The story has now gone around the world. The Orthodox, Hassidic, Jewish newspaper, Di Tzeitung, republished the famous photo of President Obama and his advisors watching the raid on Bin Laden’s compound while they were sitting in the situation room. The only thing is that this publication cut out Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason, director of counterterrorism, from this photograph.
Let it be stated for the record that this Orthodox Hassidic newspaper through this action was itself in violation of many severe sins.
First, they have violated the sin of “baal tosif”, there is a prohibition in Torah against adding more prohibitions. This is based upon Deuteronomy 4:2, which states, “Do not add what I have commanded to you.” Nowhere in the Torah does it state that it is prohibited to look at a picture of a woman who is modestly dressed. In cutting out Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason, they are thus guilty of this sin.
They have also violated the sins of “midvar sheker tirchak”, not distancing themselves from falsehoods (Exodus 23:7). One is guilty for this sin by presenting a story that is inaccurate. Similarly they have violated the Talmudic sin (Babylonian Talmud, Hullin 94a)of “geneivat data” (stealing the mind), tricking someone into believing an inaccurate idea.
By tampering with this photo in violation of White House guidelines, they have violated the Talmudic sin that one must obey the laws of the land, (“dina demalchuta dina”, the law of the land is the law).
They have also violated the positive commandment of “hakarat hatov”, showing gratitude. This commandment is described in the classic and great medieval work, Sefer HaChinuch as follows: ”recognize and bestow kindness upon one who has done him good and that he not be base, a dissimulator, and one who denies the good done him by another.” Since Ms. Clinton and Ms. Tomason worked on this effort for many years, it is disgraceful that they were cut out of this photo.