Modesty Vs. Security

Are you willing to pose for the TSA?

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Comments (64)

(64) Carolyn, February 6, 2014 5:58 PM

Do what you need to

If it saves lives because one incident is detected then I would say that life is more precious than modesty. Am I modest? Yes I am, but I would rather save a life than retain my own personal comfort of modesty. If someone was bleeding to death and needed my shirt for a tourniquet, I would do it and not think twice about it. If you were in the shower and discovered your house was on fire, would you wait to get dressed or climb out the bathroom window? Does it make a difference if we never know the people whose lives we may have saved through security measures or does it only count when we see them face to face? Life is the most precious thing Our Creator has given us. I have to respectfully disagree.

(63) Lefteddie, March 14, 2010 3:48 AM

I agree with Rabbi Saloman

I agree with the rabbi, this is going way too far. This is America; we are losing more and more of our freedoms everyday. I don’t want to lose my freedom of privacy because of some terrorist group. Just who is winning the war when we keep giving up our hard fought freedom? A lot of American lives were lost fighting for the freedom we now enjoy; I don’t feel like giving it up to one of our enemies. The TSA can say what they want, those machines are way too explicit and abuse is guaranteed to take place. Women will be monitoring men and men will be monitoring women, its going to be a joke. And like other posters said, the terrorists will find another way. This is not the end all be all solution to the problem, its just creating another problem, the loss of our individual personal bodily privacy. Lefteddie

(62) Pauline, February 11, 2010 5:20 PM

I also strongly disagree with the Rabbi. I totally agree with Rob's comments. If you were asked to strip - that is going to far but a scanner is completely different. If you don't want to be scanned, don't fly. My security in the air is more important than someone's modesty.

(61) Rob, February 10, 2010 4:13 PM

X-ray Machines at airports

I respecrfully disagree with the Rabbi's comments regarding the placement of X-ray machines at airports. I would be more than willing to expose myself to whomever it takes in order to prevent harm, terror or possible death at an airport or on a plane. I agree with profiling as well and in addition to X-ray machines. The inconvenience and "immodesty" implemented at airports pales in comparison to the death and destruction which may be created by even one heinous act allowed to fall through the cracks. Look me up, look me down, look inside of me if you have to. We will all be safer for it.

(60) Marilyn, January 26, 2010 4:55 AM

I agree with Rabbi Salomon

I certainly don't want some man (I would assume it was a man unless I knew for sure it was a woman) in a remote location seeing a fairly clear image of my nude body. The fact that he doesn't see my face or know my name makes no difference. Having my body scanned, but not my face, is the same to me as being photographed nude with a bag over my head. Furthermore, I don't believe full body scans will make us any safer; the terrorists will either hide explosives in body cavities or swallow them. Or, instead of airplanes, they will find other targets. I can think of plenty other places that have much more people than on one airplane. If I had my choice, I would rather be patted down by a female security officer (or I wouldn't be happy about it), than going through one of the scanners. (I would have a BIG PROBLEM IF MALE SECURITY OFFICERS PATTED DOWN WOMEN OR VICE VERSA!)

(59) Sonny Kosky, January 24, 2010 2:53 PM

Body scanners

I agree with Rabbi Salomon, but once in an airport how can you refuse to go through a body scanner. Much more thought needs to be attached as to how these are used effectively, and not indiscrimanently.

(58) Anonymous, January 24, 2010 4:16 AM

Absolutly Passanger Profiling

It is time for the USA to consult with Europe and Israel regarding Airline security and passenger profiling... A muslim is more likely to blow up a plane than a Yarmulka wearing Teffilin wrapping teenage boy... We live in a very stupid and free country, I appreciate our freedom! However, yes it does come with a price "PC"... Are we willing to pay the price for freedom? I guess we can't have our cake and eat it too? I don't know? I guess it remains a question?

(57) Hadassah Mirel, January 24, 2010 12:24 AM


If these scanners do become commonplace, is it possible that they will have separate scanners for men and women? Because I could not comfortably submit to such a search if there were a man viewing the monitor.

(56) Anonymous, January 23, 2010 11:35 PM

I agree rabbi Salomon

Being a nurse, I just wonder about continual scanning for those who are business people continually on the planes and going through these scanners. I wonder about the long term affects on people's bodies. At work we cover people's reproductive organs with a lead apron as much as possible to protect them from the harmful xrays. I really need to ask the staff from the xray department what their opinion is. Usually we don't know until many years later-- -do we---down the track. Not a good move--- very invasive.

(55) SusanE, January 23, 2010 3:37 PM

Scanners...Calming the Hysteria. Or Adding to It?

IBody scanners have been around for 60 years. If scanners made the airlines more secure they would have been in use a long time ago. 60 years ago, Buster Brown Shoes had a scanner that showed childrens feet inside their brand of shoes. Kids and adults stood on it and a screen showed some bony structure, and the outline of the flesh on the foot. It didn't really make a pair of the companies shoes fit better, it just gave the customer more confidence in buying that Brand of Shoes. Exactly the same for the Airlines and body scanners. It doesn't protect us, it makes us FEEL more secure. ----------- For crying out loud we can't keep drugs out of a criminals hands in a strictly controlled prision environment. Are you kiding me that a scanner will keep a terrorist organization from bombing a plane? Do the soda cans in the galley go through the scanner? How about ALL the cargo and cargo handlers, and the caskets in cargo and the petcarriers, etc............? A bomb doesn't need a human carrier to be effective.

(54) , January 22, 2010 11:56 AM

If no other solutiion can be found, surely it should be possible to ensure that female passengers are checked by female security officers, male passengers by male security officers. But, on the whole, I am a firm believer in passenger profiling, which is what happens in Israel. In Europe and the US, they're just afraid of the PC Brigade...

(53) Anonymous, January 22, 2010 5:28 AM


If we scan everyone we lose our modesty but the terrorists will just have to come up with a new way to do their things. (i.e. We dont see any other terrorist trying to stick a bomb to his shoe so they find new ways). Scanners dont stop terrorists profiling does.

(52) yeshivaguy, January 22, 2010 2:49 AM

to life

Respectfully i absolutely disagree with the Rabbi _ "ushmartem meod naphshoseichem" - the torah requires us to do whatever it takes to protect lives - and this is of the utmost importance - G-d loves modesty when it is applicable- not when is an absolute necessity to do the opposite(and it's not even totally showing actual people unclothed just outlines) - i would like to ask the rabbi to comment what he would say if god forbid a terrorist knowing that security doesnt check religious women for these reasons of modesty -dressed up as a religious women claimed an exemption and then blew up a plane - what would we say then- i do agree in terms of the rabbi's sensitivities - i just think that this consideration outweighs that-and that this is comparable to a doctor who checks a women patient for anything possibly dangerous -even if nothing will be found- think about it

(51) Yitzchak SHeffrin, January 21, 2010 10:29 PM

Advantages outweigh this unfounded concern

These scanners have been trialled in the UK (Manchester Airport) for some while. The people who screen the images sit in a remote location and cannot see the person being screened. As well as improved security, the scanners have the great advantage of really speeding up the security process. It is no longer necessary to go through a metal detector thus eliminating the need to remove metal objects. People with metal implants no longer need doctors letters (which can be forged) as the scanners pick these up.

(50) Dvirah, January 21, 2010 9:16 PM

Alternative to Direct Viewing

One could preseve modesty if the scanner did not immediately project the silhouette but compared it to an internal model (or set of models for the various body builds) and beeped if it found a discrepancy (eg, a bulge). The secruity officer would then have the option of viewing. (The greatest inconvenience would be for fat people, who might then be encouraged to loose some of those bulges.) Additionally, it could scan chemically (using IR or UV techniques) for forbidden substances.

(49) Betti Miner, January 21, 2010 4:42 AM


I feel that an anomymous screener would only see the images on the scanner, I was in the Frankfurt airport waiting for my Lufthansa flight to Israel and had to go through Security just to get my connectingflight. I had sat there for 12 hours jet lagged and suffered the indignity of having a strange man run a wand over my body in front of everyone walking by. There was no partition to offer privacy for us and an Israeli man spoke up and asked "What are we criminals?" I am a frequent flier and always had been wanded if needed by a woman. I had just lost my husband and felt invaded by that wand. I agree with Rabbi that we are held to a high standard of modesty. In Israel I never saw a body scanner because of the high number of observant Jews who live there. If there is a form of privacy as a person passes through like a partition, it could be acceptable. I realize that terrorists could appear innocent but this would eliminate any one trying to bring an explosive into the aircraft. Thank you

(48) Feigele, January 21, 2010 3:22 AM

the decision is yours!

Remind me not to fly with people who refuse to be scanned, as terrorists would certainly do. Maybe some people never fly or should not fly. I am a very discreet and proper person but when it comes to take 3 or 4 planes each way to go see my children to Australia, I thank G-d for all the efforts and concerns that the airlines are deploying in order to protect us the best they can. I say: Bite your tongue when mentioning Israel’s security and planes. Liberty is not Modesty – Liberty is Freedom. Therefore, the saying from Benjamin Franklin was about Freedom not Modesty—We live in a democratic country where people know the boundaries of invasion. And, yes, you can give up a little modesty to gain a little security, which will deserve saved lives.

(47) Debbie, January 20, 2010 4:08 PM

profile instead

I think EL-AL has it right; they ask every traveler a couple of questions, fair questions that aren't too personal, & these questions are designed to capture that character/lifestyle or the travelers. Easy to distinguish a tourist from someone with a shady purpose. Then, if a traveler is suspicious will they do a more diligent search. saves time & gets to the point!

(46) Anonymous, January 20, 2010 6:32 AM

I disagree

Respectfully, I disagree with the Rabbi's opinion on this issue. Safety comes above all , and I thought that this is a principal of Judaism and the Torah as well? Thank G-d the terroist who managed to go past airport securite was unsuccessful at blowing up the plane... but let us not forget.. he almost succeeded! Imagine if you were on that plane ride. I don't think that you would care whether or not your modesty was threatened if it meant life or death and it determined whether a terroist could succeed in carrying out a horrible, horrific attack. I think we should leave it up to airport security officials to determine what is necessary in keeping us safe- we live in a scary world, the terroists constantly are planning ways to get around the system. this attempted attack proves that we need to do much more to protect ourselves and if that means installing full body scanners, then what's the problem? It's not like the people viewing the scans are going to show the scans to the public, so I don't get why you think it would be a breach in privacy?

(45) Anonymous, January 20, 2010 6:20 AM

What ever it takes to foil the murderous terrorists and to save lives

I favor what ever it takes to foil the murderous terrorists and to save lives. It is my understanding that the face would not be recognizable and only screeners would see the images.

(44) Ed Nelsen, January 20, 2010 6:11 AM


Yes, full body scans are extremely demeaning. What is more ,they are designed to catch the last terrorist, not the next one. We now have to remove our shoes because a terrorist hid explosives in his heel. Now we have to submit to this outrage because a terrorist hid explosives in his underwear. I hesitate to mention where the next one will conceal explosives, but get ready to submit to strip searches of the kind done in prisons. Have the terrorists not won? I have been in and out of Israel several times by air. I have had to suffer no indignaties. Isreal is in the terrorist crosshairs and is serious about security. I see no El Al planes being blown out of the air or flown into buildings, so there is a way to stop air terrorists, the Israeli way. We in the U.S. would rather be strip searched and even killed than be poloitically incorrect

(43) Anonymous, January 20, 2010 4:08 AM

For the last 4 years since I have had hip replacement surgery I have been subjected to "pat downs" every time I travel. I deeply resent having a strange woman, no matter how polite, running her hands over my body. It is preferable to have a scan read by a person who does not know who I am and is only looking for dangerous objects they think I may be carrying. And since I am a 70 grandmother, which profile to I fit?

(42) Anonymous, January 20, 2010 3:47 AM

I agree with you 100%

I also agree with the idea of profling. It makes sense. It is logical. We can't put political correctness ahead of safety. Profiling would eliminate the need for FBS in most cases, IMHO.

(41) ShoshPen, January 20, 2010 3:41 AM

It is a Gateway

As it stands, it does not seem that bad to have one security guard look at the silhouettes for the purposes of security. But it is a gateway to more invasive measures. What next? Fully undressing? Little steps like these are what lead to more extreme things. It is up to us to speak up and not remain silent. That is how the real problems start.

(40) Keith, Woking, UK, January 20, 2010 1:06 AM

Full agreement with you.

(39) jd, January 20, 2010 12:23 AM

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both. " Benjamin Franklin

(38) Rand Sutor, January 20, 2010 12:14 AM

30,000 ft. up is 30,000 ft. down! I'm in full agreement of the full body scanners.

(37) Philip Scott-Smith, January 20, 2010 12:07 AM

Modesty is an atitude, not a state of dress

Dear Rabbi Salomon, I believe that true modesty is defined by an attitude of reverence to The Name Who created us. The way I am is the way The Master crafted my body. I rejoice and give thanks that miraculous gift. We all are as naked as the day we were born. Immodesty should be defined as the misuse or abuse of one's body for prurient purposes. There is nothing immodest in allowing security personnel to see our nakedness. Moreover, since doing so contributes to our collective safety, it should be considered a mitzvah.

(36) Keren, January 19, 2010 11:24 PM

I agree

modesty is as important as security. Both are basic to human rights.

(35) Janet Taylor, January 19, 2010 11:21 PM

There's An Answer For Those Concerned about Airport Body Scanners: Stop Flying

Sorry, Rabbi: I Respectfully disagree. The "Detroit Bomber" passed through the metal detectors and would have passed any "pat-down" procedure. There are almost 50,000 Commercial air flights every day. And there aren't enough well, trained and competent TSA staff to go around at the salaries they are paid. If people want to live in the modern world (travel for business, fly from New York to Florida for Bubbe's birthday celebrations during the weekend, spend a week in Spring in California, vacation somewhere in Canada, Europe or Asia, etc.) then they have to accept that, given the current (and for the foreseeable future, unchanging) climate of concern regarding terrorist-free air travel, they have to make compromises. Because the alternative (another Air India crash over the Indian Ocean, another Pan Am 103-Lockerbie, another Korean Air-Burma, or another 9/11) is simply unacceptable, and hopefully with the rigorous use of modern technology, avoidable.

(34) michael, January 19, 2010 7:58 PM

the wrong direction

I was listening to a security expert last week on this whole situation. He indicated that we in the west have the tendency to respond to the crisis, not to the problem. 9/11 happened and we changed the way that airports worked. Then there was a situation with shoes, so we started checking and scanning shoes. Then it became liquids, and now underpants. We are constantly responding reflexively instead of proactively. This whole new gorginf of money on "body scanners" also fails to consider the real basis for this problem. These scanners only work for what we have seen so far. Again, it would seem that these groups are always at least one step ahead of security methods to deal with the "symptom" as opposed to the problem. And that is expecting that the terrorists won't switch secure is the Chunnel, or the EL in Chicago, or........ There have been lots of references as of late to the methods used by all the staff at Ben Gurion. Particularly with regards to behavior profiling. That word seems harsh to some..."profiling". However, I truly believe that security issues, particularly as they relate to public places and large groups of people, these should be the least motivated of any with regards to issues of tolerance or PC. Security is not democratic, it is safe. 9/11, Madrid, London Underground, and now Detroit...what do all these have in common. It isn't certainly the methodology, but it certainly was the theology.... they were all Muslim. If security is truly about keeping us secure, I think that should be paramount to all other issues, including tolerance. If some groups are profiled as such, well what does experience show us so far? With regards to the issue of Tznius. My daughter has the opportunity to spend a week with friends across country (here in Canada) this summer. If there is remotely the possibility that she would be subject to this type of invasion, I would not allow here to pass security myself.

(33) Eliyahu Shiffman, January 19, 2010 7:07 PM

Saving lives trumps modesty concerns

Profiling may catch a substantial percentage of the bad guys, but it won't catch them all. And once the bad guys know that profiling is being used, they'll do their best to not fit the profile. No one has an inalienable right to fly. If you find the security measures too intrusive, vote with your feet and stay home. Myself, I think that a scan that's only viewed by someone who can't see the person being scanned is a lot less intrusive than a pat-down search.

(32) Jan Schulman, January 19, 2010 7:01 PM

We need the safety

I understand and respect the laws of privacy and modesty. but the terrorists do NOT. they couldn't care less. and in order to keep our loved ones and children safe when they travel, it is important to weed out the evil in any way we can. i believe that this can be done in a respectful way, with only women scanning women, and the scanner-people not seeing those being scanned (as mentioned above by Bob Mark). I can live with all of this. And that's the point: I can LIVE -- and so can my loved ones. Hopefully. The other problem I see is that these people are so crazy and so driven that the next step is to come up with something that cannot be seen by even these scanners. or someway of hiding something in the items that you remove. it's very frightening.

(31) Anonymous, January 19, 2010 6:47 PM

the security measures are a joke

I would have no problem with full body scanning, IF I was guaranteed that this method would work in preventing terrorist attacks. But because the security (outside of Israel) is so ridiculous and refuses to actually profile people and their behaviors, and instead looks for metals (which are not the only means to make an explosion), I say its a violation of privacy for absolutely NO REASON. I once heard from someone that the American way of Political Correctness is "like a drug that we keep injecting, even though we know it will eventually kill us". As Rabbi Salomon said, its not chemicals in underwear that is blowing us up, its people! Stop looking for metals, and start looking for suspicious people!

(30) Gavriela, January 19, 2010 6:36 PM

I agree with rabbi

This is just one more measure that will not work. In what year did the "shoe bomber" hide something in his shoe? After all this time, and thousands - no, millions - of shoes checked, the Detroit incident was not prevented. In the US we take a *reactive* approach to security. We ought to seek Israel's help, because Israel takes an *active* approach. I also disagree with the stance that scans will be just anonymous scans to a technician. So what? I don't want some man being able to look at my body without my consent. (Nor some woman, either.) I don't want to have to strip for someone, virtually or actually, just because they tell me I have to. I am all in favor of profiling. Yes, I am not "PC". I think all that PC stuff is garbage. (I used to be more "progressive", but reality has persuaded me to modify some of my views.) Again, let's ask Israel how she does it. She must be doing something right.

(29) Chanah, January 19, 2010 6:33 PM

health concerns are not being considered

I read one article on the potential for damage to the body due to these scanners. Yet there has been much written and said about the privacy issue. I had to undergo the procedure one time and it felt very demeaning, as do the body patdowns. But if I flew a lot, I'd be very concerned about the health issue and would have to opt for the patdowns, if necessary, since they don't affect health.

(28) Welton, January 19, 2010 6:00 PM

I agree with the Rabbi

Like the Rabbi, i support the laws of tzinut. While the xray scans may be a viable and necessary security measure in today's world, they are too intrusive. To me it is not whether we are made more safe by these measures, but rather it is about whether or not we offer up tehillim to HaShim to ask Him to protect us and our loved ones and then whether or not we have the faith to trust He will protect us. This problem is caused by measures that haven't been delt with appropriately, and until we deal appropriately with the problem causers, the dangers caused by their fanaticism and aberrant behaviours will continue.

(27) Anonymous, January 19, 2010 5:18 PM

there is more to it than meets the eye

I see the hand of a master enterpreneur here...I see the Detroit incident as a way to get the rationale for this proposed whole body scanning. This will benefit both those in the government department whose business is security, as well as the manufacturers of these machine. Am I too cynical? Maybe...but yes, I agree with Rabbi Solomon 100%. and also...'There is more to it than meets the eye" exactly my opinion. Shalom Aleikhem!

(26) Fred Foldvary, January 19, 2010 5:05 PM

Travel is voluntary

Nobody is forcing passengers to travel by air. I don't see why it is evil for security personae to see someone's body when it is required for safety. I think the prohibition to "uncover" nakedness is being carried too literally. Israeli-type profiling and interviewing should also be done. We need to include all reasonable methods.

(25) Richard Wald, January 19, 2010 4:32 PM

Salomon is mistaken in this case

I am an Orthodox Jewish senior citizen and while I realize the importance of Tznius (modesty) I feel that use of body scanners is a matter of pekuach nefesh ( saving lives). If scanning prevents even one life being lost by identifying someone carrying explosives etc. then we must put up with this bodily invasion.

(24) Anonymous, January 19, 2010 4:08 PM

make separate lines for men and for women

Why not make two lines for people being scanned? One for men with male security guards, and one for women with female security guards.

(23) Feigele, January 19, 2010 4:08 PM

Let them do their JOB!

Rabbi Salomon, I agree 100% with all what you are saying. BUT, how do you expect the airlines to protect passengers if every time they come up with some sort of security, someone criticizes and objects to their methods, which creates more animosity. It is amazing when people complain about the time it takes at security point! What’s more important time or your life? Maybe, someone ought to show them better ways. They only do what they can the best they can. Some commentators said that you have a choice to refuse!!! Not sure about that, but if true, then don’t you think that a terrorist would make that choice! Rabbi, how would you feel if you or someone in your family was sitting next to that guy with explosive powder who got in the plane because he was not scanned? Security airport should not be discussed by anyone but respected. Good or bad, they are only doing their job to protect you and your family. No one is really staring at you, you are only another body with no name, religion or color. And, personally, I would not like people to hand search me, to me this is more invasive.

(22) rap, January 19, 2010 3:43 PM


Going into a dressing room and having to be "handled" is not the answer; flights will be delayed way more than they currently are. Based on what I have seen of the new scanners, they are harmless, and do not create a "nude" visual of the person being scanned. I also think we should follow some of the vigilence that Israel uses to ensure that it is not just plane safety, but safety in the airport that needs to be considered. Someone leaving a bag in a waiting line, and then tripping an electronic device and setting off an explosion needs to be looked at as well.

(21) Susan H. Sachs, January 19, 2010 3:31 PM

What do we do about it?

I agree with you, that it is a violation of privacy - but how and where can one express that? (I live in Israel, so no longer have a U.S. representative a local phone call away.) Re the argument that we go to doctors - 1) we often choose the doctor (e.g., where possible a woman for a woman patient, etc.) and 2) that is for our own health. I benefit from the medical procedure. But I am not preserving my security by going through a body scanner - although the authorities may feel it is preserving your security - but I don't benefit from this drop in my modesty level. Even the benefit to someone else of my going through a body scanner is questionable - because I know in advance that I have no weapons on me. i.e., the benefit of the doctor's visit is direct and it ascertains information that neither the doctor nor I had before the visit - but a body scanner's benefit is indirect at best.

(20) Anonymous, January 19, 2010 3:18 PM


The end DOESN'T justify the means. There are alternatives. People are so brain washed in FEAR, that they are almost willing to concent to ANYTHING. It Impedes our right to PRIVACY. It is in breach of a basic RIGHT to PRIVACY. There should be a constitutional law agains infringing on an individuals' privacy. I think the only one winning, is the company cashing in on selling those machines, because of a technicality - Profiling will reduce the need for full body scanning by more than 90%. I am certain that frequent exposure also has health risks.

(19) Anonymous, January 19, 2010 3:11 PM

body scanning

I don't think body scanning is a good idea at all If they have to do anything, a few dressing rooms where people can undress, have their clothes inspected, be given hospital type gowns and after this be allowed to re dress and go through. This of course after theinitial screening of their take on purses and carry ons. It would be less expensive and more effective. Of course,it would take a little more time. And yes a certain amount of profiling woud also be appropriate,

(18) Guy Sutton, January 19, 2010 3:02 PM

Yeppers, it is necessary

As a retired pilot for Delta of 27 years, I know the dangers that lurk. We as pilots were able to bypass all security measures, good/bad? hmmmmm..... I hate that I am about to say that this is now necessary, but it is. We can not detect items without metal on/in them to pop up, so what is the next level of safety? I agree with the Torah, obviously, but without this extra level of added security, we might not be able to read/study/love the Torah, we might parish. Scanner, a yes from an 'ole pilot.... Great talk though....

(17) Bob Mark, January 19, 2010 2:12 PM

Salomon is wrong on this issue

I can certainly understand Rabbi Salomon's concern about the laws of tzinut, but the fact is that the reader of these machine scans will not be in a position to see the individual being scanned. Hence, to him or her it is nothing but one scan after another of not too detailed information. I pray that his opinions and others like his will not influence the TSA to change directions. Suggesting scans for those that fail metal scanners is ludicrous, because those scanners do not pick up the plastic, powder and liquid explosives that scanner personnel will be looking for on the full body scanners.

(16) Rabbi Jeffery Feinstein, January 19, 2010 1:54 PM

About Time

I agree that the use of full body scaners violates the laws of tznius. But this is not the issue. The issue is security. A full body scanner would not have stopped the bomber on Christmas day. We are very outdated in this country. We are still scanning for metal. Bombs are plastic not metal. We need to start taking security seriously. We do not have a working national policy. We have an inept person in charge. Janet Napolitano should be replaced immediately. We have a working model that everyone is ignoring. El Al has established a working model. Let's use it.

(15) David, January 19, 2010 1:53 PM

No Big Deal

First, if body-scans could save just one life, would it be worthwhile? How about 10 lives? What about 250 travelers in a jet or 2500 in 10 jets? Does the principle of pikuah nefesh apply here? Second, as I understand it, body scans would be optional, and anyone could choose to have a pat-down or body-search. If being scanned offends you, pick the alternative option. Finally, technology is only one aspect of security. Implementing body-scans alone is not the solution. It is only one element of variety of means that need to be implemented.

(14) Daniela, January 19, 2010 1:43 PM

I have two things to say about racial profiling

One: Entebee - racial profiling wouldn't have caught the blonde German terrorists that accompanied the Arabs. And considering how many left-wing crazies we have in our own midst among Jews, how long before one starts helping them on a "job" ? Two: El Al has the luxury of hardly seeing any Arabs or Pakistanis on their flights or at Ben Gurion. Racial profiling becomes a lot harder when you have to do it all day long on an american or british flight and hear the complaints of people feeling discriminated against on a daily basis.

(13) Rachel, January 19, 2010 4:47 AM


I asked my own rabbi about this and he agreed with me that it would not be in keeping with tznius dress for a woman's scan to be viewed by a man. Btw, Britain will not permit these scans on persons under 18 because they may violate Britain's laws against production of child pornography. I'd rather be patted down (by another woman) or sniffed by a well-trained dog.

(12) Dorraine, January 18, 2010 12:23 PM

I agree 100% with you. It is time America and other liberal countries do a litle profiling. My 89 year father with his fake hip sets off the metal detectors every time. He is not carrying a bomb. Detroit happened because they did not have smart security. All they need to do is watch the Tel Aviv International airport for a day and they will learn how to do the job properly.

(11) Rosen, January 18, 2010 4:06 AM

behavioral profiling and Israel's better efficiency in airport security

I think the profiling that needs to be implemented is behavioral profiling, as opposed to racial profiling, even though common sense at times can be rather difficult when it comes to detecting someone as a potential threat...In Israel at Ben Gurion airport, I understand that they have far more efficient security in place where the Israeli airport security has better intuition in differentiating average travelers from those who likely pose a significant threat. I was reading and discussing on a progressive blog that at least one reason why Israel's airport security is the best in the world, is because the people who work there are much more unionized than the TSA.

(10) R Levine, January 18, 2010 4:05 AM

Agree Completely

The American security system is reactive and not proactive. Every time a new incident occurs, it reacts in a way that would have prevented that incident from happening, instead of thinking in a way that prevents future incidences. I am all for security, and deal with the long lines and challenges of taking the shoes of my little kids and waking up my sleeping baby, but full body scans are insulting. I can't understand those who want it - our security would be much more enhanced if we would have more racial profiling, rather than wasting time and money and invading privacy with these body scanners.

(9) cyndi, January 18, 2010 3:00 AM


Let's let Israel's EL AL teach and train our country how it is done RIGHT! They start BEFORE the flight! They check you out when you buy the ticket! WE aren't fixing the foundational problems. Those at EL AL have communicated to USA that they are willing to train, but USA has refused!

(8) SusanE, January 18, 2010 12:11 AM

Only Good for the Scanner Manufacturers and their Owners.

Scanners will not make you safe in an airport. They are only as good as the worker looking at the scan. A radiologist misses stuff on a CAT scan. A Doctor misses cancers on a Mammogram. An airport worker for a full body scan? Sorry! Security can't even keep your luggage safe, because Airports have thiefs as baggage handlers. It isn't hard to place a terrorist sympathizer in a scanning position, and they don't need a PhD. When it gets too difficult to board an airplane, or the airline bombings have served their purpose, the terrorist will find another target. Scanners only give the public a sense of security so they will continue to fly. I wonder if they target the specific flight because of who is on it? The 9/11 attacks on buildings were not random targets and I don't believe the airline attacks are random either. -------------------So, no, to body scanners but for other reasons than modesty.

(7) Daniel, January 17, 2010 11:13 PM

Yes to full body scans

It doesn't show skin. What is the big deal?

(6) Ben, January 17, 2010 10:18 PM

I respectfully disagree with the Rabbi's position. Just because the bomber was caught doesn't negate the threat that exists. Terrorists are coming up with newer and more advanced ways to sneak explosives onto airplanes and we as a society, if we want to protect ourselves, need to deal with the new challenges even if that means full body scanners. If G-d forbid the Xmas day bomber was successful, could you really look the family members of the victims in the eye and tell them that you wouldn't accept body scanners if it means saving lives?

(5) Rivki, January 17, 2010 8:11 PM

I agree!

I agree with Rabbi Solomon. I think that it's going too far and is much too intrusive. The terrorists will just come up with new ways to do what they do anyways.

(4) Michal, January 17, 2010 4:07 PM

I think it is allright

If it helps to make the flight more secure, I am for a body scan. I do not share the opinion of Rabbi Salomon.To be touched by the hands of somebody else (when he/she does it really well) I am much more disturbed.. I am very interested in safety. Compared to that, a body scan is much better than to fly into the air, because the plane will explode. I understand, that others have different opinions.

(3) peter kraynik, January 17, 2010 4:05 PM

Rabbi, I respect your position. However, these body scans are a necessary tool to help protect life. Visits to doctors and technicians where clothes are taken off, are routinely done everywhere! It can be a matter of life and death! Who would not allow this scanning knowing that a loved one would be alive, if the would be assailant was scaned and stopped! Please reconsider all airport security knowing they are there to see that you and your loved one's travel safe!

(2) Tzipporah, January 17, 2010 7:15 AM

More profiling

The US has had so much history of racism and now everyone is under the pressure of having to have everything equal and everyone is afraid to say or do anything that is politically incorrect. That can be very good, but in cases like this, where any rational person can see the patterns of behavior being shown in the people who commit these acts of violence against others, we need to reconsider what our priorities are. Is it to be nice and not offend anyone and not pick people out because they appear to be a threat, or is it more important to make those decisions and act when there are the warning signs, even if some people are offended because they are picked out because of their appearance to be following a particular violent religion? When the lives of many people are indeed on the line, I think the answer is obvious. Well said Rabbi Salomon.

(1) Joe, January 17, 2010 7:04 AM

NO to full body scans

In a CNN Travel article dated May 18, 2009, titled 'Airport security bares all, or does it?', Jessica Ravitz quotes Bruce Schneier, an internationally recognized security technologist, as saying whole-body imaging technology "works pretty well," privacy rights aside. But he thinks the financial investment was a mistake. In a post-9/11 world, he said, he knows his position isn't 'politically tenable,' but he believes money would be better spent on intelligence-gathering and investigations. "It's stupid to spend money so terrorists can change plans," he said by phone from Poland, where he was speaking at a conference. If terrorists are swayed from going through airports, they'll just target other locations, such as a hotel in Mumbai, India, he said. "We'd be much better off going after bad guys ... and back to pre-9/11 levels of airport security," he said. "There's a huge 'cover your a--' factor in politics, but unfortunately, it doesn't make us safer."


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