But last night I forgot to bring along said concealment method, and as I stepped out of my car I slid the video under my arm trying my best to look natural. Two Chasidic men from my Shul were just then approaching. Attempting to avoid their prying eyes, I tried to hurry before they notice anything. Suddenly the video slipped out from under my arm to the ground behind me just as the two men walked past. They glanced down to see what fell as I scrambled to retrieve it, and then continued walking without a second glance. That's when I realized that to these men the familiar Blockbuster logo or the video case itself meant absolutely nothing. They probably never saw a video in their life; to them it could've been round, triangular, or octagonal.
Although most Chasidim wouldn't know a blockbuster video from a cereal box, they know enough to punish those who are said to be watching one. Should the community find out that I watch videos in my home, my children would be kicked out of school, their friends would be forbidden to play with them, whispers would be heard behind my back wherever I go, and my in-laws would demand that my wife to either put a stop to my sinful behavior or else...
In case you're wondering which video it was, it was Ben Hur--and I thought it was spectacular!
"I don't like movies with sex scenes," she said, with a rather impatient tone.
"Oh." I was unsure what to say.
She looked at me and asked, "Do you?"
To be honest, I had never thought about it before, at least not consciously. Of course, when I first started watching movies, the sex scenes made me uncomfortable, having been raised in such a sheltered environment that I had never even seen a man and a woman kiss. But I've since watched plenty of movies and the standard fare in most movies no longer made me uncomfortable. After pondering the question a bit, I told my wife that I think sexual elements in a movie can show passion and feeling that cannot be conveyed otherwise. And yes, if it shows that passion then I do like it.
"I don't see how you can enjoy watching something that should be so private. I think it's disgusting to put those elements in movies. Besides, I don't think halachically we're allowed to watch it. All this sex brings impure thoughts and draws one to lust after forbidden pleasures."