Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Photographs of chosheve women can be explained

Mississippi Fred MacDowell
A post about "Oz Vehodor Levusha/ Modesty: An Adornment For Life" by is a fish-in-a-barrel shoot. (been there already.)However, these passages on pp. 177-78 are worth reproducing (formatting identical to the book):
N. BIOGRAPHIES WITH PICTURES HARMFUL TO TZNIUS1. "NON-KOSHER" PHOTOGRAPHS OF CHOSHEVE WOMEN: Some of the excellent biographies of Gedolim and of great w0men that are published nowadays contain pre-war photographs of great female personalities who are in an inadequate state of dress. They have sleeves rolled up over the elbow, a knee not properly covered, a blouse with more than the neck showing and similar problems. The reproduction and mass dissemination of these pictures is a considerable stmbling blog to all who read these books.For men this is certainly harmful, as a man must not see an inadequately dressed female even just in passing. For women and girls these books are likewise very detrimental as they appear to contain "live evidence" that in pre-war years the general frum public and even chosheve people were not careful with aspects of dress that are considered nowadays to be essential. Since it is halachically wrong to appear amongst men with these inadequacies, publicizing these photographs is an unintentional attack at the very heart of tznius and a major disservice to Klal Yisroel.2. FAMILY PHOTOS WITH INADEQUATELY DRESSED RELATIVES: Similarly, there are biographies of Gedolim in which large family pictures appear. Occasionally a female relative appears on these pictures wearing a tight-fitting skirt or standing in an untznius'dik manner. Here again, issue must be taken at publishing such pictures and for giving the impression that the Gadol consented to the young lady dressing or standing in such a way, while that was surely not the case. Books that are potentially excellent reading material for girls, as they impart sound hashkafos and would contribute much to chinuch for authentic Yiddishkeit, are turned into harmful material as a result of these pictures.3. HOW THE "NON-KOSHER" PICTURES CAME ABOUT: Concerning the basic question as to how these choshuve women went around in an inadequate manner of dress, the answer in most cases is probably quite simple; when the picture was taken the woman was almost certainly in a private garden and totally out of the eye of the public. Her friend took the photo there in the garden and neither of them ever imagine that this picture would be published in a book to be seen by hundreds if not thousands of people. Since she was in a secluded area, she was not so careful to ensure that she was fully covered. The desired practice of dressing with full tznius even in private, is predominantly for a tefach, whilst the amount uncovered in these pictures is invariably less than a tefach. Publishing these pictures is therefore lashon horah (slander) and even motzi shem ra (untrue slander) on these chosheve women, since they give the impression that these women were careless in matters of tznius and this need not be true at all.
Well, he's probably right that didn't imagine that their personal photographs would be published in books.

Haloscan comments


Blogger KateGladstone said...

In many of these photos, the buildings and other objects visible in the photographs make entirely clear that the women are not in an enclosed garden or in any other private place.

How do today's "gedolim" explain that away -- with an airbrush?

10:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home