Masterpiece Theater Contemporary: God on Trial for 11/9
Coming up tonight on PBS is this great new show from Masterpiece Theater Contemporary entitled God On Trial! .
This is a dark tale that’s based during WWII in the concentration camps at Auschwitz. The men who are imprisoned there are awaiting the decision if they are to die or face hard labor. All Jews– some believers, other more agnostic in their faith– question and debate the existance of a God who would allow his “chosen people” to face extermination. The question is if God is to blame for all that has and is occurring to the Jews (and others) at the concentration camps.
So in an act of total desperation and faltering faith, the group of men decide to put God on trial in the form of a rabbincal court to hear arguments on the responsibility of God in the matter and weighing evidence if it was truly the responsibility of the Divine Father. A rabbi volunteers and a law professor (obviously knowing how to run a trial) are part of the judicial panel. An agnostic man– along with his orthodox father– who becomes God’s accuser and prosecuter. There is another rabbi who can recite the Torah from memory who serves as the “walking, talking” Torah.
The question being asked– more than just philosophically but in a true to life application — is how can there be evil in a universe ruled by a supposedly all-powerful, benevolent and loving God? Has God given up on his “chosen people”?
This trial is conducted against the backdrop of people being sent to the gas chamber and the horror of the concentration camp is not muffled in any way.
There is evidence to condemn God and yet there is further evidence that leaves man responsible– “free will” which man fully exerts and often chooses to forget his own culpability. As the time approaches when the guards will come to their cell, they manage to reach a verdict that is strikingly surprising.
The cast is stellar, the production really gives you pause — and I hope you do think and realize that evil still exists in this world. Not just on Wall Street but in Darfur and many other countries like Mexico and South America where drug lords are killing people. In various dictatorships around the world, there is evil.
This is almost a “call to action” — to do something or be the one to allow evil to flourish by doing nothing.
See this on PBS stations across the US on Sunday 11/9 at 9PM but check your listings.