Israeli film deals with religious coercion

The film shows the relationships and tensions between different groups within Orthodox Judaism in Jerusalem.
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The most interesting character in the new Israeli film, “Yismach Hatani” is the charismatic rabbi who arrives to a Jerusalem synagogue. In a matter of days, he causes great tension in the traditional, religious community. 

“Just like providing for the family is your responsibility,” he tells the men of the congregation, “so is making sure that your wives cover their heads out of modesty.” The men are enthralled, the women -- not so much. “Do you realize what your head covering could do to my salary?” tells one enchanted husband. “Go get a job,” answers the wife. “That will greatly help your salary.”

The women are much stronger than the men. Their repulsion for religious coercion in real life is apparent in the actresses’ opinions. The actress, Orna Banai, has no compulsions in talking against the herd mentality of some religious people, “Some religious people are very narrow, they don’t really express their personal opinion. As secular Tel Aviv women, we see religious coercion first hand.” 

The actresses agree that there is a problem when religious parties refuse to allow businesses to be open on the Sabbath. The movie ends with another female celeb – the singer, Sarit Hadad.

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