The Film “Ushpizin”: A Look at the Orthodox Jewish Community


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Essay #: 054887
Total text length is 4,510 characters (approximately 3.1 pages).

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The beginning:
The Film "Ushpizin": A Look at the Orthodox Jewish Community
Set and filmed within the boundaries of the Breslau yeshiva, Ushpizin is the story of a couple, Moshe Bellanga and his wife, Malli, who are suffering under a number of different and overwhelming challenges. Newcomer to their Orthodox Jewish community, they need to prepare for the holy days of Sukkot, which, according to Fisher, is a fall harvest festival where the faithful live in a temporary wooden shelter called a sukkah for seven days to represent the flight from Egypt to Canaan. They do not have enough money to pay their bills, let alone buy the goods they need to celebrate the festival. Moshe recalls, however, a rabbi’s instructions to him: "If something is lacking, it was...
The end: understanding how and why individuals choose to follow an Orthodox path within the context of any religion. While Moshe and Malli are an empathetic pair, they are also struggling to ensure that they explicitly observe their religious values to the exception of, at times, helping themselves. The message that comes across is that if one respects God’s laws in a selfless manner and prays hard enough, then one will be rewarded with gifts of which God approves, such as an etrog, a sukkah, or a child. This provides the viewer with an understanding of the processes involved in Jewish Orthodoxy, but not necessarily a deep comprehension of why these things matter to the community, and how they relate to a knowledge or interpretation of the world.