One of the "mainstream" publications is the veteran "B'Ahava uv'Emnua" (With Love and with Faith), published by the Machon Meir Yeshiva.
Machon Meir for over the last 35 years has been a place for all of Am Yisrael to come and learn more about their Jewish roots. It is a place to get a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the Nation of Israel and the importance of living in the Land of Israel. Machon MeirWhat made this Shabbat's edition so unique, is that this mainstream publication has adopted an ugly custom which was rather shocking for this center of the road, family parsha sheet.
The publication's front page displays an ad -- a memorial for the Fogel Family who were brutally slaughtered by Palestinian terrorists.
What makes the ad so shocking is that the face of Ruth Fogel is blurred out..."for reasons of modesty"
R' Haim Navon of Modi'in even refused to allow this edition of the parsha sheet into his community shul.
What I found even more incredulous was the R' Shlomo Aviner says that blurring the photo of Tamar Fogel is the right thing to do! (Original Link)
כ"ו טבת ה'תשע"ב
הרב שלמה אבינר
כ"ו טבת ה'תשע"ב
הרב שלמה אבינר
Shalom, Respected Rabbi. Should the face of Ruthy Fogel be blurred in a memorial ad in the "Behava uvEmuna" newspaper?
Answer: Of course! It is to her honor. Just because she died doesn't mean we shouldn't respect her. If she would have been asked when she was live, then this is what she would have wanted. Just because a person is dead doesn't mean thehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifir photo should be "hefker"...
The Dati Leumi / National Religious movement in Israel has long been affiliated with "Modern Orthodox" -- even if the National-Religious tent envelopes a wider swath of Judaism that Modern Orthodox does (on both edges).
My friend Treppenwitz wrote today in a blog post, Sliding into darkness, not striving for enlightenment:
As I've previously noted here, Israel is as egalitarian and progressive a society as exists anywhere on earth, and the whole exclusion of women thing is a completely fabricated non-issue designed to vilify the religious community. In any place where women are being physically excluded in Israel, it is a criminal matter and can/should be dealt with under the perfectly ample body of existing Israeli law.I fear that Orthodoxy is being led astray. Decades ago, devout, pious, and very religious women were not blurred out of pictures. Women were photographed at weddings and those photos appeared in wedding albums. Chareidi Orthodoxy has gone down the route of hyper-tzniut. It's distressing to see that Modern Orthodoxy is being led astray as well.
I use the modifier 'physically' above because there are others way that women can be excluded from our day to day lives.
I have recently begun to notice that the creeping (and in my opinion, insidious) trend by certain extreme segments of Orthodox Jewish society to eschew pictures of women in advertising (and even news stories) has led to the practice of cropping and photoshopping women out of photos in just about every form of media that serves those communities.
By blurring the face of Ruth Fogel, the Machon Meir ""B'Ahava uv'Emnua" publication shows it has no love and no faith.
How can we possibly strive for an integrated Israeli society, if a tactful photo of a murdered woman, a mother sitting with her husband and children is considered too immodest for a parsha sheet?
Update 4:45 PM: Machon Meir has issued an apology on their website:
Why did they apologize, if R' Aviner said this was totally appropriate and the right thing to do?מכון מאיר מביע בזאת את התנצלותו הכנה על פרסום בלתי ראוי של תמונתה של רותי פוגל הי"ד.
המכון מתנצל בפני משפחות בן ישי , פוגל ובפני הקוראים שנפגעו מן הפרסום.
הרב דב ביגון - ראש המכון
צבי ארזי - מנכ"ל
מערכת עלון "באהבה ובאמונה"
Machon Meir hereby apologies for the improper publication of a photo of Ruthy Fogel, HY'D.
The Machon has apologized to the Ben-Yishai and Fogel families, and the readers who were hurt by the publication.
Rav Dov Begun - Head of the Machon
Tzvi Arazi -- General Manager of "BAhava uvEmuna"
Food for thought.
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