Rabbi Abraham Eidelman (Dayan), his wife Esther (Hacohen) and their son Menahem (Griff) are the model Orthodox Jewish family, living their lives according to the Torah and practicing their faith with fervor and devotion. Menahem's loving but strict parents train him in the ways of their religion, but like any young child, he strays in small, unthinking ways. His utmost desire is a trip to the shores of the Dead Sea, but when his parents finally indulge him, their vacation ends in tragedy.
Actors Dayan, Hacohen and Griff seem so much like a real family that you'll almost feel you're watching a documentary instead of a tightly scripted narrative. First-time writer/director Volach focuses his camera and our attention on the strict rituals that dictate the lives of Orthodox Jews. Their stifling impact on a young, curious boy is so heartrending that when calamity finally strikes, it feels particularly cruel. Only then do we realize that Volach's subtle, steady storytelling was sowing the seeds of disaster all along. Though not easy to watch, this powerful, affecting gem represents filmmaking of the first order.