"The Newspaper: "At Seven" No. 184 "A Call To The Imagination" Amatzia Eitan, 16 Adar 2006 16/03/06
In the age of television and film, the series of audio plays: “Seven Shepherds” manages to bring our children together with the forefathers of the nation magically and imaginatively.
Two in the afternoon, just a weekday, 1976. The whole family gathers around the big radio. The little ones take up space closer to the speakers, the bigger ones give up, as usual. The radio is tuned to the radio station A, and the opening of the program: “For daughter and son and for those who are interested” is already playing:
We move into a world of imagination and sounds, fascinating and entertaining.
Today it is a little difficult to explain this. Try to imagine the children of today’s television sitting in front of a radio and listening with interest. You might be amazed, but it’s still possible. The adults among us still remember the concept of ‘radio show’ and even miss its charms. The play tells, usually in episodes sequels, the story plots of the heroes, with the voices being acted out and illustrated by actors and background voices.
At first glance, it looks simply meager and dry compared next to a movie, where we see with our own eyes the plot and the characters playing with our own eyes. A slightly deeper look will reveal the great advantages of the radio show over the filmed story. It is clear to all of us that the scope limits of the imagination are infinitely greater wider than anything a director can show on the small screen. Give us some voices, and we will already create for ourselves a whole world of characters, atmosphere environment, scenery occurrence. The visual flickering images are just limiting
The claim that television causes mental degeneration in viewers, and especially young people, has already been confirmed by received approval from psychologists and educators. The passivity of the viewer is of concern to anyone anxious about the cognitive development of his children. In this area, too, radio shows are an appropriate solution. Activating the imagination in the listener stimulates him to think and create, and they transform from being becomes a passive observer to an active and creative listener.
You must be wondering why I have given such a long introduction, and why I am undermining cut the industry I am part of sit on (the filmmaking and video review industry). The reason is a series of audio plays that aroused in me the burst of nostalgia above. If my kids weren’t having so much fun, I might not have bothered to update you. The series ‘Seven Shepherds’ is currently celebrating the publication of its third title: ‘Yaakov Avinu’, which is already a reason to celebrate.
Menachem Levy, the writer, and producer of the series have come a long way. He began somewhere studying philosophy and theater at the university, then “changing direction” (as he defined it) to the Merkaz Harav yeshiva. When he taught in Talmud Torah, he realized that children absorb the material taught in class much better when it is presented as a play. The successful audio production shows became radio shows and were broadcast on Channel 7, with increasing demand.
About six years ago, the first two discs were released: ‘Avraham Avinu’ was released. It was followed by ‘Yitzchak Avinu’, and since then it has kept pace: a new recording of two discs every two years. During this time, Rav Menachem learns everything that has been written about the character presented, goes through all the midrashim and writes the plot – while delving into every detail
Rav Menachem took on the sacred task: to connect the children to the Fathers of the nation. “To get to know the character”, he argues, “one has to go directly mainly to childhood, to the period of shaping her personality.” He also has difficulty presenting the maturity of the fathers – he is aware of our inability, as humans, to imagine illustrate the voice of G-d and step into the shoes of the Father of the nation during his divine revelation. However, connecting to the character’s childhood and adolescence period is easier to identify with, identity with her, and thereby to so also remember and understand the development of our great ancestors
Rav Levy invests in the professional field no less than in the historical field. He writes according to the rules of dramatic writing, uses professional actors, and accompanies the production with original music. The director, Yoel Drori, has extensive experience at Kol Yisrael in the field of radio programs, and he works with each actor on the character he represents to be credible
The result does justify the effort. The children connect to the story, experience with the actors the stories plot of our forefathers with the actors, and learn about the creation of the personality that shaped the history of our people