Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Making of a Kiddush HaShem

Yesterday I wrote a post about a Kiddush HaShem done by a family who took into their home a couple of troubled teenagers. It was in the context of a BBC reality series about placing such teens into families with stricter rules. Orthodox Judaism - it was correctly perceived by the producers - fits that bill. The Sha-ked family was chosen to fill that roll. There was a lot of debate and even criticism of this family for risking the welfare of their own children by allowing these kids to be brought into their home. Their motives were even questioned by some!

The following is a response by the Sha-keds posted in the comments section. Rather than letting it get lost in there, I present it here - with some very minor grammatical corrections - for wider exposure as a guest post:

Thank you for the positive piece in your blog. We would like to address some of your readers concerns regarding the show:

1. We did not do this for money. The only money involved is for compensation of food and necessities.

2. We put in weeks of work, in advance of the show, to pick individuals, experiences, and lectures that would showcase Jewish values in a positive light to the world.

3. We consulted a number of Rabbeim.

4. We were given the permission of our Yishuv.

5. We took steps to ensure that our children were NEVER left alone, unsupervised.

6. You have no idea how many safe guards were put in place. There are NO guarantees in this world but with Ha-shem's help and a lot of homework we proceeded forward.

7. The BBC gave us a rare opportunity to showcase Jewish values and we ran classes with a Rabbi to help transmit the concept of Tznius and the Jewish notion of respecting parents etc.

8. We knew they were picking a family in Israel. We wanted to make sure it would be one that wanted to promote Jewish values instead of merely being on a reality show.

9. The BBC did not script it.

10. Without knowing any of the facts, or understanding the hours that were put into setting up the content for the show, some Yidden jump to erroneous conclusions which are hurtful.

Thanks again

The Sha-ked family