We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
In the opening scene of Amos Gitai’s Kadosh, a man recites the (in)famous Ultra-Orthodox Jewish prayer thanking God for not making him a woman. Israeli housewife-turned-preacher Leah Kook, the protagonist of Taliya Finkel’s 2002 documentary Tikkun, can’t say that prayer, but she has another one: She thanks Him for not making her a gentile. Kook accepts—indeed, celebrates—her religion’s restrictions on women, but she hasn’t let them prevent her from becoming a prominent religious figure. Kook is not unlike a Christian Pentecostalist: She dispenses blessings, chants the Hebrew psalms, promises quick riches to true believers, and exults that “I’m mad about God Almighty.” As her son puts it, “It’s like being high on Ecstasy all the time.” Perhaps someone will address the downside of a 24-hour-psalm-people existence in the post-screening discussion, “Public Roles of Women in Orthodox Life.” Tikkun screens at 7 p.m. at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center’s Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater, 1529 16th St. NW. $9. (202) 777-3248. (Mark Jenkins)