Raging prophet, iconoclastic philosopher, scientist a social critic - and an Orthodox Jew, Yeshayahu Leibowitz confronted Israeli society with both moral and social courage.
He outraged Israelis with lacerating commentary especially over Israel's policies in the occupied territories. He was a vocal critic of the political and religious culture in Israel. And 20 years after his death at the age of 91, his words are still alive, provocative and ever-so relevant
Written & Directed by: Uri Rosenwaks & Rinat KleinProduced by: Haim Slutzky & Dana Cohen – Dana ProductionsSponsored by: Israel Channel 8, AviChai Foundation & Rabinovich Foundation for CinemaLanguage: Hebrew with English subtitles
Among the onslaught of prime-time shows where you hear people bark and howl, and boom in broken and shattered language – it might be important to pay attention to a real gem; the three part series LEIBOWITZ: FAITH COUNTRY AND MAN by Uri Rosenwaks and Rinat Klein. This is an outstanding series about one of the great truth-sayers of our era. I was most moved by the moment when, as a religious man, Leibowitz prays for the sake of praying, and not for some sort of gain like what will I earn or is this worth it. But it is really worth seeing this series and even a must.
A Television Miracle Without the Intervention of God
Irina Melamed, Ynet Feb 26th 2013
The Documentary series “Leibowitz” is a once in a decade event.
It is enough to watch just the first episode of the three part series to see that this is the best thing to happen to TV in a long time; TV for thinking people.
After viewing just one episode one can tell that this is some sort of miracle. And when the series is the result of public funding and excellent thinking on the part of the two creators of the series, we can declare that this is the best thing to happen in the local TV industry in a decade – TV for thinking people.
The first episode happens to take on a topic that is actually the most difficult for most to “chew on”, as it deals with faith. The episodes that follow are about the land and about the man and they feature an impressive array of students, researchers, fans and detractors who marvel at the man who is dead and whose ideas are very much alive.
Sivan Rahav Meir / Yediot Acharonot
Uri Rosenwaks, the chair of the Documentary Forum, was presenting one part of his three part series Leibowitz: Faith, Country and Man. These are three new films about the unusual Orthodox philosopher who has also been called “a mitzvah keeping heretic”. Rosenwaks was concerned that Leibowitz would mainly be remembered by the public for his provocative rhetoric and decided to embark on a more in-depth journey. In one of the more moving moments of the film, singer Ehud Banai recalls how he began his process of becoming more religious after an encounter with Leibowitz. This occurred while he was a soldier and Leibowitz came to speak before the soldiers and thus helping Banai solve a lot of his issues. “I used to think that before every prayer I had to have specific meaning and intentions. But he, the great professor, said that he just simply woke up and prayed. And that he wanted it to be part of his regular routine, to pray with the vegetable seller and the barber”.
Like many others who came into contact with him, Banai too constructed a different Jewish outlook. In the film Banai performs his song “Answer Me” which Leibowitz would most probably mock. “since when do we ask that God answer us?” and he would get up every day and make the journey from his home in Jerusalem on Ushiskin Street to the Yeshurun Synagogue. People said that you could set your clock according to this daily ritual.
Rinat Klein and Uri Rosenwaks’ three part documentary series “Leibowitz: Faith Country and Man” could not have come at a more important time. Ever more people do no longer know who Leibowitz was, or only know that he coined the term “Judeo-Nazis”. Fortunately a number of marathon screenings of the three-part documentary have been sold out, and it is to be hoped that this will revive discussion of Leibowitz’s thought and theses.
For the entire review by Carlo Strenger/ Haaretz.com, check: http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/yeshayahu-leibowitz-prophet-of-wrath-harbinger-of-the-future.premium-1.509103
or download the PDF