I just saw the recent Sherlock Holmes movie [SPOILER ALERT], and was surprised to find it so full of Hebrew/Aramaic letters. I resisted the temptation to rewind and freeze each time to see if what was shown consistently spelled actual words. Movies take so much longer to watch when you do that. Sometimes there were genuine words (I glimpsed tsedek
), and I let myself be content with that.
I really liked the movie’s “scooby-dooishness” (yes, that is indeed a word). There appeared to be genuine black magic at work, and this led to panic and awe before Blackwood’s power. But a closer look showed technology, trickery, and manipulation. Of course, technology can at times rightly inspire fear. But often claims to the supernatural cause a different sort of fear, one that can lead us not to question, not to reason, to simply submit, and leave ourselves open to manipulation by the forces of darkness – that is to say, by humans who know how to utilize fear to their advantage.