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Battle with Orthodox Jew

oldcity

Why do people read travel blogs, delve into the pages of journey books, or become intrigued by stories and landscapes from far away countries they will likely never reach? The answer is simple - many people have a strong curiosity about the way others live. The curiosity is often heightened for groups of people who belong to unique sects. Personally, I count the Orthodox Jews in this category. In Old City, Jerusalem they are everywhere yet to photograph them or obtain a stand alone image is very difficult. First, there were immense crowds in Old City, no matter the day I visited. I don't know if this is always the case, or if the crowds swelled due to the overlap of Easter and Passover during the week I was there. Second, they don't like to be photographed. So, when I obtained this photo of a young man walking the street I was happy. I posted the image a few days ago on Instagram, and was immediately attacked by someone with the username "madeinjerusalem."  What upset him?

My opponent, "madeinjerusalem", is a Hasidic Jew. His first comment on the photo was "We're not a museum piece. Grow some manners you sick creature." I don't know why, but sometimes I become infuriated by Internet comments, particularly when they are insulting and even more so when they are judgmental. He continued to lecture me, and in the end threatened to report me to Israeli police. Here's the full exchange:

madeinjerusalemWe're not a museum piece. Grow some manners you sick creature.

peacetraveler22@madeinjerusalem Why such a rude comment? How is my photo disrespectful to you? I see plenty of photos of Orthodox Jews in your feed also.

madeinjerusalem@peacetraveler22 I am an Orthodox Jew who lives in an Orthodox area who has only Orthodox friends who rarely leaves Orthodox areas. When I take photos, and Orthodox people are in them, it is all but normal. When you take pictures OF Orthodox Jews, you are doing it because you think we're some sort of exotic semi-extinct creature running around in the natural habitat of Jerusalem.

madeinjerusalemI can tell from his clothes that this was taken in Shabbos - Saturday. Something tourists are told to refrain from in the old city. From his clothes, I also know his group. A small one. I can go and easily find him, and I'm pretty sure he didn't give his consent. Taking a photo of someone specifically and posting it on the internet without their consent is illegal under Israeli law.

peacetraveler22@madeinjerusalem You do not know me or what I think. People are very interested in your culture, so I show them how you live. The same as I do when visiting all countries. I suggest you take a look at my feed and you will see portraits of people from all over the globe. The world needs more tolerance and acceptance of diverse viewpoints and beliefs. Judgment of others is a horrible quality, no matter the religious affiliation of the person engaged in the behavior. I suggest you don't judge strangers so quickly or presume to know their intentions.

madeinjerusalemDo not photograph people, treating them like an animal in a zoo. Delete the photo, or I contact the Israeli police. Posting a photo of someone specifically online without their consent is illegal.

peacetraveler22@madeinjerusalem It seems you are the one with issues, not me. If you think taking a photo of someone walking in a public space is treating them like an animal in the zoo, you need some self reflection. Feel free to report me to the Israeli police. I'm an American lawyer and can readily defend myself. Btw, you harass everyone on Instagram who posts photos of Orthodox Jews? Or only me? It is not illegal in the U.S. to post someone's photo online, even without their consent, particularly when it's done for educational and cultural purposes. This was my intention when posting. End of conversation.

*******************************
Perhaps I'm just being irrational or overly sensitive, with flashbacks to my school years where I was surrounded by judgmental, ultra-conservative Christians on a daily basis.

What do you think? Is my photo disrespectful? It was taken from a distance. No matter the location, I never stand in front of a stranger and snap their photo without asking first. A lot of portraits posted here are taken from a distance with my zoom lens. I don't know how else to explain a place, or show how others live, without photographing them. I'll write more about Old City tomorrow, but in general I did NOT like the overall vibe of this place. I believe this guy is a prime example of how religion poisons people's minds. In his own words, he is "an Orthodox Jew who lives in an Orthodox area who has only Orthodox friends who rarely leaves Orthodox areas." It seems almost impossible to expect a man who surrounds himself with people who are exactly like him in every way, from physicality to mentality, to have an open mind about anything. On his own feed, there are tons of photos of Orthodox Jews, some even taken during prayers. This is okay?

You can subscribe to my Instagram page here.

More about Jerusalem tomorrow...

Comments

( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
macos
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
Almost all the day has passed and no comments? Something went wrong?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
I just posted this one minute ago. :) No one attacked you for the photos you posted of Orthodox Jews on Instagram and LJ?
(no subject) - macos - Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - macos - Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - general_denikin - Jul. 2nd, 2014 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:46 am (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
Ученье свет, а неученье тьма
You are to blame for everything! Your laziness in studying the russian language was the cause of this unpleasant and useless discus. Just a few well-chosen words in russian would explaine that man that he is wrong:) Medications are often bitter, but the man really needs treatment.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Ученье свет, а неученье тьма
I can't understand his mentality or reasoning - how it's okay for him to display photos of Orthodox Jews but not me. If readers tell me the photo is insensitive or disrespectful, I will remove it. But I don't believe it to be so.
a_nimaida
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
not understood
bad photo?
why?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:31 pm (UTC)
I do not understand either! :) I thought readers could help me understand madeinjerusalem's viewpoint, because I can't make sense of his reasoning. Finally, you and I agree on something!! :))
(no subject) - a_nimaida - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
notabler
Jul. 2nd, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
I like this picture very much. Very handsome, interesting face on brilliant background. I think, this guy, is just insecure and angry person, who can't image that somebody can have just pure interest in a person without religious perception. So don't be upset, I think you are right and haven't done anything wrong or insulting
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts. I don't see anything sensationalist or disrespectful about the photo either.
qi_tronic
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:05 pm (UTC)
This is called "butthurt" :)

This guy actually knows himself that he is a member of a strange sect looking totally ridiculous to others.
But he will aggressively defend them even when nobody is actually attacking.
If he was really strong in his beliefs and the accompanying lifestyle then he would be peaceful.

If he said first "we are not a museum piece" when you did not provoke it then it is always on his mind "Are we a museum piece already?"
Fighting with you he was fighting with his own thoughts.

All sorts of extremism, Islamic and others, emerge not in a traditional society but when the world is actually changing.
g_kar
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:24 pm (UTC)
Imo, this is just some fat troll.
The picture is too neutral to cause such butthurt :)
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g_kar - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
siberian_cat
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:32 pm (UTC)
I disagree with this guy, but I think I understand his feelings. Imagine yourself living in a secluded community like his; every time you step outside, you see people staring at you, taking pictures of you, making remarks. Not everyone likes attention of this sort, even if the onlookers are not hostile to you. You would probably feel yourself an exotic animal. Of course, he is overreacting, but that's the way humans are. :)

He feels he has a right to take pictures of his fellows because he is an insider and cannot be accused of idle curiosity. It's like some Black teens can freely call each other "nigga" but would never tolerate it from a Caucasian, however friendly he is. Again, it's not very rational, but it's human.

g_kar
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
Jerusalem and secluded community are 2 different things.
You don't live in a big city if you want to be a hermit, right?
(no subject) - siberian_cat - Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - g_kar - Jul. 3rd, 2014 09:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - siberian_cat - Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sineglazzka2301 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
real_marsel
Jul. 2nd, 2014 04:38 pm (UTC)
There are many people in internets, who are sick and psychiatrist never heal them. You are not able to change them, their goal is rend and ruin your comfort. Total ignor will kill such ugly persons.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, everyone is brave and all knowing on the Internet. I wonder if he would have approached me on the streets of Jerusalem and made the same statements if he would have seen me taking the photo? Doubtful.
(no subject) - real_marsel - Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
sineglazzka2301
Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC)
You'll never please everybody, so don't waste your time. There will always be people who will take your actions negatively. Some people are very defensive about their photos (or photos of their community members, in this case). I've met many crazy mothers who made scandals over their kids'photos (taken during some public activities) posted in the internet. Not very long ago I had the pleasure of listening to a raving mother, who didn't like her own photo (taken at a school picnic) that my daughter had put in the school paper.
So just ignore him and continue writing interesting and informative travelling posts!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
I don't really like my photo taken either, but recently walking on the streets of Washington, DC an Asian tourist asked to take my photo, and I let him. I don't know why he selected me? :) DC is overrun with tourists during all seasons, but especially summertime. They are an annoyance at times because they clog traffic and cross-walks, etc. but you just deal with it. As a traveler and explorer, I'm happy to see foreigners visiting my city and country. And I will continue to do the same in foreign places. :) I never wish to live in a closed society, but somehow it seems the Orthodox Jews crave this. I did not find them approachable at all, this is part of the reason for my strong dislike of the city.
(no subject) - sineglazzka2301 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 2nd, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
nar_row
Jul. 2nd, 2014 06:34 pm (UTC)
"We're not a museum piece. Grow some manners you sick creature."

Well, that's a hell of a good start for a conversation. :)
peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love attacks from random strangers. :) I've found here on LJ, and even with this guy, that if you respond in a calm and logical manner to such insults, it infuriates the person even more. I could have written something nasty back to him, but I try to be respectful in such situations and merely explain my position. At some point though this becomes a futile exercise.
(no subject) - nar_row - Jul. 2nd, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
Jul. 2nd, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
Hasidic jews in Uman, Ukraine.

Every year they come to visit the burial place of their religious teacher.

www. google. ru/search?q=%D1%85%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B4%D1%8B+%D1%83%D0%BC%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%8C&newwindow=1&client=firefox-a&hs=8ul&rls=org.mozilla:ru:official&channel=sb&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=slK0U9LeEMW7ygPs5oD4Dg&ved=0CDEQsAQ&biw=1440&bih=773&dpr=1#imgdii=_


peacetraveler22
Jul. 2nd, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC)
I know there's a large population there, but I didn't see any when I visited. They must be confined to particular areas.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:44 am (UTC) - Expand
mosinging1986
Jul. 2nd, 2014 10:21 pm (UTC)
Personally, I don't like to take photos of individual people without their consent. (Especially to put online.) But that's just a personal preference. I know in the U.S. it's not illegal to photograph people if they're out and about in public areas. I can't even say there's anything necessarily immoral or wrong in doing so. It's just a personal thing on my part. (I'd feel odd to come across a picture of myself somewhere and people talking about it, without me knowing about it!)

As for this guy, I don't see any reason to be so rude, especially after you explained that you meant no harm and weren't aware of any problem with doing so. However, if there actually is a law there against taking photos and making them public without consent, then that's something else. I'd want to know the specifics of the law, does it apply to foreigners/visitors, etc.

He does also have a fair point that people generally don't like to feel like they are a curiosity to be stared at. We may mean it with all good intentions and even admiration of their culture, but they may feel like an animal in a zoo. But again, I see no reason to be so nasty about it. That was uncalled for. You can't be expected to know all the rules of a place you are just visiting. Sheesh. Lighten up.


All of this is why I'd be very hesitant to take photos of people in another country without their consent! Who knows what laws they might have that are different from ours. Or simply what customs or attitudes they might have that are different than ours. Unless you're making history or you're doing it for a job (and are getting paid handsomely for it), a photo is not worth being harassed or threatened with legal action!
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 02:06 am (UTC)
What matters to me are the intentions of the photographer. If you're taking the photograph to make fun of the person, it's different than showing the image for educational or story telling purposes. Regarding laws and posting photos, this is a complicated legal area. In this situation, the photo was taken in Israel but I posted the image from my bedroom in the U.S., using a mobile device running off of U.S. towers and service providers. So, which law governs? Israeli law where the photo was snapped, or U.S. law, where the image was uploaded? The image is visible to all people around the globe on Instagram. You see the dilemma? It's a problem for jurisdictional/legal issues relating to privacy on the Internet and social media, where almost all content can be seen by users in nations around the globe, each with different and sometimes conflicting laws.
(no subject) - mosinging1986 - Jul. 3rd, 2014 03:54 am (UTC) - Expand
general_denikin
Jul. 2nd, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
They a kind of strange people. But when I visited Israel many ladies from our tourists group asked Orthodox Jews to permit them to take the pictures together and in most cases got consent. But they hate when you photograph them surreptitiously
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 02:06 am (UTC)
Good to know some of them were agreeable to be photographed. I shot only from a distance.
(no subject) - general_denikin - Jul. 3rd, 2014 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
timsparrow
Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:07 pm (UTC)
Good picture, worth the scandal.
As an amateur photographer, I like pictures of people caught unaware. Sometimes, they have a mood that can never be staged. As a college assignment, I had to take pics of people doing their business. It was a good experience. The highlights were: a cop telling off a drunk, a street musician caught in a musical trance, and a fellow photographer looking for a better viewpoint. It's a shame if the law gets in the way of the art. However, I respect a right of a person who do not want their picture to be published.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 3rd, 2014 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm also an amateur photographer, and am still learning how to use my fancy camera. I agree it's always better to shoot people who are not posing or staged. In Palestine, there was no problem photographing people. In fact, when they saw my camera and that I was foreigner, many people asked me to take their picture. It was an interesting contrast. I didn't have any fun college assignments like the ones you described. Sounds cool. :)
anna_sollanna
Jul. 7th, 2014 01:54 pm (UTC)
Well, I don't know. Your photo is definitely not disrespectful. But because it is prohibited to post a photo without consent of a person on it I would not do it. But I think that "madeinjerusalem" user is not right either, because it is not he who is shown on the picture... I think only the person from the picture can demand its removing.
peacetraveler22
Jul. 7th, 2014 02:53 pm (UTC)
He is completely wrong on Israeli law. A simple Google search will show that local laws do not prohibit publication of photos if done for "public interest" rather than profit. In my case, it was taken for educational purposes - to show others how people live there, not to sell or make money on the image. My blog is not a commercial enterprise.

The Right of Privacy in Israel:

The right of privacy is a fundamental and constitutionally protected right in Israel.

The most important exemption to liability is the public interest exemption. Under this rule, it is a good defense to an action for infringement of the right of privacy if the act was justified by the existence of a public interest in the act. The courts have adopted a test proposed by Z. Segal and ruled that the public has an interest in information where knowledge of such information may assist the public in forming an opinion on matters of public interest or in adopting a lifestyle.

(no subject) - anna_sollanna - Jul. 10th, 2014 01:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
galarix
Dec. 14th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
Well, why doesn't this guy stick to Orthodox Internet then? :D
peacetraveler22
Dec. 14th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
:) He is a very crazy person. I've had other battles with him on Instagram. Unfortunately, many of these very strict religions blind people and they lose all rationality.
( 63 comments — Leave a comment )

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