The Matzav Shmoooze: I Am Addicted to Your Site…But

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Dear Editor,

I am addicted to your site.

So it bothers me that I need to write this, but it is long overdue.

I turned to your site many years ago when looking for news website that was befitting for a frum jew. My definition of that would be a site where one could read the news while at the same time not violating any halachah in Shulchan Aruch.

Your website fit that criteria in every way. Kudos to you for achieving that.

That was nine years ago… Fast forward to 2017… Sadly the Matzav today is not the same Matzav it was back then. I will not complain about the content, relevance and quality of the news reported. I talk about the basic criteria of minimum shulchan aruch standard. A frum jew can no longer visit your site knowing that they will not see images/clips that the torah prohibits.

The Mishna Berura(75, s”k 7) brings that merely “seeing” a woman immodestly dressed is assur, as opposed to a modestly dressed woman where there is no such issur unless gazing intentionally for pleasure. That said, i cannot really visit a site with a clear conscience where i know there will be images that i may not see.

Now you may tell me that unfortunately in society we live in we should be immune.. After all it is no different than walking on the street… However we don’t usually have the option not to go in the street. Leka Darka Achrina. But a “kosher website”? The halacha hasn’t changed just because we live in 2017 where junk is shoved in our faces wherever we turn! At least keep a kosher website “kosher”!

A yungerman, just coming out of yeshiva enters the workforce. Not having been out in the world much and hasn’t frequented the internet, now looks for a kosher place to get his news – visits your site. He will turn away instinctively from your page when he sees the news clips you embed. No doubt.

You may say that i have the option not to visit you site. That is true. But it isn’t easy. Because you introduced us slowly.. When you started you didn’t even have any pictures of women. You were kosher L’mehadrin. Then gradually you introduced partial pictures… etc.
There was an outcry, comments flying back and forth for a while whether it was appropriate or not. I didn’t write a letter back then. Although you were lowering your standard, no doubt, but you were still “kosher” by halacha standards as long as everyone is dressed K’halacha.

So you opted to be just “kosher” and not “kosher L’mehadrin”.

So we stayed with your site and have become accustomed to turning to you for our news.

The way the site stands now i believe is a michshal l’rabbim. I believe that many many share this sentiment.

I beg you. Stop, take a deep breath and re-think the way you are doing things. It is easy to lose sight of right and wrong when we are caught up trying to be “on top” of the news and the “first one” to report. But we (most of your customers) don’t need to know the news the minute it happens. We can wait five minutes. Just let it be kosher. After all, that is why we chose your site.

Respectfully,

Aron Deer

{Matzav.com}

87 COMMENTS

  1. Yet we still have Torah.

    Voters go crazy on here. There is not enough jewish content by each noted community. We might like.

    Fun.

  2. Thank you Reb Aron. You said it perfectly. A lot of chaveirim of mine feel the exact same way. I truly hope Matzav.com takes your words to heart.
    It even got to the point where the paid advertisements for a nitzrach, must show pictures of women, many times by chassunas etc… They show videos of women crying to the camera in order to get us in the rachmanus mode. Is this kihogen?! Is this tznius?! I’m not even talking about showing pictures of kallas playing the drums or sleeveless women playing in a orchestra as some yokel is singing on the mike by a chupa. It has gotten completely out of control. All gedorim have been broken R”L!

  3. kol hakavod
    beautifully written and so, so true.
    The signature at the end (instead of the ubiquitous “anonymous”) adds the final touch of chashivus.
    Please Matzav: Heed this cry that emanates from a pure yiddishe heart. Don’t let this just be used to attract silly comments from the bored and angry….

  4. Not sure. If you are setting out to see what Fox News has to say on a topic it should be considered ליכא דרכא אחרינא, since you can’t say “אי איכא דרכא אחרינא, רשע הוא” Also עיין תוס’ בעבודה זרע מח,ב ד”ה אי, ובשו”ת אגרות משה ח”א אה”ע סי’ נו

  5. So true. Couldn’t have said it better. Although Matzav is not anymore what it used to be regarding women, it is still the most kosher news site online and the only Jewish site that wouldn’t allow slandering of Gedolei Yisrael or lashon hara in the comments section. Matzav is also the only Jewish site that would allow non-liberal and conservative comments posted.

  6. Kudos to R’ Aron for saying what many of us had thought. Not long ago, this site (the favorite for many) would never have posted any pictures of women. Now posting pictures of the President’s wife and daughter has become commonplace. Did the Matzav receive a heter for this?

  7. I agree. What has become of you, Matzav? Every other story is either shtuss, a plea for tzedaka disguised as a news article or, as written above, inappropriate content for a glatt kosher site.
    Let the other streams of Yiddishkeit change with the times. Let us remain steadfast and adhere to our Torah hashkafa. If we don’t, we’ll C”V become just like them.

  8. I rarely post but when I saw this I felt compelled. It is exactly how I felt! Thanks Reb Aron for expressing it so eloquently. I was considering no longer viewing the site as hard as it would be to miss out on just about my only source of news. Tizku lamitzvos I hope it changes.

  9. It’s interesting, and so true. And even some of the ads make sure to put in attractive young frum Jewish women which are meant to be eye catching. Without debating the Halacha of it, it’s wrong to use a frum pretty face to sell your stuff, and we don’t want our community to be a part of that.

    Let’s see what happens.

  10. My earlier comment was only as to the Halachic point of the letter, calling it against שלחן ערוך etc. Of course in spirit it’s definitely true that it’s gotten way to loose.

  11. Someone actually signed his name.dunno who he is but he is proud man and should be respected. For it. Ty and hatzlacha for saying something many of us think but have no patience to fight for. I hope matzav.com will listen and veer more towards the hamodia sight rather towards the vosiznais tabloid.

  12. I agree with Aron Deer very much.

    Also, the freeze-clips of women in sleeveless dresses and other problems are pretty new in Matzav. What happened all of the sudden?

    Well, it’s yet another good reason to strictly limit time spent online.

  13. The problem is… there is “no money” in having a fruma dig website.

    Who’s paying the writer? The hosting?
    So matzav is trying to cater to the one who doesn’t only eat password yisroal.

    I’m not bashing but it’s time worthy and costs money operating a website and continually searching the news to add the latest.

    If there’s no money there’s no body willing to do it.

    Also, if you truly feel that Matzav isn’t kosher, another website I frequented I stopped. They were completely biased, liberals and today we Yiddishe we need to have a kosher website

    • Matzav is making alot of money on advertisements, some of these ads are up for over 10 years with matzav, thats alot of money on a daily basis other ads are over 5 years with matzav already. almost all ads except tzedaka ads are with matzav 24-7 for a very long time already & paying for their ads.

      so please don’t give us theese corrupt lies that “there is no money in a Torahdig website” we may be torah frum yidden but were not fools & lots of us reading Matzav are frum workers too that make a living & would love to keep our support with Matzav versus reading from another news site.

      PLEASE MATZAV heed Aron Deer’s call & thousands of others calling to be the kiddush Hashem frum website for everyone. Hashem will pay you much more for remaining frum & not letting your yetzer hara for gelt ruin you

  14. Here’s a comment I left on that post with the video of the sleeveless women:

    “Lately it has become common for people to wonder, “why don’t the Charedi newspapers publish pictures of women?” It wasn’t that long ago that people were up in arms that a chasidishe paper had the nerve to photoshop out a picture of Hillary. “What’s so bad about Hillary Clinton”?

    Well… this article is the answer.

    This site never published pictures of women until they started with Hillary. A 69 year old women who is pretty conservative in her dress, so it’s not so bad, right? But that opened the floodgates. First Hillary, then Nikki Haley… who does dress pretty modestly. Then we got Ivanaka, an attractive 30 year old who clearly does not follow what we call “tznius” and seems to enjoy that… Then come the pictures of the two chasidishe woman who have passed away in recent months due to unfortunate circumstances – dressed in a way that is clearly not in line with halacha. (Does that really do their family – or souls – any good?)

    And now this post. We are encouraged to watch a video… with multiple angles of sleeveless women.

    It was just last week’s parsha that says “v’shav m’acharecha”. The Chofetz Chaim explains that when there is a lack of tzinus – Hashems turn away his presence. Guess what example he gives? (See the letter he wrote in the back of Chofetz Chaim al Hatorah). Yup, sleeveless women. And this site tells us to watch just that.

    So maybe there is something to say for gzeiros and gedarim. Maybe we who posses “daas balei batim” aren’t so smart after all. Because it starts with a 70 year old Hillary… and quickly goes down hill.”

  15. This is so silly. Yes, I totally understand how it is improper to show pictures of non tznius women. But, come on. A challah playing drums, a woman dressed tznius?? That is offensive to you commenters? This way of thinking is getting out of hand with magazines not displaying tzniusdik women. It is offensive and degrading. One wonders why there are so many girls and boys going off the derech. Story I just heard from a chossid: Someone went to Rav Kanievsky to get haskama for his biography about the Rav’s wife. Rabbi K. responded, “I see pictures of me, but where are the pictures of my wife?” This from a Gadol B’yisreol.

    • You are such an idiot off the derech off the derech bla bla bla YES KIDS GO OFF THE DERECH BECAUSE THERE IS A YETZER HORA!!!!!! And that’s not a reason why therwst of us need to become bums… or maybe like that there is no derech anymore……

  16. Is this the same Aron Dear that was the camp driver in Camp Agudah back in the early 80’s? First class mensch and super nice guy. We shared a room together with the Masmidim on top of the old Shul. Ahh, brings back memories. Good memories, B”H.
    You hit the nail on the head. +1
    Somewhere along the way Matzav has lost it’s moral compass. They are making a mistake by trying to be hip and keeping up with the “others” who are NOT so scrupulous. Keep ah bissel yiras shomayim. You won’t lose out. The Aibishter guarantees it. Hatzlacha

  17. I find this discussion totally absurd – you should become like MONKS and cloister yourselves – what happened to your self control – do you walk in the streets do live in cave –

    The true test of emunah is to be immune to all these things that you feel are offensive – you by writing your article are displaying a weakness in the open world.

    It is a sad commentary on our society – and if you can’t take take the heat get out of the kitchen….

    • Really? The Torah tells us to NOT PUT OURSELVES IN A PLACE TO BECOME NICHSHAL… it tells us that if you have a shorter way to go that will get you somewhere but you might encounter preetzus…and you take that path instead of a longer route, you will account for that….even if you were not affected, because YOU PUT YOURSELF IN HARMS WAY…Don’t be such a smart alek…the Torah is smarter than you, and your so called CONTROL YOURSELF mindset. Just pray that you are not challenged one day and surprise yourself how easy it is to fall and how weak YOU really are.

  18. So amazed at the outpouring of support. Other than the few silly cliche comments of, alt right, blah blah. A real kiddush hashem. קדושים תהיו. Unreal. Most people still know what’s right.
    Anyone familiar with the news industry knows that slowly all news agencies are slipping towards click bait tabloid fodder rather that strict news. I hope matzav.com can buck this trend.

  19. I am pleased that Matzav shows pictures of women, as does Artscroll. However, they should be appropriate for your readers. I was taken aback by a picture last week of a woman who was not dressed modestly. I would have shown the news item to my husband, but did not, because of the picture.
    If a picture isn’t quite up to tznius standards, please crop it. But do continue to include pictures of women.

  20. Also, isnt matzav and the other torah news sites afraid of ‘kol hamachshel chaveiroh’ and we are talking about acreious of 100’s. even not observent
    jews your oiver on’ lifney ivayr lo siten michshol’ THATS BIG ACHREIOUS.

  21. Thank you R’ Ahron. There is no question that Halacha requires not to publish any immodest pictures. Elul is perfect timing for doing Tshuva and changing our behavior.

  22. REVISIONISM! REVISIONISM! REVISIONISM! The Jewish Observer the magazine of the Agudah featured women! rewrite history you wanna turn misngadim in to chassidim cut to the chase just adopt chassidus!

    • Halachah for all Jews, chassidim and misnagdim forbids gazing/staring at any woman. Even if she’s dressed tniusdik. By putting up a picture of a woman, you are opening up a possibility that someone out there might gaze at the photo and be nichshal. Is this common? I doubt it. But even for that small chance it is better to leave such images out. I can not speak for the Jewish Observer or the Agudah. I’m sure they have their own calculations. But pointing at them and declaring that if they did it it’s ok, is not the way to go. If someone can clarify how they got to such a conclusion that it’s ok to publish pictures of tniusdik women, we can take it from there. But just because they did it, it doesn’t make it ok.

      • So should women where gloves to cover their pinkies? So you are calling for interpreting halacha straight from the gemarah? Or ignoring ignoring how people acted not even 30 years ago!

  23. In the future all mention of women should be censored to –men. the man part is ok but the WO part must be censored. anyone want to write a article about that??? (sarcasm)

  24. “A Rav once informed Rav Moshe that his future son-in-law’s Rosh Yeshiva refused to be mesader kiddushin at the wedding on account of the mixed seating that was planned. Rav Moshe called the Rosh Yeshiva and told him that he did not have to eat at that wedding, but that he must be Mesader Kiddushin. He then said to Rav Felder that the Rosh Yeshiva was doing things that people greater and better than he did not do”

  25. “Once, Rav Felder travelled with Rav Moshe to Lincoln Square Synagogue to perform a wedding ceremony. When they entered the sanctuary, he observed the partition and said, “This is a Mechitza?” Nonetheless, he did not refrain from performing the wedding ceremony.”

  26. Thank you Matzav for being brave enough to publish this post. I think you should continue by publishing a response to the very valid point being made here.

  27. I almost never comment but I have to stand up and say I agree 100 percent with R’ Aron.
    You are not alone as can be seen from above.
    I hope the yidden behind Matzav take this to heart as this is the only website that I use but lately it has become uncomfortable.

  28. This is awesome. I’m a youngeman who never read matzav until recently when they finally got with the times. Thank you Matzav!

  29. It would be greatly appreciated if Matzav would take the comments seriously. It is the only website where so many of us feel comfortable going to for news. Yet, we’re expressing disappointment & requesting that the high standards which we’ve been accustomed to should be reinstated.

  30. Kol Hakavod is right! It is so easy to quickly become desensitized which can sometimes make it hard to see the blatant truth.Thank you for refocusing and taking the step back for all of us!
    I feel bad for those who bring stories about gedolim or explanations, to try to give themselves excuses so they wont have to change and so they can keep life the way it is. The yetzer hara is good at what he does but if one wants to see the truth he can. If one is already so desensitized and truly doesn’t understand, you can always ask a rabbi.

  31. Because if he wouldn’t have, they probably wouldn’t put in a great deal of effort into getting another Rabbi, and the kiddushin might not have been kosher. I don’t know the story, it’s just a thought.

  32. A possible solution would be to have a Vaad Halacha or a Vaad Rabbonim to review and pasken any questionable articles or pictures.

  33. DITTO to the comments above.

    Matzav, after all of these comments that you posted, can you chime in? Will you take our comments to heart and improve your website?

    • Do you think the chafetz chaim knew about this picture or that it will posted all over? so what are you trying to proove…?Yes, the same ‘losasuru achrei eineycham’ applies here. By the way this subject is not about ‘frum’

      • First of all you think the Chofetz Chaim was oblivious that a photographer was present??
        Seeing how Rav Shmuel Walkin supposedly ordered The photograph that would be extremely unlikely!
        (The women who is supposedly an adopted daughter seems to be smiling at the camera.)
        http://www.mywesternwall.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/chofetz.jpg
        Are the bystanders not looking at the camera?
        Is the Chofetz Chaims wife not looking in the direction of the camera?
        Why is it relevant if the Chofetz Chaim knew it would be posted everywhere? Would it change his standards?

  34. So unfortunate.

    Why do you have to omit fully צניעות woman?
    That’s simple bigotry and hate.

    A frum kosher website should not be posting pictures of woman who aren’t dressed appropriately but if they are צניעות I don’t have an issue.

  35. !אשריך ישראל
    For all bashing the writer; let the following be your indicator:
    One once told a Rabbi when speaking about Shmiras Anayim (I think the Chazon Ish), he has no need, that simply “looking” does not really affect him in any way. The Chazon Ish replied in shock:
    Oy Vey!
    “How many ראיות אסורות have you already seen that you are already so immune!? I still have to be so careful every time I walk on the street!”

    No need to add, other than אשריך ישראל! That some neshamos are still sensitive to “simply looking”!

  36. Anon –
    ““A Rav once informed Rav Moshe that his future son-in-law’s Rosh Yeshiva refused to be mesader kiddushin at the wedding on account of the mixed seating…”
    The above is not relevant at all to what the writer has described as the following.
    a) The mixed chasunah issue is not about inappropriate dressing. (Note, the rabbis and RY had a seperate table)
    b) You have a choice of being measder kedushin and NOT looking for the half hour,as Rav Moshe did.
    c) in addition to above, is thus, not an excuse to omit doing your duty. i.e. being mesader.
    His issue wasn’t that he was afraid of Shmira, rather, it was more of a “past nisht” issue. whereas, in our case you do not have to go to any site in the first place, and is impossible not to look.
    I hope this explains the ultimate differences.

    • “Once, Rav Felder travelled with Rav Moshe to Lincoln Square Synagogue to perform a wedding ceremony. When they entered the sanctuary, he observed the partition and said, “This is a Mechitza?” Nonetheless, he did not refrain from performing the wedding ceremony.”

    • “b) You have a choice of being measder kedushin and NOT looking for the half hour,as Rav Moshe did.” –You can be sure he too did the wedding ceremony without looking if he didnt feel it was kosher.
      Besides taking a story of a gadol, or circumstance you see or hear even when it does seem to be “the same thing”, in order to say, “oh you see obviously that is ok”, or to make your own conclusions of it, is a very dangerous thing to do! it is not proof and not your answer, never assume. ASK 1st often vital are details missing that change a picture entirely, stories are told over wrong, you thought you saw it all…but… And if it is about a gadol, well there for sure are many things we all dont know about, wether halachos, cheshbonos or other things that only a gadol knows and you must ask either that gadol or another big person to clarify otherwise you will end up with the wrong conclusions.

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