An Israeli news source reports a growing concern in that country over the negative moral influence of television. “Throw the TV out!” is an increasing cry.
A program called “Moment of Truth” in which contestants are asked to reveal intimate secretes not only about their lives, but family members is just too much. Tens of thousands of shekels are offered to family members who are willing to tell it all for money. Aired at a time when children of nearly all ages are awake and watching television, many say it is seeding destructive social trends.
One viewed noted, “I simply couldn’t watch the whole show, [because] it is hard for me to suspend… my desire to live in this world as an ethical person… Watching a show in which people expose their family members to their dirty secrets… and in which people are publicly humiliated turns me into a [debased] person. I don’t want to be that way.”
Conservative Jewish leaders have long forbidden or recommended careful screening of television programs. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim in the Old City of Jerusalem, says that television is a tool for “inciting sensations of violence, lust, nonsense and frivolity,” and is “forbidden to have in one’s home.” One man asked his rabbi if he could sell his television to which the rabbi responded, “Do not place an obstacle before the blind.”
Assaf Wohl, with a Masters Degree in Jewish History from the University of Haifa, explained why he got threw out TV. It is “the end of a long pipe [that] funnels cultural garbage straight into our homes. On the other side of the pipe are media advisors, cheap celebrities, spinologists, copywriters, art-directors… who view the public as a collection of idiots … I got sick of how they throw garbage into my home … of how they raise the volume for the commercials… and of shows like ‘Take Me,’ ‘Kick Him,’ ‘The Models” … shows that answer to the description ‘mega-intellectual-terror attack.'”
Mike Rogers is a 30-year TV-radio veteran and the president of a mass-media production company in Japan. He recommends that all parents read the book, The Plug-In Drug, by Marie Winn. The book suggests that television is destroying our children and our families. Rogers says the issue of controls creates an ungoing challenge. The more practical solution is – throw the set out. Rogers says, “Even though I work in TV, we do not have a TV set in our house.”
That ultimate solution saves cable, satellite and electric fees. It cuts off influences that are often subtle – the appeal of commercials, the glamorous life offered which is beyond the financial capability of most people. That leads to a lessened sense of self-worth. Additional reasons include obesity and poor health, less communication with friends and family. And maybe more time with God
Adapted from a story by Hillel Fendel from Arutz News