Let My People Know

"Hollywood has created a great and very successful religion"

is not just a place—it is a world in itself.

Hollywood has done something remarkable: it has created a great and very successful religion.

Through its success ful missionaries—the films produced in Hollywood—it has spread all around the globe, gaining adherents faster than any other religion in the world.

If it has not attained the stature of a full-fledged religion, at least it is a very strong cult.

Hollywood films are, of course, also a business, an amusement, and a highly efficient means for whiling away—even killing—as much time as anyone might want to kill.

However, in this regard, it is not very different from other businesses or other parts of the amusement industry.

Hollywood does much more than kill time, though. Hollywood has a formative influence on people’s lives.

Holly wood influences people’s thinking, their values, their goals, the way they plan their lives, and their behavior.

That is why boys will imitate the stance and language of a star, and girls will spend their last dollars just to have a Hollywood-style wedding.

Beyond that, Hollywood creates images of this world and of the next world; it creates desire and it creates dreams.

Whether these dreams are far-fetched and unat tainable, or very close to reality, they become the dreams of the people; they are the wishes of the people.

People copy the manners, the behavior, the images, and the fig ures that Hollywood creates. In that sense, it is as power ful and as meaningful as any religion.

Like most religions and cults, it has both idols and worshippers, and a hierarchy not unlike that of a church.

Its leaders do not have glorious titles such as Archbishop or Grand Lama, settling instead on being executives, pro ducers, and directors.

Even so, the lack of high-sounding titles and fancy dress does not hamper them from being rulers—sometimes absolute rulers—of their world.

Like a church, Hollywood has active and passive members; some people make the rules, and others comply with them.

There are the acolytes and the priests of the cult, and the multitude of worshippers.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

Simple Words by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz