Outstanding Jewish movie "Ushpizin"!


#1

I just watched a wonderful Jewish movie called “Ushpizin”. The story takes place during the Festival of Succoth and weaves a beautiful story of devotion to God, the life of Hasidic Jews, the love between man and wife, and a little humor related to some difficult, very unorthodox and uninvited guests.
“Ushpizin” is an Aramaic word for guests.
This is undoubtedly going to be one of my top ten favorite movies of all time. I highly recommend it. Has anyone else seen the movie? It’s available on DVD.
:gopray: :thumbsup:


#2

It’s a nice film, and I really enjoyed it, but I have to admit I was a bit disappointed with it. This had more to do with my expectations than with any faults of the film, though. I was expecting a lot more in-depth reflection on Jewish theology, or at least a deeper portrayal of it, but what I got was a nice moral tale against an ultra-Orthodox Jewish backdrop. I left feeling that it didn’t have to be ultra-Orthodox Jews in the setting, that it could have been Hindus, Christians, or secular Chinese, and the story would have been essentially the same and had the same moral. I think that this is a gripe that only those with a super-keen interest in Orthodox Judaism would have, however, so I don’t think it’s something most folks will be on board with me about.

That being said, it is one of my favorite movies, and it’s quite wholesome and sweet. It’s something I will raise my children with to show them the virtue of humility, repentence, and taking care of even the least likable people. It’s a film I think will resonate with Catholics especially, because of how central the message is, theologically speaking, to our own Faith. It also has the added benefit of showing us a bit of where our values come from, namely the Faith that God has handed down since Abraham.

Out of curiousity, how did you find out about this movie? I saw it at a Jewish Film Festival.

Peace and God bless!


#3

[quote=Blanka]I just watched a wonderful Jewish movie called “Ushpizin”. The story takes place during the Festival of Succoth and weaves a beautiful story of devotion to God, the life of Hasidic Jews, the love between man and wife, and a little humor related to some difficult, very unorthodox and uninvited guests.
“Ushpizin” is an Aramaic word for guests.
This is undoubtedly going to be one of my top ten favorite movies of all time. I highly recommend it. Has anyone else seen the movie? It’s available on DVD.
:gopray: :thumbsup:
[/quote]

I really want to see it. To see it in the theater I’d have had to travel to New York, which was more bother than I was willing to go (maybe it was available nearer me but not by the time I became aware of it). But I do want to see it at some point.

Edwin


#4

My husband found the movie on DVD at the local video rental store. He brought it home as a surprise because he knows how much I love religious themed movies.

I really love the movie and I plan to rent it again next week. I enjoyed the fact that it was about Hasidic Jews and I don’t think the movie would have had the same impact if was not about people who are very devout. For example, how many people would have tolerated the obnoxious uninvited “guests” unless they had a sense of true charity and knowledge that God is aware of all of their actions? How many people turn to prayer (and to God) for every small need (as the main characters did)? How many men would have thought it important enough to go out of their way to seek forgiveness from someone (as when the main character sought forgiveness for unknowingly taking another man’s succoth without permission)?
Besides being a well acted and enjoyable movie with a moral lesson, I think it’s a great reminder of how much (or how little) we seek God in all aspects of our lives. The movie spoke volumes to me.
:tiphat:


#5

For example, how many people would have tolerated the obnoxious uninvited “guests” unless they had a sense of true charity and knowledge that God is aware of all of their actions? How many people turn to prayer (and to God) for every small need (as the main characters did)? How many men would have thought it important enough to go out of their way to seek forgiveness from someone (as when the main character sought forgiveness for unknowingly taking another man’s succoth without permission)?
Besides being a well acted and enjoyable movie with a moral lesson, I think it’s a great reminder of how much (or how little) we seek God in all aspects of our lives. The movie spoke volumes to me.

Good points. Those are definately aspects of the movie that would have been lost had it not been devout Judeo-Christian characters being portrayed. One thing I liked about it is how those little details you mentioned illustrate the depth of the Judaic roots in the New Testament and Catholicism in general, especially the aspect of absolution. It wasn’t only critical that a general “mending of fences” was done, but real absolution was desired and required.

Also their sheer love of God is palpable in the film, something that is one of the most amazing and beautiful things about the Hasidim, IMO. It was the Hasidim that converted me from Atheism to belief in God, and only my coming to believe in Yeshuah as their expected Messiah led me to the Catholic Church as opposed to going the long, hard road from Gentile to Hasidic Jew. :slight_smile:

Even though I became Catholic, I’ve never considered myself to have “abandoned” my pursuit of Orthodox Judaism, it’s just that my understanding of it began to include the Catholic Church as well. Watching the movie reminds me of the depth of our common spirituality.

As a side note, you know the box that Moshe Bellanga was wearing on his forehead at the Bris Milah (circumcision)? That was a phylactery/tefillin that Jesus mentions in chastizing the hypocrites who “widen their phylacteries” show put on a show of their piety. I only mention it because it may appear odd, and the movie is a rare opportunity for Catholics to see an item refered to in our Scriptures that is otherwise completely unknown.

It was also interesting for me to watch the film because my good Jewish friend, with whom I usually celebrate Jewish holidays that aren’t contrary to the Catholic Faith, has family in the Hasidic community featured in the film, and when he lived in Israel he stayed with them.

Peace and God bless!


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