Aaron runs a kosher butcher shop in an ultra-orthodox part of Jerusalem and as a devoutly religious man, dedicated husband and father, he divides his time between work, prayer and his family, and he takes his duties in all three areas very seriously. Until that is one day when Ezri, a young man, takes shelter in the shop from a downpour, and he and Aaron start chatting. Turns out that he needs a job and a place to stay, and Aaron takes pity of the stranger and offers him both.
At first they are just employer and employee, and then became teacher and student as they study together at the synagogue each day and there is very soon a close bond between them. When they cross the boundary … at first very hesitantly ……. they unwittingly find themselves drawn into a physical and emotional relationship neither can resist. As Aaron declares ‘I feel alive now. I was dead before.’
The Rabbi and the local ‘Modesty Squads’ are pressing Aaron to help them put a stop to a straight couple’s relationship that the parents don’t approve and that just serves to emphasis what a tight rope he is walking and the danger he is in by risking his own way of live that he values so much.
This beautiful study of how conflicted a modern ultra-orthodox life can be tells its story quietly and responsibly without sensationalizing this sensitive issue at all. And the fact that it does not take sides in the struggles that Aaron and Ervi, and also Rivka, Aaron’s wife must deal with, makes it even more powerful and moving. An impressive directing debut from Haim Takabkamn, it gives the best insight into gay Orthodox Jews outside of a documentary that I have ever seen …. and is heart wrenchingly wonderful too.
It’s now been released on DVD everywhere.