Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jason goes to Jewfest South--Thur, Nov. 12

And my first time at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto. Nice place they have there.

Anyway, I was there for the first 4 episodes of "S'RUGIM", a popular Israeli television show. The title refers to the knitted kipot...yarmulke...skullcaps worn by religiously observant Jews. "S'RUGIM" the TV show was described as "SEX AND THE CITY" but with orthodox Jews in Jerusalem--which means no sex, not even inappropriate touching, no non-kosher food, and no phone calls on the Sabbath (among other rules).

The main cast are 5 friends who typically have the sabbath meal together. Yifat, Hodaya, and Reut are the women, all dating with a clear goal towards marriage. Natti is a well off young doctor, who would be quite a catch (and a perfect match for Yifat) if he weren't sort of emotionally unbalance. His friend and new roommate Amir is a grammar teacher who (horror of horrors!) is divorced. And he might just be perfect for Reut. At least, they get along well together. So, as I explained above, they meet people, go on dates, celebrate the sabbath, etc. And it's a pretty funny show. Although most of the humor comes from complications balancing their religiosity with dating (especially when Hodaya starts dating a non-religious man who doesn't know he's religious), you don't have to know too much about the religious laws to get the jokes. Most are pretty obvious from context, and you just need to keep a few things in mind: Kosher laws--no pork (of course), but also no mixing meat and cheese (Italian food is pretty much out). Sabbath--the Friday night meal is very important, and after sundown until sundown on Saturday you cannot work or light or extinguish any fires (including turning on or off any electrical appliance. E.g., unscrew the light bulb in the refrigerator so it doesn't go on and off when you open/close the door). And no touching before marriage--a handshake might be okay, but even a goodnight kiss is right out.

Anyway, the first four episodes contain a number of small adventures as we get to know the characters. And that leads us into the episodes 5-9. But that's for another post.
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