Education Against Violence

Question

My teacher suggested avoiding at least some TV shows and video games because of the violence and immorality. I’m not asking your opinion about TV, but, based on this reasoning shouldn’t one also avoid Torah study since it also tells about historical violent and immoral acts? Thanks, Rabbi.

2 months

Answers

  1. No, we should study the Torah. One reason is that it is educational.

    Television, too, can be educational. Unfortunately, it is often teaching the wrong lesson.

    The average five-year old sees hundreds of acts of violence, murder and other acts of immorality each year on television, films, videos and video games. So do his parents. He and his parents do this for entertainment. Rarely is there an obvious moral or lesson conveyed.

    The Torah, on the other hand, educates us to be good. For example, the Torah says “Cain rose against his brother Abel and killed him (Gen. 4:8).” Immediately Cain is punished by God with exile and the eventual dying out of his line after seven generations.

    The immoral advances of Potifar’s wife toward Joseph in Egypt are related in the Torah (Gen. 39). Joseph’s resistance eventually leads him to become viceroy of Egypt and gains him the praise and blessing of his father.

    Immoral acts are described by the Torah matter-of-factly and as briefly as possible; no gory details are offered for our “entertainment.”

    The word “Torah” means “instruction.” The Torah is our instruction manual for life. A manual shows what to do and what not to do; what works and what doesn’t work; what is good and what is evil.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team