Loving Leah

Synopsis: When his estranged brother dies suddenly, Jake Lever is confronted with an old Jewish custom. In days past, a man was expected to marry his deceased brother's childless widow, but it is now customary to perform a ceremony releasing the pair from the obligation. During the Halizah ceremony, Jake feels uncomfortable renouncing his brother's memory. Additionally, Leah wishes to escape the confines of her orthodox community and avoid her mother's matchmaking. On the spur of the moment, Leah and Jake decide to enter into a platonic marriage of convenience.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director(s): Jeff Bleckner
Production: CBS
  Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 4 nominations.
95 min


How are you feeling now, Mrs. Wellers?

You're pretty.

We're good to go.

Benjamin, what are you doing here?

Who's the woman?

My girlfriend.

What are you doing here?

You and I...

...are okay.





That's a lot of bridesmaids.

Don't worry, I'm only going to have eight.

But it will be in a church,

and it will be big.

That's my family's thing.


I had a dream about my brother.


I told you I have a brother.

"I have a brother."

That's about it.

He's a rabbi.

A religious one.

I haven't seen him in six years.

Now, he comes to me in a dream.

Maybe it's time to reconnect.

Eight bridesmaids, huh?

Diane, my younger sister, had 14.

Oh, that's ridiculous.

Yeah, I know.

Hey, Mom, what's up?


The brother's single, a doctor.

He's coming with the mother.

Point him out to me.

I never met him.

He's Reform, like the mother,

who shows up once a year, if that.


You're in my prayers.

Thank you, Mrs. Goldfarb.


He should've been here already.

You sure you told him the right time?

Oh, I have on open-toed shoes.

What was I thinking?

Ma, it's fine. Come on.

Mama, they're here.

- Dr. Lever?

- Yes?

My condolences to you both.

If you would stand with the men.

And if you would join Leah.


I always thought of Benjamin as my own son.

Here, sit.

In the days and weeks to come,

when we think Rabbi Lever,

we may be compelled to ask God,


"Why would a man so full of life,

"in his prime

be taken from his wife and his family?"

We come into this world with a purpose.

And because death is so much a part of life...

...we come to see Benjamin's departure,

as a, a lesson,

which we must take as a gift.

And in time,

it will become apparent

what his gift is

to each of us.

- Amen.

- Amen.

Are they going to stare at us the whole time?

Shh-shh, shh-shh.


No, thank you. No, thank you.

I'll be back around with a tray of fruit.

I think the fruit comes next.


Why he never comes to visit?

He disapproves of us?


The fruit is ready.

To drop dead just like that...

I tell you, it's best that Leah has no children.

It's a terrible thing

- when children are left...

- Yeah, I know.

- Well, what happens now?

- Well, Rabbi Tenzer's

family will take the apartment

since the shul owns it,

and Leah'll move back here with me.



Can I get you something?

Nothing, thank you.

I'm going to get some air.

Sorry, look, I'll...

It's okay.

I should go.

Don't leave

because of me.

I should be downstairs.

I just needed some air.

I wish I had worn an old suit.

What's the meaning behind it?

The rending of the garments.

It allows the mourners to express

their grief and anger.

There are things of Benjamin's you should have.

Thanks, but don't rush.

I know you have to pack.

I heard you're moving.

It's just down two flights.

Your mother lives in the same building?

Yes, and my sister, too.

He wanted you in his life.

I know he did.

I just couldn't find a way to relate to him.

Everything I did was sinful.

I should have been around.

You know, I might, I might have

seen the signs, and then...

you and I, you and I wouldn't

be standing here right now.

When it happened,

Benjamin couldn't find me.

I should have felt something when he died.

He couldn't find me to say good-bye.

What do you mean?

A person's soul finds the one

they love to say good-bye.

He found you?

It was just a dream.

The rabbi is downstairs.

You're wanted now.

Oh, you, too.


The Levirate Marriage takes place

between the childless widow whose husband

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