Time of Favor

Last updated
Time of Favor
Time of favor.jpg
Directed by Joseph Cedar
Written by Joseph Cedar
Produced by David Mandil
Eyal Shiray
Starring Aki Avni
Idan Alterman
Assi Dayan
Abraham Celektar
Cinematography Ofer Inov
Edited by Tova Asher
Music by Jonathan Bar Giora
Distributed by Blue Dolphin Film Distribution Ltd.
Release date
November 30, 2000 (Israel)
Running time
102 min.
Language Hebrew

Time of Favor (in Hebrew, Ha-hesder) is Israeli writer-director Joseph Cedar's 2000 debut film, starring Aki Avni. The film plays out a psychologically complex love triangle in the middle of terrorist conflict in the Israeli occupied West Bank.


The New York Times called it an "art house thriller," [1] and the Los Angeles Times said it was "one of the most successful contemporary Israeli films." [2]


Manachem, a handsome young soldier in the Israeli Defense Force, is offered his own unit, made up of fellow students from Rabbi Meltzer's West Bank Yeshiva. Menachem's close friend Pini is one of the star scholars at the Yeshiva, and Rabbi Meltzer, in an attempt to play matchmaker, promises Pini his daughter Michal's hand in marriage. But Michal, strong-willed and independent, has no interest in marrying Pini, who is weak and in poor health. Instead, she falls for Menachem, and his loyalty to the Rabbi and to his friend Pini are tested as he struggles to choose between Michal and the unit.

Michal confesses to Menachem that she cannot stand living in her father's settlement. “This land of Israel is bought with pain,” says Michal, as she looks out on the sandy mountains of the West Bank. She believes that her father, the Rabbi, is too caught up in the Israeli cause and neglects those closest to him, like Michal's late mother who died of cancer after the Rabbi refused to leave the settlement to take her to the city for proper medical care. She resolves to run away, and asks Menachem to come with her. But Menachem feels guilty on account of Pini and the Rabbi, and leaves the settlement to return to his military base.

Menachem's unit had been mobilized by the Rabbi with the purpose of returning Jerusalem's Dome of the Rock to the control of Israel—a holy shrine in the old city that Muslims use as a mosque (Al-Aqsa) and Jews call Temple Mount. Menachem agrees with Rabbi Meltzer's plan in principle, regarding the group's activities as more symbolic than anything else. Other military authorities are wary of his plan, believing the Rabbi's soldiers could easily turn into a fanatical terrorist group with the wrong twist of the political winds.

Michal leaves her father's settlement and goes to live in Jerusalem. This does not deter Pini, who continues to make advances and she rejects him over and over. Devastated by Michal's rejections, Pini becomes newly determined to make good within Rabbi Meltzer's military unit, while mapping out a terrorist plot with the help of fellow student Itamar (Micha Selektar) in which they'll finally destroy the Dome of the Rock by bombing it from below. To convince Itamar to go along with the plan, he convinces him that Manacham approves of the plan, when in reality Menacham knows nothing about it.

Pini and Itamar leave to undertake the mission, and the rest of Menacham's unit is taken in by the Israeli government for questioning. After undergoing hours of interrogation, Menacham realizes that Pini has betrayed him. Guarded heavily by Israeli Defense Soldiers, Menacham, Michal and another soldier, Mookie, follow Pini and Itamar into a secret network of tunnels underneath Jerusalem, where Pini is waiting to blow up the Dome of the Rock using a suicide bomber's vest. The movie comes to a sharp climax as the characters race through the tunnels, trying to reach Pini and convince him to stop before it is too late. They find Itamar's body in the tunnels – he had fallen, or was killed by Pini along the way. Finally they reach Pini, who is lying in a cave preparing to detonate the bomb. Menacham and Michal plead with him, but he refuses to change his mind. As Pini reaches for the button to detonate the bomb, Menacham leaps on top of him to try to prevent him from setting it off. But in the same instant, Mookie shoots and kills Pini. The movie ends with Menacham, Michal and the rest of the Israeli Defense Team exiting the tunnels together.

Cedar's Zionist upbringing is apparent in this highly religious film. Time of Favor handles the Holy Land with high regard and maintains a sense of solemnity throughout. The importance of prayer and tradition is stressed. Soldiers dressed in full uniform break from their training to open prayer books and raise their minds to God. The Rabbi's religious position marks him as a strong authority in his community. He is trusted and respected, and his students, with total faith in him, follow his every wish.



Time of Favor met with mixed reviews. The film's complex depiction of Israel was generally praised. Cedar, an Israeli, offers an insider's unique, nuanced look at his homeland. While he's mildly critical of the settlements in the West Bank, he remains respectful towards the religious who live there. The Los Angeles Times gave the film a glowing review, calling it "intensely contemporary," [2] and the San Francisco Chronicle described the film's "balanced, reflective and reasonable," [3] tone.

The Village Voice said Time of Favor was a "flawed but engrossing thriller." [4] There's a sort of tunnel vision that neglects the Palestinians, but the fact that an Israeli is a terrorist makes the film "exotic." [4]


Time of Favor won six awards from the Israeli Film Academy Awards in 2000: [5]

Time of Favor was nominated Israeli Film Academy Awards in some other categories in 2000:[ citation needed ]

Time of Favor was nominated for a Peace Award from the American Political Film Society in 2003, and won the Audience Award from the Washington Jewish Film Festival in 2001.


  1. Holden, Stephen. "Time of Favor (2000)". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  2. 1 2
    • Turan, Kenneth (February 1, 2002). "Time of Favor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8 August 2007.
  3. LaSalle, Mick; Edward Guthmann (March 1, 2002). "Last Orders". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  4. 1 2 Hoberman, J. (January 16, 2002). "Rite What You Know". Village Voice. Archived from the original on August 11, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2007.
  5. היוצרים הזוכים

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Menachem Begin</span> 6th Prime Minister of Israel (1913–1992)

Menachem Begin was an Israeli politician, founder of Likud and the sixth Prime Minister of Israel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Menachem Mendel Schneerson</span> Orthodox rabbi (1902–1994)

Menachem Mendel Schneerson, known to many as the Lubavitcher Rebbe or simply the Rebbe, was an Orthodox rabbi and the most recent Rebbe of the Lubavitch Hasidic dynasty. He is considered one of the most influential Jewish leaders of the 20th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chabad</span> Belarusian Hasidic dynasty

Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, Habad and Chabad-Lubavitch, is an Orthodox Jewish Hasidic dynasty. Chabad is one of the world's best-known Hasidic movements, particularly for its outreach activities. It is one of the largest Hasidic groups and Jewish religious organizations in the world. Unlike most Haredi groups, which are self-segregating, Chabad operates mainly in the wider world and caters to secularized Jews.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aki Avni</span> Israeli actor

Yitzhak "Aki" Avni, is an Israeli actor, entertainer and television host. He appeared in the movie Free Zone with Natalie Portman. He also played the character Mohsen in the second season of the television series 24.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shlomo Goren</span> Polish-born Israeli rabbi

Shlomo Goren, was a Polish-born Israeli Orthodox Religious Zionist rabbi and Talmudic scholar who was considered a foremost authority on Jewish law (Halakha). Goren founded and served as the first head of the Military Rabbinate of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Subsequently, he served as Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv–Jaffa between 1968 and his 1972 election as Israel's third Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi. After his 1983 retirement from the Chief Rabbinate, Goren served as the head of a Jerusalem yeshiva he established.

Chaim Brovender is an Israeli Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist rabbi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Isser Zalman Meltzer</span> Belarusian rabbi, rosh yeshiva, and posek (1870–1953)

Isser Zalman Meltzer, was a Ashkenazi Orthodox rabbi, rosh yeshiva and posek. He is also known as the "Even HaEzel"—the title of his commentary on Rambam's Mishneh Torah.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Itamar</span> Israeli settlement in the West Bank

Itamar is an Israeli settlement located in the West Bank's Samarian mountains, five kilometers southeast of the Palestinian city of Nablus. The settlement was built on land confiscated from the Palestinian villages of Awarta, Beit Furik,Yanun, Aqraba and Rujeib. The predominantly Orthodox Jewish community falls in part within the municipal jurisdiction of the Shomron Regional Council. Under the terms of the Oslo Accords of 1993 between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Itamar was designated Area "C", under provisional Israeli civil and security control, before a transition period after which Area "C" was to be handed back to the Palestinians. In 2021, it had a population of 1,354.

The Jewish Underground, or in abbreviated form, simply makhteret, was a radical right-wing organization considered terrorist by Israel, formed by prominent members of the Israeli political movement Gush Emunim that existed from 1979 to 1984. Two issues catalyzed the establishment of the underground: One was the signing of the Camp David Accords, which led to the Egypt–Israel peace treaty in 1979, and which the movement, opposed to the peace process, wished to block, viewing it as the first step in the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. A second element was the settlement project, which, in bringing two distinct ethnic communities into closer proximity, led to an uptick in hostilities that brought about a growing emphasis on the existential threat in both communities. The Jewish Underground developed two operational objectives: One consisted of a plot to blow up the Dome of the Rock, while the other branch concentrated on both avenging acts of Palestinian violence against settlers and of establishing a punitive deterrence. Some understood the terrorist acts as a means of inducing Palestinians to flee their homeland, based on the 1948 and 1967 experience, and parallels are drawn to the Terror Against Terror movement, which had a similar aim. Robert Friedman stated that the Makhteret was "the most violent anti-Arab terrorist organization since the birth of Israel".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shalom Dov Wolpo</span> Israeli rabbi and political activist (born 1948)

Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, also Sholom Ber Wolpe, is a rabbi and an Israeli political activist. Wolpo is the author of more than forty books.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Menachem Froman</span> Israeli Orthodox Jewish rabbi

Rabbi Menachem Froman was an Israeli Orthodox rabbi, and a peacemaker and negotiator with close ties to Palestinian religious leaders. A founding member of Gush Emunim, he served as the chief rabbi of Tekoa in the West Bank. He was well known for promoting and leading interfaith dialogue between Jews and Arabs, focusing on using religion as a tool and source for recognizing the humanity and dignity of all people. Together with a Palestinian journalist close to Hamas, Rabbi Froman drafted a ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, known as the Froman-Amayreh Agreement. The agreement was endorsed by Hamas government, but it did not receive any official response from the Israeli government.

Yossef (Joseph) Cedar is an Israeli film director and screenwriter.

<i>My Father My Lord</i> 2007 Israeli film

My Father My Lord is a 2007 Israeli film directed by David Volach, a former Israeli Haredi. It won the Founder's Award for Best Narrative Film at the Tribeca Film Festival.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Avichai Rontzki</span>

Avichai Rontzki was an Israeli Chief Military Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces. He served in the position from 2006 to 2010, with a rank of Brigadier General. His predecessor in that position was Rabbi Israel Weiss. Rontzki was also the rosh yeshiva of the Hesder Yeshiva in Itamar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1943 in Mandatory Palestine</span>

Events in the year 1943 in the British Mandate of Palestine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2011 Itamar attack</span> Palestinian attack on an Israeli family in the West Bank

Events in the year 2013 in Israel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kahanism</span> Far-right political ideology

Kahanism is an extremist religious Zionist ideology based on the views of Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League and the Kach party in Israel.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2018 Ariel stabbing</span> 2018 stabbing attack on civilians in Ariel, West Bank

On 5 February 2018, 29-year-old Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal from Har Brakha, was stabbed to death at the Ariel Junction, near the West Bank Israeli settlement and city of Ariel. The assailant had escaped from the scene, but was arrested following a six-week manhunt. A protester was killed during a violent demonstration against searching for the suspect.