Shameful Remembrance

Here’s a post I would rather not write, about the shameful blurring of the images of women on the cover of an ultra-orthodox magazine, Bakehila,  which commemorates, Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance day in Israel, which falls today.

As the post by Tzvi Graetz in the Times of Israel notes:

When all women are treated as sexual objects, even the Jewish women of the Warsaw Ghetto need to be blurred out or erased. Ironically, erasure is used as an epithet every time Hitler’s name is mentioned: Imach Shmo “may his name be erased.”

When a man needs to worry that every woman will seduce him, then even the Jewish women of the Warsaw ghetto need to be censored.

When a society is so nervous about what a Jewish man will do with his newspaper in his own private home, then even the Jewish women of the Warsaw ghetto need to be censored.

Clearly, there is nothing in Jewish Law which forbids pictures of women, this is part of a dangerous trend we see in the Jewish world over the past decade.

One of the least of the tributes that we can give to those who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust – both those who emerged alive on the other side of living hell and those who were murdered – is to remember them, their faces, their names and their identity. The cruelty of obscuring someone’s face simply because they are female, is really too cruel for words.

I once learned from a great rabbi and teacher that of the more than six million horrors of the Holocaust, one of them is that we lost a generation of teachers and leaders to guide us just when we need them the most. If we needed further evidence of this point, the appalling behaviour of Bakehilla magazine would surely suffice.

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One Response to Shameful Remembrance

  1. Rahel says:

    Thank you for speaking out about this, Esther. It is demeaning to the victims’ memory and may even drive some seeking people from Torah .

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