Sunday, November 13, 2011

"I'm Just In Love With God" - The Amazing Race Religious Couple

No, that quote isn't from Rav Kook. This is a rough translation of a quote from a religious contestant of the second season of the Israeli version of "The Amazing Race". The quote in Hebrew reads "אני פשוט מתה על אלוקים" literally "I'm dead in love with god."

The religious couple - Anahel and Akiva are this years "curiosity item". The amazing race send couples racing around the globe, fulfilling missions in each country to get ahead. In order to allow the religious couple to play they had to change the format a little - no flying on Shabbat, no eating bugs, no eating non kosher food. In one episode where the couples had to wrestle in chocolate (Ok so this isn't high brow entertainment) Anahel and Akiva had to come to an agreement with the non religious couples, that Anahel would not fight, and they would also sit out a fighter.

However it isn't being religious that is so fascinating about this couple. Its their version of religiosity. Anahel constantly talks of how she loves god - in the most mundane way. Whenever they have a stroke of luck (and they seem to have an awful lot of it) they immediately loudly thank god. Annoyingly the wife also has a habit of screaming a pet name she has for her husband "Shushi" in encouragement.

Personally I'm constantly shocked at how their religion is so open. They constantly talk to god as if he is their friend - something that is even stranger when done in front of a TV camera. God is meant to be a more intimate and private affair. To refer to him so casually - feels cheap. It feels somehow shallow.

This couple seems destined to go into religious folklore.

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