New York – Chasidim Find Themselves in the Spotlight Following Altered White House Photo


    New York – Though the Chasidic community tends to shun the limelight, the fallout following Der Tzeitung’s altered photograph of the White House Situation Room has thrust both Chasidim and their way of life to the forefront of today’s news. While Abraham Friedman, owner of Der Tzeitung insists that publishing the now infamous Hillary Clinton-less photo was not a newsworthy event, the rest of the world seems to disagree.

    The story has gone viral, and has been picked up by virtually every major news outlet and the Yahoo news story entitled “Where’s Hillary” has received over 18,500 comments in just over twenty four hours. Twitter has been abuzz with the issue as well, with the word “Hasidic” garnering thousands of tweets.

    While Der Tzeitung issued a statement apologizing to the White House, based on comments on numerous news sites including The Huffington Post, Time, CNN, The Daily News, Fox News and more, the general public seems to be less than understanding of the situation.

    Damage control efforts have come from all across the religious spectrum as Rabbis have been attempting to spin the move by Der Tzeitung in a more positive light.

    Controversial Rabbi Shmuly Boteach told Good Day New York this morning that by no means does Judaism consider women to be second class citizens. Rabbi Joseph Patasnik, Executive Vice President of the New York Board of Rabbis, an organization that represents Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist Rabbis, explained on WABC radio this morning that the photo was doctored because it shows men and women in very close proximity to each other, something that goes against the Orthodox custom of maintaining a separation between men and women for reasons of modesty.

    In an interview with WABC 7 TV, NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind explained that the Charedi newspaper usually do not run pictures of woman on its pages.

    “They have set a certain standard. Some people might say well that standard is a little too high. Can’t you have some women? Maybe an elderly woman? Maybe a young child, but they have set a standard,” said Assemblymen Hikind.

    But in no way, as Hikind reveals, is it showing disrespect toward Hillary Clinton.

    “With what is going on in our society today, I can understand saying, ‘look, this is our message to everybody’ It has absolutely nothing to do with a lack of respect,” said Hikind.

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