January 29, 2016 9:17 pm at 9:17 pm #617148
Is there an inyan to having/seeing pictures of gedolim?January 29, 2016 9:40 pm at 9:40 pm #1134794
Many gedolim refused permission to photograph them because they hold pictures are a form of idolatry.January 31, 2016 8:53 am at 8:53 am #1134796Mashiach AgentMember
by seeing & looking at gedolim pictures you get reminded of their amazing middos & high levels of torah etc… & it helps give you a reputation & desire to one day become a tzaddik like them.
start working on yourself now & one day you may become a big gadol HadorJanuary 31, 2016 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #1134797
from another ywn thread on this topic (I can’t vouch for the story myself): “R’ Moshe Feinstein used to tell people not to stop kids from taking pictures of gedolim. He said, “Better they should have my picture on the wall instead of a baseball player!”January 31, 2016 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #1134798
The Chofetz Chaim and the Satmar Rebbe tried to prevent their pictures from being taken. The Chofetz Chaim you can see in action in the recently discovered video where his son moves to block the view of the videographer.January 31, 2016 2:51 pm at 2:51 pm #1134799
just to be clear, the discomfort with pictures is mainly al pi kabbalah, not halacha. we have plenty of pictures and videos of gedolim taken all the time with their reshus (for example, all the agudah conventions).January 31, 2016 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #1134800
Joseph: Not because of Avodah Zarah. It’s a Kabbalistic issue.January 31, 2016 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #1134801zahavasdadParticipant
Rav Shlomo Zalman used to allow photographs all the time and even posed for them or allowed a second if the first didnt come out goodJanuary 31, 2016 3:15 pm at 3:15 pm #1134802
Forget about kabbalah or Halacha or Avoda Zora or whatever else and think plain mentchlichkeit. Would you want a random stranger or acquaintance or neighbor running up to you and sticking a camera in your face and snapping your picture without your permission? How about hundreds of such instances? I sure wouldn’t and I’m sure there vast majority of people wouldn’t. Even if it is “legal”. Most people wouldn’t agree to it or even give permission if asked by random people.
Who wants their picture hanging in random people’s houses or traded, shown off, sold or published in mass circulation newspapers of a million unfamiliar people? Not most normal people and not most Gedolim. Only an egomaniac would want their picture mass published. They don’t stop it? That’s only a raya that they are forgiving people who don’t need another losing fight they’ll have to forever battle.January 31, 2016 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #1134803The little I knowParticipant
Mashiach Agent must have a great fantasy life, or lives an unusually spiritual life. Gedolim pictures are not a bad thing. Certainly beats photos of sports and Hollywood celebrities. But let’s get real, and let’s address the average person. The pictures of gedolim are simply objects of interest, and are entertaining. They are rarely statements about Yiras Shomayim, and they do not result in people sharing with each other about the great midos and dveikus to emulate.
The problem is that we have deteriorated to a fixation with photographs of virtually any event. The pages of YWN, as well as other sites and most print media, are full of galleries and albums of every event, every simcha, and person of “interest”. The oilem is obsessed with these, and constantly seek more. The picture magazines sell well, and testify to nothing except what color bekeshes are worn by the rebbes, who visited whom, and who danced together at a simcha. These publications serve as great babysitters for children, but provide the adults with little to anything beyond a moment of entertainment. That’s being honest. Again, unquestionably better than goyishe celebrities, but still nothing beyond entertainment.January 31, 2016 3:26 pm at 3:26 pm #1134804
Just like many people post pictures of their spouses and children on their fridges, since those people matter to them, so too they keep pictures of gedolim, since gedolim matter to them.January 31, 2016 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #1134805
Some gedolim opposed photography due to Avoda Zora. Others opposed it for kabbalistic reasons.
Even a godol who allowed himself to be photographed doesn’t show he felt it right or best. He may have wanted the guy to feel good or not embarrass him or help him make a parnassa. Doesn’t mean he felt it ideal. If an older family friend came over and patted him on the back and said, “well Shlomo Zalman, my friend, I see you grew up and made something good of yourself!”, I wouldn’t be shocked if he played and laughed along with him. Doesn’t make what that guy did right.January 31, 2016 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #1134806
if a gadol felt it was avodah zorah, why would he ever let someone photograph him just to make the guy “feel good?” There is no justification for that halachically, especially gabei something as chamur as a”z. thus the only objection those gedolim had was al pi kabbalah, nirah li.January 31, 2016 4:55 pm at 4:55 pm #1134807
The ones who held it was A”Z most certainly did NOT permit it. If someone was caught trying to photograph the Satmar Rebbe he would lose his camera.January 31, 2016 5:46 pm at 5:46 pm #1134808
that surprises me, since there is a video on youtube with many video clips/photographs of the Satmar Rebbe, shot at close range. And additionally, could you give me some mareh mekomos to modern poskim that state photography is a form of avodah zorah?January 31, 2016 6:36 pm at 6:36 pm #1134809
There are not, relativity speaking, a lot of videos and photographs of him. He is fairly notable and we’ll known for being very strict against being photographed. There are even pictures of the Rebbe covering his face because he saw the photographer. What does exist was certainly not done with his consent or likely even knowledge. People who photographed him tended to have done so undercover.January 31, 2016 7:19 pm at 7:19 pm #1134810Little FroggieParticipant
The Little I know;
It’s time for you to know a bit more.
Every thing a person sees makes a roshem, a mark on his/her being, spiritually and physically. While I don’t have the “magazines” and booklets of gedolim etc. I do have some picures of Tzadikim who we revere. The Gemarah says of one tzaddik the reason he excelled more than his peers is because he countenanced Rabbeinu Hakadosh from the back. ???? ????? ????? ?? ????? is for real. Looking at a holy person with intent to absorb Kedusha indeed works, and is the very reason for that adage.
It’s when people make a mocking of it, pay attention to externals or side effects rather than the ikkur, or when it brings to macklokes (i.e. which Tzaddik is greater etc) that brings the mitigates the effect.
Just as we can readily understand how looking and gazing at “unclean” and base object drags a person the the bottom.. so to (and ???? ???? ?????) does gazing at holy people, holy object lift and elevate a person. Sometimes it will go unnoticed a while, in the long run it works. It’s ???, a natural force, same as the aforementioned one, only to a bigger degree.
By all accounts, get a super sized picture of the Chofetz Chaim on your dining room wall. Stare at it every time you dine… you’ll end up more holy. You’ll do mitzvohs differently. You’ll be more careful from aveiros. You’ll speak lashon hara much less.. guaranteed!! (and that’s a campaign promise)January 31, 2016 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #1134811golferParticipant
+1January 31, 2016 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1134812zahavasdadParticipant
How did the mods let through a post without the Kavod Rav Shlomo Zalman deservedJanuary 31, 2016 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm #1134813
You have a comprehension problem zd, if you think that post diminished his kavod. Au contraire.February 1, 2016 12:12 am at 12:12 am #1134814
Joseph: I think that Gedolim understood the last line in Sotah. Why do you think they didn’t?
I also don’t know why you are accusing Gedolim of not knowing a B’feirush Shulchan Aruch (YD 141:4). It’s not an Avodah Zarah issue.February 1, 2016 4:11 am at 4:11 am #1134815The little I knowParticipant
I have nothing against pictures. I have them. Not too handy with the camera, but I’ve taken some, too. My problem is that the situation got completely out of hand, and that we have sunk to where photos are the substitute for emulation, role models, and true spiritual growth. Washing hands is a requirement, and this mitzvah has tremendous merit. When someone spends an inordinate amount of time in hand washing, we may be dealing with an OCD issue. There are portraits in my home of several tzaddikim. But there is no preoccupation with them, as is found all too often in today’s world. That’s why the picture magazines sell (with a minimum of advertising). I will challenge that unless one is specifically seeking a message from each time they gaze at a photo, the impact will not be meaningful. And I do agree that pictures of tzaddikim are far better than the nonsense alternatives. And I do thank you for your interior decorating suggestion.February 1, 2016 4:24 am at 4:24 am #1134816Little FroggieParticipant
I’m with you completely on that. I agree with you totally.February 1, 2016 1:47 pm at 1:47 pm #1134817WolfishMusingsParticipant
As a resident idolater (read: photographer) in this forum, let me simply say this. No Rav that I have ever encountered has ever said to me “Wolf, you know there may be some issues with your photography…”
I don’t normally photograph people, but on the occasions when I have photographed Rabbonim, not one ever said to me “Please don’t take my picture, as there may be an issue of Avoda Zara (or Kaballah, or whatnot).” On the contrary, they smiled and posed and were even willing to wait for a second shot if I requested.
That being said, I’ll follow my Rabbanim, thank you.
The WolfFebruary 1, 2016 6:54 pm at 6:54 pm #1134818YW Moderator-42Moderator
Taking a picture of the moon is probably a bigger problem of Avoda Zara.February 1, 2016 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1134819
42: Don’t be confused by Joseph’s Amaratzus. It’s not Avodah Zarah. It’s a separate Issur D’Oraisa of Lo Sa’asun Iti (assuming that you hold a picture falls under that category; there is room to argue that a photograph is Muttar while a painting is Assur). But it’s not Avodah Zarah.February 3, 2016 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #1134820B1g B0yParticipant
I know for a fact that the posek hador Harav Chaim Yisroel Halevi Belsky Zt”l had a picture of R’ Baruch Ber in his office in Camp AgudahJune 30, 2022 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #2102063
As some posters mentioned, according to the Ramban, and MAharm Meirutenberg it is forbidden to keep a picture of a person (according to the Rambam it is forbidden to make such a picture, but not to own it). It begs the question why the biggest machmrim are suddenly meikel with this. Divrei Malkiel says that a ruach tumah rests on a picture of a tzaddik.
More shver is that people are meikel to buy and own clothes (for children), dishes, books, or “tchotchkes” with pictures of the moon or sun, something which is assur according to everyone.June 30, 2022 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #2102076☕️coffee addictParticipant
“More shver is that people are meikel to buy and own clothes (for children), dishes, books, or “tchotchkes” with pictures of the moon or sun, something which is assur according to everyone.“
Clothes, dishes, and books isn’t a full צורה so there are מקיליםJune 30, 2022 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #2102077☕️coffee addictParticipant
Also ask tzemach if the gedolim think it’s assurJune 30, 2022 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #2102174
והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך you should see your teacher or rebbi.June 30, 2022 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm #2102185ujmParticipant
The Satmar Rebbe, among a number of other Gedolei Yisroel, refused to allow himself to be photographed.July 1, 2022 8:47 am at 8:47 am #2102220AviraDeArahParticipant
Rav avigdor miller writes that even though there were gedolim who were against it, there are tremendous benefits to having pictures of tzadikim in one’s house… He also criticizes Judaica stores for selling pictures of zionist leaders.
Rav belsky had several pictures in his house, not just his office, of rav reuven, rav yaakov, and i believe rav shlomo heiman, but i don’t remember that very clearly.
Rav boruch ber didn’t like getting his picture taken, but one time he met an American jew whose parnosa was in photography. To support a yid, he put on his hat, made a big smile and posed for a pictureJuly 1, 2022 8:56 am at 8:56 am #2102260
As Avira says, this may depend on what the purpose is. A testimony from some Yerushalmis whom I encountered at the Wall: Scandinavian tourists wanted to make a photo with them, they flatly refused in broken English. When tourists left, I enquired about their view. They responded in excellent English (maybe they did not want to talk in modern Hebrew) that the tourists will take photos to their church, but if I want to make a picture that might inspire some American Jews, they’ll be happy to oblige.July 1, 2022 8:57 am at 8:57 am #2102238
RebE > היו עיניך רואות את מוריך you should see your teacher or rebbi.
So, this means zoom and video classes better than phone or recordings? And oen should actually look at the Rebbi during zoom class?July 1, 2022 9:00 am at 9:00 am #2102267
Another difference might be how society views images at a time: a golden calf was a sensation, but might not have been in Manhattan with all the gold on display … During early internet times, I was helping a Rav to make a webpage and a mailing list. We had an idea to put a picture of the family but Rebetzin said her kids will not be on the “Net” for vague ayn hara reasons. Nowadays, when everyone has their pictures on instagram, things are different.July 1, 2022 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #2102391
Without any question seeing the rebbi even a teacher.July 1, 2022 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #2102424GadolhadorahParticipant
“start working on yourself now & one day you may become a big gadol Hador..”
Let me know whether you prefer jpg file format or zip file for an entire album iJuly 4, 2022 9:43 am at 9:43 am #2102978Menachem ShmeiParticipant
Interestingly, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was initially opposed to people taking pictures of him. There are several pics of the Rebbe blocking his face from cameras in the 1940s.
At the same time, he spoke strongly of the importance of “tziyur pnei horav” – looking and thinking of a tzaddik’s image as an important method to yiras shamayim.
In later years, he allowed pictures, but even then he only allowed the official photographers, and many times he stopped others from taking pictures, especially bochurim. A relative of mine was once taking a picture of the Rebbe, and he accidently forgot to turn of the flash. The Rebbe confiscated his camera, and later returned it on condition that he would focus on his learning instead of photography.
Rashi says that Yosef overcame his desire to sin when he envisioned the image of his father in his mind (דמות דיוקנו של אביו).
As well as the Gemara that Reb Little Frogie mentioned about looking at a the teacher while learning Torah.
There is also the Gemara in Bava Metziya (84a) how R’ Yochanan would have the women gaze at him when exiting the mikveh so that their children would be beautiful and talmidei chachamim.
There is also the Yerushalmi which Rabbi Hoffman wrote was often quoted by Rav Shneur Kotler that when saying over a teaching of a Rebbe, one should envision him standing before him.
(147 wrote a beautiful suggestion in the comments)July 4, 2022 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #2103155
“Clothes, dishes, and books isn’t a full צורה so there are מקילים”
I don’t know what you mean. Do you mean that it’s not boleit? that heter doesn’t apply to the sun and moon. You mean there’s only half a sun in the picture? מאי פסקא?
“Also ask tzemach if the gedolim think it’s assur”
“והיו עיניך רואות את מוריך you should see your teacher or rebbi.”
“Rav belsky had several pictures in his house, not just his office, of rav reuven, rav yaakov, and i believe rav shlomo heiman, but i don’t remember that very clearly.”
So you are suggesting that it’s worth it to be meikel and see the face of a godol (or to support someone). It wouldn’t answer having pictures of ordinary people. (I’m aware you might just be addressing the question of if there’s an inyan, and not if it might be assur.)
” To support a yid, he put on his hat, made a big smile and posed for a picture”
I saw that picture and he’s not smiling.July 4, 2022 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #2103182
The Ksav Sofer in the beginning on Parashas Korach might explain the significance of a picture. The 250 people put on a talis completely of techeles and asked if it requires tzitzis. Tzitzis is a reminder whereas techeles is a picture. When one is close to someone, their great love to each other does not require a reminder but a picture. A talis of techeles is a picture something similar like him but not a reminder as in normal wearing. The tzitzis’ purpose is to be a reminder. They wanted to inquire Moshe Rabbenu to ascertain how he sees them being close to Hashem. If they need tzitzis that they are not that close to Hashem. The techeles in the tzitzis satisfies the close ones. So we should be close to gedolim requiring a picture of them as Yosef saw a picture of his father.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.