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Jun 25, 2018

Interesting Psak: taking pictures of other people

Rav Ratzon Arussi, the rav of Kiryat Ono, paskened that one cannot take the photograph of another person without his knowledge nor without his permission.

There are time, Rav Arussi says, that a person is in some sort of posture or in some sort of position that if caught on camera would not be flattering, or might even be insulting or embarrassing. Immortalizing that moment with a picture is what the Torah calls in Iyov, "do not let unrighteousness dwell in your tents". Showing that picture to other people and sharing it and spreading it around is motzi shem ra and rechilus.

Rav Arussi commented that at a community event there was a meal and some people took out their phones and started taking pictures and videos - while other people are eating and stretching out to get food or drink. Rav Arussi said that he got up and told them that we have to decide if right now we want to eat or to photograph. People dont want to be photographed eating or reaching over, so either we are photographing and people know to sit patiently and not eat or we are eating and no pictures so people can sit comfortably and eat. The pictures at events catch people in very unflattering and compromising positions.

Everybody nowadays is holding cameras in their phones. It is nice that we wont to immortalize moments with pictures and videos, but people must ask the person in charge of the event or the baal simcha if it ok to do so. Many sins come from this.
source: Kol Hai News

In general I agree with the concept (Rav Arussi does not need my agreement), though the reality is so much more complicated. Today's culture has many of us recording, whether with video or with still images, nearly everything that happens to us or nearly every event we go to.....

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  1. Useful for people that have to say a drasha this week. Bilaam's words included a reference to the Jewish sensitivity to having a window placed where it will infringe on a neighbor's privacy, the rule of Hezek R'iyah.

  2. Rav Arussi is absolutely right. No one has the right to film someone else without his/her knowledge or approval. Today, anything goes, because of the modern technology and, in general, there are no more manners. The modern tech with cameras all over the place and in possession of practically every individual and people having no respect but do as they wish, unfortunately.

  3. This is an appropriate response to the "Herzl" video you mentioned last week, or the video of the woman loosing her cool at an airport.
    We don't have to capture someone's most embarrassing moment and share it with the entire world, just because it was funny.

    (As an aside, we should also remember that all our actions are being captured for eternity, and after 120, we may have to face judgement where we will see some of the moments of our lives which we would rather not have happened - but that is for the Divine video Database, not FaceBook's.)


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