May 21, 2019

The TV Series That Offers a Possible Solution to Israel’s Problems

“The drama series “Autonomies” has justly been hailed by critics during its recent six-part run on Israeli television. Its political premise is somewhat unlikely: In 2019, bloody clashes between Israel’s ultra-Orthodox (or Haredi) community and the rest of the country lead to a separation between the “Haredi Autonomy” in Jerusalem and the secular “State of Israel” (“The Zionists”), whose capital is Tel Aviv. Passing between these two entities requires a visa and border inspection, and the economic situation in the Haredi Autonomy is difficult.

The intention of writer-director Yehonatan Indursky – himself of Haredi origin, but now living in Tel Aviv – is not political. The TV series takes place roughly in our present and focuses on a few personal stories, primarily in the Haredi Autonomy. Jonah Broide, the protagonist (played by Assi Cohen), is a good-hearted, small-time crook who smuggles little things like porn videos and books by Thucydides and Sigmund Freud – often for the ultra-Orthodox rabbis who lead the autonomy.

The Haredi Autonomy’s head, Rabbi Alexander of Kreinitz (brilliantly portrayed by veteran actor-singer Shuli Rand), will use Broide for a kidnapping from the State of Israel, which ignites events that drive the series (I will not reveal what these here are to avoid spoilers).”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"The biggest topic in British political circles on Monday wasn’t the country’s impending departure from the European Union. It was milkshakes..."

"I often disagree with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., but I've been disturbed by the idea that he should be run out of the Republican Party just because he believes President Trump committed impeachable offenses."

"The Icelandic band Hatari, whose members are quite vocal in their animosity towards Israel, held up Palestinian flags... Madonna, likewise, had two of her performers wear Israeli and Palestinian flags on their costumes."

"To celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, I turn to movie critic Roger Ebert's old review of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." (Trust me on this one.)"

"The money is already here—and has been for years. In the midst of a housing crisis, an injection of cash into the superheated real-estate market seems likely to cause an uptick in evictions and displacement."

"Parents concerned about YouTube debate whether to let their children have their own channels; some forbid it, others send them to summer camp..."

"‘I Had Completely Lost the Knack for Staying Alive..." Warmer weather brings daffodils, rhubarb at the farmer’s market — and, for some, despair."

"With his new book, Howard Stern proves that his rightful place is among the prophets and moral visionaries, not the ‘shock jocks’"

"I’m terrified of parenting in the anti-vaxxer age: Anti-vaccine propaganda isn’t just harmful to children. It threatens to erode our entire sense of community."

"...doctors are starting to think more about specific nutrients that feed tumor cells. That is, how what we eat affects how cancers grow..."

"...it represents an impressive achievement: a victory of humankind against the chaos that pervades the universe."

"If trends continue, in 20 years the majority of the world’s Jews will be living in Israel. The United States will see a continuing decline in overall numbers, with a growing observant Jewish population..."