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Parshat Vayeshev: If We Only Knew

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26.11.2021

Watching TV comes with a certain level of comfort. In “E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction,” David Foster Wallace describes one of TV’s benefits as “an absolute godsend for a human subspecies that loves to watch people but hates to be watched itself.” In this way, TV affords people the opportunity to appropriate the thrills, risks, and successes of fictional characters without the real-world gamble of experiencing those emotions. “We can see Them; They can’t see Us,” Wallace writes. “We can relax, unobserved, as we ogle.”

In Pirkei Avot, Rabbi says: “Apply your mind to three things and you will not come into the clutches of sin: Know what there is above you: an eye that sees, an ear that hears, and all your deeds are written in a book” (2:1). There’s something very uncomfortable about this teaching. First, it frames Hashem as an impassive judge whose hypercritical........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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