TV or no TV

Why we decided no.

Comments (50)

(50) Olina, April 23, 2009 7:11 PM


I grew up without a TV and I am very glad that my parents made that decision. Although I am often "out of the loop" with my peers who use the names of celebrities I do not know or shows I have never seen, I do not feel cheated. I have a much richer heritage, one that has given me a firm foundation to stand on (unlike the rocky media that is constantly changing).

(49) Andreia, March 25, 2009 6:31 AM

TV next generation?

I believe technology can change the way we are used to watch TV. Today you can use your TV to see pictures, to record your preferred program, to listen to music.. You can also connect your computer in your TV and watch your preferred video from your computer in your TV screen. (It requires you to order all the hardware needed). You can have a group of people and use one of those interactive games for entertainment... And, although you can read books, I don't think would be wise not to see what news is publishing, for example: I have read an interesting article from Aish that was addressing how CNN were telling the word about Gaza... We need to know what most of people are being exposed to as well. But for sure, there are so much violence and many useless programs that should be avoided. Those same improper content can be found internet and even in books (not all books are supposed to be good as well). I just think we may have a possibility of improving how we use TV..

(48) N Kahana, March 22, 2009 1:49 AM

Children or no Children

I really wonder about all those comments that are seemingly pro TV whether those people have children or not. If not, then until you do you should be very careful about making those types of comments. Because having children really changes one's perspective about the influence TV has on them, and until you are in that situation you will just not understand. Having nieces and nephews or acquaintences that have children who are allowed to watch is not the same as when you will have your own. I don't think Lori was making a blanket judgement about anyone she was simply stating what she and her husband decided to do and the reasons why and if there are those who feel defensive then obviously she has touched a nerve that holds truth. Yes, computers and internet are also a temptation and must be regulated, my husband and I struggle with the decision of whether we should get rid of it too, but the family does not have the same access to the internet as they would to a TV. I grew up with TV in the house and we were allowed to watch whatever we wanted, but we didn't have cable so that limited our exposure. But I still watched enough to want the toys from the commercials and feel exactly how Lori described it as need, need, need. Let's be honest when TV is available to most people, especially children, they are not going to opt for the "educational" programming over the more seductive entertainment!! There really is so much garbage that is allowed on TV these days, every show is full of themes and ideas that are really trash. And then there are the reality shows which depicts everyday real people in situations that used to be just for TV. Life imitating TV or TV imitating Life? What's wrong with sheltering our children just a little bit longer, believe me they will find out everything they need to know soon enough! Am I a better or more informed person because I found out things earlier? I don't think so. I think it only served to confuse me more because I really didn't know what to do with all this information. I used to pretend my Barbie dolls had boyfriends probably because I watched the Love Boat! Is that something I need to pass on to my children?? What I watched on TV in my childhood is still with me today and what I learned in school is not as clear, there's the unfortunate irony.

(47) Laurie, March 20, 2009 8:33 AM

We made the same choice, and are atill glad 23 years later

My husband and I, like you, have never had a TV. Now, with our older children nearly grown, it is gratifying to hear them talk about how enriched their childhood was because of what it was missing.

(46) Concerned Mom, March 20, 2009 8:22 AM

Define "Harmless".

Even the so-called "harmless" shows - like game shows or documentaries - often portray impossibly beautiful people, show very revealing clothing, and break to totally inappropriate commercials. I'd urge everyone to give up TV. My kids are growing up without it. There are times when we say they can watch a movie or something unique (like the olympics) and you know what - they find them boring. Life without TV is so much richer that once you get used to it, you'll see TV as the insipid waste of time it truly is. Books are better than even the best documentary (which, by it's nature is shorter and more limited). Going to the pool or the zoo is more interesting than the cutest children's program. And interacting with real human beings is more rewarding than watching actors interact on TV.

(45) Helen Schwab (Chaiah), March 19, 2009 11:22 PM

Glad you said it like it is. I am a baalas teshuva from many years ago. In 1974 I was watching TV in Israel with my husband when I realized the violence depicted was making me feel physically ill. I was pregnant, I felt it wasn't healthy for the baby developing inside me when I watched scary episodes on TV. We decided to get rid of the TV and I have never regretted it. I am better informed than people I know who watch the news on TV because I read indepth articles and hear radio talk show hosts discuss issues at length. I get both the mass media viewpoint and several specialized news viewpoints online. I subscribe to a Jewish newspaper which doesn't print violent or immodest photos. Instead it has inspiring articles on Torah subjects! I'm blessed to lve in a city which has wnderful Torah classes available... Who needs TV?!

(44) Marc, March 19, 2009 11:34 AM

Unbelievable! I love TV and will always watch it. My niece and nephew love TV and I am glad they can enjoy some of the programs offered. I grew up so enjoying TV with my family all those great programs. If my parents banned it from our home I wouldn't have been able to have those experiences. You don' t have to watch crap, and there is NOTHING wrong with being entertained. Only watching Jewish based programming? Sounds very limiting to me. There are many people in the world who have things to offer all of us, not all of them are Jewish. I am proud of what we have to offer and I enjoy Jewish programming and Jewish topics but I also enjoy learning about other people too. TV is and will always be welcome in my house, I don't believe I would be more creative, or a better person with or without it.

(43) Jon, March 19, 2009 9:50 AM

re: richard in pittsburgh, I agree with Lori

As a television addict (now sober for about five years) I would describe television as a drug. It definitely has ill health effects (see AAP guidelines on television usage), affects socialization, and can be addictive - as it was in my case. Furthermore overdoses do occur, and there is intense peer pressure to use it - even from family members. Lastly, it has become so pervasive that people are often in DENIAL about the effect it has on their lives, relationships, attitudes and mores. The FDA does not regulate it, and no definition of "moderate use" exists (as far as I know). Watching Law and Order 3 times a day is equivalent to 3 hours not spent with my family or outdoors or using my intellect for other pursuits. I challenge anyone to turn off their TV for 1 month, or even 1 week. If one can't do so, they may already be dependent or perhaps they underestimate its harmful effects. If only we spent as much time willingly learning torah as we do watching TV! I would bet that few do. Also, regarding Richards comment (#37) I agree that limits are important, but I think you are underestimating what an irresistable force television is. To prove my point, I challenge you, personally, to turn off your television for one month or prohibit your children from watching for that time period. Your children (if you have any) will make your life unbearable and you will see that TV is so irresistable that it precludes setting EFFECTIVE limits. Furthermore, as a non-TV watcher, I want you to know that your fear of being uninformed without television is illusory (and manufactured by television itself) and one can remained informed without television. You'll have to trust me on that one, or ask someone that knows me. By the way television IS the mainstream media.

(42) Paul, March 19, 2009 8:27 AM

Just for Fun?

"The Hebrew language has words that mean rest, play, relaxation, and pleasant activities, while it has no word for "fun." A "fun" activity has no goal, as is implied in the colloquial expression, "just for the fun of it." In other words, the goal of the activity is within itself, and fun does not lead to or result in anything else." (Rabbi Twerski) "Time is precious, and we must constructively utilize every moment of life." (Rabbi Twerski) There is a reason Western civilization is called decadent, which loosely defined means for one to satisfy his/her desires. As a Jew living in a decadent world, many temptations can present themselves. My problem is, among many, is that I often allow temptations easy access, thus making it difficult to say no.

(41) Ariel, March 18, 2009 8:50 PM

TV or No TV -- Maybe both

My oldest daughter is 44 with a 9 year old son. Being a child of parents of the 60s she did not watch TV. The constance presence of the Viet Nam War was more than we could stand and we didn't want her watching it. She and her husband agreed no TV either when they married, but now have a set. My grandson has only been allowed to watch educational programs -- no violent cartoons with mice hitting cats over the head or coyotes chasing roadrunners.He also does not have Playstation or other possibly violent video games. They have a Wii with sports, Wii fit, and Rock Band. Once a week they rent an age appropriate movie for family night. He goes to a Jewish Day School and his mother is horrified at the amount of TV that is being watched and the games being played by his peers. When there are play dates at his house the kids want to turn the TV on and ask where his Playstation is. She tells them that their family does other things. I believe in balance in all things. There is a place for a TV if it is controlled and has been from the start. There are interesting and informative shows on Public TV and the Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. As a result, my grandson is an above average reader, and creates fantastic rocket ships with Legos and other building materials. He understands the limits of what is acceptable and why. Our TV is in our bedroom and we watch the weather almost every night, CBS Sunday Morning, and my husband watches some news shows. It is not used during the Sabbath. So, Balance.

(40) L.S., March 18, 2009 2:23 PM

I Agree

I agree. I am a baal teshuva, so giving it up was not easy, because I miss the shows like I Love Lucy, Bewitched, and watching the news. Still, even the news can be toxic, ie the way Hannity and Colmes or the O'Reilley Factor talk to people. It sets the tone for what is considered an appropriate way to talk to people. or the cartoon characters who bob each other on the head and slip banana peels. Good decision, Lori! I am glad I gave up the T.V., too

(39) Suzanne, March 18, 2009 1:40 PM


When my husband and I were dating we agreed only a TV in the basement and only for watching the occasional movie. Turns out my husband's definition of occasional is 2-3 each weekend. I quickly discovered that watching sports was permissible in his mind and I really don't have a problem with that. Then he found a small TV and moved it into the office. For a month and a half, he dressed in the office and spent the morning watching some morning news/chat show. Then in the evening, he would watch it before dinner and then again until bed time. Then he got bored with it and now just uses it the way he used the one in the basement previously. I took longer but eventually, started watching a show on the night he had class which now I still watch even though he's home. I watch that show quite faithfully and while we both enjoy I do see a slippery slope coming on. I also tend to watch whatever on the nights he has class while I'm eating supper. It's more interesting than staring at the plate. However, I really wish we had just said a total "no" rather than saying, "Well, just a little." It's so easy to revise the definition of "little"

(38) Amanda, March 18, 2009 1:36 PM

answer to sesan lawi (33)

Oh gimme a break! if you have a TV you don't just watch on it National Geographic and Holocaust movies...and if you do, then when you are out of the house (or upstairs) your kids don't. please do not fool yourself TV is bad BAD BAD! I have seen how the kids are soo much happier and more creative without it-and my husband learns now-before it made him unable to! If we are all honest with ourselves-its BAD BAD BAD !!!

(37) Richard in Pittsburgh, March 18, 2009 10:36 AM

I've never disgareed with Lori ... till now

Yes so much of TV is harmful, especially to young children!!! *But* the answer is parental control over selection and time spent viewing. It's another choice we need to make, like what foods to eat, how much wine to have for a blessing, etc. The lack of access to news from responsible sources that the mainstream media may not supply scares me into thinking that some Jews will be uninformed in a dangerous, changing world. The answer is LIMITS and CHOICES, which is very Jewish. Not the if it isn't perfect, then it's banned, the all or nothing fallacy. Life doesn't work that way. Use choices and limits over TV just like anything else in this imperfect world. We don't need Jews not knowing, and the internet, radio, newspapers (the few left) may be biased.

(36) Anonymous, March 18, 2009 5:55 AM

The Pluses of no TV

Thanks Lori, Since we don't have a TV, our children have become so much more creative with their spare time. They read, spend time with friends and are more physically active. I am so thankful that we don't own one! Yes, I grew up with it and that's even more reason to dump it! Even though it was not as bad as it is now, I think about all those hours (yes I really watched lots!) that I could have been doing/learning so many other constructive things. Hopefully the world will wake up and see how detrimental TV is for kids AND adults! A Mother/Grandmother

(35) Anonymous, March 18, 2009 5:45 AM

bad roel models even without t.v.

I totally agree with the concept that t.v. has no place in a torah observant home for the reasons that you listed and also because it''s addictive and does nothing fot the child''s intllectual development. It''s an incredible waste of time and doesn''t foster creativity *or* problem solving like skills as does reading, painting, working with clay, listening to music *or* dozens of other activities. the one thing I wonder about though is why our Torah observant community is so filled with so man of the problems of secular society even without the hours and hours of watching t.v. I have heard it said many times that the boys in the "frummer" yeshivas (without t.V.s) are more agressive and unruly and bullyish than boys from more modern yeshivas (with t.v.s). Also, the amount of materialism in our Yeshiva community and the focus and preoccupation with all things materialistic is out of control and I think in many cases far exceeds that of more "modern" and secular communities. It just makes me wonder if while we''re busy patting ourselves on the backs for not having t.v.s in the house if we are missing a bigger picture of what messages we are sending our children and what values we are instilling in them t.v. *or* no t.v.

(34) Anonymous, March 18, 2009 3:30 AM

Lori , in defense of TV

Dear Lori, Once again, you've made a wonderful point for fully functional families. But what about people who live alone for whom television is the only source of entertainment, the only time they will hear a human voice. What about a single mother who just needs a bit of a break. Sure you are right, TV stinks, but so does our society which isolates so many of its members. I believe that everything that is in the world is here for a reason and that includes the boob tube. Besides, today with the advent of cable and 1000 channels one can opt out of porn and violence and watch things like the documentary channel and National Geographic TV. I hear what you are saying but once again, please remember those of us who are handicapped in some way and rely on the very imperfect crutch called Television.

(33) Susan Lawi, March 18, 2009 2:24 AM

we are intelligent adults who are free to make good choices

I subscribe to the Jewish Channel in my area. I am free to choose from programs where I can watch films from Israel, programs on the Holocaust, documentaries on politics in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. These programs have illuminated my Jewish soul. I have a greater awareness of life in Israel because of it. It has added to my knowledge of Jewish history. If I didn't have a TV,I would have no access to these programs. My life would be less enriched. There is quality TV out there. You have to look for it. By the way, there are no commercials on the Jewish Channel. It only costs $4.95 a month. Much cheaper than renting a video or going to the movies. We can't stick our head in the sand for the sake of protecting our children from the real world. We are taught to make choices-that is what differentiates us from animals. Give us credit to do that. We can be vigilant parents and make it clear what we allow our children to watch.

(32) Ronni, March 18, 2009 12:33 AM

Why I hate my computer

It took me a long time to get rid of the t.v. which is so enjoyable and entertaining despite the knowledge of how terrible it is. After canceling the canceling of my service again and again I finally got up the nerve shortly before Yom Kippur (like a smoker it's good to have a deadline). Then I got the Computer. At first it was something that I used once in a while for news and shopping but now it's on equal footing with the t.v. I do have it password protected and in my kitchen so my kids can't be on it unsupervised but it's me that I'm unhappy with. I found that when it wasn't working and I had to use the business computer in the basement it lost most of its appeal so that's what I'm striving for one day...

(31) G.M. Grena, March 18, 2009 12:03 AM

Know TV Even With No TV?

How can you know how much promiscuity & violence is on TV if you don't own a TV & don't watch TV? Are you getting any mental stimulation from chatting with friends/neighbors/relatives about what they're watching on TV? Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Likewise, not all programs contain promiscuity & violence. Like you said, if a babysitter had these traits, you'd fire them in an instant. So if a program has any of these characteristics, change the channel. Try the PAX network, I've heard it's family oriented. I actually agree with your family's decision, I've watched very little TV over the past decade, & haven't turned it on at all for several months since the presidential election. I'm not planning to turn it on again till a new president is elected, whether it's 4 or 8 years from now, assuming that America can survive that long under this administration.

(30) Randy, March 17, 2009 10:10 PM

what a coincidence

Right before I opened my email, I asked myself if I should give up TV. Is there value? One of the things that made me think this was that I was not being efficient. The other was that I was listening to my radio and the amount of promescuity and imagery and degridation towards women was astounding. I am a man and I respect women and it disgusts me. I have been becoming more observant from a totally non observant background and the things I am realizing now are astonishing. NO TV!

(29) Concerned Mom, March 17, 2009 8:54 PM

How great to see comments by other people who also don't watch TV!

We also made a decision not to let our kids watch TV (and not to watch it ourselves either). We've never regretted it. Lor is right - most of what's on is inappropriate, but I'd go further. Orthodox Jews often call TV "bittel zman" - a waste of time - and it is. I'd rather see my kids engaged in real play or reading than being couch potatoes in front of the TV. A note about some of the really angry comments to this piece - calm down! Why are you so offended? Nobody is being holier than thou - we're just discussing kids and television. Yes, there are some things that are okay to see on TV. (My kids watched the presidential inaguaration on TV in their Orthodox day school.) But why open the door? Once kids know they can see one program, they'll ask to see others. (Looking at my friends' kids - lots others.) Also I don't think that anyone who prohibits TV gives their kids unfettered access to the internet - come on. Computers, too, require an extremely high level of vigilance! But that's a topic for another piece....

(28) Angela Miller, March 17, 2009 8:47 PM


I agree- no TV. It's such a brain drain anyway. We love Lori!

(27) Moshe, March 17, 2009 4:39 PM

Like Life... we choose

Laurie can also make the same elitist decision regarding books. TV is an information medium. If one uses it correctly, it informs and educates, as well as entertains. Those who choose the trash, will find trash in every medium. Just as one may study a history text book, one can also find books of trash. We choose.

(26) Anonymous, March 17, 2009 4:17 PM

TV or no TV

Lori made some very salient points about T.V. The part that bothers me is that while it is true that there are very bad things on T.V., there are also some very good things. Lori pointed out that in the 60's and 70's a lot of Orthodox families had T.V., why? Because times were different. They were also different, in that, we hever heard of an Orthodox kid being into drugs. Maybe some secretly were, but certainly nothing like today. We never had so many kids "off the derech" as today. We never heard of eating disorders, ADHD, autism, all of which afflict the Orthodox, who do not own T.V.'s, as they do those who have them. The reason is, that in those days, we were moderate. We watched some T.V. In my house, with only 9 channels, we were not permitted to watch T.V. on school nights. Since we were Shomer Shabbos, we watched on Sat. nights, and a little on Sunday. We spent lots of time playing outdoors with friends, or at their houses. We read, we created, and grew up perfectly normal. Why then, are there the same problems in a community where there is no T.V. Where does a young girl, age 12, get the idea that she will not be accepted unless she is pencil thin? This then points to the fact, that it may not be about T. V. It may be about a deeper problem, which is, that the more you try to insulate, the more the children will be curious and perhaps rebellious, since it is not possible to completely shield one's children. My answer again is moderation. I am not suggesting that people put T.V.'s in their homes if it goes against what they believe in. Rather, I am suggesting that the whole picture of today's society needs to be considered in order to evaluate it's problems, and that goes for the Orthodox community as well.

(25) Anonymous, March 17, 2009 3:17 PM

the difference between the internet and the bogglebox (i have observed that people who grow up with a tv seem to be adversely affected) is that on the internet you choose between radically (morally) websites whereas on tv most of the stations have the same lack of a set of morals.

(24) Anonymous, March 17, 2009 2:51 PM

I saw a new glitter in my children's eyes

When my children were young, we decided to get rid of the TV. They only watched cartoons, and we gradually reduced the amount of time the TV was on, but it was nevertheless always a temptation - to my husband as well in the night hours. After we got rid of the TV, my husband and I both noticed a brightness in our children's eyes that had not been there before. The extra time was well used for more creative activites than the passivity of watching.

(23) ruth housman, March 17, 2009 2:26 PM

what we watch

I understand your perspective but I also know I never felt it necessary to be without a television. I could choose to watch or not watch and I could monitor my children. What I have found wonderful through the years are the Nature programs, the Science Channels, NOVA, WGBH and there are surely great learning opportunities if chosen wisely. It's like most things in life, a blessing and a curse. I don't believe it's possible to shield my children from life nor that it is desirable, since life comes up to greet them. I do believe the values we share with them, by example, and through dialogue are what's important.

(22) Paul, March 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Blanket Judgment on all Who Watch TV

Is this a blanket, one size fits all judgment about people who watch TV. That all people who watch TV are addicted to TV. That all people who watch TV watch sports and violent programs all the time. That all people who watch TV are wasting their time. That all children who watch TV are corrupted. That all children who watch TV have a mental illness or behaviorial problems. That the battle lines are drawn between those who watch TV and those who don't. Hummm, I hope G-d is not so rigid in judgment.

(21) David, March 17, 2009 12:29 PM

Balance in Broadcasts

All forms of communication have positive and negative attributes. This includes Magazine, Newspaper, Radio, TV, Telephones, and Computers. In your blog report you completely deny one media source, while broadcasting your message on another, some would say, infinitly more dangerous and perverse than the one you removed from your household. In my home we have TV, radio, internet, newspapers, and magazines, and we watch our kids like a starving hawk that just found a weak rabbit. We discuss pros and cons of each, as needed. We spent a month in Israel and saw so much inappropriate dress, activities, etc right on the streets on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem--do you propose that we not visit Israel again? or that we poke our eyes out? No, every life experience is an opportunity to educate ourselves and our families. To deny the positive attributes of one experience will result in an inappropriate overload on another.

(20) rachel, March 17, 2009 12:21 PM

Its not only TV that has changed

When I was growing up 50 years ago we read the New York Daily News. They had great comics and the news. Several years ago I decided the paper was too full of the same garbage that Tv is too full of and I stopped bringing it into the house. I should have stopped way before then. Thank God there is lots of entertainment for Jewish childred with Jewish content these days.

(19) Yendi, March 17, 2009 12:17 PM

Well said!!! I emailed this video to my family so they can understand why we don''t have TV, and maybe they will learn something. I pray HASHEM will touch their hearts.

(18) Sofer D. Elam, March 17, 2009 12:00 PM

Yasher Koach to you Lori......

You said what all parents should be saying to their children. Especially if we as parents want to set the right example. If we don't act as G-D would have us to act in fron of our children, how will they act as adults and as parents themselves one day? This article reminds me of why the wife and I like your outreach so much. Shalom Aleichem and toda raba for this very needed message to parents. Your voice of wisdom is a gift from G-D. I will make sure that my kids (all young parents) hear this one. Sofer D. Elam

(17) dov, March 17, 2009 11:49 AM

to #3 Lisa, respectfully - an amazing true story:

Since when is it condescending to express or support your own views? Lori is not telling you nor me what to do. It just so happens I grew up w/TV and we never bought one after getting married but got a TV for a present after a year or two. We kept it in order to watch the olympics and it slowly gre to become a part of our daily lives again, just as Lori described. This was 18 years ago. I confess that there were many times that the TV was a great distraction for me and my habit of enjoying the programming (some of which was definitely skirting around the edge of promiscuity) was unhealthy for me and for my usefulness to my family. I do not blame the TV for that, I blame myself. One day about ten years ago, my wife came home and found the house smelling of burned plastic. In the basement she discovered the TV - melted on itself. We had three children at that time and had two more since. Our older ones didn't miss the TV enough to complain about not getting a new one and the younger two know how to entertain themselves and are doing fine. And I have plenty more time for all of them and for my wife. Well, that's our story and we are still TV free and we like it fine. Instead of accusing anyone else of judgementalism, how about an experiment: consider pretending your own TV melted and see what happens to the family and to you after a month. What do you really have to lose? I'll tell you...

(16) puki, March 17, 2009 11:31 AM


Posting inspiring videos is one thing, posting videos that inspire aishes chareidi view in a pure propagandizing way, is another thing. Get back on track Lori!

(15) Jeffrey, March 17, 2009 11:28 AM

Lori ignored one major reason.

Another compelling reason to go Sans TV is the television's stifling effect on our children's, and our own, intellectual and physical development. Read a book or get some exercise.

(14) SUPERGEEK, March 17, 2009 11:16 AM


When my wife and I were dating we decided that if we would marry we would not own a TV. Having a family makes me more convinced that tossing out the TV was the greatest decision. My students wonder how we live without TV. They tell me that I do not know what I'm missing. I beg to differ. We know what's out there and, Baruch Hashem- we choose not to pipe it into our home. Ditching the television was one of the most liberating decisions of my family's life. We read, learn Torah, and actually have real human conversations as a family. TV or not TV? Is there really a question?!!!

(13) Mike, March 17, 2009 10:40 AM

Really Bad Commentary

George Carlin didn't say the 7 words fast, he explained it thoroughly and if you don't find it funny, that's your choice. I choose to look at but do not like "jewlarious," because I find the name offensive and it's content often ridiculous. Lori, I appreciate your message but it is not accurate. Should we not allow the computer because it includes "violence and promiscuity"? No Lori, I have a computer and I enjoy what I select, whether it is or any other Jewish related site, including Torah study and commentary. Without the television and news, we might be ignorant of the suffering that is going on in the world. Some televison can be a good thing, it's NOT a question of tv or no tv. Why not internet or no internet? Books or no books. Keep the tv, choose carefully what you watch, in my humble opinion.

(12) David, March 17, 2009 10:04 AM

TV with closed captioned is a MUST for all people

My wife and I are deaf frum. TV with closed captioned really help us to be aware of what's going on out there. Listening to a radio is out of question. Hearing people don't even bother to update with us because they are not being patient to talk with us slowly or write down. Not only that my three hearing children are very advanced in reading. How? Watching TV with closed captioned help them to surge their reading skills! Of course parents are responsible to choose what programs are appropriate.

(11) Riva, March 16, 2009 2:35 PM

Thank you!

Thank you so much for posting this video, I have found it very inspiring. Personally though, I find that the computer can be an equally, if not more so, bad influence on children especially teenagers.

(10) Anonymous, March 16, 2009 1:26 PM

Internet, another challenge

Internet is emerging replacing TV effectively. With a click, you can see all horrible things that are shown in TV and plus more. But we know we cannot eliminate internet because of that. It seems God wants us to be more disciplined and exercise free will better. The solution I think of is spreading more good. is a good example.

(9) Yehoshua in Israel, March 16, 2009 12:47 PM

To anonymous

It doesn't help anybody that there is also good programming on TV. Would you eat at a place where some of the food is kosher and others are not? All of the sudden in the middle of your salad, somebody decides to throw in shrimp? That's what TV programming is like! Even in a kosher show, all of the sudden a trefe element or commercial. It's like a bunch of faucets providing cola, and some of them-- poison! TV? No way. It's also a waste of precious time.

(8) Andrea, March 16, 2009 12:18 PM

Oh please

I agree with Lisa #3... you have to control your children's tv watching. Some who feel so righteous because they don't have tvs have computers and they don't control their kids computer viewing. Computers are actually worse because kids can access all kinds of hideous things they could never see on tv. The tv isn't the problem... a parent's supervision is the issue here. If you're the type of parent who is never around and not really interested in your kids and what they are doing then it is better not to have a tv or a computer but most parents aren't like that.

(7) Cheryl, March 15, 2009 11:52 PM


I grew up watching television but decided as an adult not to have one. And as busy as my life is, I can't imagine where I would find the time to watch one. Neither I nor my family have ever regretted NOT having a television.

(6) Rebecca, March 15, 2009 7:24 PM

I agree

I decided to cut the cable subscription, effectively eliminating all TV channels, when I was pregnant with my first. I knew I did not want my children growing up attached to the "boob tube" as I did. I wasted so much of my youth watching TV. Also, I noticed that people with ADD/ADHD don't do well with TV--which my husband has, and also my oldest child. They just keep flipping channels, unable to settle on one thing, becuase "there's always something else on." But the worst thing about TV, as you said, is the commercials. Nothing else more effectively teaches children AND adults that their lives are incomplete and unsatisfying unless they have x, y, and z. What an awful thing to grow up with--that you'll never have enough or be enough, unless you buy, buy, buy. Even then it's never enough. My kids watch carefully selected movies on the DVD, but not having TV has been a wonderful thing. Now if only I knew what to do about the computer games...

(5) Anonymous, March 15, 2009 6:34 PM

Also Yes but No

Yes, I would think most of television brings down the human spirit, but as someone making inspirational videos, you can't say that there is all bad TV.

(4) Zissi, March 15, 2009 4:07 PM

I don't miss TV one bit

I grew up with TV in my parents' home. When I got married, my husband didn't have a TV because he didn't want to be influenced by commercials. I didn't want a TV because it would be a poor influence on everyone, especially our children. I don't want my son exposed to what it is out there-even though my parents are pressuring us to get one, the answer is no unequicovically. I especially like when you said "Would you want someone who speaks foul language and dresses inappropriately to babysit your child?" My sisters- and brothers-in-law are doing exactly that. It's a horrible sight to see my nieces and nephews being hypnotized by the videos that their parents let them see. I don't miss TV and not interested when my coworkers talk about the latest shows. My students look at me with amazement.

(3) lisa, March 15, 2009 1:42 PM

..and computers are different???

I think you are very "holier than thou"!!!!! Just like computers, which I assume you have, it comes with an OFF button!!! And no, I don't watch the violence...unless you think the cooking shows are violent, entertaining yes, obscene no!!! Where does "giving the benefit of the doubt" fit in??? Yes, it can get addicting, albeit so can the computer, or reading the comics!!! I think I, as a perent, have to be very strong & set limits with our TV. So far it has worked wonderfully! Occasionally my boys watch sports to "chill-out." They have a 12 day in Yeshiva & sometimes "mindless watching" is just the answer. I grew up with TV & I am pretty OK!!!! I think you were very condescending!!

(2) Yisroel Pollack, March 15, 2009 11:34 AM

Real TV

Thank you, Mrs. Palatnik. That was very beautifully done. If only we had a TV that broadcast even half the salutary meaningfulness that you express. If only....

(1) Mitch, March 15, 2009 9:51 AM

Yes and no

Hello Lori, I enjoy your commentaries and advice! I think current broadcast TV often brings down the human spirit in so many ways and avoid most programs. However, I've seen some amazing programs, especially on PBS. One piece showed Naomi Feil reaching out to Gladys Wilson who has advanced Alzheimer's disease. Mr.s Wilson could not easily communicate and had been neglected for so many years by the people who took care of her basic physical needs. Naomi looked into her eyes, stroked her face and and sang a song to her. Mrs. Wilson began to open up. (Look for 'memory bridge' on the Internet to see this.) This touched and inspired me in the way I interact with other people. I'm a bit kinder today because of what I saw on PBS that afternoon. Cheers, Mitch


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