My roommate was just watching this Hallmark special movie entitled Loving Leah that was just on CBS, the basic story is that Leah is married to Benjamin, Benjamin dies so Leah decides to do chalitzah and marry her brother in law – I missed the beginning of the movie but here is a basic review.
Loving Leah was good, not too good, but fairly good and relatively accurate. Loving Leah got some stuff right, the sheitles were hot, Leahs mom was a classic nagging Jewish mother, Leah goes to kiss the mezuza in her new home and there is none, she makes shabbos by herself and she feels really uncomfortable in a mans home. Jake, the guy who has to marry this women is already dating some girl, and the girl eventually breaks up with him and he falls in love with Leah.
The movie was pretty predictable, Leah basically throws off the yoke of her orthodoxy, attends a black tie event in an untznius dress and then gets all hot and heavy with her new husband. Its classic, the language was good, shabbos was actually pronounced as such and not as shabbat.
There were several things which were to be expected Jake can’t figure out what to do because he feels as if he is betraying his brother by shacking up with his widow, so he goes to the local temple, the Rabbanit is wearing a talis – what Rabbis have to wear a talis all the time, whats the deal with wearing it like a scarf? In fact I should do a whole rant on how non-orthodox Jews wear talesim whenever they enter a shul, similar to the women wearing doilies.
I am sure the Jewish news sites will have something about how much of a chillul Hashem Loving Leah was, but I enjoyed this cute love story. The Rabbis at the end were so fake it was pathetic, but the general story line was pretty accurate and its one of those feel good everyone lives happily ever after stories.
I already know that a ton of frummies will be ranting about how horrible Loving Leah was – but it really wasn’t too bad, girl loses husband does chalitzah and falls in love with her new and less religious husband – both make compromises and the modern orthodox movement gains some members.