"The Church Bells are Awaiting"
Thirty-nine years ago, on the Tuesday of the week of Parshas Vayera, there was publicized a letter in the handwriting of the Steipler, signed also by HaRav Shach, HaRav Wosner, HaRav Yechiel Michel Feinstein [all zt"l, and lehavdil bchl"ch) HaRav Nissim Karelitz. The letter was directed against one of the newspapers which was the platform for slander and loshon hora and acerbic mockery, constituting one of the major sources of incitement against chareidi Jewry.
The background to the letter: Up until that paper's appearance on the scene, the chareidi world knew that there was no such thing as chareidi media. The very concept of communication media was a secular innovation which gained its strength from everything that was anathema to Torah values. Everything that the Torah forbade, they allowed in a positive way, and negated everything that a chareidi Jew stood for. To the credit of chareidi Jewry of thirty years ago it should be said that the aforesaid letter withered the very existence of that paper. And even after its name was changed, it died out and was cast into the garbage bin of history.
Nonetheless, it pales with regards to the frightful monster known today as so-called chareidi websites. Most of those in our ranks shy away from any contact with these websites, but there are still some people who, sadly, out of spiritual weakness and shortsightedness do expose themselves to these websites, many of which assume the role of Amolek on cooling off the hot bathtub, so to speak. These are a direct continuation of all those who sought to secularize the Yiddishkeit of our people through all kinds of nefarious schemes.
Those media create the impression that Jews are like all other nations. To this end they create an ongoing spouting of news designed to black-face Yiddishkeit. If secular websites glory in denouncing chareidi Jewry, rather than reporting what is going on amongst their own ranks, in the `chareidi' website the order is reversed. The news of what's going on in the secular works is mainly nullified by `business' in the chareidi public. Thus, at nine o'clock, they will report stupidities about a certain place and another scoop from between its devouring jaws reported at 9:05, and so on. At 9:15 more of the same: news from the far end of the country and/or the world. So-and-so slapped his neighbor and so on.
Thus, throughout the day, a long string of malicious gossip follows one upon the other to depict the chareidi public as the worst of people ch"v. This technique is along the same lines of the disgusting obscenity and licentiousness attempting to `change' the chareidi camp. This objective is hardly innocent. Well known bodies interested in changing the chareidi public have been funding such websites for a long time.
It was the Chofetz Chaim who summoned a resident of Radin who distributed maskilim newspapers as a livelihood, and said to him, "I have heard that you are looking for a job."
"Yes," replied the Jew.
"I've heard that the local church is in need of a bell ringer to call the people to prayers. I suggested your name to the priest."
The man was shocked. "That's what the Rav expects me to do?!" he said.
"Yes," said the Chofetz Chaim. "Better that you call goyim to their prayers rather than delivering your poison from the Haskalah newspapers to the homes of our people."