Join 400,000 Aish subscribers
Get Email Updates
The agony of not knowing.
A chilling Malaysia Air Flight 370 story.
How to bring more love and joy into your own marriage.
Mahmoud Abbas and Iran show their true colors this week.
Like Solomon Northup, Esther could not reveal her true identity.
Eighteen years after a series of deadly terror attacks leading up to Purim, a unique quilt helped stitch together broken hearts.
Children went from being our employees to our bosses, replacing responsibility with entitlement.
Matthew McConaughey and finding God in mysterious places.
Where is our shame?
How to find God.
Purim is the opportune time to work on piercing through the darkness and strengthen your connection to God.
Sometimes receiving a sign that God is orchestrating events can transform one’s life.
It’s Purim time, is everyone happy? If not, try these tools with your kids.
If it is, here’s an important Purim silver lining.
This Purim express your love for one another with delicious, life-enhancing cuisine.
Three keys to peering into the soul of the person you’re dating.
Although they mean well, these three words are like a knife digging deeper into my heart.
7 tips on how to really thrive while being single.
Delve into some mind-boggling concepts in this exploration of the Jewish definition of God.
Read each word carefully... and all its secrets will be within your grasp.
Is God needed to create the universe?
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
An in-depth video series exploring Esther’s true role in the Purim story.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
There’s an Esther, Haman and Mordechai in all of us.
You voted for the three best jokes of the year and here they are!
With the Sochi Olympics now over, let’s go back 100 years and imagine what a Russian “Olympics” in these shtetls would have really looked like.
Are you surprised to hear an Academy Award winning actor thank God so publicly?
My groovy, let's-all-make-aliyah theme song that describes the various major redemption moments of the past century.
Purim and your unique role in life.
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
Get Aish.com's Free Email Updates.
Read and add your comments below.
February 24, 2007
August 14, 2007 11:01 PM
Lori, you are very sensitive, I appreciate that; we need a lot more people like you in this world. The show is a make or break time for the contestants. We all have our dreams and wishes. Some even get the courage to try, others get out there and do it. In America, we take the chance; give it a whirl; step out;(fall on our face) etc. WE need a real reality check to see where we stand. We count the cost,take the chance and do it anyway. We find out where we stand as a real person that has the courage to stand, fall,get up and try again, & again. People don't step into anything and succeed. We plan, learn, try, work and win or lose. When you study the test and trials of life, they come in a pattern and many are age related. It is a major part of life. We win by succeeding. A child at one year old, learns to walk, he does not start running the very next day. We plop on our bottom many times and Mommy has to wipe the tears away. The bandaids on the holes in our skin and stitches in our clothes is all part of growing up. Most of us make it just fine. I do agree with many of your writers about one thing, many people do not find the value of belief in ONE GOD, a moral way of living,and the ablity to encourage people to do better and make something of True Value of their life. A heart that is tender and sensitive to teach and encourage us when we fall, fail, mess up etc; be it a mother, father,or our GOD thats loves us enough to try and try again till we finally get it right. This is what life is all about. The contestant on the show have the strength and courage to try, I give them all credit for that. BUT like others that have written in, America and the rest of our world, needs to look for the one who created all this; give him a chance to create something in our own life that will stand the test and trials of life. People need a "Different Point of View" from cradle to grave.
April 25, 2007 8:03 AM
You hit it!
You are precisely right. Humiliation is such a thing that kills inside us. America unfortunately as a nation is now leadingto a decline as its people are turning away as fast as they could from God's principles: a sign of times! Bless you heaps and keep on going.....
March 28, 2007 8:37 PM
Why in the world would 30 million people vote agaist Chris and voted for Sanjaya?? What is America thinking???? I think that we need to get back to basic of what American Idol is all about and by far that would not be Sanjaya. Good Luck Chris...America really does love you!!!
March 16, 2007 4:17 PM
Why I find America's #1 show so disturbing.
DEAR MISS LORY: THIS IS THE SECOND TIME I HAVE THE OPORTUNITY TO SEE AND HEAR SOME OF YOUR COMMENTS...THE FIRST ONE WAS THAT OF WE ARE THE FIRST GENERATION TO LET OUR KIDS CALL GROWNUPS BY THEIR FIRST NAME....AND BELIVE ME MY JAW TOUCH THE FLOOR...DEAR LADY YOU ARE SO ""PRECISELY CORRECT""....AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR SUCH A GOOD KIND OF THINKINGRESPETUOSAMENTEENRIQUE ENGRONAT Y SRA.TAMPICO MEXICO
March 14, 2007 7:12 AM
you are right
You are right about it, but as you pointed they knew where they are going, they decided that they can take the risk. Why? I don't understand, but it was the choice. We cannot blame just one party for it.
March 12, 2007 5:26 AM
Thank you for that opinion. I thought I was the only person who feltthat way about the (stupid) show. I don't watch it, I don't promote it, Itell people my opinion of that Simon person. Such a waste of good talent,these American people are so lost. Baruch Hashem I don't watch all that muchTV.
Dirk A. van Mulligen,
March 8, 2007 3:02 AM
Not just in the US!
Hi Lori,A relief to see that I'm not the only one being disturbed by recent TV shows such as Idols. Alas, a lot of these concepts are being 'invented' here in the Netherlands. Every new concept is just a bit further from the light than the previous one. Ever so subtle. And after all, it's just a TV show! Right? Wrong. I think these shows are part of a modern day plague. Not in the physical sense, but in the mental/spiritual sense. People are being led farther and farther away from their true selves and thereby from God in the process. The innocence of children is extremely valuable. As a parent I try to slowly replace each partial loss of innocence (which is very much part of growing up) with faith and trust in themselves. And that is a very tough job. TV-Shows as Idols smash childrens innocence in one blow, leaving a big hole which is filled with negative self images and feelings. Thereby they create people who will find it harder and harder to experience true lasting happiness. Speaking out against these shows is really about taking responsibility. My compliments to you for doing just that.
March 4, 2007 8:56 AM
Thanks for speaking out against this. I think it's disgusting what intertains people these days
March 3, 2007 10:05 PM
I love this series
and admire lori for facing the die-hard AI fans and taking a risk on this one. No one's preaching - its just food for thought. so relax.
March 3, 2007 6:30 AM
thanks lori, i love the way you bring back some sense to what seems so acceptable these days. I'm your fan now and will read all your other articles & postings. You are beautiful and may you stay that way....
February 28, 2007 8:29 PM
Your comment had my mouth hanging open. Of course, you will now tell me to simply "shut it".Can you not see that Lori is speaking about exactly this- insulting, degrading comments, nasty cheap shots at other peope? Lori doesn't judge other people (unlike...), she judges behavior, and in fact, it is VERY well received. Because she is so warm and non-judgemental, she is able to use her incidental watching of the show as a springboard for learning lessons about life itself.Even those prone to making nasty comments and putting down others surely understand that refraining from same is an ideal.To nk who asked why Lori is "preaching" and making people feel bad about watching the show, this was not the point of the presentation. Lori was using the show as an example of making degrading comments. She said G-d doesn't make junk, and that's a universally applicable idea. There was no preaching whatsoever, nor mention about not watching the show. The focus was on being careful not to degrade others. I imagine everyone is in agreement with this?
February 28, 2007 7:06 PM
On "Idol" Worship
I have to say I'm a bit surprised about how defensive some pro-"Idol" comments are. Ms. Palatnik did not say anything horrible about viewers---merely about your choice of viewing. And I think she makes a very good moral and theological point. Try looking at it this way---would you like to see your child on "American Idol," being berating by Simon Cowell like that? If not, then why would God?Some of the comments say that other things are worse that "American Idol"---so? I know these contestants are bad singers, but gentle criticism is better than humiliation---even if not for ratings. That this show is entertaining does not make it a (morally) good show.God bless.
February 28, 2007 4:53 PM
Criticism is futile
Criticism of any television program is futile. Are TV networks influenced by what viewers want to watch? OR Are Viewers influenced by what TV networks televise? ie if you don't agree with something on TV then don't WATCH IT ......the choice is yours.
February 28, 2007 2:27 PM
Lori is so Misunderstood
I have read LoriÂ´s book Friday night and beyond and number of her articles and at one point emailed her when I learned she had family member who was ill, I trully feel she is so misunderstood, she is a beautiful person sincere and genuinely cares about others. Good on you for defending contestants, so desperate for attention fame or fortune that they would publically tolerate ridicule.Thank you Lori for sharing your insights.
February 28, 2007 12:43 PM
good for you!
Good for you Lori! I read through many of the coments and they are just excuses. If people will look a little at where you are coing from, they will realize that you are speaking Torah and giving to your fellow man in love by showing a better way, God's way. I had the same reaction to the show after hearing so much about it and watched with a staunch Christian who also gave the same excuses for it such as if they go try out in Hollywood it'll be much worse.."brutal". Well for mankind to find deliverance aren't we supposed to learn how not to be "brutal"?! Thank you so much. Travel on and speak On!
Akiva D. Crown,
February 28, 2007 1:06 AM
You are out of line!
Preaching from your ivory tower is not well received. You don't watch TV, so either make a general opinion about the ills of TV or keep your mouth shut. There is no need insult those who watch a basically innocent show in comparison to other shows on TV. Shame on you for judging others. You are certainly not the next AISH idol.
February 27, 2007 8:39 PM
Reply to a comment
""You think Simon is hard on contestants? Try out for a play sometime---it's brutal""True, people get criticised wherever they audition at. But still sometimes Simon goes too far like when he told someone that they are the worst singer in the world. - Simon should be gentler like Randy and Paula instead of making the person feel horrible.
February 27, 2007 1:42 PM
Can't even finish...
I can't even finish watching this. Critical preaching at its best here. If you don't like the show, why even bother talking about it? To make people feel bad for watching and enjoying it? Shame on us for liking such a show. Forgive me, mother, for I have sinned. Give me a break.
February 27, 2007 11:47 AM
Totally agree with you - this is disturbing!
I find shows like American Idol, Weakest Link, etc, to be very disturbing - the result, I believe, of Godlessness in our society and a backslide towards paganism. This type of TV programming too closely resembles ancient Roman blood sports for my comfort! Bless you for your insight and sensitivity.
February 27, 2007 7:29 AM
How America has changed
How America has changed! Many years ago, problably before you were born, there was TV show called "Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour." (I believe it was previously a radio show.) Singers, dancers, and other hopefuls would show off their talent on national TV. I was only a kid at the time, but I don't suppose that all of them were polished performers. However, one incident I do remember. One week, a young woman was performing a one-woman skit. After a few minutes she had a strange look on her face, and she ran off the stage, eveidently because of stagefright,because she had forgotten her lines. The moderator, Ted Mack, raafter her and and in a very encouraging way, convinced her to return to the stage and continue. I remember myself feeling very sorry for her, and I don't rememeber any humiliating comments from the audience.As I remember, she chose not to continue. The next week she performed again. Ted Mack introduced her with alot of encouaraging words and she did her skit,this time successfully.How America has changed!
February 27, 2007 2:09 AM
I Agree 100%
There is no reason for the panel to mock the people who try out. They could kindly tell them that they are not qualified. It is like saying to someone, shut up verses saying be quiet, there is a BIG difference!
February 26, 2007 7:37 PM
Nobody forces anyone to be on the show, that is the contestants free choice! If you have no talent you have no business being on the show. Is getting criticized on national TV nice? Of course not but are TV reality shows based in Torah values? You would be better off not watching any TV. I love American Idol, because I love the contest portion of the show as so many Americans do.
February 26, 2007 6:40 PM
putting down others
a great rabbi was walking in england with a group of students.they chancedupon 2 boys who were having a contestto see who was taller.one boy wanted to win so he stood next to his friendand unbeknownst to him placed his friendin the gutter while he stood on the sidewalk. the rabbi commented that this boy was showing wicked tendencies.not because he was cheating,but because in order to appear taller,he put his frienddown.he could have stepped on a stone and raised himself but chose to appear bigger by putting his fellow down.thatsamerican idol.great message.
February 26, 2007 1:11 PM
Not Only American Idol
It is clear that Miss Palatnik has never been to an audition of any kind, from a Broadway Production to a Junior High School Play--auditions are full of expectations, dissapointments, criticism, and praise. It's part of the game, part of paying the dues, part of working your way up the ladder. Whatever route that is taken to get to the top is littered with the failures of some and illuminated by the successes of others. You think Simon is hard on contestants? Try out for a play sometime---it's brutal. But it's done because it's the way to the top. And, it's not just an American phenomenon, it's anywhere an actor or dancer is working to get ahead.
February 26, 2007 10:42 AM
It's all about the Money!
Our culture has been degraded by sensationalism. Common sense and vales have become rare today. Everything is sound bites and the need to shock the audience who has becomes numb.The targeted audience is young and for the most, short attention spanned. American Idol has become very successful because they know how to attract the targeted audience and the sponsors who pay out big time for a big targeted audience. It's all about the money and knowing what the audience likes. Until we replace real values of God, Family and common sense shows like American Idol will be the norm.
Michael Oberndorf, RPA,
February 26, 2007 7:46 AM
I agree 100% with Lori re: American Idol. The show, unfortunately like far too much of what's presented on TV today as "entertainment," is designed to make people feel superior to other by humiliating them publically. The original TV talent shows were just that - shows where the most talented won something, including recognition. In this new version, with it's vicious judges - one of whom, from his accent, does not even appear to be American, and is certainly of questionable gender orientation - winning and recognition appear to be secondary to the humiliation of the losers. As a country, we are in trouble; as human beings, children of G-d, we are in BIG trouble.
February 26, 2007 12:52 AM
a trash show
i agree with the video. why should the judges of american idol do such a thing? if the participants did not pass the test, they just should tell them and not uttering insulting words. is there no authority on this to stop that nonesense? as we know, one judge there is obviously very fund of remarking unkind words to the contestants. but the other one, i, m surprized that he become more cruel than the original one. why not let these judges sing in front of the crowd so that they,ll know what they are talking about
February 26, 2007 12:20 AM
there's nothing new under the sun...
this is just one more piece of junk under the sun - and televised; the 'fun' is in tearing down others and themselves wether they sign a release form or not - ok... so the Romans didn't have release forms! does the means justify the end? one of the best exercises for the mind is to uplift another soul... turn off the idiot box and start living
February 25, 2007 11:25 PM
I hear the message you are sending but I don't believe this was a good example. If smne. wants a chance for 15 min. of fame & is willing to endure embarrasment then it is not considered a "murder". We all understand it is wrong to embarrass & degrade another person and there are better examples where this would be a tantamount of murder, like throwing a jewish child out of the yeshiva classroom because the parent is late on tuition payments.
February 25, 2007 10:10 PM
I'm with you, Lori
As much as I agree with another poster that the 'wounds are self-inflicted', as decent human beings we definitely need to know the boundaries of acceptable behavior. And humiliation is never acceptable, even on a show where the particants agree to this treatment, even in the cases where a participant will acheive subsequent good, as one poster noted.What is important is the behavior of the humiliator, and the parameters of acceptable human behavior. It is unfortunate that we have become so desentitized to decent human behavior and compassion, that excuse the show on the grounds of "talent competition", "signing of a release", etc.
February 25, 2007 9:02 PM
I am in such total agreement with Lori Palatnik about the American Idol auditions; I don't think they should be shown, since it is clear a lot of the people do not have talent.But, I do enjoy watching the rest of the shows, when the best are competing against the best....And, I agree, it is absolutely cruel to humiliate someone in that way.
Jeanne from the Heartland, Iowa, USA,
February 25, 2007 9:02 PM
Thank you Lori!
I appreciate your criticism I didn't think of those things while watching American Idol but now that I am confronted with the TRUTH I will not watch again.
February 25, 2007 4:46 PM
God doesn't make junk?
Hi Lori.. I watched two seasons of AI and I'm not watching this season.. Not because of the humiliation these people receive, but because the show simply bores me now.. and yes, they do receive lots of hurtful comments by the panel, mostly Simon, and they're expecting it.. but you said that God wouldn't want this.. that God doesn't make junk.. Well, I am a true believer in God, but sometimes the JUNK really shows up. Not just talent-wise.. but morally and spiritually. Think.. Jails! Lots of junk there.. rapists, murderers, that's a lot of junk to me.. God made us all equal and we choose the path.. but there is junk out there.. AI is not a bad show.. it's not a junk show.. it's a reality talent show.. and it should be viewed as a step towards thickening your skin.. :).. God doesn't make junk.. but He sure gives us the chance to become Junk.. Don't be so hard on the show.. or the kids who come on it.. It's really ok.. :)
February 25, 2007 3:25 PM
I think that in a way she is right, BUT people go on to the show knowing what happens. They know how the show works, and it is there risk. They go on at their own risk, and that is their descision. Yes, a lot of people enjoy watching the show. Most of the people are pretty good. They know how the show works, and if they think that as an indevidual they are ready for it, it is their choice. They know only one person wins.
February 25, 2007 3:07 PM
Re:Todah, todah, todah
Baruch HaShem for someone with brains. R. Steinsaltz said Hollywood IS an idol in America. Draw the line people.
February 25, 2007 2:18 PM
I completely agree with Lori.
As I read Loris' comments ,it was like I was talking. I have had this argument with others. I can not believe that people allow themselves to be so belittled, and I do not watch this show for that reason. To me it's as if I am feeling their pain.
February 25, 2007 2:10 PM
My thoughts exactly!
Amen!The first time I saw the "elimination" rounds, I was mortified. How could anyone go on national TV and submit themselves to that kind of embarassment?I never watched it again. Perhaps someone from AISH should send this clip to Paula Abdul, one of the judges. She tries to be kind in opposition to Simon, but more importantly, she is Jewish. Not many people know this, as her name sounds Arabic. Perhaps if she saw this piece, it would give her something to think about.
February 25, 2007 1:27 PM
You Must Be Kidding
If this is the first time you've watched this show, you obviously don't understand it. People use this show as much as the show uses them. Yes, some people might think they are better than they actually are, and many are hurt. But it is all about editing - the good, the bad and the ugly - and it's all about making a show that America will watch. I'm not a fan of embarassing people. I'm not a fan of all-Anna Nicole or all-Britany cable TV instead of showing the attrocities of the war, the homeless in New Orleans or the day-to-day issues that are really important. But American Idol is not important. People know they will be embarassed and still go on the show. And in the end, some pretty darn good talent comes out of it. So if you want to rant about the media, rant about how America's fascination with celebrity has replaced our fascination about what really matters in the world, not about how a TV show can hurt one's feelings.
February 25, 2007 12:06 PM
Refuting your arguments
Lori, you are an intelligent and well spoken individual, and I have read your other articles and enjoyed them. However, I would like to refute your arguments with my own opinions, and hope you wont take them personally. Before saying anything, I would like you to know that I do not even enjoy watching most television, and i think i have turned on the set maybe one time in the past few months. so my viewpoint does not come as a defense to television, or to the producers of the show or panelists, but to critique your arguments against this popular show. 1. If you watched the show long enough, you would understand that Contestants DO indeed know and understand that Simon, if not the other two, criticizes about 99% of the contestants, regardless of their talent, even though many people would disagree with him.2. Talent of singing does not make a person worthy or unworthy, and if a contestant feels this way and is unable to receive criticism publicly (they must agree to going on stage before a public audience), that is their responsibilty and the responsibilty of their family and friends, or therapist, or confidante, to support them. it is not the responsibility of Simon, Randy, or Paula to foster their self-esteem, but to judge a nation-wide show to get to some great talent.3. As to your comments "you dont need to go through...to gain some sense of i'm somebody"- A majority of contestants, whether they believe they are good singers or not (& interestingly enough, the conetstants who are vain usually happen to be the ones who do not make it through), are all nervous and do not expect to make it to #1, and if they did not take the chance, and anyone did not take chances in front of odds that were small, they may never find out that it is still worth it to pursue your dreams. once they have exposure on national television, they have more opportunities. For example, William Hung, a contestant who didnt make it through his first initial audition, "captured the hearts" of Americans by his singing and dancing and effort that audition day, and has his own website and has been featured on numerous news stations and entertainment news, and has even released his own album. In conclusion, I believe your remarks are interesting and true to other circumstances, but American Idol and its contestants are well informed and destined to go in a direction that is driven by the creator, but getting the courage to audition leads them somewhere, even if it reminds them that they are not going to be the one out of the hundreds of thousands that audition to become the next american idol.
February 25, 2007 10:55 AM
If you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen
Strange as it may be..these Idol wanabees are well aware of the consequences of rejection.The wounds you speak about are all self-inflicted.Personally I think the show is stupid.Thanks,bob reid
February 25, 2007 10:39 AM
I've been watching AI for several years now and I have actually notice a turn towards airing more "untalented singers" than talented singers in the preliminary rounds. I wish they would keep it more even. The lead up the the final 24 is rather long a grueling and certainly not my favourite part for many reasons similar to what you've mentioned. However, I'd like to suggest that even those people convinced they have talent and convinced they will make it on to the show are aware that there is a possibility that they won't make it further. Often times, it is the arrogance of people that sets themselves up for humiliation. The fact that AI is capturing that on TV is meerly a media stunt.
February 25, 2007 10:10 AM
To Charles Cohen
That is VERY offensive- you have just slandered countless people of and stripes. You may not be Orthodox, but the orthodox believe in the goodness of all of humanity. All of humanity is capable of seeing gross humiliation as a from of murder- it doesn't take so much imagination. Please don't put down so many people of all persuasions, by saying that Lori is stating a unique Orthodox position- she is simply saying what is common sense, in a way that appeals to our souls.If you are able to peek over the great wall of bias that you have erected against observant Jews, you will see the wisdom in her warm words, universally applicable.
February 25, 2007 9:39 AM
I really liked this plain, ordinary piece of morality.
February 25, 2007 9:39 AM
Thank you for the reminder
Dear Lori, For many years, I did not really watch this program, as I thought the criticisms were geared not to building up, but to tearing down the souls of the competitors. I must admit, I had drifed from that perspective, but your reminder was sobering. The Tanakh tells us that "there are those whose words are like the piercing of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." Thank you for bringing healing to me, and for reminding me to use my words for life and not for death.
February 25, 2007 9:17 AM
Dear LoriP,Your succinct critique and empathy for those shamed on Idol is praiseworthy. However, please be mindful of the fact that this show is nothing more than an old-fashion talent competition. In that respect, you may wish to reconsider your posture...i believe the show is basically harmless, though frankly, i'd like a bit more modesty. Warmly,BruceB
February 25, 2007 8:20 AM
Charles Cohen - you are unbelievable
Mr. Cohen... don't go telling us that we are "slanted to the orthodox" It's plain and simple - be careful how you treat your fellow man - no matter what is at stake. Mrs. Patatnik is absolutely ,without a question of a doubt, correct, and this should be a lesson for all of us, including you.
February 25, 2007 7:47 AM
This is just another article displaying the self centered attitude of the so called holly rollers. To take ridicule and call it murder in the name of "their" form of religion is unbelievable. Lori Patatnik has written some excellent material. It may be slanted to the orthodox but it usually has some sense. This is by far her worst material
February 25, 2007 7:23 AM
Some of what u say is right.
I agree with some of what you say. I do not find those that have no talent funny, But they have to agree to be shown on tv by signing a release. Some do it just to be on TV. What you didn't see is the actual competion. Perhaps you shouldn't judge the entire show on the one episode. Also, when I was traveling on EL AL to Israel they had a dance show that did the same thing. They critized people what were not that good.Perhaps we should look at tv in general in both countries.
February 25, 2007 4:16 AM
The emperor has no clothes!!!
Thanks for having the courage to tell the truth!
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.