Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

25 Teves 5766 - January 25, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Opinion & Comment
Every Subscription Plays a Part in Strengthening Religion in Our Holy Land

by Rabbi Nosson Grossman

The following article was written on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Hebrew edition of Yated Ne'eman that took place last Tammuz. We are publishing it for the hashkofoh it contains about our newspaper on the occasion of our 17th anniversary.


Founded in 5745 (1985) by the Kehillos Yaakov and the Avi Ezri, zechusom yogen oleinu, the Hebrew edition of Yated Ne'eman went through difficult periods, jumping over pitfalls and landmines until reaching its present status, besiyata deShmaya. In addition to the problems every new newspaper experiences during its incipient years, Yated faced attempts from outside parties to impede its progress that put its very existence in question, but the newspaper eventually succeeded beyond all expectations and continues to develop and thrive in all respects.

Without a doubt Yated Ne'eman is sustained through the efforts of all those who dedicated themselves to the holy task during the birth pains of the newspaper's creation and all those who work day and night to this day to make the paper thrive. Even mo'asu habonim hoyesoh lerosh pinoh. From the dedicated rabbonim of the Vaada Ruchanit who set our course in the light of gedolei Yisroel shlita and whose eyes are ever watchful, through avreichim who actually check all of the contents, to the members of the editorial board, the writers and the administrative workers, who draw immeasurable encouragement and support from their knowledge of the attitude of maranan zt"l vylct"a towards the paper and the great concern and efforts made to sustain a unique voice that articulates the Torah hashkofoh in our generation.

Tremendous work goes into the publication of Yated to this day and it was no easy task to become the leading chareidi newspaper in such a short period of time, a newspaper whose originality, professionalism, and quality have made it a model to be emulated. Today it is considered the most important voice for the yirei'im public—and the newspaper's subscribers and readers, who belong to a select and unique group, are worthy of such a newspaper.

In retrospect we can derive great satisfaction from the long road the newspaper has traveled since 23 Tammuz 5745 (and the English edition was started as a semi-independent entity in Teves 5749) to the present. Today it can be said that even those within our own camp who cast doubt on the need for this newspaper during the initial period of Yated's appearance on the scene now recognize, beyond a doubt, the importance of its very appearance and the message it conveys. Maranan verabonon shlita, including Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita, consider the newspaper a real necessity, and they promote its existence in various ways and stand by its side.

The great trials during the period preceding the arrival of Moshiach make the newspaper's existence necessary. In the previous generation, gedolei Yisroel issued a strong letter clarifying the need for the existence of chareidi periodicals in our lowered generation in which the written and printed word have more impact than anything else.


Let's try to shed some light on the issue of the chareidi press in general and Yated Ne'eman in particular, using a parable the Chofetz Chaim used for a totally different matter—man's struggle with his yetzer—and apply it to the matter before us: the need for explanations regarding various public campaigns.

According to the parable, when a battle takes place between two enemies with two armies, winning one battle does not decide how the war will turn out. The war can be won even if a certain battle is lost, as long as the forces are in balance and both sides are carrying their weapons. Even if one side overpowers the other for a short time, the losing side might still win the next battle.

However, the moment one side manages to disarm the other, to blow up the armory and the ammunitions, the whole war is lost and there is no longer any chance of balanced fighting.

Many battles are being fought by chareidi Jewry, especially the Torah world which is fighting to keep the concept of Torah study intact. We can win one battle or another, though we may not succeed completely, as long as the weapons of war are in our possession: an organ that immediately explains any matter in need of elucidation in order to mobilize the public to support various campaigns.

But when this possibility is unavailable it becomes very difficult to win any battle. Even the most righteous and logical battle will be dashed to pieces by the waves of venomous and deceitful propaganda that casts it in a negative light and even casts doubts among the public in whose name and for whose sake the battles are being waged.

This was the case in the past when public activists waging the Torah world's various campaigns felt helpless in the face of various claims injected into the public conscience through sophisticated means, cliches introduced without a way to combat them fairly.

Positions must be articulated to the public. Pesach picho le'ileim. There is a critical need to sensitize readers and explain, to provide quotations and uncover various facts unknown to the public at large, and systematically concealed through sophisticated means to present only one side of the coin in a skewed manner. Demagogic propaganda is liable to make people's opinion's vague and confused as long as a clear and correct worldview is not presented.


Many hold that the newspaper is necessary in order to provide us ammunition for those who engage us in debate— da meh shetoshiv—but this is not the main objective. One of the mussar gedolim said that "Da mah shetoshiv le'apikorus" refers to the little apikorus that burrows its way into the heart of each and every one of us, casting doubt (subconsciously) on the righteousness of our cause.

During the years of our newspaper's existence, we have encountered astonishing reactions from numerous readers (orally and in writing) who expressed their deep gratitude to the newspaper for "opening their eyes" on various issues.

Today the need for a means of expression is self-evident. But at first only the luminaries of the generation knew this along with (lehavdil) those who feared and fought it and who were aware of its potential power in shaping public opinion on a daily basis.

All those who eagerly awaited Yated's demise now know that their hope is unrealistic. Kol kli yutzar olayich lo yitzloch.

Moreover all of the portzei geder know well that for the past two decades they have no longer been free to do as they pleased. They carefully weigh matters before taking any action or issuing any statements. "What will Yated Ne'eman say?" they ask themselves. "How will Yated Ne'eman react?" they wonder, and open the newspaper with fear and trembling.

Some people do not like Yated Ne'eman. Some people do not like to see the truth, particularly when it is written in a clear manner and printed in a respectable way in a large- circulation newspaper that is given great credit by the public.

For even many people from outside of the circle of Yated subscribers acknowledge that we have created new writing and reporting standards. No more vague, convoluted editorials and publicity articles with multiple meanings. But rather lucid, sharp hashkofoh articles unafraid of losing certain readers. No more brushing internal hashkofoh problems under the carpet while writing articles that flatter readers and constantly speak of the "consensus," reserving sharp criticism for porkei ol; but rather honestly addressing negative trends from the secular world that find their way into our camp.

And all this while placing a spotlight on the way of life of gedolei Yisroel from all circles and backgrounds in order to educate ourselves and our children, for we should admire and learn lessons from the conduct of every godol from all circles marching according to the Torah handed down to us from generation to generation. Neharo neharo upashteih.


At this juncture we would like to sincerely thank all those who made the newspaper what it is today. First and foremost the rabbonim of the Vaada Ruchanit and their assistants, who invest thought and hard work out of a sense of responsibility for the contents of every article and report, every sentence and every word, all this under pressing deadlines to ensure that the product comes out suitably reviewed by them.

Our thanks go out to all those who are with us today as well as those who are no longer with us and who contributed, each in his own capacity, to the newspaper's existence—the administrative workers, the reporting staff and night editors, the features writers, the layout and printing staff, the typists and proofreaders, the graphic designers and the distribution, advertising and accounting departments.

After 20 years since the newspaper's founding we have an obligation to acknowledge the fabulous siyata deShmaya that has been with the paper, giving praise and thanks to Borei Olom and remembering the chessed He has done for us, not claiming kochi ve'otzem yodi osoh li es hachayil hazeh.

We must again recognize the great merit we had that maranan verabonon zt"l vylct"a stood and stand behind the newspaper. Their goals are pure, untainted by the political or commercial interests that characterize other newspapers and they encourage us to vigorously continue along this path of ours.

With hopes that "each and every individual do what he can to help establish the newspaper and strengthen it" (taken from a letter by Maran HaRav Shach zt"l dated 25 Shevat 5746) and an understanding that "each and every subscription plays a part in strengthening religion in our Holy Land" (from another letter by Maran dated 22 Tammuz 5746), we march forward toward the future praying that we continue to see Heavenly blessings in our work and no stumbling blocks resulting from our labors.

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