“Ask the Rabbi”

About the Shooting of the Film Installation in the Exhibition “The Whole Truth”

Martina Lüdicke

Are we allowed to drive a car to synagogue services on Shabbat? If my father is Jewish and my mother is Christian, what am I? Can an uncircumcised man be Jewish?

The exhibition, The Whole Truth… everything you always wanted to know about Jews, deals with common as well as uncommon questions about Judaism. We put some of these questions to seven rabbis and filmed their responses. All of them serve in Germany and represent a wide spectrum of religious belief: orthodox, liberal, conservative, progressive.

Inspired by research done on a number of Internet forums with names like “Ask the Rabbi,” “Askmoses,” and “Dear Rabbi,” in which rabbis from all over the world answer questions on how to handle religious law in everyday life, we organized the shooting of this film at a studio in Berlin-Wedding: with kosher catering, a chair, two cameras, and our seven interview partners.

Collage of portraits of seven rabbis

Seven rabbis (left to right): Joshua Spinner, Irith Shillor, Daniel Katz, Julien-Chaim Soussan, Jonah Sievers, Avichai Apel, Gábor Lengyl; Jewish Museum Berlin, photos: Thomas Valentin Harb

There was much laughter along with answers also to questions that we hadn’t asked. We learned for instance that many rabbis use facebook to connect with and advise their congregants. And that one can go a long way, when hosting guests who eat kosher, with a simple unpeeled banana and a glass of tea.

The film-installation Ask the Rabbi will be shown in its own room as part of the exhibition. You can see it starting tomorrow, 22 March 2013, at the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Martina Lüdicke, Curator of the Exhibition “The Whole Truth”

A chair, a camera and spotlights

Set for shooting the film; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Thomas Valentin Harb

Behind the Scenes (7) Entries on the Exhibition "The Whole Truth" Show all

Entries on the Exhibition "The Whole Truth"

What obstacles had to be overcome to open the exhibition The Whole Truth (2013), how it felt as a Jew to sit in a glass case in the exhibition, how visitors reacted, what further things developed out of the exhibition...

Trials of a Truth Seeker

Michal Friedlander on the countdown before the opening of the exhibition The Whole Truth

Ask the Rabbi

Martina Lüdicke about the shooting of the film installation in the exhibition The Whole Truth

In the Showcase

Olga Mannheimer about her experiences in the exhibition The Whole Truth

From Wagner to the Weather

Signe Rossbach about her two hours as a living exhibition object in the show The Whole Truth

Conversion and Controversy

Naomi Lubrich on the new interest in this topic and on religious loyalty

The Whole Truth: a Continuing Discussion

Guide Marc Wrasse about group discussions in the exhibition

After the Exhibition is Before the Exhibition

Martina Lüdicke on the decision to dedicate a separate exhibition to questions of circumcision

Contemporary Jewish Life

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