Kim Kardashian – The Ultimate Marriage -Watching the Reality Shows

Are we wishing the 'actors' well and looking for fairy-tale romances and marriages? Or is it all  – the perverse pleasure we get in the downfall of others?

Submerged in my bubble of an amazing High Holiday season at Chabad of Mineola, I seem to have missed it. I didn’t know about the elaborate, expensive and highly publicized wedding of Kim Kardashian. And I probably wouldn’t have known about the divorce either except that when I went out to buy some groceries, it was everywhere – splashed over the front of every glossy magazine by the checkout counter.

There’s a lot about the story of Kim Kardashian’s marriage that seems to have elicited tremendous public interest and comment, but I have a question that no one seems to be asking. Why do we care? her life seems to lack focus and direction, her story is an unhappy one. So why are we interested? And why is she telling us?

She claims to have been “in love”. Really and who taught her the meaning of those words. Does love mean just excitement about being with someone or is it a deeper recognition of their good and a desire to connect to that Divine aspect of their being?

She claims to have tried hard to make the marriage work. But even in Hollywood, 72 days seems to be a new low. I would have thought commitment meant giving it a little longer (at least 73 days)…It’s a rather pathetic story.

There really are many lessons for all of us as we watch this tale unfold. The voyeurism of Reality TV damages everyone it touches. No one emerges unscathed from the experience.

The Jewish Perspective

Every morning in our prayers, we quote the prophet Bilaam’s praise of the Jewish people, “How goodly are your tents oh Jacob, your dwelling places oh Israel.” What exactly is he extolling? What was unique about the Jewish homes was that no one’s tent door faced into anyone else’s tent. The concern was for privacy. No one should be able to see into anyone else’s home. Your home is your sanctuary – literally and symbolically. It is a holy structure meant to protect and preserve your important values and give refuge from the outside world.

Reality TV flies directly in the face of this crucial idea. It is unhealthy for the “actors,” their families and for the viewers.

Besides the simple waste of time, our motives for watching are suspect. Are we wishing them well and looking for fairy-tale romances and marriages? Or is it all – the perverse pleasure we get in the downfall of others? Are we learning anything instructive about our own choices and relationships? Or are we just taking perverse pleasure in the failure of someone else’s?

If our own lives were more meaningful and productive, if they gave us more pleasure, wouldn’t we be too busy to watch someone else’s?  

I don’t know if Kim Kardashian’s wedding was a hoax, a publicity stunt or just a disaster. And in some way, it doesn’t matter. We would probably all benefit if we just turned off the TV – or at least switched channels.