Does watching violent movies corrupt the mind?

15.07.15

Pergunta

I wanted to ask if I am permitted to view a violent video. For example, of people who are being murdered by ISIS or even accidents that show blood. Is it forbidden by the Torah? Does it corrupt the mind? As far as I know, Jews throughout our history were killed by non-Jews in wars, and probably also saw terrible pictures.

Resposta

It’s not a good idea and it has a serious corrupting impact on one’s mind. Although you are right that we do participate in wars, the holy Ohr ha-Chaim explains on the verse “He will give you mercy and have mercy on you” (Deut. 13:18): “Because they have to kill the rebellious city by the sword and even the cattle, this act would naturally make them cruel. As the Ishmaelite executioners who do their work at the command of the king told us, they crave killing people. The root of mercy has been utterly eradicated in them and they are instinctively cruel. Since the same thing would happen to those who massacre the rebellious city, G-d promises that He will give them mercy. Even though they would naturally become cruel, the Source of mercy will channel down to them the quality of mercy and will cancel the cruelty they were imbued with because of their act. And when the verse adds: “and have mercy on you”, it is implying that as long as a person has a cruel nature, G-d will act that way to him too, for G-d acts with mercy only to those who are merciful.”