Editors can do Better than Turning to Central Casting on Tisha B’Av

Yediot Aharanot goes to central casting

When Israeli news outlet editors (many of whom are not Orthodox) are looking for a Tisha B’Av image, they invariably pick one of men somewhere on the ultra-Orthodox spectrum praying at the Western Wall.

Haaretz goes to central casting

Maybe next year, picture editors might consider an image that shows ordinary observant Israelis reciting Lamentations perhaps in non-Haredi synagogues or those in Jerusalem who gather family-style on the Promenade overlooking the Old City.

Israel Hayom goes to central casting

I for one was buoyed by the image of Prime Minister Bennett reciting Lamentations with his son. It was at least a step closer to how things really are, though few print outlets made room for the picture.

GPO photo of the prime minister reciting Lamentations

When editors are on deadline especially on a Saturday night it is easy to go for a “central casting” image, yet portraying ordinary Israelis engaging in Jewish observance would be no less a reflection of reality while also reinforcing the message that Tisha B’Av is a commemoration for all Jewish Israelis — particularly the Zionist majority.

Published by Elliot Jager

In my briefings and blog, I contextualize Israeli politics and explore Jewish civilization. As a collaborative editor, I make your writing clear & compelling.

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