Suffering. Questions. How could God let this happen? A Rabbi at a poor synagogue wondered for a moment. It is daunting to see no support from the people to whom he means to deliver his speeches. Perhaps, delivering a successful lecture depends on the person’s speaking skills—how well his/her words can lift someone’s spirit. It is also imperative to empathize and putting oneself in different shoes. It seems the Rabbi seeks some answers himself.
The Shivah opens the scene with Rabbi Russell Stone, delivering a sermon at his synagogue to a tiny audience—an old lady who’s asleep, the cantor, and himself. Interesting how small the audience is. We find out that the people stopped going to his place for some reason—perhaps, they wanted to see some life but ended up listening to a frustrated preacher. It leads us to question whether the irregular attendance was because of his faith crisis or was it the other way around?
Patience is a virtue in life; however, we need to understand perspectives here when the going gets tough. The opening scene gains traction soon as a detective comes by questioning the Rabbi whether he knew anything about the murder of one of his past followers, the reason being the lumpsum amount of money the deceased left for the synagogue runner. Sounds both interesting and befuddling as the Rabbi scratches his head to this one as I did mine.
The Shivah presents a mystery that will keep us engaged. We follow a preacher trying to make sense of why things turned out in a certain fashion. This game will let us think, and I felt genuinely involved.
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