Video: Rav Wachsman at Agudah Convention Calls Out Frum Media, Says Defunct “Jewish Observer” is Sorely Missed


rav-wachsman-agudahMatzav Exclusive: [Video below.] Last night, in his keynote address at the Agudas Yisroel Annual Convention, Rav Ephraim Wachsman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Meor Yitzchok of Monsey, addressed a number of pressing issues affecting the Jewish community. In his remarks, he called on the frum media to fulfill their mandate. He did not name any specific publication, but stated that the now defunct Jewish Observer is “sorely missed.”

“In some homes,” said Rav Wachsman, “these publications are the very air of Shabbos. They have to be diligent not just about the hashkafos in their articles, but also, and more so, the advertisements and the subjects they choose to address. To remember that tznius doesn’t just apply to women, but also to men. Hatzneiah leches im Elokecha.

The limelight is a dangerous place. Bask in it at one’s own peril,” said Rav Wachsman.

“[These publications] have a tremendous koach in subtly creating winds in our delicate and vulnerable society. Children read these publications and form goals and aspirations. And I think it would be worthwhile…to publically express our gratitude to Rabbi Nissan Wolpin for his years of service to Klal Yisroel in the now sorely missed Jewish Observer that he produced with wisdom, with aidelkeit, with sensitivity, with propriety, and with a gevaldige sense of ‘lochem milchemes Hashem.’ And hopefully,” added Rav Wachsman, “many will look to him as the example and demus, even at the expense of less circulation.”

Rav Wachsman also gave a “yasher koach” to Reb Yosef Friedenson, editor of Dos Yiddishe Vort, for his years of service in chareidi journalism.

Rav Wachsman then went on to address the impact that the abundance of simchos and other social obligations are having on the fabric of the American frum family.

Clic below for video clip of the remarks:


Untitled from on Vimeo.

 {Yossi Newscenter}


  1. to #1 – The Rov was not only referring to the printed media, he was of course also addressing the internet media (Matzav, yeshivaworld, vosizneis etc.)They too have the same achrayus to only print what we need to know and be guided by daas torah in all decisions.

  2. #3, how could he have been referring to the Jewish Internet media, if he siad “publications that people bring into their homes on Shabbos”. he was obviously referring to the publications such as the Yated and Hamodia.
    Also #2, he was NOT referring to the “Jewish” Press.

  3. Hose- are you realy serios? if you can for once second take your head out of your ” ostintasios and elegent all about exterenls little box corner of some flashy block in brooklyn , mabey you would realize that the jewish press addreses realy proploms

  4. The Jewish OBserver was a monthly/10 copies a year, well written and intellectually appealing. Towards the end of its publication it deleted the ‘Letters to Editor’, so once again no place for readership involvement.

    The focus was not on daily news events. The daily or weekly papers are needed to announce upcoming events, analyze currents news events and are a substitute for some for the daily secular papers.

  5. In the Internet arena, it has again shot itself in the leg by limiting Rabbi Avi Shafran’s writings on Cross Currents as well as his own refusal to allow comments on his articles. Readers don’t expect to agree with a writer 100% of the time. They do however expect to be able to express their feelings to the writer.

  6. The Jewish Observer’s unwillingness to analyze both sides of an issue and closing down debate without a forum for readers to express their feelings truly led to their downfall. It was therefore looked at as a propaganda tool with little substance to offer the general public.

  7. To # 10
    I agree. This is not Communist Russia! A lot of these “writers” are not daas torah. We as fellow Yidden have a right & an obligation to respond and question the content if it doesn’t meet our standards/values. We already know the editors views on the issues. We have to have a forum to express our concerns as well.
    Anyone who reads any of the “heimisha” papers & takes everything written there as Halacha lemoshe mesenai is a total fool! Anyone who has to read the editors view every week just to know how to think is also an idiot & should have his right to vote taken away from him!

  8. The JO is sorely missed by all those who have a weak memory. It was not a publication whose readers felt represented by, because diversity was not only avoided, it was denied. I speak not of hashkafic permissiveness, but of basic social lenience for the sake of integrity.

  9. Of all the groundbreaking topics that were discussed last night this is the best matzav came up with? With all due respect the rebbe shlita drasha was One for the ages. Rabbi Bender was off the charts and matzav now covers the convention with only this article? Wow have your standards fallen. Why not share rav wachsmana whole speech which shook the walls.
    Serve your readers with important and accurate information not this one small snippet. Put in a little effort.

  10. how is it that the velt as they say doesn’t see a problem with prancing around in insanely priced clothes with a lights camera action literally in many news papers ,
    how is it that there are pictures of shatels in papers.
    and how is it that its all about the externel
    every single thing the guyim do for exaple the new music competition,
    does any one see something wrong with this but chas veshalom you celebrate thanksgiving, ( b.c it would be bad for shiduchim, rabosy we must wake up , are we living the real torah life or are we simply looking the part and facing it in every way

  11. how could that be at a convention such as the ones that exist witch we all know of why is there such lavish food ,i thought we are in tough economic times, why are we promoting all of this , why are we making sure to keep the talisover our head because chas vesh.olim its not wile talking to our coold sleezy friend with a little smile during chazas hashats . yid were is the hat, hat were is the yed we must wake up

  12. Maybe R’ Wachsman was referring to the trend of publishing ads for extravagant getaways next to please for tzedaka? How many ads do I need to see for another car lease, another new shaitel, another boutique, another …? American consumerism is alive and well in the frum community.

  13. Unfortunately, the current crop of Jewish weekly magazines are somewhat lacking in Hashkafic content. You might disagree with the JO, but at least you knew that the articles published were timely and were approved by their board.

  14. He’s right, lets go back to the days before the Yated changed our media. Let’s go back to the good old days when everyone was buying the Jewish Press. Let’s put Meir Kahana back in charge of shaping young minds and public opnion. Let’s bring back the JO which closed down due to lack of interest. Let’s praise Dos Yidish Vort which has a readership that is less than infitecimal. Let’s blame all the ills of society on the frum people who do their best to bring us quality kosher reading material. Let’s pump up knocking convinient scapegoats.

  15. After reading the (mostly frum-bashing) comments on Cross-Currents for a while, I don’t blame R. Shafran for refusing to subject his beautiful articles to the senseless rantings of pinheaded commenters.