I know that this has been mentioned to death already, but I simply did not have the time to post sooner.. The Chassidic newspaper Der Tzeitung, in mentioning Osama bin Laden’s death, showed the Sitution Room with President Obama’s National Security team. Only one problem: the two women in the picture, one of them Hillary Clinton, were cut out of the picture in an attempt to stay within modesty rules, though the photo, courtesy of the White House, had explicit instructions not to be altered in any way.
Here is the original picture with Hillary Clinton:
In response to the brouhaha that has occurred since the photo’s release, Der Tzeitung released the following statement, courtesy of Vos iz Neias:
The White House released a picture showing the President following “live” the events in the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden, last week Sunday. Also present in the Situation Room were various high-ranking government and military officials. Our photo editor realized the significance of this historic moment, and published the picture, but in his haste he did not read the “fine print” that accompanied the picture, forbidding any changes. We should not have published the altered picture, and we have conveyed our regrets and apologies to the White House and to the State Department.
The allegations that religious Jews denigrate women or do not respect women in public office, is a malicious slander and libel. The current Secretary of State, the Honorable Hillary R. Clinton, was a Senator representing New York State with great distinction 8 years. She won overwhelming majorities in the Orthodox Jewish communities in her initial campaign in ‘00, and when she was re-elected in ‘06, because the religious community appreciated her unique capabilities and compassion to all communities. The Jewish religion does not allow for discrimination based on gender, race, etc.
We respect all government officials. We even have special prayers for the welfare of our Government and the government leaders, and there is no mention of gender in such prayers.
All Government employees are sworn into office, promising adherence to the Constitution, and our Constitution attests to our greatness as a nation that is a light beacon to the entire world. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. That has precedence even to our cherished freedom of the press! In accord with our religious beliefs, we do not publish photos of women, which in no way relegates them to a lower status. Publishing a newspaper is a big responsibility, and our policies are guided by a Rabbinical Board. Because of laws of modesty, we are not allowed to publish pictures of women, and we regret if this gives an impression of disparaging to women, which is certainly never our intention. We apologize if this was seen as offensive.
We are proud Americans of the Jewish faith, and there is no conflict in that, and we will with the help of the Almighty continue as law-abiding citizens, in this great country of our’s, until the ultimate redemption.
Some have actually supported it, mentioning Halachic and moral analyses.
Want to talk about modesty, though? There’s actually been a Chassidic publication that showed the picture of a woman. Personally I think the picture should be taken off but not because of modesty reasons.
Personally, I would have just omitted the photo if put in that spot and avoided any problems.