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Women in Jewish Media

 

I never thought I’d be in the position of defending extreme Chasidic “modesty” but I have no choice. The mocking condemnations of the Chasidic newspaper Di Tzeitung that are flying through cyberspace due to the paper’s removal of women from a picture are so lacking in self-awareness that someone needs to point out that the two parties in this discussion are flip sides of the same coin.

The newspaper’s decision is objectionable on many points, including copyright law, sensitivity and honesty. I can’t defend it. But rather than mock I can try to understand it. Satire can be insightful even when it is merciless. However, too often it is merely getting a cheap laugh or an easy position of outrage at the expense of thoughtful consideration.

The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 20b) says that a man should not think improperly about women during the day because that may cause an unnecessary emission at night. This is a broad requirement to (try to) control your thoughts. The divinely implanted desire to procreate and its attendant instincts make this quite a challenge. But, as any successful person will tell you, if you surrender without a struggle and give up even if you sometimes stumble, you will never get anywhere in life.

A Jewish community newspaper needs to ensure that its published material does not contain inappropriate material. What is inappropriate? Libel, profanity, vulgarity and more. Pictures that cause improper thoughts are also inappropriate. I think all reasonable people would agree that family newspapers should refrain from publishing provocative pictures. What makes a picture provocative? Forgive the tautology, but a picture that provokes improper thoughts is provocative. To some degree, this varies by reader, which makes the determination difficult and subjective.

In today’s world, standards are on a constant decline. A recent issue of Newsweek featured naked pictures of men with small smiley faces over their most private parts. This is what passes as decent today. Bus stops and subway trains are filled with half-dressed women, peddling their bodies in order to sell products to consumers. Decency is relative, and today it seems relatively gone. Religious and family publications cannot give in to this trend and must maintain their standards.

If it were up to me, a newspaper would have a committee that uses common sense and community standards to determine what pictures are provocative. I have no doubt that, since this exercise entails making judgment calls, such a committee would be publicly mocked as a censorship board and a nudity monitor. Another option is to simply refrain from publishing any picture that anyone might remotely consider inappropriate. Even more extreme is refraining from publishing pictures of women at all.

I don’t agree with this last choice. I think too much is lost — to women and to the public — to justify the blanket policy. However, I can respect the decision to refrain from making decisions on women’s pictures. I understand the desire to avoid the mockery of a censorship board whose job is to determine which women, clothing and poses are sufficiently attractive to arouse readers. The mocking class of commentators have created a culture where this last option is appealing and then they mock people who take the path they feel forced into.

I prefer moderate and flexible standards. But I can understand, even if strongly disagree with, those who choose otherwise.

See below a CNN interview with the editor of Di Tzeitung, who I think handles himself admirably even if I disagree with his interpretation of Jewish law:

 

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Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Torah Musings.

 
The opinions and facts here are presented solely by the author. Torah Musings assumes no responsibility for them. Please address religious questions to your rabbi.
 

218 Responses

  1. J. says:

    Gil – while you are not wrong, it is evident that your line of reasoning can lead to fairly dangerous places, whether it is forcing women to the back of a bus or banning them from one part of a sidewalk. Those things can also be justified halachically fairly easily. There are several newspapers that will not publish pictures of BABY GIRLS. This is another example of wanting to ‘refrain from having to make decisions’, although I would hope even you would agree that it is worthy of derision.

  2. MDJ says:

    Gil,
    The problem isn’t that they didn’t print a picture of Hilary Clinton. The problem is that they cropped her out of a picture they had no need to publish. That was the mistake, and that was the decision that exposed them to censure and, yes, ridicule.

  3. IH says:

    I’m sorry, but the conflation of images of women with pornography is, it itself, indecent.

    You observe that “Newsweek featured naked pictures of men with small smiley faces over their most private parts” — has that led to any thoughts that images of men should be banned in religious Jewish publications?

  4. SF2K1 says:

    Along the lines of what J mentioned, I personally find it absurd that even magazines specifically for women may not have pictures of tzniusly dressed women or girls.

    R’ Gil, this idea of what constitutes preventing impure thoughts has been taken beyond any semblance of halacha. Your excuse that they are trying to avoid making a decision is completely false. These are people who have no problem speaking up and posting flyers all over the place openly declaring their decisions, and in this case their decision is to have no pictures of women in any way, shape or form. It’s one thing to wish to avoid anything untznius, it’s another thing entirely to cut out women from visual reality all together (not to speak of the aversion to Nach for the similar reasons).

  5. Curiouser says:

    What a refreshing breath of respectfulness and ecumenicism — if only this sort of respect were shown toward the extreme left Orthodoxy as it is toward the extreme right.

  6. kscott says:

    They are ridiculing the standard its as simple as that. While you may think that it would be the beginning of a slippery slope to put pictures of women in their newspapers. Common America thinks that is ludicrious. Just like everyone else in America, and from what I understand the majority of haredi Judaism, think it is ridiculous to riducle the Burkas of the Muslim population. These are standards from a different time. And since they are living in that old time, thats what is being made fun of.

  7. Seth Gordon says:

    If Di Tzeitung had merely cropped the picture so that only the President was visible, they would have fulfilled their standard of not showing images of women, and nobody outside the Orthodox community would have cared. If they had pixellated the women’s images instead of air-brushing them, then at least they would have acknowledged the fact that women were in the room during this important moment in American history. The thing that caught the general public’s attention was not charedi standards of tznius (it’s not like Stephen Colbert ever reviewed Oz Vehadar Levushah), but Stalin-like editorial practice.

  8. micha says:

    Burkas are dangerous, particularly when anywhere near street traffic.

    The back of the bus is inconvenient, particularly when the back is full.

    Not showing up in newspaper pictures has a certain dehumanizing element, but lacks the same physical cost.

    I might also make an argument that it’s only dehumanizing because we think that standing out is better than besokh ami anochi yoshaves. But while I think I could make a strong intellectual argument (and R’ Herschel Schachter pretty much did WRT the rabbinate and chazans), I don’t think I could emotionally buy into it myself, never mind convince others.

  9. YP says:

    The mistake was that they put in in picture altogether.Obviously if they want a picture without women, they have a right to include or exclude whatever they want. That being said it is so immature what constitutes as news. Who picked up on this story that a Yiddish lang. cropped out a picture of Hillary Clinton. Someone with way to much time on their hands or a low down “stinkin'” agenda.

  10. ysh says:

    R. Gil’s remarks are spot on. But I think a fundamental point is missing here. The reality of publishing content (on paper, online, or in any media) in the interconnected Internet era is that anyone can take a document out of context, resulting in the type of mushrooming chillul hashem we’ve seen over the last week. Content publishers, even chassidim who don’t allow the Internet within their 4 amot, need to be aware of the risks involved.

    It is irrelevant to complain about the ridicule of davka a chassidishe newspaper (and therefore O Jews in general). You can’t assume that content directed towards a limited insular group remains within that group. It is the responsibility of content publishers to minimize risk of chillul hashem (while noting that it is impossible to remove the risk entirely). Chachamim hizaharu bedivreichem.

  11. Charlie Hall says:

    They did not have to publish the picture. In doing so, they broke the law. They do not deserve any sympathy.

    We’ve had too many lawbreakers in the frum community already.

    I would also like to know the sources for the prohibition of photographs of modestly-clad women being asur. I’ve never seen any.

  12. Avraham Bronstein says:

    By the same token, shouldn’t editors and decency monitors be just as concerned with pictures of men that could lead to women having inappropriate thoughts?

  13. Rafael Araujo says:

    “By the same token, shouldn’t editors and decency monitors be just as concerned with pictures of men that could lead to women having inappropriate thoughts?”

    That is not a consideration in halochoh. Although, I wouldn’t put it past some LWMO to try and even the playing field.

    “What a refreshing breath of respectfulness and ecumenicism — if only this sort of respect were shown toward the extreme left Orthodoxy as it is toward the extreme right.”

    You are wrong. It is…you are allowed to post your comments here :)

  14. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “They did not have to publish the picture. In doing so, they broke the law. They do not deserve any sympathy.”

    Take a deep breath Charlie. They screwed up and they’ve admitted that. As the CNN interview shows, they have already aplogozed and will do so again in print in their next issue. So “broke the law” isn’t really isn’t the issue and “no sympathy” is pretty harsh. It’s also not of much concern to me what their policy is even if I think it is (a) stupid and (b) not really halachic. Live and let live; let them be ridiculous if they want.

    What seems to me to be more serious and of concern to us is that someone like Gil can write a post which “understands” this nonsense from the right yet can never “understand,” and, indeed, writes out of Orthodoxy, actions on the left that have at least as much basis in halacha as the anti-women attitudes of this newspaper and the community it serves. I’d feel better about this post if it were balanced by posts that said “But I can understand, even if strongly disagree with, those who choose otherwise” about, say, women rabbis.

  15. Rafael Araujo says:

    “Not showing up in newspaper pictures has a certain dehumanizing element, but lacks the same physical cost.”

    Also, Der Zeitung publishes for its readership. Why should some commentators set standards for it? It can certainly be criticized but keep in mind that the comments will have bearing on its editorial policies going forward. Like I have heard before “You don’t like what you are hearing, turn the channel.” What the editor did not take into account is the power of the internet. The internet can level playing fields but it can also destroy as well

  16. S. says:

    It’s official. There’s no such thing as going too far to the right as far as you are concerned, Gil.

    That said, I also feel that it is their prerogative to not publish pictures of women, much like it is Rabbi Avi Weiss’s prerogative to ordain Orthodox women rabbis over and above the objections of the rest of Orthodoxy. Of course here the major issue was the photoshopping, not the policy per se, although not surprisingly the issue also brought about the public discussion, which was a long time in coming, about removing women from Orthodox media, as well as the question of the how dangerous the naiveté that over-insularity causes could be. In fact the response about the prayer for the government is an example of that. This isn’t Austria-Hungary, and the story wasn’t about whether or not Orthodox Jews are showing due reverence to the hegmon.

    As for whether every Chassidishe mishegas is defensible despite possibly or probably having no solid basis in halacha, the obvious answer is that these are the things which Chassidus is made out of. But the same goes for the rest of Orthodoxy, only to different degrees. Caught dead not wearing a yarmulke lately? I think not.

  17. Rafael Araujo says:

    “What seems to me to be more serious and of concern to us is that someone like Gil can write a post which “understands” this nonsense from the right yet can never “understand,” and, indeed, writes out of Orthodoxy, actions on the left that have at least as much basis in halacha as the anti-women attitudes of this newspaper and the community it serves. I’d feel better about this post if it were balanced by posts that said “But I can understand, even if strongly disagree with, those who choose otherwise” about, say, women rabbis.”

    Reb Joseph – I believe the reason Reb Gil doesn’t afford the same kind of latitude to LWMO is because it claims the mantel of MO as much as Reb Gil’s does. For Chareidim, women rabbis is non-issue and is not much of a threat, Agudah pronouncements notwithstanding. But for the centrist/right wing flank, women rabbis could change the landscape of MO forever and is a threat to traditionalists in the MO world. Its like if the hanhalah of YU banned women Talmud study. Wouldn’t the left flank be up in arms and cede no ground to such an enactment?

  18. marcy says:

    As a journalist for 12 years, what bothers me most is that this “newspaper” thought it was OK to change history by taking people out of the photo. No journalist with any integrity would lie in that manner. As frum Jews, which is worse: possibly causing a man to have an unintended emission with a photo that most people would say is not in the slightest bit provocative, or publishing a lie, letting people believe it is the truth, and putting it out for thousands of people to see?

  19. Hirhurim says:

    I also understand and respect the LWMO’s arguments. I just dispute that (some of) their arguments can be legitimately considered Orthodox.

    If the issue was whether Di Tzeitung’s policy is Orthodox, we could have that discussion. That isn’t what we are currently discussing.

  20. Hirhurim says:

    marcy: Are you at all familiar with Charedi newspapers? Sadly, they are filled with half-truths and make no claim of journalistic integrity. Erasing a woman’s picture is the least of their offenses.

  21. BB says:

    You don’t see a problem with Der Tzeitung photoshopping out the image of THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE US?

  22. emma says:

    “Why should some commentators set standards for it? It can certainly be criticized but keep in mind that the comments will have bearing on its editorial policies going forward. Like I have heard before “You don’t like what you are hearing, turn the channel.” ”

    This is only true for harmless things. Or else, if you don’t like father coughlin, just turn the channel? I would submit that the no-women policy, and specifically the use of photoshopping (vs. just not printing certain photos) to achieve that policy, is hardly harmless. Just because you can understand why someone does it doesn’t mean you can’t unequivocally say it is wrong.

  23. IH says:

    “I also understand and respect the LWMO’s arguments. I just dispute that (some of) their arguments can be legitimately considered Orthodox.”

    But, what would it take for you to write: “I never thought I’d be in the position of defending […] but I have no choice.”

    Perhaps Rabbi Avi Weiss being threatened with expulsion from the RCA?

  24. Avraham Bronstein says:

    @Rafael:
    “That is not a consideration in halochoh. Although, I wouldn’t put it past some LWMO to try and even the playing field.”

    Rav Moshe Feinstein does apply the issur of hirhur, based on v’lo tasuru, to women as well (Igrot Moshe, EH I:69). Why not make the argument that if Hillary Clinton might be sexually stimulating to men, certainly a decorated general or defense secretary might be just as stimulating to women?

  25. Hirhurim says:

    IH: Perhaps Rabbi Avi Weiss being threatened with expulsion from the RCA?

    No. I don’t support his expulsion but I wouldn’t object to it either.

    Perhaps his being condemned by secular media.

  26. Shades of Gray says:

    The following letter in the 12/30/10 Flatbush Jewish Journal by (Rebbetzin) Esther Reisman adds some perspective to this issue:

    You were taken to task last week for having included a picture
    of a woman. I must confess that although I read that edition
    from cover to cover, that particular picture eluded my notice.

    From the letter, it seems that this picture was attached to a hesped of a Choshuva woman. One would presume that it was modest,
    tasteful and inconspicuous, in a matter that did not pose a
    danger to Shemiras HaAiynaim. I am not disagreeing with the
    letter, which was respectfully and intelligently written. It may be a good idea for your newspaper to adhere to that which has become standard in Charedi journalism. It may be a wise Geder and it is certainly preferable to the rampant exploitation of women in the secular media.

    However, it is not totally healthy for us as a community
    when we forget the difference between a Geder and an
    Issur. The Jewish Observer, a respected Torah journal, has always
    included tasteful and modest pictures of women, when appropriate,
    without trampling on tznius or incurring the wrath of the
    Chareidi community. Artscroll biographies have always included
    select photographs as well. At a recent Shuvu dinner, the video presentation included moving accounts by Baalos Teshuva. There were many Gedolei Yisroel present. I am not aware that any of these great Rabbonim expressed disapproval. Certainly, the story of the Shuvu revolution would have been incomplete without the testimonies of both the men and women whose lives were changed.

    As the surrounding society becomes increasingly degenerate,
    we have chosen to erect more and more safeguards. However, let us
    not forget the content as well as the outer form of these sensitivities. It is ironic that as we seek to become more and more insular, we risk becoming a society of “Yentas”. As we limit the range of athletic and cultural outlets, is it possible that the activities and indiscretions of our neighbors have become an increasingly popular source of discussion and entertainment? At the same time that we invoke the value of modesty, in not
    printing portraits of women, our publications risk violating these
    standards in more profound ways. After all, each publication must come up with new topics week after week, to inspire, inform and most of all entertain the community. The search for novelty and variety creates a certain temptation to print articles that shock and titillate. This poses a greater challenge to our standards of Kedusha than the occasional portrait of an elderly Rebbetzin.

    It is a wonderful thing when we seek to raise community standards
    of modesty. At the same time let us not lose our common sense. Above all, let us not forget that tact, restraint, privacy and
    respect for others remain inherent to true tznius.

    Esther Reisman

  27. Avraham Bronstein says:

    It is also, perhaps, a touch ironic that this conversation follows a post by Rabbi Enkin on the subject of Geneivat Da’at. Perhaps they feel that, if their policy was to disclose to their readership that there was, in fact, a woman present in the room, they would only be encouraging the men to imagine what she looks like.

  28. S. says:

    Basically we are in a unique opportunity – the only opportunity – to push back something which will become the normal in certain parts of mainstream Orthodoxy in a couple of decades, or less. If you think it’s defensible, kol hakavod. This will be the Orthodoxy of your old age, if you lean yeshivish.

  29. James says:

    “See below a CNN interview with the editor of Di Tzeitung, who I think handles himself admirably even if I disagree with his interpretation of Jewish law”

    He stated that it is forbidden to publish any pictures of women. He didnt interpret (or even cite) any Jewish law because there is no such law.

  30. apio says:

    “Rav Moshe Feinstein does apply the issur of hirhur, based on v’lo tasuru, to women as well (Igrot Moshe, EH I:69). Why not make the argument that if Hillary Clinton might be sexually stimulating to men, certainly a decorated general or defense secretary might be just as stimulating to women?”

    RMF defines lo tasuru as planning to commit a sin, NOT as hirhur in the sense used in this post. He specifically differentiates between the two. the reason there is no hirhur for women is that there is no hotzaas zera levatala for women.

  31. syg0604 says:

    Of course Di Zeitung is justified, as Gil suggests, of having a blanket policy – I think that’s a sensible alternative to a censorship panel. However, a second stage to the editing process is necessary, where one asks the crucial question: “will the image with the female removed: (a) cause offence; (b) present a false depiction of the event depicted; (c) not be suitable for publication for a different reason?”
    This two-step process is surely necessary for any responsible publication, and it is at step 2(a) and (b) that, on this occasion, Di Zeitung fell down.

  32. Scott says:

    When I visited YU for the SOY seforim sale, we davened mincha on an upper floor, which also happens to house President Joel’s office. The walls outside his office display large images of YU, its students and faculty.

    I was so delighted to observe that YU’s female students were represented in those images along with the males. This said to me that YU is taking a stand on this matter. It is refusing to go along with this new rule forbidding images of females, even if properly attired.

    If this means that charedim won’t respect YU, who cares? Do you think they respected YU until now?

  33. Y. Aharon says:

    The issue at hand, it seems to me, is not how ridiculous elements of the Hasidic world appear to the world, but how it makes all of us look foolish and primitive. While Colbert may have distinguished between Hasidim and other Orthodox Jews in his satire, that perception is very hazy or non-existent in the eyes of the general public. Given the near ubiquity of the internet, every foible in the Orthodox world is publicized immediately and globally. The attempted justification by the editor of Die Zeitung of the photocropped iconic picture compounds the problem by ostensibly invoking halacha. That casts torah and halacha in a ridiculous and false light. It, therefore, behooves a leading MO body such as the RCA or OU to release a statement condemning the photocensorship of that paper in no uncertain terms, and to emphasize that such behavior is not only without halachic justification but is actually forbidden as geneivat da’at and a copyright violation.

  34. Scott says:

    By the way, the technique of erasing people from photographs was used long before Photoshop, famously by Soviet censors to remove people who had been denounced by the Communist Party. See here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_images_in_the_Soviet_Union

  35. GIL:

    does orthodoxy have a rubicon on its right?

  36. IH says:

    Hirhurim: Perhaps his [Rabbi Avi Weiss] being condemned by secular media.

    Gil, ok. So perhaps your real issue is that you are reacting to the secular world grouping Ultra-Orthodox Jews with other fundamentalists, be they secular (e.g. North Korea) or religious (e.g. Iran, Saudi Arabia) who resort to similar tactics? Given your weltanschauung, perhaps this just hits too close to home?

  37. apio says:

    the reason the policy seems crazy is that the modestly dressed women are out on the streets of brooklyn – so what geder is there in not printing their pictures? the only consistent policy for those opposed to printing ANY pictures of women in the papers would be to insist that women stay home and/or go outdoors in the burqua only. when newspapers don’t print any pictures of women, they act as though they live in a society where modestly dressed women are never seen, and yet they don’t live in such a society.

    your argument seems to be that it’s understandable that papers won’t print pictures of women b/c they don’t want to have to deal with the kanoim. but giving into kanoim is not a “Geder” and a higher standard of kedusha etc. and it’s not a policy that is going to pay dividends in the long run.

  38. IH says:

    I’d like to come back to the male vs. female images. Given that we know there are men among the readership of Di Tzeitung who left to their yetzer ha’ra are inclined to homosexuality — and I’m being PC to their sensibilities here — shouldn’t they be careful not to show images of a group of virile males either due to the consideration you raise of: “The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 20b) says that a man should not think improperly about women during the day because that may cause an unnecessary emission at night.”

  39. Avraham Bronstein says:

    @IH, they might not know that. Remember Ahmadinejad’s notorious presentation at Columbia (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297823,00.html).

  40. Joseph Kaplan says:

    RA: Fair point.

  41. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    1. actually “der yid” (the other satmar newspaper, aligned with the other rebbe) always used to publish pix of (appropriate) women. its only since yated and hamodia (who themselves only do / did it due to israeli “sensiblities”) that they (yid and tzeitung) stopped doing it.

    2. based on talkradio reports on my way to the office, the editor apologized for cropping / photoshopping the picture, but not for the concept. he admitted she shouldnt have published the picture at all.

    3. when madame hillary was running for prez, the editor(ess) of yated (or was it hamodia? i forget which) said on (zev brenner’s ) radio pgm that they would not publish her picture if she wins; they will compromise by using her name, instead of saying bill clinton’s wife.

    4. famous story of chassidim going to see the divrei chaim’s grandaughter in galicia / hungary. the toldos aharon (before he was the toldos aharon) declined to go, saying it is not permitted to view a woman.

    5. to: ysh on May 10, 2011 at 9:37 am — careful with that word.

    6. to scott — cropping pix in soviet days from may day parade bandstand had political significance, unlike here. and one of those hallways (actually, the women leaders in the stern lex ave dorm) is inappropriate for another reason — a judge who kept a jewish leader in prison for political reasons is NOT an appropriate jewish woman leader.

  42. MJ says:

    A recent issue of Newsweek featured naked pictures of men with small smiley faces over their most private parts. This is what passes as decent today.

    Obviously they should have simply pasted smiley faces over the women’s indecent faces instead.

    Seriously, just because they are motivated by a fundamentalist reading of halakhic texts we need to respect where they’re coming from? That’s a line of reasoning that takes us into very dark places.

  43. Shades of Gray says:

    “the reason the policy seems crazy is that the modestly dressed women are out on the streets of brooklyn – so what geder is there in not printing their pictures?”

    It’s a valid question, and the core of the issue here, as I see it(other than the issue of relating to other’s halachic practices).

    First, there might be some who rarely look at any woman as a midas chasidus.

    Second, it sends a message regarding the community ideal, as in a public forum, the issue becomes one of community ideals. Even though, as noted, a no-woman newspaper policy is probably the least of any problem compared to the entire picture(no pun intended), it’s the community *message* of gedarim that counts, as a message can apply even in a snall part of the whole picture.

  44. ysh says:

    5. to: ysh on May 10, 2011 at 9:37 am — careful with that word.

    Which word?

  45. Binny says:

    If a woman is elected president, will the haredi newspapers refuse to publish her picture as well? Whatever these people say, by totally removing women they ARE disrespectiing them. They are showing that in their minds, women are only sex objects.

  46. S. says:

    >“the reason the policy seems crazy is that the modestly dressed women are out on the streets of brooklyn – so what geder is there in not printing their pictures?”

    People who are into shmiras enayim walk with their eyes downward and try not to see any women. The women are moving and you don’t see them in a fixed state, whereas you would if you had a photograph.

  47. Binny says:

    How did the editor of the paper speak to a woman? Why don’t the people in his community insist that women are never to be seen without burkas? If they can see them on the street, what is the big deal with a picture?

  48. zach says:

    What a lame defense. Equating “improper thoughts” about women with including a picture of a woman in a newspaper? If that is really a problem I would suggest 1) psychiatric treatment for men so aroused and 2) a bag over their head when they walk through the streets. And saying that “family newspapers should refrain from publishing provocative pictures” is totally irrelevant in this case. There was nothing provocative about it (and these Chassidic “news” papers will even blur out the pictures of babies!) This is a red herring argument, totally devoid of logic.

    I view your so-called “defense” to be a mere knee-jerk response which only results in more mocking of Orthodoxy.

  49. Rafael Araujo says:

    “The following letter in the 12/30/10 Flatbush Jewish Journal by (Rebbetzin) Esther Reisman adds some perspective to this issue:”

    If I may say so, that is an excellent letter from Rebbetzin Reisman. Really on the mark. I second them!

    Shades of Gray – is she Rabbi Yisroel’s Reisman’s rebbitzen?

  50. Rafael Araujo says:

    “I view your so-called “defense” to be a mere knee-jerk response which only results in more mocking of Orthodoxy.”

    Zach, the problem with looking at this from a “mocking of Orthodoxy perspective” is that we now live in a world where traditional adherents of religion are mocked simply for their adherence. Yes, this may look us more silly in eyes of the world. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult in our culutural to defend any Jewish practices or beliefs, whatever they are. However, our Judaism should not be built on what will relieve us of mocking by general society. In fact, we are required to maintain our Yiddishkeit even in the face of such mocking.

    I would say this. It seems to me that a dividing line in approaches between MO and Chareidi parts of Orthodoxy is whether we consider the response of general society to what we do. MO strongly considers it. Chareidim – not so much.

  51. Shades of Gray says:

    “Shades of Gray – is she Rabbi Yisroel’s Reisman’s rebbitzen?”

    It was signed just “Esther Reisman”, and I and the person I showed it to assumed it was her; I suppose one would need to confirm that it’s RYR’s wife.

  52. Daniel Weltman says:

    >What makes a picture provocative? Forgive the tautology, but a picture that provokes improper thoughts is provocative. To some degree, this varies by reader, which makes the determination difficult and subjective.

    Gil, you realize that this argument is one that can easily be put to use by proponents of burqa coverings for orthodox women, right? What is the difference between printing a modestly dressed woman and seeing one on the street or out your window?

    The Jewish orthodox response to that and your point should be, no, the determination is not subjective or difficult. It is quite easy. It is halacha. That which halacha states to be inappropriate is inappropriate, and anything less inappropriate is permitted. Anyone aroused by anything not assur is the one responsible to take care of that feeling, not the innocent woman, walking within her rights.

    (Interesting and related point — the halacha is that a woman is allowed to wear perfume, and even though that could theoretically entice a man, I recall being told in high school that, some things a man has to learn to control. The implication was that it is not unreasonable for a woman to wear perfume, and it is up to a man who should not be smelling it, to not smell it.)

  53. Anonymous says:

    It’s a good thing the media didn’t get wind of this from Der Blatt

    http://goo.gl/5vbiE

  54. apio says:

    The norm of men walking with their eyes downward exists in hasidic enclaves. It doesn’t explain how the policy of not printing women’s pictures became dominant throughout the litvishe charedi world.

    I disagree that the widespread adoption of the policy of not printing women’s pictures sends a message of “Gedarim.” It sends a message that there is no limit to what policies will be adopted under the banner of increasing frumkeit – or under pressure from those waving this banner – no matter how unsuited they are to the society in which they are imported and implemented.

  55. S. says:

    >The norm of men walking with their eyes downward exists in hasidic enclaves. It doesn’t explain how the policy of not printing women’s pictures became dominant throughout the litvishe charedi world.

    Correct – that’s why at this element of the question is not applicable to the Tzeitung. They are indeed being consistent with their purported standards of shmiras enayim.

    It is a question on the seemingly unreflecting adoption of it by the litvish, although this hardly seems to be the only thing which is adopted by the litvish which doesn’t shtim with their supposed hashkafah. I recently had a conversation with a yeshiva bochur who for some reason was under the impression that the yeshivishe approach to minhagim is roughly akin to the Ingarischer. I’m not really sure where litvish people got the idea that black is black is black, which is supposed to be the outsider-ignorant view of the non-chareidim.

  56. IH says:

    “the problem with looking at this from a “mocking of Orthodoxy perspective” is that we now live in a world where traditional adherents of religion are mocked simply for their adherence.”

    This is empirically false in North America (look at any poll on religious beliefs) although it is an issue in Western Europe.

    What is mocked — and appropriately so — is when religion is used to disrespect and victimize human beings.

  57. apio says:

    “It was signed just “Esther Reisman”, and I and the person I showed it to assumed it was her; I suppose one would need to confirm that it’s RYR’s wife.”

    Is it in keeping with our community’s ideals for us to know her FIRST NAME?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Please, a little sensitivity…

    Just saying….

  58. Litvak says:

    Yasher koach Gil for the post.

    Perhaps such a Hassidic newspaper should have no photos at all.

    The fact is that any photos of people, male or female, were viewed as problematic by Hassidim in the past, say a century ago. Many Hassidim, and especially Rebbes, resisted being photographed. Parenthetically, I believe there is a similar stance among the Amish, or some other similar non-Jewish sect even today. Even today, there is a remnant, or should I say vestige of this among some Hassidim, e.g. IIRC the Kashau Rebbe still holds by it, Sekulener Rebbe too perhaps, etc. Cf http://matzav.com/rav-zalman-leib-of-satmar-asks-not-to-publish-photos-of-himself

    So let us protest this plague of modernity among the Hassidim which have become lax in recent years in allowing photography in general.

  59. Michael Rogovin says:

    Joining late…I cannot understand the basis for Gil’s defense. His arguments would make sense IF the picture was cropped (though that would apparently also be a violation of the use restrictions) or if it were omitted (though who would know?), but neither is at issue. The issue is only the concept of altering a photograph. Presumably the newspaper, however else it is challenged in journalistic ethics, understands that a photograph is a powerful statement, otherwise why print it. That it would alter the photo to suit a philosophy shows contempt for the truth and a willingness to print a lie if it suits the philosophy of the editor. That this particular case is about women and tzniut is a side issue. The alteration of a photo to present evidence of a falsehood is dangerous, always wrong and indefensible (and while I prefer condemnation to ridicule, the latter is deserving), whether by the left or the right. That a publisher of Torah-related books would seek to somehow find a justification for such actions is extremely troubling. Will the OU Press alter photos to suit ITS world view as well? This post provides ample justification for such an action.

  60. Steve Brizel says:

    While I don’t agree with the views of Yated, Mishpacha or other Charedi media in their blanket refusal to publish photos of women, I think that there is much in R Gil’s post that is of merit vis a vis the decline of standards as to what can be published and written in a “normal” media organ. There is a world of difference between viewing the same as an invited to burquas and the concept that adherents of religious beliefs are respected may be the response of one poll, but is hardly reflective of the makers and shakers in the media world, and what poses for their POV and offerings for our consumption or not of the same.

  61. Steve Brizel says:

    FWIW, Rebbitzen Reisman’s letter and observations were 100% on the mark in accentuating the difference between a legitimate and even necessary added geder or chumra, and looking like a complete fool.

  62. emma says:

    “Reb Joseph – I believe the reason Reb Gil doesn’t afford the same kind of latitude to LWMO is because it claims the mantel of MO as much as Reb Gil’s does. For Chareidim, women rabbis is non-issue and is not much of a threat, Agudah pronouncements notwithstanding. But for the centrist/right wing flank, women rabbis could change the landscape of MO forever and is a threat to traditionalists in the MO world. Its like if the hanhalah of YU banned women Talmud study. Wouldn’t the left flank be up in arms and cede no ground to such an enactment?” – Rafael Araujo

    This is an interesting observation, but makes me wonder. I move in what I suspect are considerably more left-leaning circles thatn R. Gil, yet I do feel that the struggle over the place of women in the chassidishe world is a struggle over my personal world as well. Probably becaue, as S. has noted several times, “chassidishe mishegas” tends to creep over to litvaks, and from the right flank thereof to the left. No, my MO shul is not in danger of bannin women’s first names any time soon, but the very notion that the see-no-women position is just one more legitimate, even reasonable in certain circumstances, way to protect men from sin takes a toll. I feel it when I hear a rabbi at YU (in one of the recent audio roundups) teach the views of the satmar rav on mechitza as having equal weight to those of rav henkin. And I feel it when the students of such rabbis raise a ruccus in my own shul every time someone wants to do something re: women’s roles that is totally muttar but different from what they perceive to be “authentic” or “traditional.” It’s strange that R. Gil, who lives closer to the “right wing” world than I, feels this urgency regarding the left but not the right.

  63. Rafael Araujo says:

    IH – overall, Mexico and the US are much more open to religion than here in Canada. Canada is moving towards Europe in terms of its rejection of religion. Take a look at Canada census data and Pew research.

  64. Moshe Shoshan says:

    Gil,
    I think you point is well made and important. However altering photographs in this manner has orwelian implications which cannot be ignored. let them not print the picture if it is deemed un-tzanuah.

  65. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    raphael a — catholic priests are forbidden to wear their “collar” in public in mexico.

    (so far, shtreimels, etc are allowed. burkas — prob; the richest man in mexico (the world) m/ hank slim / is lebanese arab.)

    its not really anti religion, though. its anti catholocism,. though the country is pretty religious catholic; i as far as cathloic church doesnt press any religious requirements on its members. eg., pill, abortion, go to church, no meat on friday, etc.)

  66. APIO:

    “Is it in keeping with our community’s ideals for us to know her FIRST NAME?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Please, a little sensitivity”

    i assume you’re kidding, but see
    http://www.vosizneias.com/20624/2008/09/21/jerusalem-charedi-newspaper-picture-of-livini-not-in-our-papers-nither-the-name-tzipi/

    anyone know if this is actually carried out in practice? are there papers that won’t use women’s first names?

  67. David S says:

    Tzanuah has become so overblown in some circles that it threatens to make half of the human race into second class citizens. Women who make news need to be in newspapers! There is no justification whatsoever Jewish or otherwise for removing respectable women from photographs. Such nonsense cannot exist in a democracy. It was never the norm in Jewish life to remove all trace of Jewish women and this addition to the Torah must be resisted with all our might. Don’t you get it? This is fascist behavior.

  68. Rafael Araujo says:

    David S – Why is it facist behaviour? They’re not demanding that the Jewish Week, Jewish Star, etc. implement the same policy. This is for their readership. You can assail the basis for this policy, but its certainly not a facist one. If anything, you are trying to intefere in their free speech (if its not illegal by IP protection statues or something similar) in how they relay information and pictures to their readership.

  69. Rafael Araujo says:

    “Presumably the newspaper, however else it is challenged in journalistic ethics, understands that a photograph is a powerful statement, otherwise why print it. That it would alter the photo to suit a philosophy shows contempt for the truth and a willingness to print a lie if it suits the philosophy of the editor.”

    To play devils’ advocate, how does it show contempt for the truth? What role do the women in the picture, including Hilary, play in this story besides the fact that they were in the room at the time watching the Navy Seals do their thing? Now, if Hilary was prez, then I believe you would have a valid point. However, I would argue that Hilary is tangential to this story other than the fact that she and the other women removed from the picture were there. How is that playing with the facts?

  70. Joseph says:

    The Copyright Law in the United States explicitly states that any U.S. Government works, including photographs, are in the public domain and anyone may publish manipulated photos in any way they wish. So Di Tzeitung is on firm and unambiguous legal ground, despite the disclaimer attached to the original photo.

  71. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma wrote:

    “the very notion that the see-no-women position is just one more legitimate, even reasonable in certain circumstances, way to protect men from sin takes a toll. I feel it when I hear a rabbi at YU (in one of the recent audio roundups) teach the views of the satmar rav on mechitza as having equal weight to those of rav henkin.”

    Yes, the Satmar Shitah re Zionism is a powerful minority POV which RZ have sought to disprove for decades. Yet, in other areas of Halacha, the views of the SR are considered quite mainstream-such as in Hilcos Mivaos. Merely viewing the same as such by a RIETS RY is part of the intellectual honesty within RIETS.

  72. Anonymous says:

    “Why is it facist behaviour? They’re not demanding that the Jewish Week, Jewish Star, etc. implement the same policy. This is for their readership.”

    You are correct in that (as is often the case) the term “fascist” is being overused. However, this is _not_ just something that I can be content to let the chassidim do in their own circles. That’s because what they do in their circles has a way of migrating closer and closer to mine, even without “demands.”

  73. Rafael Araujo says:

    Further to my point, as an example, if I took a picture of refugees in, say, 1970’s Cambodia, fleeing Pol Pot’s forces, and I remove the women from the photograph, have I not still conveyed that there are refugees fleeing for their lives from that murderer Pol Pot? Compare this with the recent Iranian attempt to change a photo so that it appears that one of rockets, which actually failed to launched, was successfully launched.

  74. emma says:

    (Anonymous 4:47 was me)

    Steve, I know the Satmar Rav was a respected person with respected halachic positions. However, it would seem to me that the “MO” have rejected his (and chassidim’s in general) view on gender issues much as they have on Zionism.

  75. emma says:

    (for example, would it not seem odd for a YU rosh yeshiva to give a shiur on women learning torah which gave equal weight to the Satmar view and to RYBS, with the conclusion being that perhaps one should be machmir and only teach torah stories in yiddish?)

  76. S. says:

    >Further to my point, as an example, if I took a picture of refugees in, say, 1970′s Cambodia, fleeing Pol Pot’s forces, and I remove the women from the photograph, have I not still conveyed that there are refugees fleeing for their lives from that murderer Pol Pot? Compare this with the recent Iranian attempt to change a photo so that it appears that one of rockets, which actually failed to launched, was successfully launched.

    If you’re arguing that conceptually it’s not so bad, provided the censorship is thoughtful so as it doesn’t alter the essential message or theme – we can’t live in a world like that. You can argue that they can in Monsey, but I’m not so sure it works unless there is no way of the readers ever finding out what’s happening.

  77. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma -WADR, Gender issues and Zionism IMO are not an exclusive litmus test by which Poskei Zmaneneu consider the weight of Poskim in rendering their Piskei Halacha. Using the same would mean that the views of RAYHK ( who opposed women’s suffrage), the AS ( who opposed Torah education for women), as well as the views of R Velvel and the CI would not be worth considering. Like it or not, all of the above Poskim have Shitos that would enlighten us on a wide range of issues besides Zionism and gender.

  78. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma-R B Simon went to the SR’s successor and the RY and Dayan of Satmar when the RIETS Kollel was learning Hilcos Mikvaos because of the SR’s enormous expertise in that area of Halacha. R Simon has a Dvar Torah in his Imrei Baruch on Breishis on Parshas Vayishlach where on the same issue, R Simon quotes both RYBS and the SR.

  79. emma says:

    Steve, I am not suggesting a “litmus test” by which all of a posek’s positions can be ignored. By all means, ask about mikvaos and anything else. But on the few issues where there is a clear communal divide, of which gender separation (of which mechitza is jsut one variety) is one, yes, once you pick your side it is strange to keep considering the opposite position as having equal practical weight.

  80. Michael Feldstein says:

    If anything, you are trying to intefere in their free speech (if its not illegal by IP protection statues or something similar) in how they relay information and pictures to their readership.
    ————-
    are you serious? Don’t you find it a bit disengenuous to defend the paper on their right to free speech when they brazenly broke the copyright laws?

    With that said, I think the publisher realized he made a mistake in his actions and apologized. So I’m not going to use this as a springboard to mock the Chareidi community, as some Modern Orthodox folks are doing.

    Then again, I do think it’s important to realize that at least some folks at the paper felt it was more important to preseve the laws of modesty and edit out Hillary from a photo than to alter history, which suggests a somewhat warped sense of Jewish values, at least in my opinion.

  81. IH says:

    “Canada is moving towards Europe in terms of its rejection of religion.”

    Thanks, Rafael, for the correction in regard to Canada. For those interested, a summary article: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-marching-from-religion-to-secularization/article1833451/

    But, even this is a far cry from your original contention that “we now live in a world where traditional adherents of religion are mocked simply for their adherence.”

    In regard to your later comments, are you advocating that actively revising history (e.g. via doctoring of photographs) is ok, if it meets some collective need? If so, wasn’t that the rationale of the communists?

  82. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-I think that a firm distinction can be made between “actively revising history”, which knows no ideological boundaries, and the official or semi official media organs of a discrete and insular faith community deeming what is in the best interests of its readership to be informed of, can be made on First Amendment grounds.

  83. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma wrote:

    “Steve, I am not suggesting a “litmus test” by which all of a posek’s positions can be ignored. By all means, ask about mikvaos and anything else. But on the few issues where there is a clear communal divide, of which gender separation (of which mechitza is jsut one variety) is one, yes, once you pick your side it is strange to keep considering the opposite position as having equal practical weight”

    WADR, if you want to be an educated person on how Poskim define and view gender separation, then you have to consider both the SR and RMF as well as R Henkin in your thought process-even though the SR position is hardly the POV that you would adopt.

  84. IH says:

    “Yes, the Satmar Shitah re Zionism is a powerful minority POV which RZ have sought to disprove for decades. Yet, in other areas of Halacha, the views of the SR are considered quite mainstream”

    The Satmar Rebbe’s obsessions regarding women are sufficient to render his halachic views on this topic beyond the pale for normative Modern Orthodoxy. On Zionism, the issue is well understood as a personal lapse of hypocrisy given that he himself was saved from the Nazi clutches by the Zionists he disdained.

    A reminder of this recent article: http://www.jewishideasdaily.com/content/module/2011/2/17/main-feature/1/the-riddle-of-the-satmar

  85. IH says:

    “IH-I think that a firm distinction can be made between “actively revising history”, which knows no ideological boundaries, and the official or semi official media organs of a discrete and insular faith community deeming what is in the best interests of its readership to be informed of, can be made on First Amendment grounds.”

    Really? Pravda was the official publication of the Soviet Communist Party: an “official or semi official media organs of a discrete and insular faith community”.

    To be clear, I meant morally — not legally.

  86. Steve Brizel says:

    One can disagree with the SR’s Shitah on Zionism and gender issues, and still view Satmar as having been the basis for revitalizing interest in Mitzvos such as Shatnez, the venue where such enterprises as Hatzala were initiated, as well as reminding us on a daily basis that Bilur Cholim is a Mitzvah that is of communal importance and organized in an incomparable manner by the women of the Satmar community. I would hardly characterize the same as obsessive, and I would suggest that in many areas of Halacha and Avodas HaShem, aside from Chesed, the MO world could learn a thing or two from Satmar.

  87. IH says:

    But, we’re not talking about that Steve. We’re talking about the issue of women, where he was obsessive and beyond the pale of normative Modern Orthodoxy.

  88. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Really? Pravda was the official publication of the Soviet Communist Party: an “official or semi official media organs of a discrete and insular faith community
    To be clear, I meant morally — not legally”

    I think that the moral differences between the Soviet Communist Party and the Charedi organs, require the use of the proverbial “Lhavdil.” Communism was a brutally oppressive social regime which in its various permutations rivals and possibly surpasses Nazism in its state sponsorship of mass murder. The Charedi leadership merely demands loyalty-it does not engage in anything remotely akin to what is described by Solzhenitsyzn and others. You either belong to that community, respect its leadership or can opt out.

  89. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “But, we’re not talking about that Steve. We’re talking about the issue of women, where he was obsessive and beyond the pale of normative Modern Orthodoxy”

    I don’t think that there is anything wrong in noting the SR’s Shitos on any issue, and simply indicating if there is something to be learned from or whether we have other POVs of sufficient stature to rely on for our conduct, where we dissagree. That is why the Halacha is like Beis Hillel-because they always mentioned Beis Shammai first and never assumed that they were always right. The presence of or absence of feminist credentials is at best one factor in the discussion of any halachic issue. Merely trotting out one’s views on feminism and Zionism on any issue, gender or otherwise, is IMO, hardly a reason per se to disregard such a position.

  90. Rafael Araujo says:

    So because Allan Nadler claims the Satmar Rov was an obsessive-compulsive, you buy into that unfounded claim lock, stock, and barrel? Satmar came from a long standing tradition with respect to gender separation and male-female dynamics. You may not like or agree with that tradition, but its represented by just not by Satmar, but by Pupa, Ger, an other Chassidishe groups. Of course, MO doesn’t have to be guided by such views. However, discussing them in a Torah context should not be seen as threat to MO liberal values on these issues.

  91. Rafael Araujo says:

    IH – I thought the whole supposed essence of MO is that you can freely discuss all Torah points of view in a Torah learning setting. I thought that for MO, nothing is beyond the pale in terms of discussing issues and that closed-mindedness is reserved for the Chareidi world.

  92. Steve Brizel says:

    FWIW, even Nadler, whose article is couched in some extent IMO in psycho babble via the SR’s extreme devotion to Taharah , Kedushah , and Tznius, and who is clearly expressing the normative view of Satmar, acknowledges the amazing Gmilus Chasadim shown to outsiders as well as the fact that the SR himself praised HHH for his stance and support of Israel, as a sign that HHH was an Ohev Yisrael.

  93. IH says:

    Rafael, Steve — I have no axe to grind against Satmar. I’ve used their gemach services and have raised money for them.

    But, here, we’re talking about the issue of women, where he was obsessive and beyond the pale of normative Modern Orthodoxy.

  94. IH says:

    “You either belong to that community, respect its leadership or can opt out.”

    Easier said than done. Particularly for women.

    Here’s an interesting such story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/29/deborah-feldman-hasidic-once-upon-a-life

  95. IH says:

    “IH – I thought the whole supposed essence of MO is that you can freely discuss all Torah points of view in a Torah learning setting. I thought that for MO, nothing is beyond the pale in terms of discussing issues and that closed-mindedness is reserved for the Chareidi world.”

    I guess you haven’t been reading Gil’s comments on red lines :-)

  96. MDJ says:

    >> I recently had a conversation with a yeshiva bochur who for some reason was under the impression that the yeshivishe approach to minhagim is roughly akin to the Ingarischer.

    S.,
    Can you clarify what this means?

  97. ruvie says:

    hirhurim – “I also understand and respect the LWMO’s arguments. I just dispute that (some of) their arguments can be legitimately considered Orthodox.”

    its interesting that as you feel that with regards to the publisher ” I think handles himself admirably even if I disagree with his interpretation of Jewish law::

    while there is no jewish law or any interpretation in this case – unless the right knows no new boundries unless the claim a dead person as a messiah (maybe not even there) – but you can understand them but disagree. yet with the lwmo arguments you constantly degrade and try to delegitimatize them consistently a la Mccarthyism when wonders where your warp sense of fair play comes from. your comment above is only proof of your falsehood.

    he handle himself “admirably” – misrepresenting halacha ? creating a chilul hashem? when he said “nothing against women seeking high office” was that the emet? truly even you would have to admit that may be against some views of the halacha ( rabbis didn’t want women to vote because contradicted halacha not that long ago). do you think he would let A WOMAN BE PRESIDENT OF HIS SHUL? let alone mayor or president of the usa? what do you think he thinks of golda meir being the prime minister? how can you be so blind to the obvious?

  98. Hirhurim says:

    Ruvie: Why are you saying that there’s no halakhic issue here? Do you think it’s OK to publish pictures that cause hirhurim? Or are you paskening that the picture under discussion doesn’t cause hirhurim?

  99. ruvie says:

    he says “WE ARE NOT ALLOW TO PUBLISH PICTURES OF WOMEN DUE TO MODESTY” he means any pictures of women – by definition are immodest – please show me a teshuva that says any pictures of women are immodest
    – i wonder what his daughter or his wedding album looks like – the bride being cropped out!– please read the fine print of the statement and the subsequent falsehood of the claim that we have nothing against women seeking high office – really!

    the question here is not immodest pictures as in the way you cloak your post – you might as well say that standards have been declining for close to 1000 years since the rambam times when women were issur from leaving the house for more than 2-3 times a month as the halacha due to tzinut – so lest forbid all women in the public sphere due to tzinut (which you can argue is in the realm of halacha.

  100. Steve Brizel says:

    Far too many issues revolve around Charedi/MO/RZ inabilities to appreciate each other’s srong points. FWIW, I wrote elsewhere on this issue. http://www.beyondbt.com/2006/10/19/how-the-charedi-and-modern-worlds-can-learn-to-appreciate-each-other/

  101. Hirhurim says:

    Ruvie: He is saying that pictures of women cause hirhurim. In a specific time and place, that is a perfectly reasonable pesak. I thinking is totally wrong in today’s world, even in Brooklyn. But I think that you are overstating your case.

    Arguably, watching cartoon pornography is permissible because there is no ervah (this is a halakhic argument and not meant to equate pictures of women with pornography). The only reason to forbid it is because it causes hirhurim. Would you oppose someone saying that Jewish law forbids watching cartoon pornography due to modesty concerns?

  102. Mike S. says:

    Even if you wish to defend the policy of not publishing pictures of women, I don’t see how you can defend altering a photo to make it appear as though no women are present. Avoiding deception is a requirement d’oraita that cannot be overridden by a chumra in tznius. If they don’t want to publish pictures of women I don’t have too much of a problem so long as they admit it is a chumra and do not try to deceive people into thinking it is halacha, but I fail to see any excuse for photoshopping the women out–all they had to do was not show the photo at all.

  103. Puzzled as usual says:

    So — let me get this right:

    — 2″ b & w photo image in paper = assur, because of modesty — will lead to lascivious thoughts

    — being interviewed live on CNN in his office by attractive woman journalist — no problem!!!

    Meshuggah!

  104. ruvie says:

    hirhurim – he is making an excuse why they cropped the 2 women out. it is totally unreasonable here and all you do is justify in some strange way is justify it by saying its a reasonable pesak. so is not allowing women to leave the house but for 2-3 months a reasonable and halchikically justifiable pesak. how about flogging one’s wife in public when not completing the demand of her husband – an halacha in the rambam a justifiable pesak.

    you are looking to justify the act in the realm of halacha and say this is part of halachik judaism that know no bounds in going off the right end (incuding dead man being the messiah- – that they are still with in orthodoxy yet you try to push many outside that same orthodoxy when they use legitimate argumentation – i guess you will debate that – on the so called left or centrist. i find it strange that you are unwilling to recognize your own blinders and just call a spade a spade. unwillingness to do so speaks volumes and needs some introspection.

  105. emma says:

    “Of course, MO doesn’t have to be guided by such views. However, discussing them in a Torah context should not be seen as threat to MO liberal values on these issues.”

    Discussing them, no, but being choshesh for them in practice, yes.

  106. chaim j. says:

    So what did the picture add to any story? One can print a story without a picture. If you add it keep it the way it is. If it is objectionable then don’t print it at all.

    In the end what things like this do is make a mockery of newspapers, print media, religion and the general sense of trust.

    It has come to the point where I don’t trust anyone I don’t know as a religious authority because misstatement/lying/restating the facts to leave out details is a way of life in our community. What a shame.

  107. Isaac Balbin says:

    I take issue with R’ Gil. What is the specific time and place which ENSURES that such people don’t see Hilary Clintons in their everyday life. Is it Meah Shearim? No. Is it Williamsburg? No. Where is this place? Mars? In today’s world, unless you are hermetically sealed, you see it. Not putting it into the paper isn’t about stopping the practice of seeing. They see, alright.

    It’s about spreading a crooked hashkofo that has no practical import in 2011. It’s about an attempt to market ‘we are holier than thou’ …

    I’m reminded of the story of the Chafetz Chaim and R’ Meir Shapira. The latter asked that the Chafetz Chaim’s wife not be present at the Shabbos table. R’ Meir Shapira saw women. He was a parliamentarian. The Chafetz Chaim saw red, and advised R’ Meir Shapira not to come for lunch.

  108. chardal says:

    >He was mevaze Rav Kook’s ideas in an unforgivable way.

    Not to mention he was He was mevaze Rav Kook PERSONALLY in an unforgivable way.

  109. ruvie says:

    another take on this issue – r’ slifkin:

    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2011/05/knee-jerk-reactions-and-crazy-chumras.html

    r’gil fo you see the difference between your view and his? and the implications of yours?

  110. ruvie says:

    hirhurim – see also matzav’s cut and paste job hatchet job of an article on the subject from the washington post…. like cropping the picture it paints a “legitimate” view of its world. the failure to say what they did is wrong- and not that you disagree with their interpretation – leads in being complicit of their actions as representing halacha.

    http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2011/05/censorship-ultra-orthodox-publication-edits-out-critical-voices-from-washington-post-567.html

  111. Steve Brizel says:

    I think that all of us should sit back, relax and remember that all media organs present editorials, op ed and news columns in a way that furthers their POV on the news for their intended readership in a way that reflects the editorial policies of the paper-regardless of the source.

    In that way, there is precious little difference between Pravda, the NY Times, and a Charedi paper. Censorship based on ideological considerations exists, especially when one considers the political, cultural, religious or other biases of a reporting staff as documented by Bernard Goldberg in his excellent books on the media, regardless of the ideology of the paper or news source.

    In this respect, it would be well worthwhile to remember that reporters for the NY Times praised Stalin’s Russia, ignored the uniquely Jewish factors of the Holocaust, and viewed Mao, Castro and Ho Chi Minh as nationalists, when in fact they led Communist led and inspired revolts and imposed communistt and totalitarian dicatorships on their people.

    Only the NY Times , in its desire to court the liberal left , could engage in the moral equivalence that has marked its treatment of Israel’s ongoing war to survive against Arab terror, and defend Tony Kushner’s well documented self hating Jewish diatribes-which go well beyond the SR’s well known Shitah on Zionism.

  112. IH says:

    I see. So you equate opinion pieces in the NYT with allegedly factual reporting in “Di Tzeitung”. And you complain about “relativism” ???

  113. ruvie says:

    wow – steven b. you do amaze me! you must be a contortionist – in a former life of course.

  114. S. says:

    The New York Times is Pravda is Di Tzeitung. Everyone’s a Stalinist, so we should all relax.

  115. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-WADR, I do not view the media , and especially not the NYT, with its long and sorry record of promoting the liberal/left agendas as if the same was Torah MiSinai. Censorship and bias has long played a role in the dissemination of the news to the anticipated readership of any news organ as an editorial policy. Tom Friedman , who praises the Chinese Communist political system in contrast to the American political system, is a particularly odious case in point, as is Paul Krugman, whose views on economics mask the fact that he was a consultant for third world dictatorships. At least the WSJ is open and up front about its agenda-free markets and free minds.

  116. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-No-I just read a lot of history and remain convinced of Santayana’s POV-those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, which is very similar in some ways to the famous views of the Midrash Tanchuma quoted by Ramban-Maaseh Avos Siman L’Banim.

  117. Steve Brizel says:

    Issac Balbin-please see my piece on Beyond BT that I linked to last night. I have taken the subway on many occasions from my office to a Chasunah in Williamsburg, and when I walk on the streets, especially in Elul, there is an aura of Kedusah and Taharah in the air. When you leave late at night, the entire male community is enroute to or from a shiur, drasha or Maariv. When our kids were younger, Williamburg was where, by dint of necessity, we shopped for their Shabbos clothes and coats. I have never failed to be impressed by the fact that men, women and children in Williamsburg, with their very distinct roles in life, are united by such a devotion to Torah and Mitzvos. The MO world could learn a lesson or two from the Chasidishe velt in its devotion to Torah, Avodah and Gmilus Chasadim instead of consistently playing up its hashkafic differences. OTOH, the Chasidishe world could also acknowledge that in many ways it has learned much from the MO world as well.

  118. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie-in a prior thread, you mentioned that you saw and enjoyed a best selling musical that is well known for its lack of respect for Mormonism and its profligate use of Nivul Peh. Even post the death of Bin Laden, I cannot imagine a production that portrayed Islam in such a light ever making it to the stages of London and NYC. OTOH, plays that show Judaism and Christianity in such a light are shown without any such hesitation.

    IIRC, you also mentioned that you would not hide your art history books from your children-despite the fact that much of medieval and modern art focuses either on Oso Ish or inadequately clothed representations and depictions of the male and female body.In recent posts, you have shown what IMO is ignorance of how women dress in NYC in the summer in the professional and business worlds.

    WADR, as in the case of many MO liberals, I think that you lack an awareness beyond your own liberal sense of tolerance for anyone who does not share your perspectives, and views Tznius as an important value in their lives.

  119. aaron says:

    how about flogging one’s wife in public when not completing the demand of her husband – an halacha in the rambam a justifiable pesak.
    Can you please tell me where this rambam is. No woman is ‘forced’ to concede to her husbands ‘demands’.
    One could mention though ‘sota’. Where the woman is ‘undressed’ in public and the gemoro says that the young kohanim had to be careful.

  120. ruvie says:

    Steve – correction – i do not think i have commented at all on how women dress in the summer in nyc. its been awhile since i have walked up park avenue during the day to notice. you confuse me with others.

    i do not consider myself liberal but rather open minded in some areas and conservative in others depending on the sources.

    btw, that play has just received 14 tonys and will probably win best musical and is not anti religion but affirming belief in its own way (positive i think – my children love the show).

    my point is that in this case there is no issue of tzniut at all unless you legitimatize the the misconception that this newspaper is trying to portray as torah base judaism – which it is not. they are misrepresenting halacha and creating a chilul hashem. there is no pov here – its really black and white. please show me a teshuva of any major authority that says all pictures of women are issur to take and/or publish.

  121. ruvie says:

    aarin – i heard the reference from a lecture by rachel elior – prof. at hebrew univ. – this weekend on the the presence and absence of women in jewish history. i will search

  122. ruvie says:

    aaron – sorry for the typo – i make too many of them.

  123. S. says:

    >Ruvie-in a prior thread, you mentioned that you saw and enjoyed a best selling musical that is well known for its lack of respect for Mormonism and its profligate use of Nivul Peh. Even post the death of Bin Laden, I cannot imagine a production that portrayed Islam in such a light ever making it to the stages of London and NYC. OTOH, plays that show Judaism and Christianity in such a light are shown without any such hesitation.

    Muslims kill people when they get offended. We get it. No one respects it. What’s your point?

  124. Steve Brizel says:

    Ruvie wrote in part:

    “btw, that play has just received 14 tonys and will probably win best musical and is not anti religion but affirming belief in its own way (positive i think – my children love the show”

    WADR, the fact that the play was nominated for 14 Tonys and will probably win is IMO irrelevant to the issues that I raised-a play that pooh poohed Islam with the same language cannnot be produced in NYC. OTOH, there is no shortage of producers, directors , artists and authors of plays , books and screenplays who use their talents to bash Judaism, Christianity and Israel-with Tony Kushner ,and Julian Schnabel being two notoriously obvious examples

  125. aaron says:

    A woman who refuses her husbands demands initially has her kesuba reduced (with the man it is increased but not by the same amount).
    The gemoro says go to the street of ‘zonos’ and see who hires whom.
    There are some changes in the gemoros positions, but never is she given ‘malkus’ for it or forced in any way.
    I may add it is considered one of the worst sins for a woman to refuse her husband for any reason (except medical). This is especially so by delaying going to mikva.
    A woman has no mitsva to learn Torah, and her main zchus is for staying up for her husband.

  126. Steve Brizel says:

    S wrote:

    “Muslims kill people when they get offended. We get it. No one respects it. ”

    But plays, movies and articles are written with impunity in an often negative,if not defamatory view about Judaism and Christianity as well as Israel, and are promoted by the same people who refuse to speak truth about Islamic terror. Obviously, it is almost open season on Judaism, Christianity and Israel in the liberal/left world while anyone mildly critical of Islam is viewed as Islamophobic.

  127. Steve Brizel says:

    For those interested in how the biases in the NY Times work, see the articles re the protest over the honorary award to Tony Kushner, who was nominated for the same by none other than Michael Meeropol, the son of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who as Jonathan Tobin pointed out in the blog at Commentary, Kushner depicted as innocent victims in Angels in America, which the NY Times raved about.

  128. chardal says:

    >Obviously, it is almost open season on Judaism, Christianity and Israel in the liberal/left world while anyone mildly critical of Islam is viewed as Islamophobic.

    So what are you saying? That we should start threatening newspapers with violence whenever they are unfair to us? What is your endgame?

  129. S. says:

    Steve, they are intimidated. It’s that simple.

    Yes, there are leftists who sympathize with Muslims, just as Western liberals sympathized with Jews 100 years ago when the Jews were the hated other and underdog of the West.

    But Kushner et al. – they are intimidated. Do you think Trey Parker and Matt Stone respect Islam? No, they don’t want to be killed. (And they, in fact, have made fun of Islam.) No Broadway director wants to be killed. Yes, I am saying it: people who don’t like religion mostly ALSO don’t like Islam, but they are uninterested in becoming a martyr.

    And frankly, it was liberals, not conservatives, who were writing about oppression of women in Islam for a long time. Furthermore, I dispute your contention that no articles or films “even mildly critical” of Islam are written.

    For example

    http://nymag.com/listings/movie/quest-for-honor/

    many Frontline docs about the Taliban, sex trade, etc. in Islamic countries, coverage of the riots over the Danish Muhammad cartoons, etc. The so-called liberal media is not turning a blind eye to the violence and barbarities of the Islamic world.

  130. Steve Brizel says:

    Chardal wrote:

    “That we should start threatening newspapers with violence whenever they are unfair to us? What is your endgame”

    Simply stated, there is no duty to buy, subscribe to or view such reportage as objective, especially considering the source of the same. In a similar vein, IMO, TV shows, movies, plays, and books that involve a violation of Yehareg VAl Yaavor should not be seen as a means of entertainment for a Torah observant family. One cannot deny the cultural and political biases that are redolent in the liberal/left media and view them as appropriate sources of comedy or IMO deserving of warranting awards by their peers.

  131. S. says:

    Are they not redolent in the conservative/right media too?

    Yes, we get it. Human beings aren’t really capable of complete objectivity. No story is really complete. But we get it, and so does the media. This does not make all media similar to Pravda. You still have to get news from somewhere. There are methods for getting a better picture that is closer to the truth.

  132. Anonymous says:

    “I may add it is considered one of the worst sins for a woman to refuse her husband for any reason (except medical). This is especially so by delaying going to mikva.”

    “considered” by whom?

    “A woman has no mitsva to learn Torah, and her main zchus is for staying up for her husband”
    what do you mean by “staying up” here? If it is the same as “not refuse,” I hope some of the male commenters will take you to task for essentialy validating the position that women’s main utility is as sexual objects.

  133. Steve Brizel says:

    S wrote:
    “Do you think Trey Parker and Matt Stone respect Islam? No, they don’t want to be killed. (And they, in fact, have made fun of Islam.) No Broadway director wants to be killed. Yes, I am saying it: people who don’t like religion mostly ALSO don’t like Islam, but they are uninterested in becoming a martyr”

    Kushner’s screenplay for “Munich” and his public record of anti Israel comments are IMO evidence of a real anti Israel bias. It is far more easier due to fear of Islam to criticize Christianity,Judaism and Israel than Islam-that’s why you will never see an anti Islamic comedy on Broadway. IIRC, a Tom Clancy novel that dealt with Islamic terror was sanitzied for its screenplay for the same reasons. I think that the issue is an ideologically conflated version of “money talks.”

  134. Michael Rogovin says:

    Rafael Araujo on May 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    “To play devils’ advocate, how does it show contempt for the truth? What role do the women in the picture, including Hilary, play in this story besides the fact that they were in the room at the time watching the Navy Seals do their thing?”

    Because it misrepresents facts. A photo shows who was there. No one in the photo was doing anything at that moment except watching a monitor. Omitting or cropping a photo is fine – happens all the time. Altering the photo to erase someone is creating a lie.

    Steve “I think that a firm distinction can be made between “actively revising history”, which knows no ideological boundaries, and the official or semi official media organs of a discrete and insular faith community deeming what is in the best interests of its readership to be informed of, can be made on First Amendment grounds.”

    No one disputes that. The newspaper was not obligated to print the photo. It just can’t alter it to create a lie. Once altered, it was not a photo (as represented) it was an artist rendition.

    FWIW, Gil is certainly correct about the decline in standards in mainstream media and Steve is correct about the bias in all media. But so what? I really do not care what the paper’s standard of tzniut is, nor the paper’s overall socio-political POV. The ONLY issue is altering a photo to create a lie, rather than omitting it.

  135. aaron says:

    to 12:57
    considered by the shulchan aruch who brings a zohar.
    The gemoro says ‘noshim bmai zachyan’.
    And its not for learning Torah. This is a futile exercise for them and gives them nothing in the next world in return.
    Their tachlis is to make sure their husbands and children learn. And if they do this they get an equal share.

  136. S. says:

    >Kushner’s screenplay for “Munich” and his public record of anti Israel comments are IMO evidence of a real anti Israel bias. It is far more easier due to fear of Islam to criticize Christianity,Judaism and Israel than Islam-that’s why you will never see an anti Islamic comedy on Broadway. IIRC, a Tom Clancy novel that dealt with Islamic terror was sanitzied for its screenplay for the same reasons. I think that the issue is an ideologically conflated version of “money talks.”

    It sounds like you’re saying there would be *less* criticism of the other two great monotheistic faiths if people weren’t too afraid to criticize the third one? Kind of like the Muslims aren’t diluting the pool enough and need to pick up the slack otherwise its no fair.

    Uh, okay.

  137. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Steve, You do understand that Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman are columnists whose job it is to give opinions, the same way that, say, Charles Krauthammer and Andrew McCarthy do. One group does it from the left, another from the right. You like one, I like the other. Okay, that’s one reason we have both the NYT and the WSJ. But your glorifying one and demonizing the other in black and white terms is getting tired.

  138. apio says:

    “The gemoro says go to the street of ‘zonos’ and see who hires whom.”
    that’s only one reason given by the gemara. the other is ze yitzro mibachutz vzu yitzra mibifnim.

  139. emma says:

    “to 12:57
    considered by the shulchan aruch who brings a zohar.
    The gemoro says ‘noshim bmai zachyan’.
    And its not for learning Torah. This is a futile exercise for them and gives them nothing in the next world in return.
    Their tachlis is to make sure their husbands and children learn. And if they do this they get an equal share.”

    could you provide the s.a. cite?
    i am familiar with the nashim be-mai zachyan gemara but did not understand what it has to do with “staying up for her husband” (as opposed to, say, arranging the material accomodations that make it psosible for him to learn).

    I believe the majority of authorities would disagree with your characterization of torah learning for women as “futile,” the gemara you quote notwithstanding.

    By the way, did you used to comment here under a different name?

  140. emma says:

    ps, aaron, you prompted me to look at the gemara again (berachos 17 for those interested). Indeed, perhaps you should get some credit for enabling me to learn some torah today :)
    First, I would note that the discussion follows a statement that women have _more_ reward than men. in that context, the question may be understood as explaining how women have more reward, not how they have any reward. (meaning, they have whatever reward they get from their own mitzvos, plus they share in their male relatives’ reward). I do not know if this interpreation is shared by others, so take it or leave it.

    However, on the “staying up” point I assume you refer to the line re: women waiting for their husbands to return from “bei rabanan.” I would refer you to rashi there who says this refers to waiting while their husbands travel to different cities – nothing to do with “staying up” on any particular night. I believe this rashi is the standard understanding of that line – do you have some other source?

  141. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “You do understand that Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman are columnists whose job it is to give opinions, the same way that, say, Charles Krauthammer and Andrew McCarthy do. One group does it from the left, another from the right. You like one, I like the other. Okay, that’s one reason we have both the NYT and the WSJ. But your glorifying one and demonizing the other in black and white terms is getting tired”

    Joseph-are you denying that Tom Friedman judges Israel more harshly than the Arab world, has praised China as having a more efficient government than the US or that the NYT actively ignored the ruinous effects of Stalin and supported the roles of Mao, Castro and Ho? These are historical facts.

    On a more contemporary level, if you were a trustee of CUNY, would you deem Kushner a person worthy of an honorary degree? Do you approve of what is a NYT-Guardian unwritten agreement to use otherwise unauthorized documents released by Wikileaks?

  142. Steve Brizel says:

    S-I remember when Guilani threatened to take court action against a prominent museum that displayed a sculture that can only be described herein as extremely nauseating and insulting to Christianity. The same liberal elites that preach against anything they perceive as “Islamophobia” and urge us not to use the phrase “Islamofascism” were up in arms over Giulani’s actions there as well as his treatment of Arafat Yimach Shmo VZicro. I don’t think it is solely a mattter of money-the liberal/left elites have long felt that Judaism, especially Orthodoxy, Chrisianity, especially the RCC and fundamentalists, as well as Israel are fair game.

  143. emma says:

    Steve, there is a difference between an opinion columnist being “biased” and a “news” article being biased. The original issue is whether news stories that purport to present “facts” should intentioanlly distort the facts as they know them. Tom Friedman is completely irrelevant as he is an example of the former. The fact that even supposedly factual reporting sometimes misrepresents facts is also irrelevant – as the old saying goes, two wrings don’t make a right…

  144. Joseph Kaplan says:

    Steve, I’m not admitting or denying anything. What I’m saying is that (a) your mixing news, editorials and opinion columns in one mush and treating what happened in the 1930s and 40s (which the Times has admitted was a mistake) as if it is currently relevant and (b) your parroting Fox News talking points in black and white terms is, as I said, getting tired. Anyone who wants that can listen to Hannity or Beck.

    Re Kushner. I don’t think it’s a question of academic freedom because we’re talking about an honorary degree and not an academic one or an academic position (i.e., I’d have great difficulty were a professor fired for making the comments Kushner did.) But, quite frankly, I’m not sure what the standards for an honorary degree are and how, in the past, political views, even extreme political views, were taken into account when deciding on honorary degrees. I certainly wouldn’t give Kushner shlishi in my shul. But give him an honorary degree? I wouldn’t suggest it or support it but I probably wouldn’t lead a campaign against it. The real lesson in all of this is, once again, the power of the law of unintended comsequences. All Wiesenfield wanted to do was make a point; he never thought he had a chance to stop the degree. The result, however, was an unnecessary cause celebre which, ultimately, the supporters of Israel did not win, to say the least. We don’t like it when some try to stop universities from giving honorary degrees to Michael Oren. Perhaps, even if Kushner does not deserve to be so honored, it might have been wiser, from a practical standpoint, to let this one go. Knowing which battles to pick is a question of judgment, and while perhaps correct on substance, Wiesenfeld’s judgment was not as fine-tuned as it perhaps should have been.

    Re wikileaks: too complex for me to deal with in a comment.

  145. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “I’m not admitting or denying anything. What I’m saying is that (a) your mixing news, editorials and opinion columns in one mush and treating what happened in the 1930s and 40s (which the Times has admitted was a mistake) as if it is currently relevant and (b) your parroting Fox News talking points in black and white terms is, as I said, getting tired”

    In a recent ad in the NYT, its list of Pulitzer Prize winners included a reporter whose reports were notorious for its whitewashing of Stalinist Russia. Please provide evidence that the NYT has ever recanted in print for the excesses of its reporters in China, Cuba or Vietnam. I don’t consider Ron Radosh or Stanley Fink, the equivalent of a Fox News talking point.

  146. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “But, quite frankly, I’m not sure what the standards for an honorary degree are and how, in the past, political views, even extreme political views, were taken into account when deciding on honorary degrees. I certainly wouldn’t give Kushner shlishi in my shul. But give him an honorary degree? I wouldn’t suggest it or support it but I probably wouldn’t lead a campaign against it”

    See Stanley Fish’s column on the NYT website re how such degrees are awarded.

  147. Steve Brizel says:

    Emma wrote:

    “there is a difference between an opinion columnist being “biased” and a “news” article being biased”

    WADR, such a statement is based on a nonexistent “Chinese wall” between news and editorial content.

  148. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    ““I’m not admitting or denying anything”

    That’s why pleadings that consist of such responses always invite detailed, document based discovery! A superb account of how two well known plaintiffs came very close to proving that Time and the NYT defamed them can be found in Renata Adler’s “Reckless Disregard.”

  149. aaron says:

    To Emma
    Although rashi says this it refers to ‘going away’. The wording of the gemoro which rashi himself quotes is waiting for him. I see no difference in waiting for him if he has gone to a different town or waiting up for him in the same town.
    Regarding the fact that the woman has many other mitsvot which she has to do (not learning), see the identical gemoro in sota 21a that is has to be learning.
    I write in many blogs under many different names.
    In kitsur 162:1 A woman who delays the mikva to hurt her husband her punishment is very severe rachmono litslan.

  150. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Easier said than done. Particularly for women.

    Here’s an interesting such story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/29/deborah-feldman-hasidic-once-upon-a-life

    IH-the author of this article proves my point. She walked out with her child, graduated a prestigious college with a real degree and is having her memoir published by Simon & Schuster. IIRC, the NYJW has a reporter who wrote a similar memoir, whose specialty is investigating the Charedi world. Both women , as is their prerogative, made their decisions and live with them.

    The facts remain that the wedding halls in the Charedi neighborhoods are not clamoring for business and that despite some who go OTD, the overwhelming majority of Charedi and MO young women, marry , raise families, work, and stay committed to their communities. Now, if a Sarah Lawrence grad turned BT or Kollel wife chose to write her book, I am sure that only a Chareidi publisher would touch it with a proverbial ten foot pole.

  151. ruvie says:

    aaron – take a look in hilchot ishut-

    “every woman who refuses to perform one of the labors that she is required to do, may be coerced to do so, even with a whip” what are the labors – mills, bakes,launders, cooks, nurses the child – makes her bed and waeves wool.who can beat his wife? it is questionable if its the husband or beit din. wife beating to me – but then again i am am an avowed am haaretz.

  152. ruvie says:

    aaron – כל אשה שתמנע מלעשות מלאכה מן המלאכות שהיא חייבת לעשותן כופין אותה ועושה אפילו בשוט.

    it really that simple – the “work”
    נמצאו כל המלאכות שכל אשה עושה אותן לבעלה חמש מלאכות. טווה ורוחצת פניו ידיו ורגליו ומוזגת את הכוס ומצעת את המטה ועומדת ומשמשת בפניו. והמלאכות שמקצת הנשים עושות אותן ומקצתן אינן עושות שש מלאכות. מטחנת ומבשלת ואופה ומכבסת ומניקה ונותנת תבן לפני בהמתו:

    but i think you missed the point of that post. there are halachot that we abandon for many different reasons (like the rambam’s allowing women to leave the house only a few times a month -it is an halacha) and we can justify many unacceptable practices as ok by halacha if we want to. here is an example of one – but there are many others in the talmud as well. we ALL – no matter how right wing you are – pick and choose what we accept and what we disregard — i wish i can find a book that has done all the academic research on this – any thoughts?

  153. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “In a recent ad in the NYT, its list of Pulitzer Prize winners included a reporter whose reports were notorious for its whitewashing of Stalinist Russia.”

    But see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Duranty#Calls_for_revocation_of_Pulitzer_Prize; http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/22/us/pulitzer-board-won-t-void-32-award-to-times-writer.html

  154. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “That’s why pleadings that consist of such responses always invite detailed, document based discovery!”

    Steve, we’re having a discussion, not a litigation. I’m sorry you don’t see the difference.

  155. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan wrote:

    “Steve, we’re having a discussion, not a litigation. I’m sorry you don’t see the difference”

    Ain Haci Nami.

    By the way, the Wikipedia link which confirms that Duranty’s Pulitzer was not revoked does not state who requested the revocation.

  156. Steve Brizel says:

    Whoops-mea culpa, the Wikipedia article tells us that the Times sent the recommendation of an outside expert who wrote a scathing critique of Duranty with essentially a statement that it would abide the judgment of those who award the Pulitzers, as opposed to a request that the same be rescinded. I think that it is an excellent illustration of Shev VAl Taaseh vs Kum VAseh at work.

  157. emma says:

    aaron,
    there is a wide gap between your first statement: “it is considered one of the worst sins for a woman to refuse her husband for any reason (except medical),” and your second regarding “A woman who delays the mikva to hurt her husband.”

    The first gives women essentially no control over their sexuality, the second suggests that being vindictive is a sin.

  158. S. says:

    >In a recent ad in the NYT, its list of Pulitzer Prize winners included a reporter whose reports were notorious for its whitewashing of Stalinist Russia.

    Should they have omitted him?

  159. aaron says:

    To ruvie you forgot to mention that the Raavad disagrees with the rambam and says he has never heard of using a whip. I was anyway not referring to work. Others say its a last resort. I suppose its talking about where the husband is feeding her. What would you suggest he should do? Remember it was in the olden times where a woman would prefer this than a get.

    To Emma.
    I dont understand what you wrote. What exactly is the difference.

  160. aaron says:

    To ruvie you forgot to mention that the Raavad disagrees with the rambam and says he has never heard of using a whip. I was anyway not referring to work. Others say its a last resort. I suppose its talking about where the husband is feeding her. What would you suggest he should do? Remember it was in the olden times where a woman would prefer this than a get.

    To Emma.
    I dont understand what you wrote. What exactly is the difference.
    It may be a wide gap but I cant see it.
    To Steve. That book you quoted by Feldman of which, much used to be online is almost all of it non true about chasidim.

  161. emma says:

    The difference is “I’m tired.” No medical issue, but no intention of hurting the husband, just honestly needing sleep.

  162. emma says:

    what should a husband who is feeding his wife do if she refuses to do melachos? i don’t know, probably the same thing a wife who does melachos should do if her husband refuses to feed her. yet we don’t se her having the legal option of beating him (or hiring hit men to do so).

  163. aaron says:

    To Emma
    I would include that in a medical issue. I meant the term loosely.

  164. ruvie says:

    aaron: on your 12:12pm post today you challenge my assertion of a certain halacha in the rambam about flogging one’s wife:

    “how about flogging one’s wife in public when not completing the demand of her husband – an halacha in the rambam a justifiable pesak.
    Can you please tell me where this rambam is. No woman is ‘forced’ to concede to her husbands ‘demands’.”

    i just quoted above the source. and you still miss the point of the post. there is the rambam in black and white . now you bring a ravad? so lets deal with the ravad: on the spot in the rambam – “i never heard of beating women with a whip” – the ravad in his locale didn’t have this tradition recognizing the husband’s right to beat his wife. either way that is what the rambam codified. so today if a husband beats his wife for not let say making his bed he can say it is al pe halacha – that is my point with r’ gil’s rationale.

    to say that she would prefer being beaten to a divorce is strange. don’t you think. yes those were the times when women had very little rights in many areas including inheritance, child marriages (imagine at 25 plus year old marrying a 12 yr old girl – today it is called rape)etc also, almost all women were uneducated and illiterate – do you suggest we go back to those good old days? what is your point after all?

  165. ruvie says:

    aaron – please see teshuvot harambam II,ss385 (664) for more on beating one’s wife

  166. aaron says:

    I did not mean the same demands as you mean. I meant sexual demands and I still would like proof for that. Who mentions flogging in public. Why would you think it is strange. In the olden times a divorced woman had absolutely no rights. There is a good reason for inheritance because they father used to give his daughter a tenth of his possessions when she got married. A large difference in age was frowned upon. A girl had the right to choose or should I say to reject a suitor. No girl was ‘forced’ to have intercourse with a man she did not want.

  167. ruvie says:

    aaron – on child marriages in the middle ages you are wrong. the rabbis themselves for their own children did not follow the halacha in the gemera. early age girls were married without their consent. it was not frowned upon its was done that way.

    the assumption by many is that the flogging is done is public after the husband goes to the beit din or the beit din flogs the woman. i did not say anything about sexual demands.

    on the other hand the rambam was very liberal in allowing a woman to have a get issued if her husband repugns her. as oppose to the rosh who felt that if that is allowed all benot yehuda would run after men they see in the street that pleases her and every womean would demand a divorce – basically the view that all woman are whatever indecent term you might suggest.

  168. Yosef says:

    Gil,

    I work at a Jewish newspaper. We don’t have a committee. Rather when there’s a picture of a woman whom someone thinks may be inappropriately dressed, we usually ask each other. “What do you think? Innocent? Provocative? Do you think readers will be upset? Ask so-and-so. He has a better grip on whether readers will object.” Etc. etc. etc.

    Like you said, we use common sense. I don’t think a formal committee is necessary.

  169. Baruch says:

    I had a much bigger problem with the apology than the original deed. Besides being written in horrible English, the apology is full of silly arguments, lies, and half-truths.

  170. aaron says:

    to ruvie
    What is your proof that girls were forced to marry whom they did not want at a young age. They may have become engaged.
    You used the words husbands demands. Is this term used regarding a woman’s work. The word demand ‘tvioh’ is used for sexual demands. This is not malkus and I see no reason why it should be done in public.

  171. chardal says:

    >Simply stated, there is no duty to buy, subscribe to or view such reportage as objective, especially considering the source of the same.

    Of course everyone should use their critical faculties when reading news and of course complete objectivity is impossible. But what makes you think that this fact means that all biases are equal? Do you really think that the bias of pravda and NYT are equal? Yes, there is real bias out there but you have to have some perspective.

    >In a similar vein, IMO, TV shows, movies, plays, and books that involve a violation of Yehareg VAl Yaavor should not be seen as a means of entertainment for a Torah observant family.

    You have to be more specific. Which TV show or play is yehareg vAl Yaavor? If someone held a gun to your head and told you to watch prime time TV, would you choose to be shot??? That sounds insane.

    >One cannot deny the cultural and political biases that are redolent in the liberal/left media and view them as appropriate sources of comedy or IMO deserving of warranting awards by their peers.

    What does this mean? which peers? what awards? Sure there is a values-gap between traditional Jewish societies and general western society but you really believe that one can not be in a traditional Jewish society and partake of General culture? I am currently reading up on one of RSRH’s grandsons who was very active in the Aguda. He used to read his kids Goethe and Shakespeare – do you think all the themes in these works overlap with traditional Jewish values??? Or is it ok to partake of 200+ year old general culture but not contemporary? Just like any time in history, there is a lot of junk mixed in with some quality – our job is to have the faculties to make proper judgments, not to make ridiculous blanket statements and put up arbitrary walls.

  172. ruvie says:

    aaron = please read avraham grossman’s pious and rebellious: jewish women in medieval europe….. i am sure there are other sources as well but that is the best overall description of what happened to women in europe during the middle ages.

    husband demands and wife’s duties or work – i never was thinking about sex – but that is me. sorry if you misunderstood my original comment. its was about what is permitted al pe halacha that today we consider unacceptable and punishable – like what is child abuse – do you really need penetration as the beit din claimed in the kolko case to be sexually abusive?

  173. Steve Brizel says:

    Chardal wrote in response:

    “Of course everyone should use their critical faculties when reading news and of course complete objectivity is impossible. But what makes you think that this fact means that all biases are equal? Do you really think that the bias of pravda and NYT are equal? Yes, there is real bias out there but you have to have some perspective.

    >In a similar vein, IMO, TV shows, movies, plays, and books that involve a violation of Yehareg VAl Yaavor should not be seen as a means of entertainment for a Torah observant family.

    You have to be more specific. Which TV show or play is yehareg vAl Yaavor? If someone held a gun to your head and told you to watch prime time TV, would you choose to be shot??? That sounds insane.

    >One cannot deny the cultural and political biases that are redolent in the liberal/left media and view them as appropriate sources of comedy or IMO deserving of warranting awards by their peers

    1. To repeat-all newspapers , regardless of their ideologies, have biases that overlap between the editorial and news section. Newspapers and media should never be confused or conflated with Torah Mi Sinai.

    2)Any show that has a gratuitous amount of violence, sex or sexual references or views deviant lifestyles as “normal” is simply not worth watching. Just check the daily TV Guide and you will see plenty of examples even on network TV, where the so-called “family hour” is basically winked at by network programmers. Newton Minow was a JFK appointee to the FCC in the early 1960s and described TV as a wasteland. I would add that much of TV today is a toxic wasteland. Not having a TV once was an extremist idea-today, while I think that having a TV for news, sports and old movies and some documentaries is important, there is a lot of merit in refraining from owning or watching TV, aside from the fact that it is an entirely passive enterprise, unlike learning Torah or reading a good book.

    3) One can partake of general culture-but with serious care and reservations as to the content and message depicted therein.

  174. IH says:

    Sadly, there is no lack of “wasteland” in media purporting to be Jewish. When it comes to people picking on the horrid stories in the Jewish world, you get all bent out of shape; but, when you do the same in regard to the secular world that is a different matter. What hypocrisy!

  175. Michael Rogovin says:

    Steve B and Joseph K:
    re Kushner, politics plays a big role. I served on honorary degree committees. But they meet in closed meetings and everything is kept quiet until the recommendation is made. Jeff had spoken out against a nominee at least once before (Carter) but it had never resulted in a ruckus like this. Steve, JK is 100% right. While I agree with Jeff’s take on Kushner, the reality is that this (and Jeff’s quoted or misquoted comments on Palestinians) in the end strengthened the hand of the anti-Israel “progressives” and hurt our cause. We have to pick and choose our battles and not every opportunity to speak up should be used.

  176. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote:

    “Sadly, there is no lack of “wasteland” in media purporting to be Jewish. When it comes to people picking on the horrid stories in the Jewish world, you get all bent out of shape; but, when you do the same in regard to the secular world that is a different matter. What hypocrisy”

    Of course, the term applies to all such media-Jewish or otherwise. OTOH, when media bias reflects itself in its coverage of Israel,or sets forth a grossly inaccurate view of the Torah observant communities, or views deviationist and deviant lifestyles as normal, we should get bent out of shape. FWIW, I let my JO subscription expire and I have also cancelled my NYT subscription for periods of time. That being the case, anyone who doesn’t like news coverage can opt out by reading most of the relevant coverage on the net, and not spend money on the same. However, noone ever appointed any editor of a Federation subsidized newspaper to be the Ben Bradlee of our communities.

  177. Steve Brizel says:

    Michael Rogovin wrote:

    “Steve, JK is 100% right. While I agree with Jeff’s take on Kushner, the reality is that this (and Jeff’s quoted or misquoted comments on Palestinians) in the end strengthened the hand of the anti-Israel “progressives” and hurt our cause. We have to pick and choose our battles and not every opportunity to speak up should be used”

    WADR, I dissagree. I see no logic or reason in using the appeasement based tactics of Chamberlain when the times call for the rhetoric of Churchill-unless the BDS movement and its supporters in the liberal/left cultural and intellectual circles are taken on, we will lose not just the battle,but the war.

  178. Steve Brizel says:

    Michael Rogovin-see the following link. Does such a person deserve an honorary degree?
    http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_print=1&x_context=8&x_nameinnews=181&x_article=2033

  179. Steve Brizel says:

    IH wrote in part:

    “When it comes to people picking on the horrid stories in the Jewish world, you get all bent out of shape”

    Please elaborate in detail.

  180. c y says:

    What does one do of the Mitzvas Aseh for Kohen gadol to marry a 12 year old

  181. chardal says:

    >1. To repeat-all newspapers , regardless of their ideologies, have biases that overlap between the editorial and news section. Newspapers and media should never be confused or conflated with Torah Mi Sinai.

    Who in the heck is conflating newspapers and media with Torah Mi Sinai??? Why are you making things up and then arguing against them?

    >2)Any show that has a gratuitous amount of violence, sex or sexual references or views deviant lifestyles as “normal” is simply not worth watching.

    Fine, In your opinion. But how the heck is this yehareg ubal yaavor as you claimed earlier? Further, Goethe and Shakespeare, who I referenced earlier have many themes that are at odds with traditional Jewish values … but they also have much wisdom and goodness that can be accessed. And therefore, we can trust inteligent Jews to be able to “take it” and use their critical faculties to take the good and reject the bad. Further, much can be said for entertainment as such. A person sometimes just need to wind down, and the TV is very good for that.

    >3) One can partake of general culture-but with serious care and reservations as to the content and message depicted therein.

    Ok. thanks for the heter. And I can partake of the chareidi media as well despite serious reservations that I have towards the content and advertisements contained therein.

  182. Steve Brizel says:

    Chardal wrote:

    Who in the heck is conflating newspapers and media with Torah Mi Sinai??? Why are you making things up and then arguing against them”

    You would be surprised at how many people have the view that the NYT is the equivalent of Torah MiSinai on politics, culture and economics.

  183. MDJ says:

    Steve,
    When Chardal said “who in the heck” he meant “who in this thread”. Otherwise your comment (as usual) was besides the point and a distraction from the issue at hand.

  184. Steve Brizel says:

    In this thread, some of us have been all over a Charedi newspaper for cropping a picture as indicative of a bias, without realizing that all newspapers, regardless of their ideologies, engage in far worse actions in their news and editorial coverage.

  185. Shlomo says:

    So perhaps your real issue is that you are reacting to the secular world grouping Ultra-Orthodox Jews with other fundamentalists, be they secular (e.g. North Korea) or religious (e.g. Iran, Saudi Arabia) who resort to similar tactics?

    My personal answer to this line of thought is that hasidim have already abandoned wholesale certain areas of halacha (i.e. sof zman kriyat shema) so there is no ‘hava amina’ that they represent the mesorah in any way. Remove the hasidim, and the balance of power in the Orthodox community looks quite different.

    People who are into shmiras enayim walk with their eyes downward and try not to see any women. The women are moving and you don’t see them in a fixed state, whereas you would if you had a photograph.

    Am I alone in thinking that movement, not to mention BEING REAL, heightens a person’s attractiveness?

  186. Guest says:

    “What does one do of the Mitzvas Aseh for Kohen gadol to marry a 12 year old”

    No basis in pshat, and when the sanhedrin is reconstituted, we will remove the requirement.

  187. IH says:

    “In this thread, some of us have been all over a Charedi newspaper for cropping a picture as indicative of a bias, without realizing that all newspapers, regardless of their ideologies, engage in far worse actions in their news and editorial coverage.”

    For the record, the first mention of “bias” is on Page 3 of the comments by yourself: Steve Brizel on May 11, 2011 at 10:30 am.

    Once again you take the readership in a wild goose chase that ends with you thinking you have proven some strawman diversion.

  188. Michael Rogovin says:

    I agree Kushner is a menace and does not deserve a degree. But in the end, it was not worth fighting over. Comparing voting no but allowing it to happen with Chamberlain is nuts, pure and simple. I suppose if you live under a rock and don’t have a clue as to how things happen in NYC politics, you might think that Jeff did a public service. But the reaction and the revisiting by the CUNY board as a response was inevitable from the moment Jeff spoke and managed to derail the first vote.

    As someone who is on the inside and watching the emailed reactions of faculty in NY and probably nationally, I can tell you that they are more convinced then ever that the right wing Jewish community seeks to control the debate on Israel and conspires to silence its critics. They are convinced more than ever that Kushner is right. More and more people will read Kushner and come out agreeing with him. Israel will be worse off. You and I may not like it. We may (do) agree with Jeff. We may see it as the progressives who are trying to silence critics by calling for Jeff’s ouster or resignation. But that is just us. No one was convinced and we just looked bad. No one would have thought about Kushner and Israel. There would have been little if any media about Kushner at John Jay (maybe a mention in the arts section). Now, the media will cover the ceremony, it will be in every paper etc, he will almost certainly speak about Israel and the Jewish/Zionist lobby, there will be a movement to restrict the board of trustee’s discretion in awarding degrees (not that they ever used it before), Kushner will probably write articles, a book and even a play about the Zionist lobby’s “attempt to silence him.”

    That is the result and it was inevitable and totally prdictable. I predicted the entire scenario the minute I heard he was nominated and that there was an issue about it at the meeting (before the story broke publicly). Appeasement is what Obama & Clinton are doing with the Palestinians and Syria. Knowing when to let the little hurts go is not appeasement, it is common sense and in the end, a better defense for Israel’s PR interests.

  189. Michael Rogovin says:

    Steve Brizel: In this thread, some of us have been all over a Charedi newspaper for cropping a picture as indicative of a bias

    NOOOOOO! If they cropped the picture, it would have been fine. The photoshopped 2 women out, altering the picture. That is far worse. Steve, it would help if you at least got the facts straight. All phots are “cropped” in that the frame excludes what is outside. Altering a photo to remove or add in something is very different.

  190. Steve Brizel says:

    Michael Rogovin wrote in part:

    “As someone who is on the inside and watching the emailed reactions of faculty in NY and probably nationally, I can tell you that they are more convinced then ever that the right wing Jewish community seeks to control the debate on Israel and conspires to silence its critics. They are convinced more than ever that Kushner is right. More and more people will read Kushner and come out agreeing with him. Israel will be worse off. You and I may not like it”

    We all know that many in the academic world are tenured radicals, who have adopted and ape the worst views of the self hating academics of the Israeli academic world, and silence anyone who is Zionist and pro Israel. Their views are published in their journals, the NYT, Haaretz , etc. Hazony’s book remains the gold standard on how the Israeli academic world is a haven for such views. As far as Ilan Pappe, the main exponent that Israel R”L engaged in ethnic cleansing is concerned, I would suggest that any interested reader read Benny Morris’s devastating critique of Pappe’s work in an article published in the New Republic.

    Weisenfeld’s courage in taking on this POV deserves our applause. To do use an apt phrase-Yesh Kono Olamo Bshaah Achas.

  191. Joseph Kaplan says:

    ” I see no logic or reason in using the appeasement based tactics of Chamberlain when the times call for the rhetoric of Churchill.”

    First, picking your battles carefully is not appeasement other than in Steve-speak. Second, there IS a reason which has been brought home to us. Look at the results. As Michael cogently showed, even though Wiesenfeld may have been right as a matter of substance, supporters of Israel are in a far worse position today, and Kushner will be a far more effective and widely heard opponent of Israel, all because of what Wiesenfeld did. THAT’S the reason for not doing it. As I mentioned before, the law of unintended consequences.

    “Weisenfeld’s courage in taking on this POV deserves our applause.” I’m happy to applaud him for his courage but my hands stop clapping regarding his wisdom, judgment and political savvy in this case. Just like “not everything you think you have to say . . . ,” in this case it’s not every good motion has to be made.

  192. IH says:

    For those of you with a sense of humor, I just spotted this on one of my favorite Arab blogs:

    http://beirutspring.com/blog/2011/05/10/judaism-has-its-own-salafists/

  193. Michael Rogovin says:

    JK – you said it better than I could. Steve (as usual) can’t see past his own bubble. This is the problem when we insulate ourselves in our own little world and do not understand what happens outside. I am sure that Jeff will get a standing ovation from a few hundred in KGH or Brooklyn. But Kushner’s views will gain the new support of hundreds of thousands or more.

  194. Steve Brizel says:

    Joseph Kaplan-I respectfully dissagree. I agree wholeheartedly that supporters of Israel, especially on college campuses are not just “in a far worse position today”, but an endangered species. However, given Kushner’s well known and documented track record, if one urges that that one pick one’s fights carefully-who, if anyone, would you raise a voice of protest against? I think that there is a war already underway for the hearts and minds of American Jews, and that the left is clearly intolerant of any criticism of its positions.

  195. Steve Brizel says:

    Michael Rogovin and Joseph Kaplan-why did the NYT jump to Kushner’s defense? I think that it is because the NYT views criticism of anyone affiliated with the liberal/left, regardless of the notoriety of his or her views on Israel, such as Kushner, as beyond the pale.

  196. IH says:

    “why did the NYT jump to Kushner’s defense?”

    Supporting link, please, if we’re going to go down this track.

  197. IH says:

    This editorial, perhaps, where they explain: a) why; and, b) that they disagree with Kushner’s controversial comments?

    “If Mr. Kushner were a lesser artist, it still would have been outrageous for CUNY to deny his honorary degree for political reasons. And the particulars of what Mr. Kushner said are not so important. (His comments were not all that remarkable, though we disagreed with them.) The point is that a public university is supposed to nurture free speech and free thought, not quash them.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/07/opinion/07sat4.html

  198. Joseph Kaplan says:

    “However, given Kushner’s well known and documented track record, if one urges that that one pick one’s fights carefully-who, if anyone, would you raise a voice of protest against?”

    Depends on circumstances. Kushner was being honored for his artistic works having nothing to do with his views on Israel. Had he receivd the degre without all this hukabaloo, his views on Israel would not have been publicized. It would have been a non-Israel story. We (really Wiesenfeld) was the one who brought Israel into this situation and made it an Israel story which we lost. That is not a wise battle. But if Kushner were being honored by a Jewish organization (say, J Street), that would be a different story. There are no black and white answers. It’s a question of judgment. But anyone who knows the NY scene could have seen a mile away that this would backfire, as it indeed did.

  199. Jerry says:

    “But anyone who knows the NY scene could have seen a mile away that this would backfire, as it indeed did.”

    Excellent point. To me this is a clear case of the perfect vs. the good.

  200. MiMedinat HaYam says:

    “Steve Brizel on May 10, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    One can disagree with the SR’s Shitah on Zionism and gender issues, and still view Satmar as having been the basis for revitalizing interest in Mitzvos such as Shatnez, the venue where such enterprises as Hatzala were initiated, as well as reminding us on a daily basis that Bilur Cholim is a Mitzvah that is of communal importance and organized in an incomparable manner by the women of the Satmar community. ”

    actually, the satmar bikur cholim is / was mostly funded by a friend of the SR who also donates substantial sums to riets. and a personal friend of r lamm, who recently had a campus building named for his family.

    2. cropping pix — like the noah feldman issue — in the end, it turned out the picture was cropped to fit in the newletter. not photoshopped as implied then.

  201. Steve Brizel says:

    Jerry-are you saying that we should ignore the comments of J-Street, Kushner, Chomsky, and similar personae?

  202. Steve Brizel says:

    Jerry-are you saying that we should ignore the comments of Kushner, Chomsky, and similar personae?

  203. IH says:

    Steve — should we then actively protest the loony-right fringe too?

  204. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-where is anti Semitism a greater threat today? IMO, the greater threat lies in on the left, especially among the cultural and intellectual elites. Kushner, Chomsky and other self hating Jews pose a far greater threat than the swastikas found in some bathrooms that ADL seems preoccupied with or the far right. FWIW, IMO, far too much attention is paid to the statements of the evangelical movements’ leaders despite the fact that they are Israel’s greatest supporters.

  205. IH says:

    I meant the Israeli loony-right, when they are given platforms by Jewish organizations here in the US.

    But in regard to the conservative loony left — never forget that your enemies enemy is not necessarily your friend.

  206. IH says:

    Why do you ignore Glenn Beck’s latent anti-semitism that comes out from time to time; but spend days here railing about Tony Kushner for his politics?

  207. IH says:

    Oops. Should have been: in regard to the conservative loony RIGHT — never forget that your enemies enemy is not necessarily your friend.

    Shabbat Shalom

  208. […] Student defends Hasidic newspaper’s photoshopping […]

  209. Daniel Weltman says:

    >The Jewish orthodox response to that and your point should be, no, the determination is not subjective or difficult. It is quite easy. It is halacha.

    I retract this statement, after being reminded of Dat Yehudit.

  210. Daniel Weltman says:

    What I mean is that sociological considerations do play a large part in hilchot tzniut; this does not imply that I agree with the totality of the post, but my other points have been made by others already.

  211. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-Glenn Beck and John Hagee are great Ohavei Yisrael, whose religious POVs neither scare me nor cause me to lose an iota of sleep Tony Kushner and Noam Chomsky are Sonei Yirael, as was the late Tony Judt.

    Which members of the “Israeli loony right” are you referring to?

  212. Steve Brizel says:

    IH-I see no downside in either Senator Inhof or Governor Huckabee or other politicans with similar views being given speaker’s roles at communal dinners.

  213. […] we have also noted that public fears can push organizations to act in an overly cautious manner (link). I suspect that due to the overly suspicious nature of many members of the public, communal […]

  214. […] with the 2nd most unique readers: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 – 1,426 unique readers (day of the women in Jewish media […]

  215. […] the American sphere, we had the infamous photoshopping out of Hillary Clinton a few months ago. This event prompted the website Vos Iz Neias to publish a halachic article on the […]

 
 

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