As the new season of the reality show “The Big Brother” begins, the Beit Hillel Rabbinic organization speaks out against reality shows and against “The Big Brother” which has become popular among viewers.
“Reality shows grind away at innocence and educate us to the world of cruel cynicism. The shallow approach taken by reality shows, and their aggressive marketing strategy, constantly instill immoral and uneducational values into the center of the public agenda.”
A position paper published by the organization stated that:
“In recent years reality shows have occupied the center of the ratings, causing great damage to society and especially to the youth, with notably notorious programs such as The Big Brother, Survivor and others.
Such programs often provide legitimacy to moral weakness and uncontrolled urges. These programs intensify the defects and deviations that break the boundaries and norms presented by socirty. When high percentages of society regularly consume the messages of these programs, it is likely to disrupt the social order due to the trampling of moral and halakhic values.”
In the position paper, the Beit Hillel Rabbis detail a series of values that are corrupted by these programs, including modesty and personal privacy, the attitude of objectifying women, destructing the culture of gentle dialogue and instead encouraging coarse and vulgar speech, the value of friendship and fairness, encouraging greed and materialism, and undermining the basic values of Judaism through the various tasks such as eating insects.
Beit Hillel noted that they are not against the consumption of culture that brings a blessing with exposure to many areas, enrichment of knowledge, greater moral sensitivity, and expanding the viewer’s experiences of this culture, while placing moral and halachic boundaries.
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