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Shtisel—the unlikely TV hit about orthodox Jews

The travails of an Israeli family encompass sex and death as well as religion

By Keith Kahn-Harris  
A world in miniature: Dov Glickman (left) who plays Shulem Shtisel and Neta Riskin who plays Giti Weiss Credit: Netflix

A world in miniature: Dov Glickman (left) who plays Shulem Shtisel and Neta Riskin who plays Giti Weiss. Credit: Netflix

The revolution in TV consumption over the last few years has proceeded at such a pace that, by now, settling down for the evening with a box set from Korea, Denmark or Argentina no longer feels remarkable. Despite that, the success of one particular series still seems unlikely. Why is it that Shtisel, an Israeli drama about the domestic travails of a strictly orthodox Jewish family in Jerusalem, is attracting a growing legion of fans? 

In some respects, there is something very old fashioned about Shtisel. That isn’t just because it is set within a community where marriages are arranged,…

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