Key Quotes

All quotations below were either given to this site personally, or have appeared in other public media sources. Click on the photos to link back to sources, when available. 

Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein

Co-founder and a featured writer of Cross-Currents

​Wrote in Cross-Currents, regarding the absence of pictures of women that, “...we must have the courage to say that this is harmful, dangerous, and not for us.”  

Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Bar-Shalom

Educator and Israeli Prize Laureate. She is also the daughter of late Shas spiritual adviser, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

"Rebbetzin Dr. Adina Bar-Shalom…recounted how her father reacted with shock and anger upon seeing a published family photo with the faces of his wife and mother blurred out. 'What nerve... what is this supposed to be? …Ultimately they’ll all be in veils,' she recalled him saying."--Jerusalem Post

Rabbi J. David Bleich

An authority on Jewish law and ethics and a Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

"Maybe I am missing something, but I do not think that an appropriate photograph appearing in a newspaper arouses prurient interest. It is my impression that such photographs did appear on occasion in Orthodox European publications.

I presume that the people who do not want to publish tasteful photographs are making business decisions rather than halachic ones. They do not want to be boycotted. But I do not see a cogent reason for objection to modest pictures."

Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz

Senior lecturer at Ohr Somayach, Jerusalem

"In the vidui of Rabbeinu Nissim, the penitent begs forgiveness for a variety of transgressions, among them is, "What You declared pure I deemed unclean... what You have declared permitted I deemed forbidden." Erasing women from photographs or blurring their faces even if  they are modestly dressed has not been  the practice in klal yisrael, and to take on a stringency over and beyond anything required by gedolai yisrael is not only arrogant and pretentious but profoundly offensive and demeaning  to women as a whole. A chumra  beyond normative halacha ceases to be legitimate at the point that it violates basic kavod habriyot. Moreover, the very highlighting of women as the "other " who must be eliminated is in itself counter to the norms of tzniyut and can itself trigger the evils it was supposedly designed to alleviate."

Rabbi Dovid Cohen

World renowned posek and the Rabbi of Congregation Gvul Ya'avitz in Brooklyn, New York

On Rabbi Dovid Lichtenstein’s Headlines show, Rav Dovid Cohen, shlita, stated that not publishing pictures of women is neither halacha nor minhag, but is only based on "sales competition" between frum publications.

Rabbi Ilan Feldman

Mara d'asra of Congregation Beth Jacob, Atlanta, Georgia

“The refusal to publish women’s pictures is the ultimate irony. In the name of modesty, women are objectified, turned into objects who cannot be portrayed at all in public. It is as if their physical existence is an invitation to sin. The ultimate degradation of women.”

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz

Founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam of Monsey, and founder and Director of Project Y.E.S.

"When I was approached by our Board in 2006 to take the Guest of Honor Award at our annual Dinner, my (only) condition was that the invitation and all ads have both our first names and any picture of me must include my wife alongside me. It was inconceivable for me to do it any other way--as she was my devoted partner in the Yeshiva in every sense of the word."

Rabbi Eli J. Mansour

Rabbi of The Edmond J Safra Synagogue

In response to Community Magazine deleting the image of Rebetzin Mazal, Rabbi Mansour wrote a letter to the editor that included the following quote:

“… Was Rebetzin Mazal not an important part of this history? Why was her face deleted?…Should we remove the pictures of our great grandmothers from our albums and frames? Certainly not! The magazine made a big mistake….I would ask you to please rectify this by printing the original picture. Furthermore, the magazine should reconsider its extreme policy of what pictures should be allowed. …”. ( You can read the entire letter on the 'articles' page of this site)

Rabbi Johnny Solomon

Teacher at Machon Maayan and Midreshet Torat Chessed

“Even if this stricture had some basis in halakha we are nevertheless taught, 'just as we are commanded not to permit that which is forbidden, so too we are commanded not to forbid that which is permitted in order not to cause a financial loss to a fellow Jew which is something that the Torah is concerned for' (Sefer HaPardes 127; see also Horaot Issur V’Heter of the Shach No. 242). In this case - which it must be emphasized has no basis in halakha - the defense of such a so-called ruling for this so-called stricture is in direct conflict with the Torah which, as noted, is concerned about the financial loss of a fellow Jew. It is anti-Torah in the name of Torah. As I've previously remarked, one of the great tragedies of our age is how Torah is used as a defense for things that the Torah finds indefensible."

Rabbi Daniel N. Korobkin

Mara d'asra of Bayt Avraham Yoseph of Toronto

“The value of never looking at a woman's photograph is something that was adopted by extremely pious individuals, and certainly not the litvishe community. But a distortion of halakha has ensued that adversely affects all Torah Jews and the banner of Torah, not just the ones who are part of a community that promote blurring those photographs. It is no different from an overly liberal Jewish interpretation that grossly distorts Torah. An overly fundamentalist interpretation accomplishes, sadly, the very same thing. And when that occurs, all Jews who subscribe to the same Torah are made to suffer; the Torah itself suffers, and the Giver of that Torah also suffers.”

Gila Manolson

Author, Speaker

"Like it or not, we live in a visual world, and our children are powerfully influenced by visual images. Do we want the only pictures of women our children see to be those on billboards and magazine covers? Photos of t'znuah women as role models is a MUST if our children are to develop healthy attitudes towards females."

Rabbi Gil Student

Writer at Torah Musings

"Refusing on principle to publish pictures of women risks distorting the Torah by creating a prohibition where none exists. This is a time to act for the Lord by permitting that which already is permitted in order to teach respect for God’s daughters, promote positive role models for our children, embrace a wholesome Torah view of modesty and restrain a growing misunderstanding of Torah law."

Rabbi Yoel Schoenfeld

Mara d'asra of the Young Israel of Kew Garden Hills, NY

"Today it has evolved to the point where frum publications will not even carry cartoons or drawings of women. As a result, in their family settings depicted in children’s books, it is all men who bake challos for Shabbos, it is a pair of gloves that lights candles and fathers only that take their children to the doctor…. To me this is highly offensive and even makes a mockery of our Torah way of life. Not to mention that I do not believe it is a healthy way to bring up our children."

Chava Willig Levy

Author, Editor, Motivational Speaker

"Torah-observant women should be neither invisible nor inaudible! This misguided policy is inflicting irreparable harm upon both our sons and our daughters."

Rabbi Chaim Wasserman

Rabbi Emeritus of the Young Israel of Passaic-Clifton, NJ

"Rav Moshe Chaim Luzzato [RaMCHaL] in his classic mussar guide, Mesilat Yesharim [chapter 20] defines what authentic Chassidic practice is: He posits that every Chassidic action must be weighed in light of its ultimate outcome. If what is done looks valid but ultimately has negative results, given the time and location, then the authentic chassid must refrain from such an action. If, on the other hand, what seems for the chassid to be a negative action but results in some advantageous outcome, then such Chassidic practice is laudable. Every act, he concludes, ultimately must be judged by its perceived outcome.

The rather recent manifestation in chassidic publications, which by now has similarly spread to non-chassidic publications also, of not printing appropriate pictures of women, has created in our times and society a highly odious reaction especially among fine, frum women. These women are entirely correct in their feeling deeply embarrassed. In fact, we have here an utter disregard of kevod ha-beriyot, a debasement of human respect and dignity.

Accordingly, it is entirely proper that this in now being vigorously protested – long overdue - and which ultimately must be stopped. Surely, this is not an appropriate way to impact on the authentic practice of tzni’ut."

Rabbinical Council of America

"...We would like to go on record as affirming that it has never been the policy of the Rabbinical Council of America or its members to exclude images of women from its publications. In fact, we have never hesitated to have photographs of women and, more importantly, their contributions celebrated in our publications and websites.

Furthermore, we are of the opinion that it is important for every member of the Orthodox community to have women and men of integrity, piety, learning, and public serve as role models. This includes the names, ideas, and faces of women in publications."

Rabbi Elazar Muskin
President, RCA

Rabbi Mark Dratch
Executive Vice President, RCA

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