Is there any source, halachic or otherwise, for an aversion to having one's picture taken?

  • 7
    Why might you think so: what makes you ask: what's the basis for your question? (Don't answer me here in the comments: edit it in to the question!)
    – msh210
    Mar 1 '12 at 22:34

Rav Ovadia Yosef Shelit"a (Yehawe Daat 3:63) brings the ישכיל עבדי חלק ב' בקונטרס אחרון חלק יורה דעה סימן י that based on the Zohar and the Ari one shouldn't get his picture taken.

  • ,it is interesting that Sod Yesharim holds its mutar.
    – sam
    Nov 10 '13 at 22:00
  • 2
    Ironic, considering your profile picture.
    – ezra
    Feb 24 '19 at 2:25
  • Something about hating the player, not the game @ezra
    – Dr. Shmuel
    Feb 24 '19 at 4:28
  • @Dr.Shmuel Honestly not sure I understand what you mean by that.
    – ezra
    Feb 24 '19 at 4:54

The Gemora (Rosh Hashana 24b, Avoda Zara 43b) writes that one may not make a portrait of a human. The Rishonim argue whether this refers to only protruding images (such as a sculpture) or extends to non protruding images such as photos and drawings. Shulchan Aruch (YD 141:4) follows the opinion of Tosfos (Azoda Zara 43b "Vehu") that it only refers to protruding images, however the Tur there quotes the opinion of the Ramban who is forbids even non-protruding images.

According to the opinion that the prohibitions includes non-protruding images of people, one would not be allowed to take pictures of people (Maharam Shick YD 170, Zekan Aaron 2:47, Am Hatorah 3:5 page 59). Based on this opinion, some people are careful not to have their pictures taken, and do not hang pictures of people in their homes. (Da’as Kohen YD 66, Divrei Malkiel 3:58, Levushei Mordechai YD 1:86, Darchei Teshuva 141:35, Nemukei Orach Chaim 243 page 112 (old), Yaskil Avdi YD 2:11 Kuntres Achron, Vayivorech Dovid 1:100, Maseei Ish 1:page 29:33, Teshuvos V’hanhugos 3:263, see Shevet Ha’Levi 7:134:5 who is unsure).

See this edition of Halachically Speaking for more on the subject. [There is what to rely on the be lenient, the question asked for a source for being strict.]

  • ...because of lifnei iver? Why extend from the taker to the takee?
    – Double AA
    Oct 10 '12 at 5:55
  • @DoubleAA I guess, I'll try to look up and link to the sources but hebrewbooks.org access atm is not too good
    – Michoel
    Oct 10 '12 at 6:13
  • Actually it's not even the taker but the developer/printer who has the real problem.
    – Double AA
    Oct 10 '12 at 17:50
  • @DoubleAA The linked article did bring the idea that we can be lenient if it is a gentile developing. The question asked for sources not to have your picture taken.
    – Michoel
    Oct 10 '12 at 19:37
  • Yes, I'm just pointing out that the Lifnei Iver would actually be another stepped removed from the one whose picture is being taken.
    – Double AA
    Oct 10 '12 at 19:39

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