Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hanoi Jane/ the new movie on the Rav

The Palm Beach Post has a headline that Jane Fonda was compelled to come out of silence on the Iraqi war.Indeed she said that.However there were no quotes around the word 'compelled',indicationg that this left wing newspaper wants its readers to accept her statement as fact,rather than rhetoric.
The anti-war demonstrations are certainly within the rights of citizens.Two things bother me.
We never see these people demonstrating againt anti-American rhetoric or terrorism.
By the way who pays for the buses,publicity,permits,audio systems?
Secondly,I can visualize these people had they lived in the times of the Civil War,WW I, WWII,and Korea with the benefit of cable TV and internet, screaming to Lincoln, Wilson,Roosevelt and Truman lets get out.!Too many GI's dead and wounded.
What is missing from these well -intentioned people ,as well as the Democrats is;What is the plan once we withdraw?
How do we handle Iran taking over Iraq,and threaten the rest of the Sunni Arab World.?
What about Turkey invading N Iraq to destroy the Kurds?
Or,Saudi Arabia entering the fray in support of the Sunnis?
Iranian missiles would be closer to Israel,if they enter Iraq-what should the US response be?
I don't believe we have done a good job in Iraq,especially in training a police-army force.Nor am I happy,that we have not forced Kuwait,Quatar, Saudi Arabia etc to bear the cost of civilian projects.However,an abrupt or even set withdrawal will be a major loss for our team, with unforeseen negative world-wide consequences.


We saw the new movie on the RAV-Rabbi Soloveichik- ZTL ,Lonely Man of Faith.It was written be a scholar and former classmate Rabbi Arnie Rothkopf-Rakefet.
To those who have met ,or learned from the Rav,or read of the Rav's life,it is a fascinating if not too long ( i hour 45 minutes)look into the history of this great towering figure in Jewish life.
However, the film does little to portay his humanity,warmth or human feelings,except one small vignette rergarding a student with cancer.
My main objection, is that it failed to place into perspective the battle between Modern Orthodoxy,Conservative ,Reform,R wing Orthodoxy and even the small left wing Orthodoxy.As a matter of fact, Rabbi Saul Berman,formerly of Edah,is featured on the film twice at least.
We do not walk away,with the understanding that the Rav held ,that it is better not to hear shofar,than to pray in a Conservative temple.
Likewise,there is no mention,that when he passed away that the Aguda,failed to mention the passing of a Torah giant. There are similarly many issues not addressed.
In summary, I have the feeling that the film is aimed toward the members of the Rabbinical Council-YU family.It succeeded in that arena.As far as the general Orthodox world,I think it fell short.
Nevertheless,kudos to Rabbi Rakefet for a yeomans effort and a job well done,to immortalize the Rav.