Thursday, May 2, 2013

Purge

I am sure that caught your attention, cuz it sure caught mine. I was watching a video on YouTube the other day, and as YouTube is known to do, an ad began to play. It was a trailer for a movie, which I usually skip but, something about the ominous music and post-apocalyptic text intrigued me, so I watched. And I was rather horrified.
The premise of the movie is that one night a year, America is given the opportunity to perform any of their animalistic, murderous, hate-driven tendencies. In a sense, they can purge themselves of any negative, harmful behavior. If is government sanctioned and therefore, without any repercussions, hence the name of the movie, "The Purge." As if there isn't enough horror in current events, in which people purge themselves of their evil inclinations on a regular basis, now there is a movie where the government sanctions, nay, mandates this kind of behavior. So, as the trailer plays, I, the unsuspecting viewer, witness all sorts of atrocities (murder, thievery, kidnapping.... just to name a few) all contained in the span of a story where its acceptable, in the time frame of a couple of hours. How nice.
And while watching this disgrace of a movie (really, this is the best they can produce?) (Yes, I could have turned it off, but deep down, we all have that painful urge to see something gory... why do you think it is only the horrible news that makes headlines?) Anyhow, while watching this trailer, I thought about how wise the Torah is. Yea, I am sure you can see the connection. (That was sarcasm... unless you can see the connection...)
Anyhow, the Torah was given to us for several reasons, one of those reasons being is that we should learn how to become moral, righteous individuals, holding ourselves to the highest standards. But, we were created with a Yetzer Hara, and that voice in our head can be so loud, so tempting, its hard to ignore. So, within the parameters of the Torah's commandments, there are areas in which we can allow that Yetzer Hara some free reign, while not giving ourselves over to the dark side.
For instance, if a person has a blood-thirsty nature, and murder seems to be the natural route to take, he can became a Shochet and be surrounded by blood and death all day long while still performing G-d's commandments. Done.
Or he can become a Mohel. Yay, more blood.
Another example is the Eishes Yefas To'ar- the female prisoner of war. The Torah recognizes that in the heat of a battle, the captive women look extremely appealing and a man will want her to satisfy his desires. And he can take her. Of course, that is only if he follows the Torah's protocol for doing so.
For a woman, she is inclined to beautify herself... in today's society, this means shorter skirts, tighter tops, more makeup, elaborate hair styles and high heels. In the magazines we see this and think "How untznius!" But, one of my teacher's in seminary, a regal woman who I never thought would say something like this, said, "A woman can dress like that. For sure! But for her husband. And only for him."
Something else I learned, is that for everything negative in the world, there is a positive opposite it. For every Eisav, there is Yaakov. For ever Yetzer Hara, there is a Yetzer Tov.
G-d didn't put us into this world to abstain and become monks. He gave us a world, with so much to offer, and He wants us to partake of it. But, only by His rules. In doing so, we can express our desires while fulfilling G-d's commandments, and in doing so, elevate ourselves into more spiritual beings.
So, while I don't plan on seeing the full-length movie, the trailer certainly taught me something.

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