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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Will the Real Daas Torah Please Stand Up?

If you are a computer professional, please see post below.
Thank you!

In the back of the September Jewish Observer, there is an advertisement for Hamodia containing a letter from Gedolei Yisroel* pre WWI regarding the original Hamodia.

The letter begins by explaining how in recent decades people have become "enthusiastic followers of the news and avid readers of journalists . . .every group . . . has established its own 'press' . . .lately Torah Jews are . . . slowly but surely being enticed to read and listen to the voices of outside journalists who, through high sounding clarion calls have ensnared the hearts of some Jews . . .
Therefore, our nation's largest group, kain yirbu, those who fear Hashem and live their lives in the spirit of our written Torah as well as our ancient mesorah, remain bereft of the one tool accepted among all civilized nations; a newspaper, througn which they can express their world-view, their Daas Torah, regarding major events both in their own country and in the world. And, due to this lack of a newspaper, Torah Jewry's voice is denied to the greater Jewish populace, who have little knowledge of their nation's origin, its centuries-old way of life, and the Torah that is its principal guiding light.
To right this wrong, and to fill this void, we need to establish a daily newspaper . . ."

The letter concludes with an appeal to subscribe to Hamodia.

This letter was written in 1911. During the latter part of the Czarist period newspapers were both state of technology and the almost exclusive means of mass communication. Hamodia was an alternative to the enticements in the outside press, as indeed the print version is today, and a voice to those outside our 'village'.

Today of course, every major secular print newspaper is falling in circulation and all are desperately trying to solidify their web presence as the key to their future, as well as aggressively competing with blogs.
A non-committed Jew, or non-Jew seeking out our point of view, will certainly not encounter the print-only Hamodia (a fine and a needed publication) in his or her search. And I'd venture most chareidim with non teaching and non physical occupations sit in front of an internet connected desk all day. And use it for news and views.

So how are we fulfilling the mandate of the Gedolim?

Oh. Wait.

On the bottom of the page in it says:
"Hamodia - The More the World Changes . . . The More We Don't"

Is this what the signatories had in mind when they established Hamodia?

* The letter is signed by (not complete):

Karliner Rebbe
R' Chaim Soloveitchick (Brisk)
R' Chaim Ozer Grodzenski
Gerer Rebbe (Imrei Emes)
Sokolover Rebbe
Ostrovtzer Rebbe
Amshinover Rebbe
Radziner Rebbe
Vorker Rebbe
Piltzer Rov
Kotzker Rebbe (R Tzvi Hirsh)
Sochatchover Rebbe (Shem M'Shmuel)
Alexanderer Rebbe (R' Shmuel)


Blogger Frummer????? said...

Keep it up.

You never know. One day they might wake up.

5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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10:36 PM  

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orthodox jews and the internet.