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One of the worst summer tv watching guilty pleasures has to be “Big Brother.” The handful of seasons of the reality show I have watched have always sucked in me not with the show’s smut or humiliation factor, but when they have had a character who wears his or her religion on the sleeve. Who can forget Kaysar, who gave a different face to an American Muslim? Or what about everybody’s favorite Christian virgin boy, Jason? And now I may get sucked in again – at least temporarily- to the latest edition of “Big Brother”, which premieres tonight. I blame it all on a seemingly nice Jewish doctor from Miami.
Andrew Gordon , an Orthodox Jew, has declared upfront that he will practice all aspects of his religion while living in the Big Brother house. He will eat kosher food, keep Shabbat, and has said he will refuse to participate in house challenges if they interfere with his daily Jewish practices.
Now, if this was any other reality show than “Big Brother”, I would say this is a great opportunity for the general public at large, including myself, to learn more about those who are observant Jews. But on a show that prides itself on gross out food challenges, how far can an Orthodox Jew really go in the game? And when head of household challenges have been known to go on over the course of a night into day, how can the good doctor expect to win? After all, offiicially, CBS has not said that they will make any concessions for Gordon’s faith practices.


Then again,you just never know how, unofficially, CBS might help Gordon out. It won’t depend on his faith as much as whether or not he makes for good air time. If Gordon can prove to be a fan favorite, as Kaysar and Jason did, then he might find the structure of the game suddenly is a little more favorable.
Will Gordon be a schieml? A schamazel ? Or will he be a mensch? Darn it, I am gong to have to tune in for at least a little while to find out.

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