Celebrity Fascination

Why do people care about Paris Hilton?

Comments (120)

(120) Anonymous, March 14, 2012 2:26 AM

sorry if this is a long speil, i really belive in this stuff

i am not obsessed with any of the celebs bec. i am a teen from a frum home and dont care that much (but care a little) about the celebs. however, no matter what, they leak in. through ,friends,checkout counters etc.and somehow, they insert a small amnt. of jealousy. but, of course, that is the point of them.i think we want to be like them bec. they are gorgeous and look so calm and collected 24/7.However im sure there is another psychological reason that we are addicted that is REALLY hard to explain. btw i always feel really stupid and used and even guilty after i snoop: like i fell into a trap easily. One more thing, s/t that makes me feel less jealous, is to realize/think that we all have jobs in this world,u mite be a teacher and i mite become a physiologist,and the celebs job is to entertain us so in a way we should feel superior over them bec. there job is to entertain us and if they cant do that big job well, have u noticed that they aren't heard abt.much?plus,we are cooler then them bec. we have integrity and r hopefully way more moral and real.whatever, i can go on forever!!! anonymous-age 16

(119) Anonymous, March 9, 2011 4:06 AM

I was just thinking this..

I have this problem with Justin Bieber... its funny because I was never into celebrities before. Honestly I am not t sure!!!! I just enjoy watching interviews and twitter. Maybe its a distraction and its time for a reality check! However, you are right about it helping me from facing my own life and REALITY!

(118) Anonymous, February 7, 2011 9:44 PM

Fact is I do....Why?

You raised a question that recently I have been asking myself. I really don’t know why I like following the celebrities lives. I am an extremely happy person. I am fulfilled and satisfied with my own life so.....I am left wondering why I feel the need to read and follow up on their lives. Any ideas?

(117) Michelle, June 7, 2009 7:45 PM

Hits the nail on the head

I completely agree with everything you've said,Lori. I always say the bracha Boruch Hashem shelo asani goy, with complete belief. Unfortunately so many of the Hollywood glam are Jewish,by name only ofcourse. Perhaps one day a small handful will come to see the truth,G-d willing.We can only hope and pray on behalf of them.

(116) Adel, August 14, 2008 2:08 AM

sorry state of affairs

I'm sorry I cant comment on Paris Hilton- I honestly don't know too much about her and so I am certaintly not infatuated with her (yes, believe it or not, I don't watch TV or follow the news too vicariously). I just wanted to share an observation, I just read the clip about Kelly O'Reilly and was pretty inspired by his chessed for others, particularly somewhat he completly does not know. And then I read this. I noticed that Kelly's article garnered a total of 8 comments while this one drew 115. I think that its a pretty sorry state of affairs when more people are interested in commenting on Paris Hilton than an inspiring story about kindness. or maybe this just proves your point Lori.

(115) LEON, March 20, 2008 11:51 PM

So well said

Its been said that those who are so-called the highest up in society have the lowest self-esteem...we feed their insecurities with our obsessions. How would every person with nice expensive luxury or sports car feel if everytime they stopped at a light and looked over at the person in the ford taurus and they were ignored? How would he feel about himself with no one to impress?

(114) Biana, February 14, 2008 9:38 PM

The reason I obsess is because, to me, it is an outlet (not a positive one) from the life I have now. I am almost 17 yrs old, and my life is overwhelming from various things. I think this one of the reasons that millions of people around the world care about Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

(113) Anonymous, February 12, 2008 7:47 PM

im 13

Im 13 years old and my father loves your little clips
he e-mails them to me all the time
the reason i think that people my age and older as youcall it "obssesed" with celebrites is becasue our life is usually go to school or work come home do homework or any other type of work then sleep....we have no ecitment..we rather watch tv with people who you might think are greater actors then you or greater singers than you on tv...they are famous nd everybody knows them...and if everybody knows them you think you should know them to...its called being "with it" but what people don't understand is they do waste their time watching and talking about all these people. Whop cares about if a 16 year old had a baby she is messing up her life...don't mess up yours...Wouldn't you rather go live you life and be apart of someone else's too..its not bad now and then to discuss it but don't be obsessed....hope you all have a gr8 day!!!

(112) Lea, January 25, 2008 9:15 AM


Oh, Thank G-d, finally someone which said it! I thought I was the only one thinking like that. Thanks Lori, I couldn't explain it better.

(111) Julie, January 25, 2008 2:49 AM

Who needs Hollywood

Just the other day, I was telling a friend that each time I come across anything regarding Hollywood - celebrities and their lifestyles, whether it's positive or negative, it is a confirmation to me of something. It confirms to me that it is a life of fleeting joys, shallowness and temporary decadence. It fades into nothingness - at best. Ironically, the next day, the actor Heath Ledger died suddenly at the age of twenty-eight. It made it all too clear to me that in this life, we need an anchor to something concrete - to reality; a foundation. We need Hashem. And more desperately now than ever. All that glitters is certainly NOT gold. And if there is a spiritual void, nothing material will ever fill it.

(110) Anonymous, January 10, 2008 4:26 AM

WOW!! I needed to see this video

I love when I get those "that's so Hashem" moments! Right before I stumbled across this video I was thinking to myself how at peace I feel tonight not being immersed in the celebrity gossip website TMZ. I was instead immersed in the Jerusalem Post website, watching videos of President Bush's visit to Jerusalem. Over the past several weeks I have literally become "addicted" to viewing this celebrity sighting website. I agree with what others are saying -that being in the "know" about celebrities gives people a sense of connectedness over something mindless. However, my particular reason for "escaping" into the mad, mad world of paparazzi is for a very different reason. These people have
their entire lives exposed for the entire world to see,so it helps me to forget my own pain. I realize that my reason is an awful rationalization. Somehow seeing horrible stories of these celebrities, who are obviously in pain, makes my horrifying experience seem so much less painful. At least I can try to avoid the people who I know have tried to slander my name and my integrity as a Jew and a human being. I think what we can learn from this is that loshon hora and even worse, motzei shem ra have lethal ramifications on all of us. I don't think that these celebrities really enjoy being examined under a microscope,the same why I didn't enjoy it. I happen to come from a wealthy family, as well as a somewhat media-linked one. I remember hearing the paparazzi knocking on the door of my mother and non-Jewish stepfather's apt.
I was a little girl. My ex stepfather's father(who was an entertainer) had just been murdered
and it was all over the New York papers.
Even as a little girl,I remember hearing viscious comments about my mother. I heard these comments because they were coming from my very own world of school, friends and neighbors. So you see, the world of media is just a macrocosm of our own worlds. I know this because the slander I referred to earlier was as an adult as well. It unfortuneately came from the frum Jewish community. I truly believe that we need to pay close attention to what we choose to hear and read. Otherwise we are at risk in harming our very own bretheren. I admit, I am still guilty of this celebrity mongering. It's going to take some effort for me to stop.

(109) Anonymous, January 6, 2008 8:10 AM

They alaways look good...

I am looking tired and stressed and they look well groomed and wonderful...

thats the fascination...

(108) Anonymous, January 2, 2008 9:45 AM

Survival of the Fittest

It's pretty sad when you care about someone you have never met and that someone you have never met, could care less about you. Very true. Sports figures are one thing, but Paris Hilton , give me a break. Materialism; the idea of money, fame, possession. More important than being happy and true to yourself and your family and friends?? Absolutely pathetic. Too many I's and me's and not enough us's (teamwork, togetherness,family, friends). Maybe that's what happens when you are in a society of competing cultures. The melting pot of the USA. The land of opportunity!! (Don't get me wrong, I love it here and there is no place I would rather be, but I think we must learn from ever culture and religion, not just our own. Know where we come from and respect others where they come from, as well. Not discriminate others, b/c you are only discriminating yourself b/c you are telling those people you don't understand and it's frustrating to oneself. The more you know and the more you understand, the better off you and everyone else around you will be.)

Social Darwinism: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. Only the very strong survive in this world.

But this doesn't mean you can't survive, just means you need to find out what you were meant to do.

(107) julia, December 26, 2007 12:31 PM

Family Fascination

Lori, you have reminded me of a childhood fascination.

My father ad mayo ve esrim shono, (until 120) was, very many years ago, a Rov in a Shul in Birmingham,UK.
When he used to stand up in shul to give a drosho (speech) I could see that here was a great, learned man sharing his Torah thoughts with the community and the congregants were listening to him and drinking in every word.

This can't be my father,this great Rov standing in front of this kehilla and Iwas fascinated with what he represented.
At home he was daddy, my father, like any other father - a family man. whose warmth and guidance was our family's gift from him to us.

Back home he was daddy like any other father

(106) alan, December 17, 2007 3:14 PM

fan club

If you were a star i would be in your fan club Lori. not because you are popular, because you are right on with this subject. the world seems to be taking it's cew's from the entertainment world more and more. people sit and watch others live fun filled lives, dangerours lives romantic live, as they wast their own lives way sitting in a chair. if there are things you want to do in life go out and do then. dont just sit and watch others have all the fun. but there is also one thing worse than just wasting life in a chair, and that is we allow the entertainment world to fill our minds with their agenda. i turned off the TV years ago and have never regereted it. but now and then i cross TV's path and what i see now i am ashamed of. if i lived the way those we watch on TV lived or if i did the things they did, i would be in prison, have every sexually transmitted disease there is, in deep debt, devorced and the list goes on. when we vicareously live what we wacth it changes our thoughts and action. i still belive in the commandments and that if we lived them the world would be a happer and better place for all. the stars of this world only care about you and me to pad their own pockets. i say who cares what Hilton in doing. if you want to look like her act like her, do the things she does, then get out of the chair and create your own life. you'll find as i have that the life you create is so much better anyway. i have known some of the stars and when the camara is not on them they are not as happy as you think. we all put our pants on one lag at a time. relationships are everything. make a friend, than go out and expereince life they way it was ment to be lived. thanks Lori, almost live. from Alan, very much alive.

(105) Tamar, December 16, 2007 1:09 PM

Escape from our own issues

Wallowing in celebrity gossip provides an escape, a change of scenery mentally and emotionally from our daily lives. For a brief shining moment we transcend the dirty diaper that needs changing, the garbage that needs to be taken out, the dirty dishes and the like and focus on beautiful clothing, glamorous parties and the latest in affairs of others who never appear to have bad hair days, nausea or in-law struggles.
It is like a young girl awed by the story of Cinderella and imagining she too could become a princess only these are adults entranced by what we all know is a charade. Idolatry, lust, greed, envy, lack of gratitude for what God has given us compared to these superstars goes hand in hand with allowing our thoughts to enter this arena of thought and the longer our minds wallow in it the worse it gets. It's almost like being hypnotized, that it is of any matter to our lives what these people do and have. But, somehow our minds enjoy the escape, kind of like a drug, pleasurable for a moment but negative in impact in the long run.
As David wrote "may the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, oh Lord." Somehow I don't think these celebrity oriented meditations are what he was describing as being acceptable in God's sight.

(104) paula wagner, December 15, 2007 12:11 AM

celebrity fascination


When something goes on in my family and another member of my family calls me about it...I'm all ears. I believe celebrity fascination is like that. We see them on television, read about them etc. After a period of time, they become a household name...family. So when something happens to them, we pay attention. Remember when you heard that Dick Clark had a massive stroke? How did you feel? He has been a huge part of our family for many many years. We were saddened and wanted to hear all about it. We sent cards and letters saying "Hold on Dick, its going to get better." I have never met him personally and i'm sure you haven't either, but we "felt" something didn't we? He has been around us for a long time...family. Today, the youngsters are talking about Paris Hilton. Not my generation for sure, and holds no interest for me, but she is a part of the younger generations family. Just a thought.


(103) Ditlef Christian Jacobsen, December 12, 2007 4:20 PM

Thank you for always good messages on Aish

Hello Lori.
my name is Ditlef and I subscribe on the newsletter from Aish.com.I often listen to you audio broadcasts and I like them very much and this one today was really good I wish more people could have heard that message.Because they demonstate true good wisdom.Thank you so much.May haShem bless you very much.
Ditlef from Norway who loves Israel and the jewish people.

(102) Chanah, December 10, 2007 12:28 PM

More grateful than fasination for the Jackmans and those like them

Shalom -
I am more grateful than fasinated with Mr. and Mrs. Deborrah & Hugh Jackman for their continued support of children's issues, along with Marlo Thomas and her father for the St. Judes Childrens hospital and Bob Barker for supporting animal rights; and so many others... They are in the publics eye and instead of making fools of themselves as Paris has, they have taken it upon themselves to support children and animal causes and other causes that should be important to most all of us. So G-d bless all of these wonderful people for using their publicity to help others and G-d bless you for this site and your wonderful insite. Shalom and G-d bless,

(101) joel, December 9, 2007 10:56 PM

i suppose a bit of jealousy and wishing your life was more like the glamorous is why people are interested in people like paris hilton and all the others

(100) shoshana esther, December 9, 2007 1:22 PM

so true thoughts

that's it. truth is simple!

(99) Anonymous, December 9, 2007 10:55 AM

Look with a Good Eye

Why do you care enough to be writing this? The "Cult of Celebrity" is nothing new. (Remember Photoplay magazine)? Paris Hilton made $7 million dollars last year with a book, TV show and modeling. If she wants to be famous, that's her business. You are not going to m'carve anyone by dissing the lure of celebrities. Your time would be better spent in promoting the advantages,pleasures and joys of a frum lifestyle. Or don't you feel them? Would you rather be Paris?

(98) alan gold, December 8, 2007 11:48 PM

I think we also like to "trash" the stars.

I think people are fascinated with all the partying and success but we like to hear about their failures, addictions, and heartbreaks. We say to ourselves that their "fabulous" life is not so perfect. They are not so smart and in some ways they are worse off then us. We also feel superior that we would know better how to live a life if we had the fame and fortune. It feels good to criticize them just as we are criticized and second guessed by other people.

(97) Anonymous, December 8, 2007 10:23 PM


Yes, I admit to reading gossip sometimes and I know it's stupid and a waste of time but I enjoy the relaxing element of it. One positive thing that came out from it is that I feel very thankful to Hashem for my life which is drug free, happy, spiritual and fulfilling. Poor celebs they can't say the same thing.

(96) smp, December 8, 2007 8:14 PM

reality check

the pull of the outside world is so strong these days one way to become somewhat free is to just take a brake from magazines and the like for a short while ( a week , or just shabbosim)... it teaches you selfcontrol and also puts you outside the situation so you can have an objective view of their priorities and your relationship towards them (yea you really can get that wrapped up!) thankyou for sharing this perspective it is truley appropriate for chanuka!

(95) Shirah, December 8, 2007 6:40 PM

It's about feeling unified..

I think we all consciously know that there is no intrinsic value in following the lives of the 'famous' in Hollywood.
However!... on a positive note- There IS something invigorating and even comforting in hundreds of thousands of people all knowing, chatting and caring about the same people...or the same things (in this case, Hollywood). Sadly the subject is empty and meaningless- but the sheer fact that you know the same information that the person pumping your gas knows, that the person in front of you in line knows..there's something 'nice' about that.
It's a similar feeling we have when it snows and all of your neighbors are outside shoveling and trying to get their cars out. All of a sudden we all feel unified. We feel like one big happy family. I think people have that feeling when talking about celebrities. You know that you can say something about 'Paris' or 'Kate and Tom' and who ever you're speaking to knows just what your talking about AND cares.
So, yes with out a doubt we need to be focused on people and things that are valuable and relevant to our lives but we CAN take a positive message that if we're aware of this need we have to feel part of a huge cohesive unit, we do in fact love the feeling of being in a mass group of people working toward , speaking about and busying ourselves with activities that are all the same..Lets remember that we are blessed enough to have a huge family of hundreds of thousands of people that are all part of the same value system, one cohesive unit. Lets channel that with in our own mass of people, with in our religion and faith. And G-d willing we will feel even more fulfilled and unified !

(94) karen, December 8, 2007 6:28 PM


Lori I love your ALmost Live .
What you said is so true I have to admit that I really do not get off on all that junk and I dont care about who is doing what and who is wearing what but everynow and then I slip and get caught up in the nonsense. I am proiud to say though that I never buy those junk magazines

(93) tricia kind, December 8, 2007 7:04 AM


you are so right...people aren't happy with who they are.. they overlook all the blessings they have in their lives... family , health, food on the table , a roof over their heads..when ever I feel blue, I just have to stop & think just how blessed I am, as I drive in my car going to buy food to bring to my home,I don't have to look very far to see another human being waiting @ the bus stop , sometimes in the rain, or the hot sun..just look around you , open your eyes... don't take for granted all the blessing we all have...you never know when in a flash... your life can change forever..

(92) Dorrin Rosenfeld, December 7, 2007 10:34 PM

Who's Paris Hilton???

I've heard her name before, but my life is far too busy (writing e-mails such as this) to notice what everybody else is doing. I'm actually too busy to notice what what MOST people are doing... When you come right down to it, I'm selfish enough happily) to ignore most of the world. I care what my friends and family are doing, but I tend not to notice strangers around me whom I probably wouldn't like anyway, if I really knew them... Some time ago, I suffered a major accident, and one of the results is a limited amount of attention I pay to irrelevant - to me - nonsense.

(91) Chaya, December 7, 2007 4:29 PM

gave it up

I finally gave up my subscription to People and I must say not only do I not miss it BUT it is so nice not having so much clutter in my life.

(90) Pepe, December 7, 2007 2:11 PM

Trash, trash and MORE trash.

Et their trash and their destiny.I wonder for a-lejion of a time,who is the provider of these famous people? Who is the provider of the people(what do they lack?) that idolize the famous ones? "Paris Hillton' she is famous for being famous". No,she is famous becouse her children spread her images in the media,and the blind fall into their trash.

(89) Aryeh, December 7, 2007 10:57 AM

fascinated with why people are fascinated

yes, what fascinates me if that is the right term is why anyone even cares ... just like Barbara Walters had on TV last night the 10 most fascinating people in the world this year... well, she doesn't know my wife or my kids or my rabbi ... none of her 10 could top my top 10 ... and no, I didn't listen ... I had it on with the volume off while I watched "Haven" about Ruth Gruber rescuing Jews out of Europe in 1944. She's another oen of my celebrities!!

(88) Anonymous, December 7, 2007 10:16 AM

As uauall you are right on target and I Couldn't agree with you more. I am actually not at all fascinated by any of these "celebrities" and find nothing to celebrate about them. We B"H have our families that we care about (and who care about us) and spend our time thinking about each other.
A Freilichen Chanukah

(87) Michael Deverett, December 7, 2007 10:09 AM

Celebrity fascination - a prelude to the greatest Celebrity of all time

Celebrity Fascination

Hi Lori,

Greetings from Toronto! Thank you for your weekly "Lori Almost Live". I really enjoy listening to your comments.

Could it be that celebrity fascination has a spiritual component? I took my kids to a basketball game for Hanukkah. We sat so high up that we probably would have seen the game better on television. But when we sat there and cheered for the home team we experienced something in common together with thousands of other people. Could it be that the fascination with celebrities is that we share their life experiences with millions of others all over the world? Could it be that this is all a prelude to the coming era when millions will share the experience of the greatest Celebrity of all time?

(86) Harriet Bodzin, December 7, 2007 9:35 AM

We need to be concerned with mitzvot, not celebrity.

I'm a baalat teshuvah with a long way to go. I firmly beieve that we all have a great responsibility in performing mitzvot. We don't have the time nor the inclination to be concerned with "celebrities," who, in my opinion, are generally shallow, pathetic people. We should be consumed with doing mitzvot on a daily basis. Then and only then will we be able to spread tzedakah and true chesed throughout the world.

(85) Theresa Newman, December 7, 2007 5:35 AM

I feel the same way you do!

I have never "gone Ga Ga" for some person who just happens to act for a living. My husband was an actor with a small group in New Orleans before we met. If he would have remained an actor we probably would have never gotten together. Actors are just people like everyone else. The only difference is their job is different from yours. There job is to entertain you. I guess that is what all of those magazines are for. So that you can be entertained whether the actor is working or not working. We have monitors and dvd players in our home. No cable or tv channels come into our house. We pick and choose the movies or "entertainment" our family is to enjoy and often watch the "making of" in the special features. It shows to our children that these people are just that, people just like them nothing more. Their job just happens to be seen by more people than daddy's job. It does not make them more special. We also like to focus on the importance of the people that are not shown that make a movie or show a success. This shows that the actor is only a very small part or what they are seeing. I am with you. I really don't understand what all the fuss is about. I hope this helps. Shalom

(84) gwendoline lamb, December 7, 2007 4:01 AM

it transports us to an imaginary better life!

We follow celebrity because we are JEALOUS of others and aspire to their wealth. After all, the world is motivated solely by GREED and FEAR and these celebrities have seem to have what we, the ordinary person, haven`t got!Wishihng you, Lori, a freilichen Chanukah!

(83) Jean Solomon, December 7, 2007 12:09 AM

I'm not interested in Paris Hilton

I'm not the least bit interested in what the "rich" people are doing. I'm too busy trying to improve my own life:
physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.
I'm 82 and still enjoying life.

(82) Anonymous, December 6, 2007 9:02 PM

that stuff is crap

I am glad to say that i am totally annoyed with all of that stuff. Every moment that is wasted on Paris Hilton, or any other person like that is a moment that is taken away from someone who needs to be heard... the fact that people are so focused on this "frills" stuff instead of what really matters not only disheartens me, but also scares me... what is it our youth will have to look forward to? If we (joe public) is so easily swayed by glamor, where will we turn to for our great thinkers, or leaders in the next 20 years?

(81) chaim, December 6, 2007 9:00 PM

WE are intrested in them because ,we have insecurites about are selfs ,when we look at tom and see what he is doing we want to compare it to are selfs ,his clothing is hair style ect. But i know that we are the great acters in g-ds world, in are own lifes like you sayed .G_D is watching us and loves us and hopes we will all be good acters in his world .

(80) Ariela, December 6, 2007 7:27 PM


I think why most of us are so obsessed is because its always a challenge to think about why we're here on this earth, and our ultimate goal. we get distracted, and absorbed into this nonsense,that is NOW...this "fanatsy life" because we cant see, or even imagine the REAL "fantasy life" olam Habah.

(79) Aviel, December 6, 2007 6:10 PM

Brilliant as always

Dear Lori,
Totally agree with you. As many people are empty, they fill themselves with "somebody-else's life". It's really a pity that they don't realise that, and look for things to do for themselves and the others. There are so many people who really need that somebody cares for them as they're in need. Which needs do celebrities have? Ah! Maybe behind all that, they're alone.
A complex topic in any case, which makes press, radios and TVs to make their business.
Regards from Spain.

(78) Tatyana, December 6, 2007 5:57 PM

grabs attention for money

First of all, thank you for vocalizing that our obsession with Paris is stupid. I believe that people pay a lot of attention to Hollywood and their gang because they have problems in their own life that they do not want to deal with. Parents would rather read an article about TOMKAT than spend some time with their own child. This is very sad and I hope people realize the priorities we should have instead.

(77) carol, December 6, 2007 5:27 PM

one way relationship

its easy to get to 'know' them. its like having people in your life so you are not alone. but they never turn on you like real people do. never threaten you or criticise you. they never leave you because they were never there. but you can miss them the same as you can miss real people. it's a realationship without pain or accountablility. it had a pretence of intamacy but no reality so you are never reected. easy!

(76) Anonymous, December 6, 2007 4:12 PM

Paris who?

Well, she's not a guilty pleasure. In fact it can be truly said of her, "there's no there there". What is truly fascinating is looking at the people for whom she matters.
She was recently paid 3 million just to show up at a fashion show in Moscow. Also paid excessively for a brief stint in Singapore. Yes, she's famous just for being famous but she's cashing in. That I can respect. Sort of the icon of no one going broke underestimating the intelligence of the public. So the real question, and the source of the fascination is, just how dumb has the public become and what are the implications of that sorry state for the future?

(75) helene, December 6, 2007 4:08 PM

empty hearts

hi lor... i do enjoy your look at life... my answer to why do we admire those in the media... God created us with a part in our heart for Him to dwell and we are filling it up with rubbish and not Him... my slant.. xo helene

(74) Betsy, December 6, 2007 3:02 PM

Not enough to do

I don't think an occasional bathroom, or haircut read about them is necessarily bad. Serves as a good reminder of what you shouldn't do. Obsessing about them is ridiculous, and usually the fate of people that don't have enough to do. Get a job, volunteer, read a book, spend time with your family - anything. Those people are not normal, and should not be given a moments thought.

(73) Graciela Gerber, December 6, 2007 2:36 PM

I was at the check up counter today, my partner in Torah was in front of me.
We both had the same comment why would anybody care about Paris Hilton, Brittney whatever when they do not offer nothing that will teach you to become a better person, that you would like to emulate. People are fascinate by what there are not!!! rich, famous, no matter if you are famous because you were caught stilling in a store, with drugs, because your father is rich and you think that gives you licence to live your life without rules

(72) John Armellino, December 6, 2007 12:56 PM

I agree. I know I'm only 13 and people don't expect anything from me yet, but I would like to say that I too am wondering why people are so fascinated with celebritys. I really don't care.

(71) Gloria, December 6, 2007 9:04 AM

My use for TV is mainly for the news. I do watch the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon which make for nice entertainment while I am knitting, but lately I find that it is better just to put in a DVD and watch a movie of my choice (channels seem to screen mainly re-runs and make a big production of "a whole new episode"). In my experience, if a like an actor or actress in a movie it is better not to find out anything about their personal lives or whatever gossip the tabloids want to print. In far too many cases what is depicted is messy and disappointing and frankly I just want to enjoy the movies these people make. As for reality shows... not my cup of tea.. at all! Not surpirising since TV shows are directed mainly to people under 40 years of age. I read that in some survey.. so I am beyond their targeted audience.

(70) Susan, December 6, 2007 12:26 AM

kill your television!

It's funny, it's been almost ten years since I sold my TV.

It's not that I'm unplugged, I'm one of the most wired people I know. And it's not that I don't like entertainment, I subscribe to Netflix and watch all kinds of independent and foreign films. Every week I'm delighted by some new actor or director I've never heard of, and I can watch a film and believe in the story because it's not just another Hollywood vehicle with [famous actor's name here].

The whole point of TV is to get you to sit still long enough to be a captive audience so they can sell you stuff you don't need: stuff that by its very nature is so NOT worth it that they have to spend millions of dollars convincing you to get it.

Enough! The internet has given you freedom to pick and choose as you wish. Kill your television, and get on with your own real life!

(69) Jenna Wilkin, December 6, 2007 12:24 AM

Popular Culture

I think the world has been divided into two news areas: the terrifyingly scary and the terrifyingly mindless. All these celebrities have become a part of popular culture, hearing about them is a form of entertainment, and though it's mind-numbingly stupid, people feel "in the know" and like to talk about them. I think it's also an escape from the other news out there - terroism, wars, child abuse, global warming, etc.

But it just scares me. What is a country obsessed with people like this going to turn into? And my next question is why are celebrities so valued for their political opinions????

(68) Robin, December 5, 2007 6:47 PM

Princess Diana

Princess Diana was a great humanitarian and a beautiful human being. She raised milions for children inflicted and dying of aids and many other diseases. Her death was a tremendous loss. I would recommend you do a little research before making a statement as such. As for Paris Hilton..... I reallyy do not know why people are fascinated by her... I am thankful my daughter is not impressed by her.

(67) Annie Mattar, December 5, 2007 5:02 PM

why am i interested...

i believe people are interested in other more famouse people's lives only becaus they have what many of us do not.. they have the fame the spotlight the bodies and to some most importantly the money. i guess we want to know everything they do as a way to prove to ourselfs that we are in many ways the same, we all have love drama we all eat similar foods and wear similar clothing,so i guess its a way to say that you know"we are sooo alike" and its fun to be able to relate to someone as high of standards as them. But whats funny to think about is that if they didnt have all those things they would be just as the rest of us are, and if they didnt have the cameras on them all the time we probably wouldnt even know they exist.. its true that they dont think about us in some ways, but they have to as a whole. becaus when they make movies or sing songs its to please their "fans" which is us we are the fans so in some ways they do think about us... its just fun to know what "famous" people do outside of their "famous" lives..but im sure if they took time off from their hectic scheduals they would see things how many people see them, as stupid and a waist of time. i care about people whether they are famous or homeless, just becaus i would want people to know and care about me.

(66) Elonna, December 5, 2007 2:30 PM

Media hype

I know who Paris Hilton is, although I've never seen her t.v. show, never heard her record, never bought her perfumes. Paris' publicist definitely works over time! I think people are fascinated that a rich, spoiled socialite had to "rough it" in jail for a day. Yes, Paris gets way too much attention in the media.

(65) Lisa Stallman, December 5, 2007 11:03 AM

Larger than life

I have the same feeling as you do. I look at these mags and think the people who write these articles are never happy with the celebs either they are too fat or too thin. I think people are fascinated with them because they are missing some depth in their own lives and feel they need to escape their own reality. In reality the people who are on the covers need real help and need a real life which we as observant jews have. If they would have this they would not be out and partying every night. The celebs that have a 'normal' life are not usually the ones on the cover. I truly appreciate your article it gives me chizuk in my daily life. Thank you.


(64) Eric, December 5, 2007 9:47 AM

Just a thought...

I wonder how much better the world would/could be if the people adorning the covers of magazines and on E! were the great rabbis of our day and all their "wild and crazy" exploits... *Rabbi Yaakov throws Torah scroll party for 600 IDF troops during campaign!* *Rabbi Shmuel announces the Messiah is coming soon at all-night prayer service!* *Rabbi Binyamin to show off Kohen Gadol's new robes!* Wouldn't that be a crazy world?

(63) Anonymous, December 5, 2007 8:16 AM

We Celebrate Paris Hiltons' Bad Choices.

When the words Paris Hilton were mentioned in the media several years ago, I, in passing, thought they were talking about a hotel in Paris.
Months later, (when I was still viewing the evening news and weather), Paris Hilton was being mentioned every hour. All the 'famous' newscasters advertised her every move. Pictures of her face and body were everywhere on the internet, magazines, and TV.
I thought, Oh....it's a person! Who is this woman and what is she into that brings her into the news. So I read about her fame.
Oh my! Oh my! It would seem that her only celebrity has been making some bad choices. We're giving good press to this woman and 'celebrating' her bad choices? Why would anyone get caught up in this frenzy and report her every move? And who are the people that listen to this news and further talk about this woman, and her clothes, her look, her money, and her social life? I think it is us. We're called the public. We fuel this fascination every time we turn on the TV.

Now, I hope I am not judging too harshly, because I don't know the woman. And I also know the media sells whatever information makes the most money. So, if you hear news on TV, don't believe all that you hear is exactly as it is reported. The spin doctors do what they are best at. And Paris Hilton seems to make the Networks top dollar advertising her bad antics.

But, who put these celebrities on the front pages instead of being in the Gossip Columns where they belonged? (gossip is the key word here)
Most of us have made a few of our own bad choices when we were younger too, but thankfully those events didn't make the front pages or the gossip columns..

That being mentioned, I am very disturbed that the general public leads such lives that they absorb every detail about this womans life into their own.

Where are the Mothers and Fathers who should be setting examples and giving guidance to their children? There is a good article on Aish about 'The Visitor', by Author Unknown. It is called 'The Stranger in our Home. I think it should be required reading for every parent.

(62) Mensch59, December 5, 2007 5:14 AM

We see ourselves as better

It is easy to understand why some are fascinated by the lives of the rich and famous. We can compare to our own lives and see that wealth, fame and glamour do not life siginificantly better at all.

What concerned me more was the grief that was poured out at the deaths of Princess Diana and later John Kennedy Jr. They were seemingly good people, but Millions were spent on flowers and memorials to express the sadness felt for someone that had no effect on their lives in any way. At least Paris Hilton made a record once and entertained some people. Actors and musicians bring pleasure to our lives, but these 2 did NOTHING to deserve grief we should have for family and friends we may lose.

(61) Anonymous, December 5, 2007 5:07 AM

Same sickness as fashion

In my humble opinion, this is just another angle of fashion craze. Some freak in Paris (the real one) decides that clothes this season will be worn backwards and lo and behold millions of people start following this trend.
Movie stars are looked at in the same light. They kind of set the trend.
The frightening thing now is that although these characters are being exposed as being rather low and empty barrels, society has become so obsessed with everything they do and wear that this must be exciting too. Can you imagine driving without a license? and not only Hilton - many other stars breaking the law and endagering lives and society just follows and cheers.
This must be what the desire for avoida zora once did: how did thousands of people worship a piece of wood?

(60) bob, December 5, 2007 2:07 AM

who is paris hilton?

never heard of her

(59) Tigi, December 5, 2007 12:54 AM

I like to watch celebrety to see the beauty of nature and Gods generosity to people whom they are like us. it motivates me seeing them driving me to show the best of me and to work hard to use all my resources God put in me for good, they indicates me how much potential a human have, God created a beauty in human, why not show, enjoy and taking care of it, instead of neglacting my body not to show all the good work in me God created, he did the impossible that creating me, he let me to take care of me to show the beauty he created, so Celebrety shows that side of human beauty, praise to be the Lord, and working hard and felling good where ever we are is the best thing any human learn from each others for the glory of God and for our pleasure. I thank God for each and every creature and potential out there

(58) Malky, December 4, 2007 10:01 PM


If people need to feel better about their own lives by following others, than we are in a sad state.

There are plenty of other ways to feel better about ourselves.

(57) Dennis, December 4, 2007 9:55 PM


I don't really follow all the gossip that is going on in the world. I have better things to think about. Just another way to make money and think celebrities have a better life than we normal people do.

(56) Malky, December 4, 2007 9:26 PM

People follow celebrities for various reasons.

Some people are just looking for entertainment or don't have more constuctive things to do with their time.

Some do it for subconcious reasons. One of them is to make themselves feel better about themselves or their morals.

I know a number of people who read some celebrity magazines and go off on how messed up this person is, how that one's such a terrible mother, or how this one spent bla bla bla on bla bla bla. Then, they seem to look at themselves as better people. "If I were Britney I'd..." "With that money I'd..." "I would never cheat on..." "I can't believe that she..."

Looking at other peoples problems may make you feel better about your own, but comparing how you would act or react doesn't make you a better person.

I was by my friend's house and she told me that I had to see this show that was coming on called "Dirt". I walked out of her house after watching the opening scene. [It opened with a scene of, ummm, intimacy, to put it nicely.] "Oh, but it's such a great show," insisted my friend. "It shows you how bad the paparazzi are, and how bad celebrities are, and it's just a great show." [How lovely.]

I've read that some addicts will sometimes surround themselves with bad people, so that they will feel better about themselves.

If this is the case with some of the people who read celebrity magazines, then I believe that unfortunately a number have low self-esteems. This is just one way to make them feel better about themselves.

What a pity!

(55) sheeba josef, December 4, 2007 8:53 PM


(54) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 8:47 PM

I don't follow the stars

To see the magazines at the checkout is enough, it is all too sad what lives are being lived out in public. My focus needs to be on what does HASHEM require from me and am I doing all that I can for HASHEM in following what Torah says. That's enough to keep me busy for a lifetime!

(53) bernie rosenberg, December 4, 2007 7:35 PM



(52) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 7:05 PM

you are incredible

dear lori, as we celebrate the 1st day of the most miraculous holiday in the jewish calender, i wanted to command you on your wonderful videos and to share that me and my husband(that loves paris hilton and co...)are praying for our own personal miracle of finally bearing children, it hasn't been an easy road... thank you for putting things in perspective- יישר כח

(51) Iris, December 4, 2007 5:52 PM


Thank you Lori for bringing up a topic that I have thought about many times. I'm a physician. I spend my days working in a hospital caring for people who are sick and dying; caring for families who are exhausted from the burdons of the emotional and physical strain of caring for their loved ones as their health fails. When I retreat back home, I find that my emotional reserve is limited. As mentioned above, watching Access Hollywood or other celebrity type shows serve as 'brainless' entertainment and distraction for an hour as I wind down. Then I switch gears back to the reality of my life, my home, and my family.

(50) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 5:36 PM

not interested in paris hilton, more interested in people who inspire me

while i really do not care one bit about paris hilton, there are some celebrities (musicians, usually) who i am interested in, but mostly because they inspire me in an artistic way. i find i can learn from people who are doing creative things, and can then absorb what i have learned and apply it to my own artistic life. but i don't waste my time caring about what celebrities are doing with their personal lives. who cares? i have my own life to deal with, quite busy and full. but i think the people who are into celebrity gossip are probably seeking a break from their own lives. i think most people just find it fun, light, "water cooler" conversation.

(49) judith goldstein, December 4, 2007 5:21 PM

This is a great lesson for people to hear.

Perhaps people do not know who to look up to as their heroes. She is publized so much that she is easily identified. Wrong message; wrong ideas.

(48) Denisa Legac, December 4, 2007 5:10 PM

Dear readers !Dear Lori !

Through this e mail I d love to express my gratitude for all the video blogs I have heard by now - which have and do inspire me through its simplicity and confirm my jurney to judaism.
It is fascinating how many of my patients started to love aish.com although my work and myself exist in a mostly catholic country named Croatia where I live and work as psychotherapist and family and marriage counseler as well as systemic fam. therap.
The most important inputs into the wholes of psyhotherapy I filled with my interest and by now just STARTED education in judaism.
I FEEL special writing these lines

(47) moshe, December 4, 2007 4:59 PM

thanx for making this statement

i'm probably one of the few who think like that (although i probably have the problem in a smaller way)- i dont look up to any of these famous people unless they contribute something really important to society- that is beneficial of course.
thank you,
by the way i never got a chance to say- l love your videos lori!

(46) Aviva, December 4, 2007 4:20 PM

Thank you for telling the truth1

Hi Mrs. Palatnik, thank you for your sharp and true comment on one of todays issues. I guess I feel a sort of escape, a short flee from daily worries when reading about these "stars".
Vrolijk Chanoeka (dutch for ; happy Hanukah! And lots of succes with being a true star!!

(45) Yehoshua, December 4, 2007 4:19 PM

stam checking out the US of A

I am not obsessed. But, living in Israel-- a privelidge (spell if right?)-- sometimes I wax nostalgic and check out if this or that singer or actor is still alive and how many more times has he been busted or divorced. Regarding the celebrity you mentioned 3 times, you surely make me curious who she is and what she does, but baruch HaShem, I've got kosher Israeli internet...so I can't get anywhere with my search engine. I guess I'll just have to go through the 8 days of Hannukah not knowing what the fuss is about. Which is as should be. She's probably related to the darkness we are trying to light up. You can take the Jew out of the exile, but take the exile out of this here Jew. All the best from Kedumim in the Shomron (Samaria).

(44) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 4:13 PM

I do not follow any of the "stars. There is too much good in life than spending time on such things. I think people have a "spiritual hole" ,especially in this extremely materialisitc culture.They are trying to fill it to no avail. They need to go to the Source of true life and then these types of interests will fade away.

(43) ruth housman, December 4, 2007 2:54 PM

Sell E Brities

Our lives, as Lori has said, are filled with the glitz and glamor of other people's lives. They are called STARS.
I find her analysis quite right and that is: this is escape into someone else's life. Except, as has been pointed out, in reality, these lives are actually not any greater than anyone else's and often, quite shallow. But we do the same thing with movies and books and this too, is another kind of escape. I think we need this or we wouldn't be doing this, in such numbers. Novels are booming. No one has stopped renting movies. There is this fascination with the lives of others. I think this has to do also with choice. How many choices can we make in one lifetime? We make our choices and then those choices have branches, but not everyone chooses to be an architect, a brain surgeon, an astronomer, a social worker, a teacher etc. Any choice is sometimes limiting and we have this innate curiosity. What is it like? And.. what are all the other choices people make like? We are so eager for stories and eager also to share ours.

I agree, we have to make choices. I personally think this whole Paris Hilton thing is a ridiculous waste of time. Who cares? What's important is how we live our lives, each day, and the true heroes and heroines and the stars of every day, are generally those who never make it to the glossies. I say, seek them out. They're everywhere and they glow!

(42) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 2:35 PM

Why I follow celebrities

Dear Lori,
(Lori, your videos are great. I'm Catholic and I get so much out of them... they are a part of my religious education)
I don't follow celebrities. I'm clueless as to who these people are. My good friend could put on his own 'celebrity news show', he knows so much about so many actors and celebrities. Where does he get the time?
I live a very good life. G_d has been very good to me and there isn't a day goes that I don't forget that. And, really, their lives aren't all that exciting... you'd think they'd all have headaches from the flash bulbs popping in their eyes all the time.
As for you, Lori... you're getting to be a habit with me. I go to mass every morning... hear a good homily almost every time... check out aish.com in the evening... always good stuff. And, in between, I live a good day, I live a good life.
Everyone, have a good Chanukah.
Paul Leddy
Washington, DC

(41) Garshen, December 4, 2007 2:12 PM

I think that with some celebrities like Paris Hilton, there is nothing to talk about...some celebrities, such as musicians and authors however, are immensely talented, and for myself, I do like to dig deeper and see what makes these immensely talented people "tick", so to speak.

The point you bring up about these people not thinking about us is true in many instances, and is well taken, however some artists who are celebrities because of their talent, and not because they simply want to be a celebrity (like Paris), do in fact think about us - not personally of course, but about society in general, and the issues we face, collectively - jewish or non jewish. It would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bathwater. In other words, to simply ignore all celebrities, in their totality is wrong. Rather some celebrities are beacons of guidance in tough times, and understanding how people think is essential if we are to help people - the answer is not to simply focus on our own development 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


(40) Jack, December 4, 2007 2:09 PM

Ethical Nihilism

Thank you for your sensitive treatment of why our fascination with famous people. If I may weigh on this issue - - When I'm waiting in a doctor or dentist office, etc., I often, not always, gravitate towards reading (looking at the photos)in the latest PEOPLE or US magazine, as opposed to scanning TIME, NEWSWEEK, etc. I am college educated and hold an administrative position in a public school district, so why do I gravitate towards such empty journalism?
1. It is an easy and temporary escape from the often hectic, if not frantic, lifestyle that I seem to lead. (I'm not complaining). The pictures are normally colorful (easy to look at), most often portraying the famous at their best. This exercise is a welcome break, when the demands of life and work are temporarily suspended.
2. I must admit a certain fascination with what I'd like to call "ethical nihilism". The famous portrayed in the celebrity magazines are a paparazzi fueled study in nihilistic lifestyles, where every whim is pursued, most often without regard to cost, location, activity, or any sense of ethical purpose. "Thou shall love the Lord thy God....." and,"Thou shalt not....." seem not to be guiding principes in their lives. That I am even, therefore, remotely interested in witnessing this is the very reason that God needed to give His commands in the first place. And I am glad that He did. Thanks for letting me weigh in.

(39) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 1:57 PM

Rebbitzen Paris

When I see Paris Hilton, I think of what she would look like with a tichel, an apron and about 15 children in her heimishe home. What could be better?

(38) Stan//Soldann, December 4, 2007 1:23 PM

You are a True Celebrity

Greetings Rebbetzin Lori.
You are a celebrity to me. Each week when the AISH emailing arives, I am immediately drawn to your video, looking forward to experiencing your wisdom and energy. Your clarity, articulateness and your smiling ability to be present, in immediate contact, and your seeming ease of being a channel for G-d's wisdom is extra-ordinary. And, in all due respect, you are also physically attractive as well.

My sense is, that at least for men, Paris Hilton is sexually attractive and theatrically playful in her bouncing around antics. For me personally, though, I only casually pay attention to her. I am much more drawn to sacred contact, wisdom and truth wherever and with whomever it appears. Thank you for being so real, and for generously sharing.

(37) rachel, December 4, 2007 1:14 PM

very true-yet hard

very true!

(36) ELLI, December 4, 2007 1:04 PM

"That's Hot"

I didn't think people in the orthodox community even knew who Paris Hilton was. Would I consider myself obsessed with Paris? Not really obsessed; but I do find interest in the things she does. Why? I have no idea.

(35) rachel P, December 4, 2007 1:00 PM

Such a total waste of time!

Lori, thanks so much for being a breath of fresh air. Your words are alway as they say in yiddish "tzu di zach" (to the point). There should be other things to focus on than the way the "others" live. When you live a Jewish life there is Shabbos, mitzvahs, yomim tovim, etc. to focus on.

(34) Kari, December 4, 2007 12:54 PM

hi Lori

Extraordinary people are not worshiped.
Famous people are worshiped because they are like us, but just a little better. it is because they are ordinary people, so therefore it leaves the illusion that we can be just like them. Take a look at who women love, they love the one just like them. For example, I am obsessed with Angelina Jolie because she is like me, but she just is a little prettier, she is outspoken, humanitarian , etc. And some women connect to Paris Hilton because she...I don't know why. The list goes on.
I learned this concept from a book called, "Simple Words." One of the most profound books of our time.

(33) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 12:22 PM

Who the heck is Paris Hilton?

I wouldn't know PH if you bopped me over the head with her, but your point is well taken. I think we Americans do love to live vicariously through the cult of celebrity. We envy the talent, the riches, the fame....but I'll bet that few of us would trade our lives for Paris Hilton's. I cherish the fact that I can go to the 7/11 for a quart of milk without being recognized and/or mobbed! So even though Paris doesn't know I exist, there are others in my life who do; and that's good enough for me.

(32) Anonymous, December 4, 2007 12:13 PM


I love hearing about Paris once in a while--I don't care. I just think she's a fashion icon. I don't love or hate her but I will never understand why she's famous---there's no reason for her to BE FAMOUS. It's a mystery or maybe that's how Hashem wants it to be?!

(31) Leslie, December 4, 2007 12:03 PM

Paris Hilton Loves Me

Paris Hilton loves me. She loves everyone. The problem is she just doesn't know me yet.

(30) Ellen Bohnert, December 4, 2007 11:44 AM

Paris Hilton

Well I hardly know who Paris Hilton is.
Sometimes I think daydreaming about someone else takes people out of reality in to a fantisy world. It temporarily takes them from the now realm of life into another world not real to them perhaps for entertainment, a type of mental rest from the daily boring grind, or just to put off taskes that need to be done and can be put off while they dive into that fantisy world.
I find Lori almost live very interesting and I look forward to what she has to say. The rich and famous have little interest to me. You can tell I am a ''senior citizen.''

(29) Carl, MN, December 4, 2007 11:17 AM

Role models

Timely subject better late than ever. Celebrity's have become role models for children and teen agers for some 4-5 decades leading them into all sorts of vice's. There was a time when professional athlete's were trustworthy role models - but today you have to watch it - they're doing the same as the other celebrity's. What's your advice?

(28) David M. Cohen, December 4, 2007 11:12 AM

Celebrity news is force-fed.

Mrs. Palatnik,

I don't believe the vast majority of Americans really are fascinated with Paris Hilton or other celebrities. The fact is that environment has a powerful effect on the things people think about, and the corporate media constantly inundates us with celebrity news. Survey after survey shows that Americans would prefer journalism that does in-depth coverage of policy issues, but what do they feed us? Paris, Lindsay, Britney, Brad and Angelina. And why? Because these stories are cheap and easy to produce, you don't need to do any investigative work, and with media ownership in only a few hands, Americans have nowhere else to turn for the kind of information they really want and need.

It's not that Americans want to know about Paris. We're being force-fed this junk food when polls clearly show that we want substantive nutrition. Unfortunately, some people have been fed this stuff, exclusively, for so long that they begin to think this is real food. The media may not be able to tell us what to think, but they sure tell people what to think about!

By the way, my wife and I regret that we were out of town during your recent visit to the Meyerland Minyan in Houston.

All the best,

David M. Cohen

(27) laura, December 4, 2007 10:44 AM

who i think about

i was thinking about who i think about in the news and 2 mames came to mind madeleine mccain and baby grace.
i cant really think of any celebraties i know about or even think about they have never intrested me much so it kinda puzzels me why people are so intrested in them. not that i never listen to music or watch tv because i do but i never really think about what the famos people are doing in there lives or what they eat. it sometimes means im completlly out of conversation espically when all people talk about is this famous person and that famous person and i havent a clue who they are talking about. even though i might watch a show with that famous person in they have to say it is this one from friends or that one from lost.but i guess thinking there are many reasons people do this.

(26) Rachel, December 4, 2007 3:58 AM

I do so for the opposite reason

Why do I follow celebrity news? Whenever I need a reality check,I see the sad and lonley lives that movie stars live and it reminds me how grateful and happy I am to be in my life.
I use the stars as a reminder that there really is nothing without Torah.
Also honestly, we all kindof wish for fame and regognition, but seeing what it does and how misinterpreted thier lives are, cures me instantly from that yetzer.
Thanks for listening.

(25) Rivka, December 4, 2007 1:17 AM

Thank you, Lori

Thank you, Lori, for your videos. You are not afraid to talk about the "G" word--God--to your viewers, the Jewish people.

Now, on to this topic. I think that Hashem has put these "distractions" like P.H. into the world to test the Jewish people. Are we going to be distracted by them and take time away from our families, from Torah study, from doing mitzvot and kindnesses for our families and friends and beyond? Or are we going to stay focused on the things that truly give us a meaningful life where we live to our full potential individually each day?

P.H. is a test. It is a test for us. Our we going to listen to our yetzer hora or are we going to be strong and turn away and remain focused on fulfilling our true potential each day. I think those who pay attention to P.H. do so because their yetzer hora is running the show and has convinced them that being distracted like this connnects them to the larger world and not being connnected is too frightening and isolated. Plus we have bought into the non-Jewish world's definition of "famous" and "beautiful." What if we adjusted our vision and saw that Torah scholars or chesed mavens were the ones who we wanted to be famous. What if we adjusted our vision and saw that the modest women who take care of children or the sick everyday were the ones who we wanted to be beautiful. When I see P.H., I don't see a famous or beautiful person. I see someone who is not attractive at all. And her memory will fade fast from the earth when she dies. But our yetzer horas have convinced us that the non-Jewish standards are really emes, the truth.

I dream of the day when the Jewish people will be so involved with our families and our Torah that we won't even know who P.H. is and we won't, therefore, even have to comment about her on this website and others.

Can you imagine the day when the Jewish people will only be involved in the service of HaKodesh Baruch Hu and won't even want to take note of what the other nations are doing because we know it is a distraction and we know it's not emes. I hope I see this happen in my lifetime.

The way we are a light unto the nations is not by paying attention to what the other nations are doing and commenting on it. The way we are a light unto the nations is by our dedication to service to Hashem. This is the way to show the world what is moral and what isn't. It's not by commmiting on what the nations are doing wrong (or right).

We need to bring the true standards for fame and beauty back into the world by doing so in our own communities and families.

Thank you, again, Lori, for all your work in bringing Torah and Hashem to the Jewish people.

Interestingly enough, I have decided this week to terminate my internet access to get rid of certain distractions in my own life. So this is the last video of yours I will see.

All the best, Rivka

(24) Hannah, December 4, 2007 12:35 AM

Who is Paris Hilton?

You'll probably laugh at me, I thought
you were talking about Hilton hotel in
Paris....I personally envy gdolei hador
Hafetz Haim etc and wish I could hold my tongue and do all tariag mitsvot, be
a good mum for my 7 siblings kin ain hara etc.

(23) lisa, December 3, 2007 8:53 PM


We are bored! So we think why not peek into someone elses life for a bit. We hope it's a bit. It could also be how the other side lives....careless....buying what they like..whenever they like. We know we'll never be them, but we do put our minds on "dream control" at times. We just have to know that we may not have a glitter life, but we have a life of purpose.

(22) Malka, December 3, 2007 8:01 PM

Love-Hate relationship

I don't obsess over the lives of celebrities but I do catch an involuntary glimpse of them at the check-out counter or hear about them on the "major headline news." When a person hears something "amazing" about a celebrity, eg. a million dollar wedding in Italy, they feel a sense of awe and admiration thus building the celebrity up in their minds only to watch their downfall in next months issue of star magazine. Its a living soap opera for the people who desire fantasy and excitement in their lives.
Though following the lives of celebrities may seem harmless I believe their outrageous lifestyles and mannerisms are infiltrating into world both secular and frum world. Fancy handbags that cost 100s of dollars (forgive me because I can't name any of them), and other meaningless luxuries are the accessories to the apathetic and materialistic attitude Paris Hilton portrays. Even some frum Boutiques sell dresses reminiscent of holliwood attire (execessive fringe and bling-jewels,form fitting dresses-I've even seen some strappless gowns with a turtleneck tucked underneath!)Aside from the subtle fashion trends,are the eating disorders and the "Like whatever!" attitude that I have seen many teenage girls portray, as if their goal in life is to dress to impress and look cool all the time!Snapping their gum and rolling their eyes at people who do not follow the same trends that they do. Some frum girls who act in this manner may not even know who Paris Hilton is but they learn from their peers. Thank you Lori for bringing up this topic hopefully parents, rabaim and teachers can address this issue on a larger level.

(21) Anonymous, December 3, 2007 7:24 PM

for me it's not paris hilton, it's britney spears. part of it is like watching a train wreck...don't want to watch but can't look away. part of me wishes i could help her, but i know i can't. and part of me thinks it's somewhat reassuring that there are people out there worse off than me. I've been a far cry from perfect...but i havent been that bad. or have i? i really do think it's reassuring to alot of people to know that there are folks that make our bad moral choices seem not so bad.

(20) suzy, December 3, 2007 2:56 PM

I know what you mean about Paris Hiton. I have wondered to myself, what does she do again?

I think people like to dress like celebrities so they feel popular and 'in'.
What concerns me is teenage celebrities. Without guidance, everything goes to their head and they become like Britney or Lindsey Lohan

(19) Anonymous, December 3, 2007 2:04 PM

I think that today Celebes do anything they want and some how get away with it.
Deep down our "yetzer haras" wants us to go to the bars, clubs, get drunk and be with who ever we want. it wants us to have no responsibilities, it wants us to make our lives as physical as we can make it and forget what's really important. And even the most moral person has a yetzer hara. so of course we are drawn to their lives because it means that we could some how live in the gashmiut world without really doing it ourselves, we just watch other people do it!! and think its ok! But there is something deeper then our yetzer hara it's our neshama and sometimes we have to listen harder to what its saying. its saying, walk away when you get to the aisle at the super market!(dont forget to pay! but walk away) what you have is even better ,what you have is what hashem gave you now go live your life the best you can! go do a mitzvah(ot) and study torah and be the best person YOU can be!!!( I know this is really keetchy but I really believe it!sadly doesn't mean I do it!! B"H ONE DAY!)

(18) Anonymous, December 3, 2007 2:03 PM

Obsessed with the outside

People are obsessed with how people look on the outside. If they are beautiful it doesn't really matter how they act or what they do for a living. Noone takes the time to get to know anyone from their inside, they just look at their outside - if they are beautiful (naturally or not) they are obsessed with them.

(17) Rhoadie, December 3, 2007 12:43 PM

Idolatry at its best

It is nothing but idolatry at its best. You hit the nail right on the head, we are so discontent with our own lives that we try to live out our dreams through these celebrities.

I can remember a couple years ago in school when Ben Affleck and J Lo were rumored to be having problems. A girl I knew was more worried about "Bennifer" than her own relationship problems. It ceases to amaze me.

But I think we all have that weakness to somehow try to escape our own lives by closely following the life of someone we admire. It is almost a twisted form of mentorship/discipleship. The celebrities have a life we aspire for so we follow them closely hoping to achieve a piece of it.

(16) Anonymous, December 3, 2007 9:10 AM

life without the burdens

It seems to me, when I occasionally get obsessed with People magazine, that the celebrities within it represent, or seem to represent, a life without burdens. While day-to-day life for most of us can get tedious and challenging, the life for those people seems so easy and exciting; and looking out it from the outside is nothing less than a voyeuristic fantasy, and a brief escape from our own less-than-glamourous existence...

(15) Rivkah Noble, December 3, 2007 9:07 AM


I think the reason Jewish people are fascinated by the famous is because today most people do not a personal identity. They are so assimilated that they don't have any deep faith to hold on to or to believe in. As a result, these famous people become their heroes or icons. Everyone has to have something to believe in. But when identity is only your education and/or your career, what happens to your soul?

(14) jerry, December 3, 2007 8:52 AM

i love to look at beauty

my summary says it best. it is exciting to see someone live out their life in a high class way. the places she goes, the food she eats, the people she hangs with are simply beautiful. i love to look at beauty. i love anything that is like that. i like even simple things that are orderly and beauty is certainly orderly. that is why i am fascinated with her.

(13) David Zumoff, December 2, 2007 7:50 PM

I am satisfied with my own. I don't follow or care

I don't pay any attention to the stars.
My son Aaron is my life, and watch him grow into a brilliant boy is far more entertaining and meaningful to me than any debutant Hollywood "wannabe."
To tell you the truth, I have been in the divorce/separation process since 6/20/07. I was banished to a room on the 3rd floor of our house. I have yet to pick up a People magazine, or the like and say "whoa is to me..."
No I totally agree with you assessments, actually you are to kind.
Kislev 25 is my 9th wedding anniversary, but it is simultaneously my last anniversary. The settlement date and entry time is 2pm on 25 Kislev this year.
It is a bittersweet "anniversary" this year. Oh well, I am taking care of my son every day after school and taking care of his 2 times weekly Hebrew school.
After I finish this note, I will complete the gathering of all my possessions of the 9 yr marriage.

I am leaving the house without a trace on Wed, Dec 5. Chanukah. Paris Hilton is a meaningless individual as far as I am concerned. She has no talents of any kind. The Hilton hotel chain is respectable and has alway been synonymous with quality hotelling.
Have a Chag Someach Hanukah. I enjoy you pleasant demeanor as you tear about the negative societal trends.
Good night, David Zumoff

(12) Malka, December 2, 2007 7:03 PM

I'm not really fascinated with actors or anything like that; I am somewhat fascinated by a certain soccer player because of a certain combination of qualities he has -- incredible skill and talent, major hotness, incredible perseverance, a bit of arrogance, and an emotional nature. So I think he's pretty cool on account of that, but I might not have noticed his skill and good looks if he didn't cry every time his team lost. I guess I'm a sucker for weepy guys :)

(11) Mitch, December 2, 2007 4:45 PM

Paris Hilton


I think I'm less fascinated with celebrities than most Americans, but I still paid attention when I heard Paris Hilton was going to jail and when she got out.
A couple of ideas:

1) the way she was portrayed in the media -- crying for her mother when they ordered her to jail -- provoked compassion. I don't know like to see any human begin suffer.

2) Paris Hilton represents a fascinating case. She has all the externals a person could want: money, health, youth, looks, connections, family. Yet, she is not happy. She does not seem to know how to live life. (At least that's how the media portrayed her.)
This begs the question: what's missing? What does a human being need to feel happy? (I'll let you answer this.)

I do live my own life and enjoy buying groceries and cooking dinner -- the examples of everyday life you cite. I'll now relish my life a bit more, knowing that I have something money can't buy.

BTW, I enjoy your weekly insights, Lori!


(10) Gavriel, December 2, 2007 2:31 PM

No celebs for me

I don't Lift up celebs. Like the hitons, cruzes etc. If I try to honor any it would be the patriarchs. Not trying to boost my ego but they led such awesome lives. And I fall short of their examples.
Also Lori I appreiciate your teachings weekly I look forward to them every week. Thank G-d for your teaching they are timely.

(9) Anonymous, December 2, 2007 1:31 PM

never heard of her

I needed comment number two just to learn who Paris Hilton was. Of course, I live in Israel so it's possible the magazines here don't speak of the same celebrities. But of the "celebrities" here I also only find out about when something unusual or controversial happens - like a young model who recently died of anorexia, or another model who made a disparaging comment about Israel, making many people angry.
I suspect a lot of the people who frequent this site are interested in celebrities less than the average person.

(8) Anonymous, December 2, 2007 12:04 PM

You are my celeberty

Dearest Lori,
I am not facinated by Paris Hilton. I am facinated by your articles. Every Sunday I sit by my computer looking for your uplifting and educated articles. Hashem should bless you and your family for teaching us how to be a better and happier Jew.
Thank you for being who you are.

(7) Anonymous, December 2, 2007 11:49 AM

Great point! They never think about us

The thing about these celebs is that they can sometimes obstruct justice and get around the system where as average citizens cannot (OJ simpson for instance). Its the topic for discussion in certain cases because its telling with real issue of examining our legal system as that information is public.

(6) Yisroel Pollack, December 2, 2007 11:20 AM

Why Indeed?

Speaking for myself, I don't think I am fascinated by celebrities. I do pass by the magazine display when I check out my groceries at the supermarket counter; and I might even throw a magazine cover a glance or two. It makes me think of the empty lives that the featured personages must lead, being as self-obsessed as they are. That, I think, is at the root of the celebrity-worship syndrome: a proclivity to self-preoccupation. Everybody -- all the women at least -- is eager to see how better to celebrate himself or herself. The celebrities are the people's role models in this respect. They are the people's teachers. They teach and they preach self-adulation, which is casting oneself in the center of attention. Everyone wants to draw attention to themselves; no one can get enough of it. It is a game of G-dlessness that they play, substituting falsehood and worthlessness for truth and good. There is a G-d, and no mortal human being compares to Him. That may be why we, unfortunately, have trouble devoting ourselves to contemplation of Him. Doing so would distract us from our self-preoccupation. And that messes with our amply cultivated proclivity.

(5) Anonymous, December 2, 2007 10:40 AM


I think it's a combination of their charisma, seeming perfection, and our own desire for escapism. Rather than paying attention to the less glamorous heroes, or looking to the people that we should truly aspire to be like (which would make us also confront our own need for improvement) we get instant satisfaction from keeping up with the shocking ups and downs of people who seem so far off from ourselves. I think we also feel free to judge them, and indulge in lashon hara.

(4) American Sabrah, December 2, 2007 9:46 AM

I don't care about these people.........

Yet once in a while I'll read a column about them just for amusement.Its rather entertaining to read about their ineptitude. When Ann Nicole Smith died from overdosage of drugs, my intitial reaction was not to mourn for her death nor did I celebrate it however I personally feel the world is better off with one less hollywood junkie. When Britney Spears was in rehab, I felt bad for her kids whom she evidently lost costudy due to negligence. Infact, my heart bleeds out for the children of hollywood celebrities. It actually nauseates me how people idolize these people. I don't have an ounce of admiration towards them. What caught my attention was after Paris was discharged from jail under the charges of DUI with a suspended license, she declared on the John Lenon show that she aspires to be role model for 12 year old girls. There are real heroes and role models we could look up to out there but we don't often hear enough about them b/c the media won't do a coverage on them. Instead, the media will focus their camera lense on Paris Hilton and on the celebrity deadbeats and hold them up as role models as if they were to set a good example to our children which they are doing the exact opposite. Its a real shame that our media has dummied down to a point where they can't distinct Paris Hilton from Mother Tereasa.They contribute to the moral meltdown of our nation. Look at where our kids now, emulating the behaviour of these celebrity trash.

Thank you Lori once again for opening my eyes with your inspirational video blogs. You continue to shed a lot of insight and you deserve more media attention than Paris Hilton. You are one of the few most influential jewish women I highly admire aside from Debbie Schlussel.

(3) Dvirah, December 2, 2007 9:37 AM

Not Facinated

Unlike the people described here, I am not facinated by "famous" people. My life is far from humdrum - it seems to be composed of one crisis after another. Granted none of my crises are "glamorous", but they do keep me very busy. Nor do I feel that these "famous" people have anything to offer in the way of elevating my life. There are other sources for that, including this website.

(2) Rosen, December 2, 2007 6:33 AM

name recognition

Paris Hilton receives a lot of name recognition mainly because her family owns the Hilton Hotels. With what her family is earning, it appears she doesn't have to work a day in her life. Therefore, she has no discipline for spending and saving money. People like her just party too much!

I, on the other hand, would typically be smarter than her, because I work hard, smart, and diligently for my money, because that is how my family raised me in order to understand the concept of finances. I may be rather "old school" and many do not know much about me, but my life plays a significant role in the community as a Jew, where I donate tzedakah to Jewish and secular organizations, volunteer at different events, etc. Those who know me well, understand what a decent, good person I am. And, sometimes, I help people out similarly to the Liberty Mutual TV ads.

(1) Anonymous, December 2, 2007 5:48 AM

You are my celeberty

Dear Lori, Honestly, I do not care about the magazine celebrities and I can easily walk by all these magazines, but what I cannot walk by is your insights. Thank you - you inrich my life in a very special way. I had a hard year but when the sad moments would take over my life and carry me away, I turn on my computer and listen to you or read other articles on Aish.com. It is uplifting and keeps me focusted on the things that are really important in life. My husband left me and our three girls for another woman and it was and it is still very very hard for me (and the girls) but thanks to you, I do not give up. I keep going, keep sticking to hashem and I can see the beauty of the Hashem's world which gives strength to me and the girls. Thank you so much Lori. I would love to meet you in person one day. Thank you, thanks to Aish.com. You are my celebrity - C. Blasberg, Germany


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