The charedi press distorts Judaism

They, and I explicitly exclude myself from their interpretations of Judaism, have a right to publish their own newspapers (even though they fight anyone who brings historical proof that the Netziv, R Chaim Soloveitchik and many more Gedolei Torah read the newspapers).

They don’t need to have pictures, and here I find myself in agreement with Uri Regev when they distort the image of a female. In a bizarre way they are in fact using what is new to present a distorted world.

Now, you might ask why it bothers me? Well it bothers me because I try to follow Torah, not some new invention. As such if it was a picture of Amalek there might be a positive command to erase him etc (practically we don’t know who Amalek is Lehalocho). Charedim might cogently argue that they won’t publish a picture that shows knees. Ok. If their clientele prefer digital burkas covering the face, that’s not ok. It’s not halachic and those people should never leave their houses let alone read any newspaper. 

So, in summary, the Charedim have created a mitzvas aseh (a positive command) to digitally distort women in pictures so they are not there, where in fact there only exist negative commandments. Such negative commandments can be fulfilled by not including the picture.

Ah, but it’s got nothing to do with Halacha in fact. It has everything to do with POLITICS. They must somehow show that they are in government visually, so they want to show their male members of the government of the state of Israel.

I have no time for such false religiosity.

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

13 thoughts on “The charedi press distorts Judaism”

  1. Isaac, you’re completely losing it. I don’t know why their readership has this distaste for looking at pictures of women, but they do have it, and they’re entitled to it. You are the one distorting Judaism by turning it into some sort of aveira. They print pictures for the exact same reason every newspaper does so; because illustrations attract the reader’s eye and makes the story easier to read. Unbroken columns of print are boring and people don’t like to read them. No newspaper publishes pictures for any other reason, so why should they be different? When a paper hasn’t got any pictures of a story, they don’t run it without any; instead they use “stock photos”. And decades ago when photos were harder to take, the newspapers were notorious for hiring thieves to steal photos to illustrate their stories.

    And every newspaper adjusts and edits and “touches up” pictures to suit their own aesthetics and purpose. The JTA article complaining about the haredi press messing with the government picture made its writer look foolish by using a doctored photo itself!


    1. They don’t have a distaste. They don’t consider it al Pi din. That’s my beef. והלכת בדרכיו does not mean you have to print pictures. That’s what they should be following if they have a drop of halachic doubt. If they think it’s completely permitted, then I’m against defacing צלם אלוקים. Their games are well known. They used to remove Rav Soloveitchik from pictures vedal.


  2. They do not consider it assur. Where did you see anyone claim that it was assur? No newspaper editor, and no leader or other authority in their community, has ever claimed that it’s ossur to print any picture of a woman. Maybe Ger holds that it’s not appropriate, but not that it’s ossur.

    The explanation you’ll hear from them is that there are some women whose pictures should not be published, for fear of hirhurim, and I’m sure you accept that. Sure that is lechol hade’os. But if they are to publish only those pictures that are not likely to lead to hirhurim, who is to be the censor who decides which pictures qualify and which don’t? If they tried it you know exactly what would happen: all the leitzim, including you, would constantly make fun of them ny nitpicking and second-guessing their choices. And they’d also be constantly battling those who think their antennae are more finely tuned than those of their arbiter. So it’s far simpler to just have a blanket policy of lo plug, so long as a woman is still in this world. Once she’s in the Other World she’s no longer subject to such things, and her picture can be published.

    But you’re complaining about distorting Torah, and yet you dare to invent out of whole cloth a non-existent issur. “defacing צלם אלוקים”?! Who gave you the right to invent such an issur? In which sefer did you see any hint of such a concept? You are distorting Torah, and are in no position to accuse others of it. There is nothing wrong with blurring people’s faces, it’s standard practice of all media when they think it’s important (e.g. minors, crime victims, whistleblowers), so the charedi press have every right to do it when they think it’s important. Their priorities do not have to match mine or yours.


    1. Lo Plug is simple. Don’t print pictures with any women. Would they shake hands with a post menstrual woman?
      As to my invented issur. Spare me. There were many acharonim who held pictures were Ossur. They have softened with time. If I have explain to you that digitally defacing צלם אלוקים is at least a דבר מכוער מאד then we don’t share a common language


      1. Nu, so they’re not printing pictures with women. I thought that’s what you were objecting to. Make up your mind.

        And they do this not because they claim it’s ossur, but because they don’t want to be the deciders of which pictures are ossur and which aren’t. So stop claiming that they say it’s ossur.

        And yes, you did invent this issur of “digitally defacing צלם אלוקים”. You are distorting Torah,. making up your own religiion, and you have the sheer chutzpah to accuse the charedi press of doing that?! As I pointed out, it’s standard practise for all media, when they think it appropriate, and I’ve never heard anyone complain when non-charedi media do it.


      2. Oh, and which achronim held pictures were ossur? Such an opinion exists, but it’s a tiny minority. The overwhelming majority of poskim throughout the years have never had a problem with pictures.


            1. The point is that I can get around without the stick or contraption indoors wearing the moon boot. It can be painful and contraindicated by doctors. As such from a pure Hilchos Shabbos angle as far as I recall from the Mishna Brura, it is only when one one uses the stick because one cannot get around that they can use the stick outside in a Reshus HoRabim. This was the conjecture on my part and which Rav Schachter clarified. Effectively he told me that included is the issue of how one NORMALLY would do things indoors, not whether one CAN go without.


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