic facts
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amother




Rainbow
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 2:41 pm
Can you post the second article?
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 5:19 pm
amother [ Rainbow ] wrote:
Can you post the second article?

Sure thing!
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 5:21 pm
Netflix’s ‘My Unorthodox Life’ is an exposé that fails to explain some basic facts
By Avi Shafran | Religion News Service
July 14, 2021|Updated July 14, 2021 at 5:03 p.m. EDT

(RNS) — The latest triumph in bashing Orthodox Jewish observance is here, in the form of the hyper-hyped Netflix reality miniseries “ My Unorthodox Life.”

The show, which debuted this week, presents a once-observant Orthodox Jewish woman, Julia Haart, who bravely stood up for her disbeliefs, left her life in an “ultra-Orthodox” (ugh: Please call us haredim) community in upstate New York to become a happy and successful CEO of a modeling agency. We see Haart gently and wisely guiding her children in their own life pursuits while dressing like one of her runway-striding charges.

Fashion triumphs over fundamentalism. What could be more inspiring?

Well, actually, plenty. Take, for instance, the joyful religious Jewish lives being lived, and cherished, by hundreds of thousands of us who deeply value what the protagonist of “My Unorthodox Life” dismisses as Jewish “fundamentalism.”


Confession time: We dress modestly, carefully observe Jewish religious law and are unimpressed by what passes as popular culture these days. If that makes us “fundamentalist,” so be it. We cherish Jewish fundamentals. Sue us — or, more lucratively, create condescending and demeaning portrayals of our devotion.

Oh, yeah, that’s been done. And done and done.

Netflix’s new offering follows in the long, noisome wake of a slew of “I survived Orthodoxy” books and films written by or featuring intrepid ex-Orthodox rebels who have ostensibly discovered truths to which their elders are, and forebears were, lamentably oblivious.

It’s the rebels, though, who are oblivious, or, perhaps, willfully misleading. In the trailer for her show, Haart replies to her male assistant’s question about whether Orthodox Judaism has “rules about relations” by responding derisively, “My dear, there are rules about which shoes you’re supposed to tie first.”


It’s true, but the show doesn’t provide an explanation — and one hardly expected one — about how, in Jewish mysticism, “right” is associated with compassion and “left” with strict judgment. Putting on the right shoe first reminds the wearer that compassion deserves primacy in life.

That wouldn’t raise eyebrows or invite sneering. It would only educate, which “My Unorthodox Life” has no interest in doing.

The sheer number of memoirs by young Jews who have chosen to leave Orthodox communities may imply that such communities, particularly Hasidic ones (the paths from which most of the strayers strayed), must be experiencing severe demographic hemorrhaging.

In fact, the influx into Orthodoxy is considerably more prevalent than flight from it. Fully 15% of Orthodox Jews today, according to the most recent Pew Research Center report, were brought up in other Jewish movements, or without any Jewish affiliation at all.


Most of us haredim know many Jews who became Orthodox as adults; they are vital and vibrant parts of our communities, our synagogues and our lives. Some have been observant Orthodox Jews for many years, and newcomers are a constant part of the landscape.

Where are the essays, books and miniseries about some of the many who came from other Jewish places to Orthodoxy? Why no vivid descriptions of what impelled them toward traditional Jewish observance? Why no accounts of the emptiness they experienced in their secular lives, and how those voids were filled by adopting the Judaism of all Jews’ forebears?


I suspect that the dearth of exposés and lamentations by such returners to Jewish observance stems from three things. First, and most obvious, accounts of wondrous, fulfilling and happy observant Jewish lives wouldn’t sell. Who wants to read about happy people? The big bucks lie in jaundiced “exposés” of haredi life.


Then there’s the fact that Judaism is rather more keen on forgiveness than on settling scores.

And finally, “returners” simply feel no need to look back in anger or pain; they are too content living the Jewish lives they’ve chosen.

But know, and know well: Those lives do exist, not on screens, perhaps, but in countless vibrant and happy Jewish homes.

(Rabbi Avi Shafran is director of public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, a national Orthodox Jewish organization. He blogs at rabbishafran.com. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)
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amother




Rainbow
 

Post Fri, Jul 16 2021, 6:11 pm
Wow thanks. Food for thought.
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jul 19 2021, 7:12 am
https://forward.com/scribe/473.....life/
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 11:46 am
https://jewinthecity.com/2021/.....life/
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amother




Vanilla
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 3:26 pm
Why is he saying that most of the OTDs are chassidim? Utter nonsense.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 5:28 pm
liveandlove.ima wrote:
I hate it to start yet another thread on this new show I absolutely despise, but this time its an article I'd like to share it's about the negativity surrounding the show and how this could potentially harmfully impact "Jewish people" because of bad representation.

https://www.glamour.com/story/.....-jews


"Every low cut top, every mini skirt is an emblem of freedom." (From the trailer.) Wow. I feel really free without that. Seeing her reminded me of Erin Brokovich. Who dressed the same way but IIRC the discussion surrounding her was that if she were higher up she wouldn't be dressed that way.
ETA: Oh, and the great empowering career move she takes is exploiting other women running a modeling agency? Deep. (Not that everyone can go to medical school.)

ETA: Is it obvious that this is my first Julia exposure?
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 5:38 pm
amother [ Vanilla ] wrote:
Why is he saying that most of the OTDs are chassidim? Utter nonsense.


Did he say most of the OTDs or the memoirists?

Also liveandlove.ima, can you cut and paste the Forward article? Thanks.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 5:42 pm
liveandlove.ima wrote:
https://jewinthecity.com/2021/07/how-to-answer-the-jewish-issues-raised-in-netflixs-my-unorthodox-life/


I couldn't open any of the links in the essay.
I hesitate to say this and if this tangent goes south I'll be the first to report the thread: I know Allison and company are doing amazing things but I hope they aren't throwing too many frum people under the bus in the process.
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liveandlove.ima




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 9:28 pm
amother [ Vanilla ] wrote:
Why is he saying that most of the OTDs are chassidim? Utter nonsense.

Where did you see that? must have missed it
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rikkik




 
 
 
 

Post Wed, Jul 21 2021, 10:21 pm
If there are any articles, you can post them here. But maybe don't post the link. Every single time any of us googles an article with the series name- we increase it's internet exposure.
Don't do that.
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amother




Brunette
 

Post Thu, Jul 22 2021, 3:12 am
I wonder if someone can sue Netflix and Julia for enticing hate and violence towards a whole population. Julia is a very mean person also I can’t believe she exposed and humiliated this random girl who came from Monsey to ask for her advice.
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amother




Anemone
 

Post Thu, Jul 22 2021, 9:27 am
What's the deal with her little son? Why is he participating in it? I dont get why he doesnt stay out of it. His mother and sisters went bonkers. He should live with his father.
Where is the father? Why doesn't he protect his son from this?
How in the world did the son in law get ensnared?
I didnt watch the show and have no interest in watching it, but these things leave me scratching my head.
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amother




Seagreen
 

Post Thu, Jul 22 2021, 9:56 am
amother [ Anemone ] wrote:
What's the deal with her little son? Why is he participating in it? I dont get why he doesnt stay out of it. His mother and sisters went bonkers. He should live with his father.
Where is the father? Why doesn't he protect his son from this?
How in the world did the son in law get ensnared?
I didnt watch the show and have no interest in watching it, but these things leave me scratching my head.




Except for the father theres a voracious need for money and fame in that family.

Imho the father is there for a connection to his children and hes being advised to stay close to it all.
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