Rav Shteinman: “Do You Want Them to Read Secular Newspapers?”


rav-shteinmanA number of individuals recently initiated an effort to put together a kol korei, a proclamation, against various frum publications in Eretz Yisroel. As part of their effort, they went to a number of gedolim to procure their signatures for the letter stating that one should not buy or read the publications in question.

It was subsequently revealed that some information was misrepresented and that some of the individuals had political motives for their effort to have the kol korei released, signed by gedolim.

A few individuals behind the effort went to Rav Shteinman’s home at 5 Rechov Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak and explained what their concerns are with the publications and what their goal is. They asked Rav Shteinman to sign the letter, but the senior gadol didn’t buy their argument.

Rav Shteinman, referring to one weekly, said that he relies on a specific rov who heads the vaad haruchinyus (board on spiritual matters) of the publication.

In addition, Rav Shteinman, after refusing to sign, turned to the men and said that it is better for those who may not find interest in Torah newspapers to at least read the other frum publications.

“What do you want?” asked Rav Shteinman curtly. “That people should read secular newspapers?”

Ad kan devorov hakedoshim.

With those words, Rav Shteinman sent the activists on their way.

Sources told Matzav.com that others, including Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir-Yerushalayim; Rav Dovid Cohen, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chevron; and Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Slabodka, also refused to sign the letter against the frum publications in question.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Remember when Rav Shteinman (on a video I saw here on Matzav) told someone that the reason why certain people didn’t want others in their school was because of “Gayva Gayva Gava”?

    Boruch Hashem we are being led by gedolim who see through the facade and charade. Leorech yomim v’shonim.

  2. Sometime we have the “askonim” who don’t always have pure agendas go around and recruit signatures. It’s not the hallmark of emes.

  3. Fortunate are we to have such gedolim.

    May they have health and gezunt ad meah vesrim and beyond.

    Mike Mandel
    Brooklyn, NY

  4. Boruch Hashem for intelligent leadership. Yes, many people would resort to reading secular papers if frum ones were unavailable. Forget about the articles… What about the ads? Let’s stick to excellent writing and reporting in frum papers.

  5. This is Daas Torah at its best – the application of ‘common’ and ‘torah’ – sense to everyday issues.

    Pity those who are purveyors of such a Kol Korei – they forget about “gzeiros she’ain ha’tzibbur yecholin la’amod bo” – decrees that the community will not be able to uphold.

  6. Despite Harav Shtenman’s advanced age, KA”H, he is more on the ball than many that are younger than he is. This is a Gadol who truly uses Daas Torah and can’t be swayed by what’s in style or by who’s crawling to him from the woodwork. I recall when Harav Shteinman came out for Nachal Chareidi and there were lowlives who actually had the audacity to protest at his home!

  7. I am NOT referring to any specific newspaper but I do think that in a hypothetical situation of either (1)(some) people reading a secular newspaper or (2)having a newspaper claiming to speak for Torah Haskafah but actually distorting it perhaps (1) would be the lesser of the two evils.

  8. but everyone doesnt get it that really its ideal not to read any newspapers (or even the matzav)! however dibra torah kneged yetzer horah

  9. The way the world is, I’m nervous to believe this too. But B”H. May Rav Shteinman continue offering his leadership in good health ad 120.

  10. So many of the posters have it wrong. Rav Shteinman does not need our haskomos. We listen to him regardless of our understanding… Afilu im omrim al Smol Shehu Yamin (even if he says left is right)…

  11. #20,these arent’ haskomos. We are talking among ourselves and commenting how refreshing it is to see a Gadol standing up for what he thinks and not automatically signing what the askonim bring to him.

  12. Rav Shteinman shlit”a is simply saying even if they are bad, they are nowhere near as bad as the secular papers. So better the lesser of the two evils.

  13. #25 – So that means that these magazines are Assur but secular newspapers are more Assur? OK, so Rav Shteinman agrees that if I wouldn’t otherwise read secular newspapers that I am not allowed to read these Jewish ones? Or are the Jewish ones OK? Which is it?