A Sweet and Romantic Movie: Loving Leah

DVD of Hallmark film Loving LeahBack in April, I was walking downtown on Main Street and happened to step into the local Hallmark shop. As part of an Easter sale, a friendly clerk presented a basket filled with plastic Easter eggs and told me to choose one. Each egg, she said, contained a sale coupon for a certain percentage off any item in the store.

It was my lucky day, and I got a forty-percent off coupon. Hurray! I chose to buy a Hallmark movie I’d had my eye on for a while because it looked like it had an interesting and fun premise.

Loving Leah is a sweet, silly, and romantic Hallmark movie about a modern-day Levirate marriage between Leah, a widowed Orthodox Jew from New York City and her brother-in-law Jake, a successful doctor and non-practicing Jew from Washington, D. C.

My Bible dictionary describes Levirate marriage as:

The custom of a widow marrying her deceased husband’s brother or sometimes a near heir. The word has nothing to do with the name Levi or the biblical Levites but is so called because of the Latin levir, meaning “husband’s brother,” connected with the English suffix -ate, thus constituting levirate. This system of marriage is designated in Deuteronomy 25:5–10 (see also Genesis 38:8), is spoken of in Matthew 22:23–33; it also forms a major aspect of the story of Ruth (Ruth 4:1–12).

When Leah’s husband Benjamin, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, dies suddenly and unexpectedly, Benjamin’s brother Jake is told by the Jewish elders that he is expected to marry his brother’s childless widow Leah in order to fulfill an ancient Jewish law. However, Jake can be released from this obligation if he and Leah perform the ceremony described in Deuteronomy 25:7–10:

And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel, he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.

Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him: and if he stand to it, and say, I like not to take her;

Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.

And his name shall be called in Israel, The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.

Having been estranged from his brother for many years and feeling remorseful about it, Jake can’t bring himself to go through a ceremony in which he must essentially deny his brother’s existence, so he suggests to Leah that they get married and maintain a platonic relationship. Because Leah has dreams of her own that she wants to pursue, she agrees to Jake’s proposed plan. Naturally, because this is a Hallmark movie, the story is about the way Jake and Leah’s pretend marriage becomes real as they come to respect and appreciate each other.

Part of the appeal of this movie, for me, is seeing the way that genuine religious believers, such as Orthodox Jews, try to incorporate ancient religious traditions—which had legitimate purposes in those times—into the modern-day world in a relevant way.

Pickings from the Pick-up Line Collection: Part 4

The Origins

When I was in college, my roommates and I got tired of looking at the bare cinder block walls of our apartment.

So, we started writing down and hanging up all the cheesy pick-up lines we knew or had heard. Our friends and visitors contributed their own cheesy pick-up lines to the wall.

Pretty soon, our Pick-up Line Wall of Shame became something of a miniature tourist attraction in our apartment building.

As I was going through my quote file the other day—looking for something else entirely—I came across a rubber-banded bundle of paper that was the remains of the long-since dismantled wall of pick-up lines.

Because reading them made me laugh, I here present choice selections from the Pick-up Line Wall of Shame, circa 2003.

The Pickings

A cheesy pick-up line

If you were words on a page, you’d be what they call Fine Print!

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only”10″ I see!

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Someone from you past has returned to steal your heart.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Girl, you with all those curves and me without any brakes.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Do you have a bandaid? I scraped my knee falling for you!

 

Pickings from the Pick-up Line Collection: Part 3

The Origins

When I was in college, my roommates and I got tired of looking at the bare cinder block walls of our apartment.

So, we started writing down and hanging up all the cheesy pick-up lines we knew or had heard. Our friends and visitors contributed their own cheesy pick-up lines to the wall.

Pretty soon, our Pick-up Line Wall of Shame became something of a miniature tourist attraction in our apartment building.

As I was going through my quote file the other day—looking for something else entirely—I came across a rubber-banded bundle of paper that was the remains of the long-since dismantled wall of pick-up lines.

Because reading them made me laugh, I here present choice selections from the Pick-up Line Wall of Shame, circa 2003.

The Pickings

A cheesy pick-up line

Where have you been all my life?

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Stand still so I can pick you up!

 

A cheesy pick-up line

My lenses turn dark in the sunshine of your love.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Hello, I’m a thief, and I’m here to steal your heart.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Are you a broom? Because you just swept me off my feet!

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Well, here I am. What were your other two wishes?

 

Good Graffiti

A plain benchMost of the benches along the trail look like this.

 

 

 

 

 

A green bench

This bench, on the other hand, is painted green. Points!

 

 

 

 

 

Red willow tree painted on green benchAnd on the green-painted bench is a red-painted weeping willow tree. More points!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red stick-figure couple painted on green benchAnd standing under the red-painted weeping willow tree is a darn cute red-painted, stick-figured courting couple. All the points!

 

Pickings from the Pick-up Line Collection: Part 2

The Origins

When I was in college, my roommates and I got tired of looking at the bare cinder block walls of our apartment.

So, we started writing down and hanging up all the cheesy pick-up lines we knew or had heard. Our friends and visitors contributed their own cheesy pick-up lines to the wall.

Pretty soon, our Pick-up Line Wall of Shame became something of a miniature tourist attraction in our apartment building.

As I was going through my quote file the other day—looking for something else entirely—I came across a rubber-banded bundle of paper that was the remains of the long-since dismantled wall of pick-up lines.

Because reading them made me laugh, I here present choice selections from the Pick-up Line Wall of Shame, circa 2003.

The Pickings

A cheesy pick-up line

If good looks were a minute, baby, you’d be an hour.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?

 

A cheesy pick-up line

It’s a good thing I’ve got my library card because I’m checking you out.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

When I saw you from across the room, I fainted and hit my head. I’m going to need your name and number…for insurance reasons.

 

A cheesy pick-up line

What’s that in your eye? Must just be a twinkle.