A friend of mind came over to me, clearly upset. When I asked him what had provoked his ire, he said that in a free advertising publication that gets thrown in front of his door each week, he read a letter (or was it an article?) from someone who publically discussed the policy of a specific yeshiva, apparently by name. The issue, if I understood correctly, had to do with the yeshiva purchasing more expensive coffee for its talmidim rather than, say, spending money on adding yungeleit to its kollel payroll.
The nature of the coffee/kollel discussion, to me, is not relevant, which is why I didn’t ask my friend for further details. What does bother me, and what had gotten my friend up in arms, is that remarks questioning a decision by a specific yeshiva would be published publically. Surely, such a policy decision was approved by the rosh yeshiva of the yeshiva, in which case random letter writers shouldn’t be chiming in with what they think is the proper approach.
I can just imagine what would happen if Matzav, for example, would print a letter from someone discussing the nature of the policies of a given yeshiva, by name. You and your staff would probably get raked over the coals. Not only would the yeshiva never patronize your paper again, but you’d probably be castigated and receive phone calls from angry board members of the yeshiva, who would be livid that you are meddling in the affairs of their institution.
Why, when free publications are thrown at our doors and in our stores, does there seem to be no discretion as to what may be printed – and no outcry when a line is crossed?