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Time of Favor, in Hebrew: Ha-hesder, is award-winning Israeli film from 2000 by Joseph Cedar, writer, and director. The story takes place in the West Bank during the period of conflict and revolves around the matters of love, religion and military service. Although the movie takes place in the West Bank during the conflict, the Palestinian perspective is entirely omitted from the film, which ultimately shifts one’s attention from the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians to the conflict and tensions among Israelis. This omission of the Palestinians from the narrative, seems not to be as an act of invalidation of the Palestinian’s perspective, but rather a “silent” suggestion by Cedar that Israel’s perception of the Palestine should be examined.
This highly religious film provides valuable insight on the relationship between religion and politics in Israel, and throughout the movie, it emphasizes the narrative of the distrust, doubt, and responsibility. The main protagonists of the film are Menachem, a commander of the Hesder Yashiva’s unit, Rabbi Meltzer who runs the Yeshiva, Rabbi's daughter Michal whom her father promised for marriage to his favorite student and Menachem's best friend, Pini.
In the West Bank settlement, Rabbi Meltzer is an authority and a leader in his community. He has an idea to build a movement to pray at the Temple Mount, so he offers to Menachem, a student of the West Bank Yeshiva and a soldier of Israeli Defense Force (IDF), his unit, which Menachem accepts. The Rabbi’s and Menachem’s activities are closely monitored by the Israeli intelligence service, Shin Bet, which is concerned that the unit...