Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter creates a row in Israel

I really love Israel, but some things in Israel really annoy me. Like this for instance:

The synchronized worldwide launch of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the
seventh and last installment in the wildly popular series, falls at 2:01 a.m.
local time this Shabbat, when the law requires most businesses to close.
With Israelis already clamoring for Deathly Hallows, many bookstores are
planning to launch the book on time anyway. That has drawn fire from haredi
lawmakers, including Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Eli Yishai (Shas), who
threatened to fine any store that opens Saturday.
"Israeli law forbids
businesses to force their employees to work on the Sabbath, and that applies in
this case as well. The minister will fine and prosecute any businesses which
violate the law," said Roei Lachmanovich, a spokesman for Yishai.

I really like the fact that Israel has such a strong Jewish identity. But I'd like it even more if businesses weren't fined if they decide not to follow it. Especially since there are loopholes to these Jewish laws, so I don't see the need to insist on them legally.

For instance the not working on Shabbat. I'm sure the businesses can avoid "forcing their employees to work on the Sabbath" and instead encourage them to do so with a higher pay (they would be working overtime), with cool Muggle tshirts, vacation days, and numerous other benefits. Last time I looked, Israeli employees weren't slaves, and were allowed to say no. I doubt that Steimatzky (leading Israeli bookshop) will ask a kippah-wearing Haredi employee to come to work Friday evening. There are enough non-observant Jews in Israel to make sure that Friday night no-one is forced to work for this grand event.

And what a grand event it is! This is the last time that I'll have a freshly released Harry Potter book in my hands. I must must MUST be able to restrain myself, and not read it in one sitting. I want to savour the chapters this time, rather than just zooming past. The last two times, I waited so long for the books, and then the pleasure of having the new books was gone after 2 days, when I had finished them. I will not read any sites that might ruin the ending for me, I will not listen to rumors of leaked information, I will ignore other theories of who will probably die and why.

The book's author, J.K. Rowling, has indicated that two characters die in
the new book, leading to speculation that one of them might be Harry
Aaaack! No! I said I wouldn't listen! Ignore! Ignore! I can't heeeeaaar youuuuu!
I have enough Harry Potter theories of my own. And they are confirming themselves (to me) as I listen to Harry Potter - The Half Blood Prince on tape every morning and evening in my car. I live an hour away from work so I get through three-four chapters every day. The reader doesn't give quite the same intonations that I had in my head when I read the book, but it's not too badly done.
So if anyone is interested as to why I'm sure that Snape is a good person, here goes.
Hagrid tells Harry about an argument that Dumbledore had with Snape in the forest. The way it's told, that Snape tells Dumbledore he doesn't want to do something, we are inclined to think that Snape doesn't want to spy for Dumbledore anymore. I believe that what Snape doesn't want to do is actually go on with the unbreakable vow he made at the beginning of the book. That means, he doesn't want to continue "helping" Malfoy to kill Dumbledore and to eventually have to kill him himself, in order to avoid turning Malfoy into a killer.
Dumbledore accepts the fact that he will have to die, and is probably planning it very well. I think this is confirmed by the way that Snape kills Dumbledore. When Dumbledore is saying "Please, Severus", I don't think he is pleading for his life. He is asking him to kill him, as he promised, maybe before anyone else does. This secures Snape's position as a Death Eater beside Voldemort and ensures that Harry will have an ally on the other side, even though I'm sure he'll realize it too late.
After Snape killed Dumbledore (but did he really die? I might have missed something which could indicate that we have proof that he was really buried, haven't gotten to that part on tape yet...), and Harry is running after him and tries to attack him with unforgivable curses, Snape lashes out at him his usual condescending remarks about how he can't do anything right. Or does he? I feel that Snape is actually giving Harry last pieces of advice, before having to completely cut off contact with him. He is telling him what he needs to really feel when he says an unforgivable curse, so that he'll have this information when he needs it most. In front of Voldemort.
I hope Dumbledore will be able to communicate to Harry, either through his portrait which will be up in the Headmaster's office, or maybe he will have left a little bottle of memories for Harry to observe in a pensieve? Harry will discover too late that Snape isn't a bad person, and maybe as a result Snape will be killed at the hands of Harry?
Can't wait till 1am Saturday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Snape is eviiiiiiiiiiil