fbpx
06/08/2020 The Communication Science magazine

Unorthodox Review

Unorthodox is a new series produced by Netflix. Medium’s Margarete tells you what she thinks of the series from her perspective as a Christian.


In March 2020, the limited Netflix series Unorthodox was released, featuring the story of a girl, named Esther, who escapes a Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg, New York. Once in Berlin, Esther tries to build a new life away from the strict rules and laws of her community in Williamsburg. The limited series of four episodes is based on the book of the same name Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman, describing her journey from living in an ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn to starting a new life in Germany.

The Meaning
At first glance, the word unorthodox seems out of place, maybe even out of this world. So, what does it mean? According to the Oxford dictionary, it is the opposite of what is accepted and traditional, simply not orthodox. It seems comprehensible and based on that definition, one can conclude that orthodox just means accepted and traditional.

Though it is not as simple as that, there are in total four different meanings to the word orthodox. The second definition states that orthodox means normal. Imagining someone using the word orthodox instead of ‘normal’ seems fairly odd. And, there is the feeling that there is more to the word than this definition provides.

The first definition already comes closer to what it might mean: ‘Following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice.’ It is the first link to religion, more specifically religious rules, which seems very abstract and hard to grasp. Complementing the first, the third and fourth definition state that ‘usually Orthodox’ relates to Orthodox Judaism or the Orthodox Church.

Having this meaning of Orthodox in mind, while watching the series, and following the journey of Esther, it will unfold what Unorthodox means in a more religious and individual sense.

A True Story
Deborah Feldman was 23 years old when she left her ultra-Orthodox community in New York. The Satmar community was founded by Holocaust survivors, having the belief that the Holocaust was a punishment of God for their assimilation, making them develop very strict rules to prevent another punishment from happening. These rules included the control of women to serve the community in the way of reproducing. Having ten to twenty children on average, secured the growth and the future of the community. Before she left, Deborah was married at just 17 and had her son at the age of 19.

It is not just Deborah Feldman who escaped an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, but many others who left as they felt out of place and not belonging to their extreme religious communities anymore. In New York, where Deborah lived after her escape, is an organization called Footsteps which helps former members of ultra-Orthodox communities to start a new life. They help with education, emotional support as well as social activities so people can lead a self-determined life in society as we know it, but which is foreign to them.  

What It Makes Special
Next to the limited series, there is also Making Unorthodox, a short episode showing what it took to authentically portray the traditions and problems of a Hasidic Jewish community for the first time.

To get all the details right, it was important to the creators to have people from the community working in front and behind the camera. Especially as the show is one of the first in Yiddish, Eli Rosen, actor and translator, was hired to help to keep the cultural details as well as the language authentic and representative. Also, the actor Jeff Wilbusch, portraying Moishe, speaks Yiddish as his native language, and shares the same story as Deborah Feldman, leaving an extreme Orthodox community in the U.S.

Even though part of the show plays in Williamsburg, most of the scenes were shot in Berlin. First, the scenes based in Williamsburg were shot, after the scenes in Berlin to have that transition of mindset on the set as well.

Especially as the show is one of the first in Yiddish, Eli Rosen, actor and translator, was hired to help to keep the cultural details as well as the language authentic and representative

On a Personal Note
Everyone has their own belief, their own relation to something out there. It might be God, someone, or something else. There is no one way of belief, but multiple ways as every belief is different. It is up to us whether we live our belief or not, though as soon as we take our belief too far and instrumentalize it to our purposes, we do more harm than good.

It is not just ultra-Orthodox communities but extreme religious communities in general, no matter which religion, as Deborah Feldman said in an interview. It is their strict rules that men as well as women oblige and often do not question, but follow their tradition. In this sense, they are orthodox.

Rules that push the boundaries of what is acceptable; they suppress women and praise men, even though we are living in the 21st century. Men and women are no longer seen as unequal in the world today. Though even in this time, there are still grievances when it comes to the role of men and women in larger and less extreme religious communities.

As I am Christian, I can only speak how I, as a woman, perceive the role of men and women in the church in this century. In this case, I will focus on the Catholic church, which is to this point dominated by mainly older men. It is men who hold important functions in the Catholic church and even a man as Pope. Women, on the other hand, are indeed allowed to hold minor positions, but the power lies in the hands of men alone.

It might have symbolic reasoning why only men are allowed to become priests, but it does not provide substantial arguments why women could not become priests, too. Consequently, it is not surprising that many young people cannot identify with the still old and traditional ways the Catholic church rules.

Esther says in one episode herself, quoting the Talmud ‘If not me, then who? If not now, then when?’ So, now is the time to question the old hierarchical structures and strict rules of religion to find our paths as Esther does.

 

Cover: Claudio Schwarz

Reacties

reacties

Related Posts

Teenage Girls in the Army: A Closer Look at the Fictional Country of Ravka

04/08/2020

04/08/2020

Fictional young girls and boys are fighting together in the army for their country Ravka. Danny explains why literature sets an example for equality in the military.

Folklore: Taylor Swift At Her Best While The World Is At Its Worst

01/08/2020

01/08/2020

Emma uses her Swiftie superpowers to unveil what’s hidden behind Taylor Swift's new album "folklore"

How Internet COVID-19 Face Mask Memes Tackle Skeptics in the Digital Age

30/07/2020

30/07/2020

In this article, Quynh talks about COVID-19 face mask memes. Are they just entertainment or do they also raise awareness?

The Secret Way to Good Grades – But One That Everyone Uses

29/07/2020

29/07/2020

Ritalin seems like the secret way to get a good grade when there is not enough time and too much workload. Jorrit explains why especially Communication Science students are keen to try it.

Delayed

24/07/2020

24/07/2020

In this article, Margarete dives into why Hollywood movie studios delayed the release dates of blockbusters, including Christopher Nolan's newest creation "Tenet."

Jemen: De grootste humanitaire crisis ter wereld die niet vergeten mag worden

18/07/2020

18/07/2020

Onze schrijver Elsa vertelt alles over de oorlog in Jemen die maar niet de nodige aandacht krijgt, en hoe jij kan helpen.

FSR-FMGxMEDIUM: Goodbye council of 2019/2020!

14/07/2020 and

14/07/2020

Together with the members of the FSR-FMG of 2019/2020 Medium is looking back on working together, teambuilding, learning new things and other memories at the end of the member's acedemic year.

Why We Should Cancel ‘Cancel Culture’

13/07/2020

13/07/2020

What does it mean to get cancelled these days? Emma explains the downfall of cancel culture and why it should get cancelled.

Is Hamilton Getting #Cancelled?

09/07/2020

09/07/2020

In this article, Rita writes about the in-demand musical Hamilton and the criticism it receives.

FSR-FMGxMEDIUM: File Update

30/06/2020

30/06/2020

This academic year has ended and so has the term of the current student council. In this article, Medium gives you an insight into the FSR-FMG’s achievements of this year.

Netflix’s “Queer Eye” Season 5 Review: Spreading Human Connection in Lonely Times

30/06/2020

30/06/2020

Quynh reviews the latest season of the Netflix Original 'Queer Eye'. This season continues the sociopolitical crusade of the Fab 5 in Philidelphia.

Movie theatres: Safely “escaping” 2020

23/06/2020

23/06/2020

What better way to escape the anxieties this year has brought us than by getting lost in a good movie? This article provides you with a list of Amsterdam's must visit movie theaters, for the ultimate escape from reality.

Usage of Surveillance Drones Over Black Lives Matter Protests in the USA

19/06/2020

19/06/2020

The murder of George Floyd on May 25th, 2020, sparked Black Lives Matter protests all over the U.S. Five years after BLM protests were calling for justice after the murder of Freddie Gray, the U.S. government has resorted to drone surveillance as it did in 2015. However, the questions remain, what are they watching?, why are they watching? and what happens to protesters' data in the footage?

“Er komt een tijd dat stilte verraad is”

18/06/2020

18/06/2020

Na de dood van George Floyd is de wereld gezamenlijk opgestaan om racisme te bestrijden. Elsa schrijft in dit artikel over drie acties die je kan ondernemen om wit privilege en racisme beter te begrijpen en zo je steentje kan bijdragen voor een betere wereld.

The Pros And Cons Of Studying Online

17/06/2020

17/06/2020

Online-learning continues throughout next semester of the UvA. Andrada tells us what this means for the quality of academic education.

bayan escort escort bayan mersin escort bayan escort brazzers tecavüz porno altyazili porno porno hikayeleri turbanlı porno escort bayan bayan escort escort bayan
mersin escort