Inquisitionist April 12, 2020 Share April 12, 2020 Just found this Israeli series from 2015 on Netflix, after watching Unorthodox. Unlike that series, Shtisel (a family name) is set in Jerusalem, but it also deals with an ultra-Orthodox community, in this case referred to as Haredi. I've watched the first two episodes so far (there are 2 seasons, each with 12 episodes). I'm enjoying the characters and the everyday dilemmas they are facing. At the center of things is the youngest son of a rabbi, Akiva Shtisel, who seems to be a tad lost. At 24, he is past the age at which most males in his community are already married, but he can't seem to connect with "the right girl." We see him on a series of "first dates" or meetings arranged by a local matchmaker. The young women are generally attractive and devout, but he's not interested. Indeed, when he told one young woman that they would have to live with his father after marriage, I wondered if he had made that up to turn her off. Instead, Akiva becomes intrigued by a somewhat older woman, Elisheva, the twice-widowed mother of one of the young school boys he has recently begun teaching. Elisheva seems rather amused by Akiva, whom she regards as an overgrown child, but is not interested in marriage with him. The first two episodes both have some interesting dream or fantasy sequences. I was very moved by Elisheva's "hallucination"of imagining of her two dead husbands conversing about her and her son in the kitchen in the middle of one night. There are also storylines about Akiva's father, Shulem, a rabbi who has been widowed for a year as the series opens; Akiva's sister, Giti Weiss, whose husband appears to have abandoned her and their 5 children (the eldest daughter is played by Shira Haas, who was so wonderful 7 years later as Esty in Unorthodox); and other family members. It may feel a tad soapy, but the stories are told with nuance and consideration -- in contrast to the actual soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, that their grandmother discovers in her old age when she goes to live in a nursing home complex where all of her friends have "that box" in their rooms. I hope others are finding this lovely series. I would love to chat about it! 11 Link to comment
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