“There’s more Hassidic Jew in me than I knew,” said Oprah Winfrey Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with Chabad.org’s Jewish.TV.
According to Chabad, Winfrey spent a day touring Jewish homes and communal institutions in the New York neighborhoods of Crown Heights, Borough Park and Brooklyn Heights as part of her new “Oprah’s Next Chapter” show. Following that, Winfrey shared her thoughts on Hassidic family life with Chabad’s Rabbi Motti Seligson.
During the interview, Winfrey said she was “deeply respectful” for the hassidic way of raising families, and was inspired by the way women are the “foundation” of their married lives. She added that she was impressed by the way Hassidic children live without television, mobile phones and video games.
“We live in a culture where seven and a half hours are spent on average per child in the United States of America, consumed by some electronic device or television or texting or on the phone or playing a videogame or watching television, “ she said. “So it is amazing to me that right across from Manhattan, there is a whole world of children who aren’t doing that and are happy, fulfilled and loved."
The talk show star also admitted she had never spoken to an Hassidic Jew before, out of intimidation. "I’ve never actually spoken to anybody who was a Hassidic Jew because I always felt like I didn’t know whether I was allowed to or what was the whole issue with women or not with women,” she said, adding, “so this experience for me today has really confirmed and affirmed what I truly believe as one of my deep, spiritual principles and that is that we are all more alike than we are different."
Winfrey’s two-part episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” on ultra-Orthodox Jews will be screened on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on February 12 and 13.
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