Feb 3, 2013

Hamodia adds joke of a disclaimer to advertisements

It is almost always the season for hotel advertising in the frum newspapers, and though these advertisements seem to bother some people they do not bother me. I recognize it as something people want to do so the newspapers accept ads for such trips. I don't believe it is the newspapers job to decide what is allowed and acceptable for society and what is not, though things that are clearly prohibited or immoral should be taboo. I would not expect pornographic material in Hamodia or Yated, nor would I want them advertising gambling or ponzi schemes. Vacations don't seem to me to be so bad, even if they are vacations I would not go on or cannot afford, even if they are not necessarily in the spirit of ruach yisrael saba.

Now, with Pesach approaching, it is always humorous to see the vacations advertised in the frum newspapers, offering people to leave Israel and go to exotic places like Greece, Switzerland, Italy or many other places (I even saw an ironic ad one year for a Pesach vacation in a hotel in Cairo!). Despite that I prefer to stay in Israel for Pesach, I do not begrudge anyone their vacation and recognize the ads are targeting people who want to go on them.

Hamodia ran the following ads for Pesach vacations in hotels and resorts. The ads themselves are not what I am pointing out, but the disclaimer they ran. Hamodia seems to feel guilty taking money for advertisements that officially go against their morals or preferences. They justify the advertisements, as you can see in the disclaimer, by saying there are people who justifiably must go away for Pesach. The examples they give are elderly people who are unable to make Pesach in their own homes or people with health problems. They also state in their disclaimer that they are not stating, via the ad, an opinion on the halachic issues of leaving Israel nor do they take responsibility for kashrus or tzniyus issues.

Of course, if this really bothered them, they could only take advertisements for simpler vacation packages, perhaps only for hotel packages in Israel. After all, just because someone has a health issue or is elderly and therefore cannot make Pesach in his or her own home does not mean they must travel to St. Moritz, France, Italy or anywhere else. Yet somehow, all these elderly people and people with health issues must travel abroad to deluxe resorts. Again, I don't mind that they do, but Hamodia's disclaimer is a joke. They know perfectly well that the issues they raise are not the subjects of the ad - if it really bothered them, they should not give ridiculous justifications.

And one more thing - I want to know if these elderly and sick people who cannot make Pesach in their own homes are the ones who are going to be going skiing in the Alps and using those ski-lifts, or if they will be going "snow tubing" or ice skating as the ads below promote....

The Hamodia disclaimer is a joke. They should have just run the ads, or not, and not added commentary that just reeks of hypocrisy.

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  1. I was always disturbed in the past by the cigarette ads in these papers, though I don't know the current policy.

    In Arutz7's Bsheva weekly, I think they have a policy not to advertise butts, booze, and foreign vacations. I think most parsha pages also and so there is one specific parsha page is filled, year round, with overseas vacations.

  2. I agree with you Rafi. There are more than enough Pesach vacation packages here in Israel for the elderly to join - noone needs to go abroad.


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