The Newspaper, The Hasidic Culture And The Edited Iconic Photo Explained





Just when you thought that the stupidity of the media has gone so far that nothing they cover will surprise you….

With all that’s going on in the world these days, you know terrorism alerts, economic crisis, rising unemployment, sky rocketing deficits and increasing oil prices. I’m struggling to understand why this is even a story.

Some small time local Yiddish language Hasidic newspaper with a readership of about 20,000 Orthodox Jews. Edited Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and one other female adviser out of the iconic photo showing President Obama and his security team watching the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound last weekend.

 

For some odd reason the entire national and international media ran with this story as if someone had just discovered America or something. It began when a website dedicated to degrading Orthodox Jews decided to turn nothing into something.

Before long the Washington Post picked it up and added some spice to the story by accusing Der Tzitung of re-imagining history and violating the terms of use. (The post later corrected the terms of use violation)

Failed Messiah, the Hasidic newspaper Der Tzitung decided to reimagine history. Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason disappear in the lead image in Der Tzitung’s story about Osama bin Laden’s capture. The move violates the terms of use posted by the White House with the photograph on Flickr, stating that the photo be used only if it is not manipulated in any way.

The Jerusalem Post began with speculations:

While Der Zeitung had no comment as to why it altered the picture, many conjectured that it was either because of concerns about immodesty, or strong feelings that women should not be in positions of power.

Foxnews went along with the Jerusalem posts speculations:

The Jerusalem Post, which published an article on the alteration, suggested that the Brooklyn newspaper edited the women out because of concerns about women in positions of power. Others suggested that claims of modesty barred the newspaper from showing images of women.

Note how Fox turns around the argument and points to  the theory of concerns about women in positions of power before the claim of modesty. On air Fox News even went as far as conveniently editing out the modesty claim.

Even the usual Jewish friendly website The Blaze picked it up and ran with another manufactured inaccuracy:

According to that site’s author, Rabbi Jason Miller, the newspaper not only violated the pictures copyright, but it might be guilty of an even greater “crime.”

“Der Tzitung edited Hillary Clinton out of the photo, thereby changing history,” he writes. “To my mind, this act of censorship is actually a violation of the Jewish legal principle of g‘neivat da’at (deceit).”

You get the gist of it. This story ran like a wild fire. As is evident no one bothered to do even minimal research to understand why Der Tzeitung newspaper acted the way it did and why the editors of the newspaper made a decision which according to the standards of that paper was the right decision.

In order to understand the actions of Der Tzeitung newspaper, it is necceseery to understand the principles of the Hasidic Jewish culture.

In Orthodox Judaism, especially in Hassidic Jewry, family purity is paramount, over and above anything else. In order to maintain this purity much emphasis has been put on modesty and family values. Boundaries are set by Rabbis and individuals take upon themselves either stronger or more lenient boundaries. But whichever way one leans, the ultimate goal of maintaining modesty will remain. Whatever boundaries or stringencies one accepts upon themselves will be kept under any circumstances. Some of these boundaries include,  not shaking hands with a woman, not greeting a strange woman, not accepting any item directly from the hands of a woman and some will even go so far as not to even acknowledge a strange woman’s presence in the room. This is not due to lack of respect, but a personal guideline to avoid any temptation whatsoever.

One of the primary principles is that girls and women are taught to avoid any behaviour that may incite a strange man. Modesty of dress is important; they wear only long sleeves, high necklines and their dresses must cover the knees. Tight or suggestive clothing is a complete no-no. Many women will take upon themselves more stringent boundaries such as only wearing wide skirts and covering their hair. Within the households many are extremely stringent not to bring in any outside female influences which includes clothing catalogues, magazines, movies and other media. Some even go so far as to not allow internet access in their homes. All this is with the ultimate goal of keeping the families and future generations pure.

If one were to take a closer look at the Jewish community the result of these stringencies means that, unlike any other culture in the world, teenage pregnancies are practically non-existent, sex outside of marriage is more or less unheard of and even talk of sexual nature, except of that between husband and wife, is considered unacceptable.

This is not to say that the Orthodox Jewish community is uneducated or not up to date with news or world events. The community boasts successful business men and women, accountants, lawyers, doctors, politicans, financial advisers and even journalists and other media representatives. This is where Orthodox Jewish newspapers like Der Tzeitung come in. The community likes to be kept informed, but do not wish to impinge on their moral standards. With the mass media celebrating sexuality and where moral values keep on plummeting, the Orthodox Jewish community had to create their own media outlets. In order to comply with even the most stringent boundaries set by individuals upon themselves, the newspapers have to set extremely strong moral guidelines.

There are various Orthodox papers, with some catering specifically to women, where pictures of women are allowed,  but still kept to an extremely modest standard. Each editor will set his or her own boundaries as to how much is permissable in their particular publication based on their target audience. Whilst a picture of a modestly dressed Hillary Clinton will not be offensive to many, each paper must stick to the guidelines they have set so as not to alienate their target readership. If a paper like Der Tzeitung has established, based on Rabbinical guidelines, that no pictures of women are to be included in their paper, then they must stick to it. Even if the woman may be the President of the United States. This is because once the paper starts blurring the lines of what is and is not acceptable, it is a slippery slope and defeats the purpose of having an Orthodox Jewish publication.

At this point it is encumbent upon me to mention that the Orthodox Jewish media in general, will support female candidates. They will cover speeches, events, print campaign posters equally for men and women. What they will not do is print a picture of any female, whatever her station. It is important to emphasize that the paper in question, Der Tzeitung, was one of the first Orthodox papers to endorse Hillary Clinton for the senate race in 2000 and again in 2006. They ran multiple full page ads for her campaign.

These traditions go back since people were drawing heiroglyphics in caves, so it amazes me that the mass media is picking up on it now. As to the claims that the Orthodox Jewish community cannot accept women in power, these preposterous allegations are widely disproven during the course of history. The Book of Esther is obviously named after the heroine, when it could just as well have been the Book of Mordechai. The Israelites have several Jewish Queens and even the non-Jewish ones like the Queen of Sheba are celebrated. And let’s not forget that the State of Israel had a female prime-minister long before the British and the Americans have yet to catch up.

The Jewish community is made up of several different sects, ranging from Conservatives, Progressives, Reform and extreme Liberals. Many of them have had a lifelong mission to assimilate the Orthodox community. They always represent the Orthodox as being stupid, naive and living in the dark-ages and this theory has been widely disproven judging by the successes of the community in general. The Jerusalem Post, a progressive newspaper, and all the other self-hating Jewish blogs, will never miss an opportunity to stick it to the Orthodox Jews and spin nothing into something when they know quite well where the Orthodox community are coming from. At least the Jerusalem Post had the courtesy to mention the immodesty issue, whilst Fox news, a supposed pro-Israel fair and balanced network, whilst quoting the Jerusalem Post conveniently forgot to mention it. (See video above). And the entire international media just ran with the story without abiding by journalistic standards of doing the minimum research to understand the culture.

In the course of this debate some have argued that by doing so, Hasidic Jews are degrading women, subjugate them and by accepting “culture” of leaving women out of photos, they are heading down a very slippery slope like burka aand sharia. Someone noted that this will result on Hasidic Jews forcing their culture on everyone else.

Orthodox Jews do not degrade women. To the contrary. Many Orthodox women hold high executive positions and political offices. Not only do they hold those positions, they are even encouraged to do so. Orthodox Jews do not invoke the culture on any one else and except in rear occasions, like entering a synagogue, a none Jewish or non Orthodox women entering a Jewish area will not even be asked to abide by the cultural guidelines.

As for the claim by the Blaze that by editing the photo the paper committed “The Crime” of deceit. This is laughable at best. Had they not have edited the photo they would have been deceiving their readers who expect the paper to be clear of any images of women. Had any of those covering the story actually taken the time to read it or have it translated, they would have realized that in the story the paper covered all the details accurately including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s role in the mission.

The only error in judgment Der Tzeitung made was using the image at all. In the spirit of keeping their readership informed of such an historic event they wanted to include this iconic picture. In hindsight perhaps they should have pixelated or cropped the image rather than airbrush.

Finally, as for the claim that the paper violated the White House copyright rules, the Washington Post notes:

“The U.S. government cannot, under law, hold copyrights. Anything created by the government is in the public domain from the moment of inception.”

Der Tzeitung released the following statement today in response to the furor that has erupted regarding the altered photo:

The White House released a picture showing the President following “live” the events in the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden, last week Sunday. Also present in the Situation Room were various high-ranking government and military officials. Our photo editor realized the significance of this historic moment, and published the picture, but in his haste he did not read the “fine print” that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes. We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.

The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel. The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in ‘00, and when she was re-elected in ‘06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.

We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.

All Government employees are sworn into office, promising adherence to the Constitution, and our Constitution attests to our greatness as a nation that is a light beacon to the entire world. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. That has precedence even to our cherished freedom of the press! In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.

We are proud Americans of the Jewish faith, and there is no conflict in that, and we will with the help of the Almighty continue as law-abiding citizens, in this great country of our’s, until the ultimate redemption.

 

One commentator on the Foxnews website, in response to another commentator who claimed that the statement by Der Tzeitung was bigoted or something, summed it up well:

Well, you see it incorrectly, and through bigoted eyes. Their statement is polite, diplomatic, and accurate. And, yes, the only people who did anything wrong were those who “called them on their actions”. Think of it. You never heard of this newspaper before, much less read it. Why are you making an issue of it? In fact, the only reason you even know about it is because of an anti-Semitic former Jew who has a website that specializes in distorting and disparaging the actions and words of religious Jews.

 

Albert Friedman, the editor of the paper talks to CNN:

Assemblyman Dov Hikind talks to ABC News:

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  • Sheya, I appreciate everything you say, this is a very well thought out piece, and your thesis is noble. However, I disagree with you. This is one of those rare occasions when he Jews were, gulp, wrong. And as a Conservative, Frum (Orthodox) Jewish girl from New York, I feel I am in a unique position to be able to say that I disagree with you on this occasion.

    I grew up in New York, in a Chasidish family. My parents were Holocaust survivors. My father, at the age of 11, escaped with his mother to London, as the Nazis entered Belgium. He spent nights sleeping in bomb shelters during the “blitz” the battle of Britian. Try to imagine if any newspaper at the time or hence, would have erased pictures of the Queen or Margaret Thatcher, or any other political figure. And what about Gold Meir? Though I have not checked, I am sure that this paper has, in years past, printed photos of political women who were modestly dressed. This incident is indicative of a relatively new element within the N.Y. Chasidic Jewish community.

    In the Jewish religion we are not allowed to lie or mislead. The photo without Hillary Clinton was a lie, because she was there, and had a role in the operation to kill Osama bin Laden. Period. That is one of the primary reasons that the Paper was wrong. The Halachic directive not to lie or mislead (that comes under the Ten Commandment heading of Stealing as well as other commandments) is greater than the minhag of not to print a photo of a modestly dressed woman.

    When the Paper gave its response, it should have stated that it was their specific Rabbi who gave this directive of “never printing photos of any women” instead of stating a vague “Rabbinical” directive, as though Orthodox Judaism has any such mandate. In fact, the Paper did not even say if it asked a “Shaila”, a Religious Question, to any Rav or Rabbinic Council, concerning this iconic news photo. It may be that after careful consideration, even their Rabbinic authority would have given permission for this modestly attired former NY State Senator, the Secratary of State, to be published. Throughout our history, our greatest Rabbis have always acted with the greatest sensitivity when issuing religious rulings.

    In our religion we have halachot (Laws), minhagim (Customs), stringencies and leniancies, and a spectrum in between. Very often, because of the greatness of our religion, leniencies are permitted, especially in the area of Derech Eretz (proper treatment of people at all times), Kavod Memshalah (respect), Truthfulness and accuracy in all matters, and other contingencies. By acting in this rash manner, and putting an altered photograph in the Paper as a news story, and now trying to defend its actions, the Paper gave an inaccurate reflection of our religion. [That part especially angers me- that our religion was inaccurately portrayed by their stupid actions].

    Shlomo Hamelech, King Solomon said that all the ways of the Torah are pleasant and peaceful. The actions of this newspaper were not pleasant, peaceful, nor did they accurately reflect our religion. In fact it was a severe Chillul Hash-m. We are taught that we are to respect the country that hosts us during the Galus (exile). No matter what they say, it was absolutely disrespectful for the Newspaper to remove Hillary Clinton from the News photograph. This was not a social event, or a community gathering. This was an official photograph dispatched from the U. S. White House as a record of the events of a memorable day in US history. As a newspaper, Yiddish or not, that claimed to be reporting the news, the Paper was obligated to either print the photo as is, or, if they were to have removed a person from the photo, they were required to write below the photo who was removed and why.

    Secondarily, there are many reasons that news photos have to be accurately published. There are many ways that Israel has been and continues to be maligned and lied about through the use of misleading and false reporting. This Jewish newspaper should not put itself in the category of inaccurate and false reporting for any reason at all.

    And what about Hakarat Hatov? Hillary Clinton has done so much for the N. Y. Orthodox Jewish community in terms of social and economic aid programs- how could this Paper just delete her from this iconic photo? If the Paper did not want to print women, The Paper should not have printed any photo, but should have just listed ALL the people who were present. When a politician runs for office, or sells a book, they count on all their past efforts being known to the public. By ommitting her, the Paper was not allowing the people who read the paper to have an accurate account of Hillary Clinton’s role.

    It is an EMBARRASSMENT that the Paper stated in its lame “apology” that it did not see the White House Directive that accompanied the photo prohibiting altering the photo. Every Jewish person knows that without being told, and so should have this newspaper!

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  • Sheya

    “the Paper was obligated to either print the photo as is, or, if they were to have removed a person from the photo, they were required to write below the photo who was removed and why.”

    They did write that Clinton was there. I read it. Explain why? to whom? to you? Why did you ever read that paper? Did you even know it existed? Should they have explained for CNN, Foxnews? DO those people even know which side to open it? Their readership know why and need no explanations.

    The paper NEVER published photos of women. Not Thatcher the Queen or Golda Meir.

    There are under rabbinical directive. It is because of situations like these that they have the rule no photos of women. Say they do publish this, what if tomorrow there is an important photo and Michelle Obama happens to be there wearing a sleeveless evening dress, which you’ll agree they couldn’t publish, what then?

    To avoid situations like these the have a flat rule, no pictures of women period. It avoids many difficult situations.

    As for appreciation for Clinton. I think you didn’t even read this post and you came in with your mind set no matter what. This paper was the first to endorse Hillary in her campaigns both times. And ran full page ads. Hillary understands the culture and I can guarantee you that she has no problem with this entire thing.

    You understand that the New York times would never publish a photo of a topless girl, right. But they would publish a photo of a topless male. Because they have their standards. Why is that different than what this newspaper did? Every culture has there standards. The orthodox Jewish culture just has higher standards. And as a result teenage pregnancies, STD and out of marriage pregnancies are pretty much non-existent

    You comparison to a Russian paper not printing a photo of Jews is ridiculous and you know it. By this argument the paper should just forfeit all their standards and print all photos of women. Anyhow how do you know that there isn’t a Russian paper just like that? My point is that if a private entrepreneur in Russia published a private newspaper for an audience that doesn’t want photos of the Israeli PM, I wouldn’t like it but there would be nothing I can do about it. Especially when I never even knew it existed, never bought it, never read it and won’t do so in the future.

    The paper is not a national paper it’s a private enterprise targeting a readership that DEMANDS those guidelines. If they brake those guidelines once the lose the majority of their readership. No one is forcing you to buy it, and I’m positive that until yesterday you never even know about the existence of this paper let alone purchased it.

    By your standards, capitalism and freedom of religion is acceptable as long as those practicing it keep everyone happy doing it

    As I noted in the post. the paper shouldn’t have published the photo at all. That was an error of judgement. I spoke to the editor and he acknowledged that.

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  • Sheya

    Among the many argument I read on the blogs related to this story is that some argue that due to the nature of this historic event the paper should make an exception.

    That’s what people don’t get about the culture. Rules are rules and are never broken. Unless in a life threatening situation they abide strictly by all those rules. They just don’t brake them when it’s convenient with the hope G-d isn’t looking.

    Where does it end? Which rule is OK to break and which not? Is it OK to decide not to eat Kosher when you’re invited to a White House dinner, you know out of respect?

    Is it OK to break the rules of Sabbath when you’re asked to moved your car because the president comes to town?

    That’s the problem with the modern society, people no longer know what’s right and what’s wrong. Kids don’t know anymore that rules are there to keep. Instead of attacking those who still stick to their traditional values, without imposing them on others, they should be applauded.

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  • Anonymous

    I too grew up in a Chassidish Orthodox family in Stamford Hill, London and therefore am also in this not so unique position of commenting on th this.

    Marlene, with all due respect to you, you are totally wrong. Having grown up in London I no little (and care less) about US Politics. What a do care about is when the Jewish community is represented as ignorant nincompoops who need to be dragged out of the dark ages just because of their insistence to stick to their traditions and principles.

    I grew up in a house where my father did encourage pursuit of knowledge. We were encouraged to read books and newspapers and generally keep up with world events. We listened to the radio and read secular papers. We also read Jewish newspapers. And although my father allowed us access to the non-Jewish papers, he expected a higher level of morality from the content of the Jewish press. Why? Because, although it was his personal choice to allow us access to the secular media, the Jewish media has an obligation to maintain the codes of modesty that prevails in our culture.

    The newspaper in question is a Yiddish language newspaper, published exclusively for and read exclusively by the Orthodox Jewish community. Their readership is approximately 20,000, which in journalistic terms is a drop in the ocean. Their target audience insists on complete modesty and had they published a picture of a woman, even if that woman is Hillary Clinton, they would have lost 90% of their readership.

    You say that this was an historic event in US history and therefore the photo should have been printed as was as a record of these events. If that is that case where is the picture of Osama being buried at sea? The White House official response is that publishing said picture could incite violence, so why can’t a small community paper decide not to print this picture so as not to incite immorality.

    You say that “we need to respect the country that hosts us during Galus”. Let us not forget, with Passover just behind us, that the reasons we merited to be taken out of Egypt is because we stuck to our Jewish names, Jewish language and kept to our modest clothing, despite the pervading Egyptian culture that was constantly foisted upon us. Nothing good has ever come from our desire to assimilate. The fact of the matter is that keeping to our traditions has kept us going for the past 5,000 years.

    The newspaper in question has apologised for their omission, but they did not lie or deceive anyone, they clearly printed that Hillary Clinton was also present. As to their having to explain why they airbrushed her out. What for? The people who read their paper know exactly why she was taken out. Why would they for one second consider that some self-hating Jewish blogger somewhere would blow this completely out of proportion, much less that it would be picked up the by the international media. I actually find it quite riornic that the self same media who are slamming this newspaper for incorrectly reporting the facts didn’t bother even making one phone call to the editor of the paper asking for his comment before running with this story. Where was their fact checker?

    Sheya metions below about the NY Times and their insistence on not printing photos of topless girls, yet they do print pictures of topless guys (the president being one of them). Should they now be accused of sexism or are we applauding them for sticking to their principles? With morality standards constantly slipping, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in a few years time that NY times will proudly sport a Page 3 model. Why do I think that? Because with the lines of what is and what isn’t morally acceptable constantly being blurred it is a slippery slope to losing sight of that line all together.

    The Jewish community cannot afford to lose sight of that line. The boundaries set by Rabbinical guidelines or those taken upon by individuals must in all cases (except in matters of life or death) be kept at all costs. Printing a photo of a woman, any woman is unacceptable because once you start blurring that line it is only a hop, skip and a leap away from disappearing altogether.

    And just by the way that paper has never published any pictures of any woman. Not Golda Meir, not Margaret Thatcher – nobody.

    Conicidentally, with the Royal Wedding recently having taken place in London all the Jewish press reported it extensively but none of them published any pictures of the bride or even the Queen, who is the epitome of modesty, and nobody questioned their decisison. It was obvious that the Jewsih press does not publish pictures of any women, whoever they may be.

    The paper has apologised and perhaps they should have avoided publishing the picture altogether, a fact that they have already conceded to, but they should not be slammed for their decision not to publish pictures of women. They should be applauded for sticking to their principles in this ever changing world.

    I am just wondering what Hillary Clinton herself has to say about this?

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  • The response generated in the media is proof that airbrushing people out of news photos is an irresponsible act, especially by a Jewish Newspaper in New York City, which is published Online. It was the Paper that stated that they thought it was so news worthy. If they have a policy not to print photos of women then let them not print photos of women. Let them just print photos of men. But how out of touch with reality does a Newspaper have to be to think it can alter news photos?? It is not the same thing to say- oh lets take Rebbetzin Freda out of this picture, as to sit around and say, Oh let’s take Hillary Clinton out of this News Photo from the White House. If they do not have that intellectual awareness, to know not to publish it at all, then let them not publish world news- let them just publish NYC Rebbe Events. Newspapers are in the business of reporting news and have journalistic ethical responsibilities, especially if they are representing a group. Do we want in any way to be in the same category as the small Arab papers that airbrush photos and alter photos? It is because of world antisemitism that we have to behave responsibly, because, as Sheya demonstrated, the world is at the ready to jump at any chance to criticize Jews. Also, the Paper should have said it was their personal private policy, and not made it seem as though Rabbis demand that no pictures of women can be published, because that is not true, There is no Halacha that states all pictures of women cannot be published. You have no idea how hard Rabbis in NYC work on meeting with government officials, both men and women, to get what they need for the Jewish community, and they do not need to be painted with this brush.

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  • Nothing to do with Hillary Clinton but another thing that bothers me about this picture is the impression that it creates. Why is Pres. Obama seated hunched over in the back? You’re President of the United States, shouldn’t you be front and center, seated in the biggest chair in the room? This is just my personal opinion but my first impression of this picture is that he came in late while the conference is already well under way.

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  • Anonymous

    The photo they published was a lie.

    If they would have made the two women shadows… well that’s still a lie of omission but at least everyone would know two females not pictured are making history. Doesn’t matter that they were mentioned in the article. A picture is worth a thousand words. The paper screwed up.

    Not that I even knew about this publication but as a female even after your well presented explanation I find the way they published the picture offensive. It’s a lie.

    So it’s makes it okay to lie if it’s a religious thing? And the apology is “…We apologize if this was seen as offensive.” I dislike that sentence, it equals Sorry that you took it wrong.

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  • Sheya


    The response generated in the media is proof that airbrushing people out of news photos is an irresponsible act”

    Oh so are we now using things the media is outraged by as evidence of wrong doing? By that measure, as a supporter of Governor Palin, should she not run for president because the media is outraged by the idea? Or do you now say that she was wrong using the term Blood Libel? I remember you staunchly – rightly – defending her at the time. Please don’t use the media’s outrage as evidence, that’s hypocritical of you.

    So is your argument now that they shouldn’t have altered a “news photo”? or is it the issue if deleting Clinton from the photo? I’m confused. If your argument is that they shouldn’t have altered the photo and just not publish it. They have conceded that and apologized for that what more do you want them to do.

    Are you comparing this to Arab newspapers.? Arab newspapers are based on propaganda, they kill and murder people for not following their rules. Even those who are not Arabs. This newspaper doesn’t force you to buy their news paper, no Hasidic Jew has ever been killed or even approached for buying a secular newspaper. This paper publishes to give people a choice. Some people have higher standards and want a paper with no images of women so the they give people the choice. Hasidic Jews have NEVER EVER tried to impose there rules on anyone. On The contrary when a non Jew tries to convert to Judaism the rabbis will make it very clear to them how hard it will be to observe all the rules, it takes years to convert because the rabbis want to make sure that it is 100% their own will, they are not forced and that they are ready to accept the rules. They practically try to talk them out of it.

    As for your argument that the paper should have said it’s their personal private policy. Well that’s not the case, they do operate under rabbinical guidelines and every time they are not sure whether to publish something they do seek rabbinical advice. They have multiple rabbis on their board of directors.

    “There is no Halacha that states all pictures of women cannot be published” Are you kidding? If you come from an orthodox family, which planet have you just landed from. It’s against the halacha (Jewish law) to look at a strange women hand let alone face. The Talmid says that if you have an option to walk behind a women or behind a wild beast you should risk your life and walk behind the wild beast rather than walk behind the women so you don’t get tempted to look at her. While Jews have become more lenient with this, the (Jewish law) still stands.

    Most politicians and government officials know the rules and guidelines by which orthodox live by, and they appreciate it and have no issue with this. Hillary Clinton herslef has no issue with this. This was just a much ado about nothing some self hating jaw pushed and the media ran with it without even knowing what the story is.

    I spoke to the editor of the newspaper. He told me that not s single media outlet bothered to call them for a comment before they ran the story. Only after it went viral and they had already reported it, did they bother to call him. Evidently after they DID speak to him the covered it for the last time and the story has faded away from the news. Because e after doing the research the got the picture and understood it.

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  • They “never try to impose their will on anyone”- are you kidding? I will not print the examples here in public forum.

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  • Walking behind a woman and staring at her behind is not the same thing as publishing a picture of a modest woman’s face. Does the airbrushing of a photo purported to be news constitute geneivas daas?

    Growing up, there have been many photos published in Yiddish Newspapers of Chassidish Rebbeim doing a Mitzvah Tans (dance) at a wedding in front of a Bride, who was dressed modestly. She would be standing still, and the famous Rabbi would be dancing and that was a monumental photo. There also used to be photos of Rebbetzins and Rabbis arriving from various countries. This new policy is only about 25 years old. But I am not disagreeing with you- let them have their policy of not printing any photos of women. They just should not ALTER photos, especially news photos, as this is unethical.

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  • Sheya

    Below the picture the paper wrote that Hillary was in the picture. Not sure what you mean by a lie? Their intention was not to lie, they didn’t take her out because they wanted people to think she wasn’t there. The took her out because of what I explained in the post.

    Sorry you took it wrong is exactly what it is. Because people ARE taking it wrong, the fact is that YOU are taking it as if they lied when they had no intention of deceit.

    As I said they made a mistake publishing the photo at all which they conceded too

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  • Sheya

    Just shows you don’t know much about the halacha of modesty, because according to halacha you’re not even suppose to look at the hand of a women let alone look at her face.

    As I noted in the post some publications have stringer and some have lenient guidelines. This particular one has very strict rules, and no they don’t publish photos of Rabbi’s with brides. And you’re right 25 years ago some publications used to be very lenient and there was a demand by some people for a publication that is completely strict. This paper came out to fill that void. You keep forgetting that this paper targets a particular audience and they cater for those. Also the fact that other papers do it still doesn’t make it right.

    Geneivat Dass (deceit), does not apply here because they did not go out to deceit, they didn’t in their dreams expect that anyone other than the people they publish it for would ever see it. And to their Audience they did not deceit because the audience is used to it and they know they need to read captions because sometimes photos will be edited. Also Deceit only applies when you knowingly go out to deceit. When at the time you are not aware you’re misleading anyone or you don’t intentionally go out and lie that’s not Geneivat Dass.

    I’ll repeat myself.. This post is not about justifying them altering the photo, I agree they shouldn’t have used it at all. In that aspect they screwed up and apologized. This post is defending the argument that they airbrushed her out because they have some issue with women in power which is not the case. I simply explain the motivation and give people a better understanding on the rules of modesty within the Hasidic orthodox community.

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  • Anonymous

    Sheya, thank you for your accurate, articulate, comprehensive, and very patient comments on this matter.

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  • MaMcGriz

    Yes, it’s clear in both versions of the photo who was who in the zoo there that day, and in no small way is it ironic that the story has been hijacked in this way and falsely made to be about ‘issues with powerful women.’

    This appears to be someone trying to get out ahead of the inevitable talk about leadership and ‘the one’s’ apparent lack of stomach for the job as evidenced in this dramatic and telling photo. It’s also a timely opportunity to try and generate negative impressions of some Jewish people.

    The paper made a mistake. They apologized. And who knew they even existed? This is not about that paper or what they did. This is a spin event launched by the darker forces of ‘the one.’

    They infest the media from top to bottom, and nothing demonstrates their widespread presence and voraciousness like this kind of story.

    Like it says in The Book, there will be a flood of lies…..

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  • Anonymous

    They should have not published the photo because whether they meant to deceive or not the photo is not honest anymore. The photo is altered in such a way it’s not obvious that it was altered. The photo is dishonest whether they had no intention to offend and they were following their rule the photo is no longer truthful. Not a verbal untruth but a visual one, that’s what I mean by a lie.

    But evidently it’s not illegal to photoshop this historical picture so, so be it.

    Personally this inequality bugs me even after the religious explanation. Sorry you took it wrong is a really bad apology imo, but people say stuff like that all the time and they don’t own me an apology anyways, so who cares I guess.

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  • This is indefensible.

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