Yated Ne’eman Releases 20 Year Historic Commemorative Book, Featuring Over 120 Letters from Rabbonim


yated-bookCan you imagine how it feels to hold 20 years of history in your hands?

Can you imagine how it feels to open a book that captures, captivates and encompasses 20 years of history?

Can you imagine the feeling of watching 20 years, a generation of events reported al taharas hakodesh, unfold before your eyes?

That is the special rush of energy felt upon first taking hold of the massive, close to 700-page, glossy, color, coffee table size Yated 20th Anniversary Commemorative Historic Retrospective.

The book, now available in better seforim stores, not only affords one a trip down nostalgic memory lane, but, perhaps even more than that, offers a proper prospective of the magnitude of the contribution that the English language Yated Ne’eman has bestowed upon Klal Yisroel in the first 20 years after its inception.

While holding the striking book and perusing its pages, one is struck by the profound realization that the Yated has been much, much more than just an entertainment or even a news provider for the past 20 years. It has been a spiritual masthead, an unapologetic defender of Torah Judaism, a mouthpiece for the burgeoning, growing Chareidi community.

When reading the new Yated 20 Year Anniversary book, the overwhelming feeling one gets is that even more than the fact that the Yated has served as a defender against attacks in the negative sense is the positive contribution that the Yated has made to Klal Yisroel.

Throughout the past 20 years, the Yated has been one of the prime educational tools that has reached the entire cross-section of the Torah observant community. It has been a proactive educator, a source of chizuk, a source of Torah thoughts and Torah viewpoints. It has been a source of bracha in the homes of its tens of thousands of readers and perhaps we can say that it has simultaneously been the maggid shiur, the pulpit rabbi, the entertainer and the effecter of social change with the largest audience in the United States!

To truly appreciate the Yated book and the massive amount of information contained within, one must first appreciate what life was like 20 years ago, before the Yated arrived on the scene.

Prior to the Yated‘s debut on the scene, there was no paper that possessed the sanctity, the sensitivity, the tznius and, above all, the adherence to authentic Torah hashkafa as given over by the mesorah of the gedolei Torah in each generation.   

The demarcation line that we underwent as a community in 1988, when the Torah community finally had its own newspaper, a paper attuned to their sensitivities, cannot be overemphasized. Some have classified it as the difference between growing up in the “Yated Generation” or before the “Yated Generation.”

Indeed, one letter in the book is from Rabbi Bunny Freedman of Detroit. Rabbi Freedman is a son of the late principal of Yeshiva Bais Yehuda of Detroit, Rav Avrohom Abba Freedman, a talmid muvhak of Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. Rav Freedman spent his entire life perpetuating Rav Shraga Feivel’s legacy. Reb Bunny writes, “In the 1980s, when Rabbi Pinny Lipschutz brought an English version of the Yated to America, my father felt that this was finally the fulfillment of Rav Shraga Feivel’s dream [to have a kosher media medium]. And I can tell you that when my father saw something that he viewed as the fulfillment of Rav Shraga Feivel’s vision, nothing would deter him from taking it on as his own steadfast mission in life. So, of course, everyone in his own family lobbied to become a subscriber. Once we were all hooked, he moved on and implored everybody he knew to become subscribers.

Perhaps the always eloquent General Editors of ArtScroll/Mesorah, Rabbi Nosson Scherman and Rabbi Meir Zolotowitz, Torah pioneers in their own right, put it best in their contribution to the book. They write: “Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz absorbed the fire, grace, judgment and idealism of such earlier generations. He prefers to stay in the background, but it is undeniable that he is the pioneer of English language Torah journalism in the United States. He opened the way for others, but the Yated remains the newspaper of choice for thousands of Bnei Torah families. We at ArtScroll/Mesorah have always admired his accomplishments and been grateful for his recognition of our role in helping present the Torah to today’s Jews in their own language.

“When the English Yated published its first edition twenty years ago, the doubts far outnumbered the cheers. There is no need to enumerate the real and perceived pitfalls. They were many. But with allegiance to Daas Torah, impeccable editorial judgment, honesty, integrity, courage, stamina, discretion, and literary ability steeped in limud haTorah and hashkafas haTorah, Rabbi Lipschutz navigated the Yated to its position as one of the ramparts of Torah journalism. He paved the way for others, but he continues to grow the Yated and maintain its strong and respected position.”

Indeed, although the Yated paved the way for numerous other publications that have come along in the last decade, it is the Yated that set the standard.

Reading the book is truly not only a fun, nostalgic trip down memory lane, but also a window into appreciating the magnitude of the pioneering accomplishment of the Yated that persevered, against all odds, to become the source for the weekly Torah hashkafa and commentary about virtually every issue relevant to the Torah community over the past 20 years.

The Sections


Without a doubt, the Yated 20th Anniversary Book is a collector’s item, an heirloom that will grace many a home, a historical work that documents the history of Chareidi newspaper journalism in the modern era.

The book begins the way every single copy of the Yated begins: with a striking high resolution front cover, followed by the Editor’s View, written by Rabbi Lipschutz. Rabbi Lipschutz writes, “Back in those lonely days, the paper was a daring venture, by no means guaranteed of success. But our belief in our mission, ignited by Maran Rav Elazar Shach zt”l, kept us going. That mission fueled our efforts from the days we were delivering the papers ourselves, after writing articles and pasting in the few ads with our own fingers. Today, so many years later, the paper has grown and we have a large and capable staff, but we still seek to fulfill the same goal that inspired us at the outset: to provide our world with the quality newspaper that Rav Shach envisioned.”

The next section of the book is one that shows what is so unique about the Yated. The leading gedolei Torah of America – senior roshei yeshiva, admorim, rabbonim and maggidei shiur – have penned their own handwritten letters relating what the Yated means to them. Each of the more than 120 letters by gedolei Torah of America, in the writer’s own way and style, pay tribute to what the Yated and its editor, Rabbi Lipschutz, mean to him personally and to Klal Yisroel as a whole. The common denominator that unites all of the letters is the tremendous amount of warmth inherent in each one, and the recognition of the central role the Yated plays in the spiritual lives of Klal Yisroel.

If one wants to understand the importance of something, it is vital to see what the einei haeidah, the leading ga’onei hador, say about it. The letters, spanning more than 136 pages, represent the greatest testament to the Yated‘s remarkable achievements while serving as fascinating reading in their own right.


The next section of the book is a fascinating account of messages from numerous prominent rabbinical and communal leaders, as well as political figures, detailing what the Yated has meant to them over the past 20 years.

One poignant letter is written by Rabbi Chaim Nosson Segal, a rov in Staten Island and Torah Umesorah’s Director of Community Development. He writes how in his travels across the country on behalf of Torah Umesorah, he has witnessed that the Yated is not just a newspaper, but rather a phenomenal kiruv rechokim tool. He writes of coming to Portland, Oregon, and getting to know Michael, a non-observant Jew who was sincerely seeking to connect with his Jewish roots. Rabbi Segal writes:

“Michael felt frustrated in a location where there was little opportunity for inspiration, so he turned to me instead. He asked me if there was any way he could feel connected to what goes on in the religious world. We spoke for a while and I gave Michael many good ideas on how to feel connected. I also suggested that he get a subscription to Yated Ne’eman. That’s when I picked up my phone and dialed my good friend Pinny. ‘Hello editor,’ I said, ‘I’d like to order a subscription for a fellow named Michael Rosenberg living in Portland, Oregon.’

“The subscription came through immediately and it served as a catalyst that helped to change Michael’s life. Through the Yated, Michael discovered a world that he never even knew exited. Like the old-time meshulachim who traveled from town to town, bringing the latest news to far-flung communities, the Yated offered Michael a lifeline that made him feel like part of something big. He realized that he belonged to a larger Jewish world beyond the borders of Portland, Oregon.

“Years later, Michael would tell me that he read the Yated from cover to cover. He enjoyed the divrei Torah of Rabbi Rapps, he loved gazing at the pictures of the gedolim, and his children devoured the magazine section. Of course there were other factors that influenced the Rosenbergs and inspired them to change their lives. But they vividly recall the Yated as a connection to a world that they aspired to join.

“Today, the Rosenbergs are all proud members of Klal Yisroel. One son is a yungerman learning in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, one is in Bais Medrash Ner Yisroel, a third son begins Ner Yisroel next year, and their daughter is married and living in Washington Heights.

“Michael’s story is inspiring, but I am quite sure that it is not unique.”


The “Yated at Work” feature is a fascinating pictorial section depicting numerous pictures of gedolei Yisroel and the importance that they attached to the Yated and to the job that its editor and publisher, Rabbi Lipschutz, has accomplished every week for more than two decades. One of the most poignant and moving pictures is a recent photo of Rav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg, the venerated nonagenarian rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Ore of Yerushalayim, intently reading the Yated.


It is easy to talk and write about 20 years of publishing a paper. However, one cannot possibly understand the magnitude of the task and the breadth and scope of what 20 years of publication, week in and week out, mean until seeing all of the front pages of the newspaper.

That is why the “History in Covers” section of the 20th Anniversary Commemorative Book is perhaps the most striking section. It is from the over 250 front pages of the Yated that have been selected for this book that one begins to comprehend how the Yated has been here for the community throughout the most momentous events, reporting, inspiring, and most of all serving as a mouthpiece for the gedolei Hador.

In one of its first editions, on June 23, 1989, we find the Yated reporting on the passing of one of the poskei hador, Rav Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss, Gaavad of the Eida Hacharedis.

During that first decade, the Yated was privileged to serve as the mouthpiece for Maran Rav Elazar Shach zt”l. Those early papers contain numerous front-page letters penned by Rav Shach, giving over his pure, unadulterated daas Torah.

As one peruses the book, he sees all of the letters of Rav Shach and marvels even now at the rosh yeshiva‘s veitein kuk, his long ranging view on the burning issues of the time.

As one goes through the years of fascinating front-page covers, a certain theme seems to form. Governments seem to rise and fall, presidents and prime ministers come and go, political intrigue and political crisis pass before one’s eyes, but one thing remains constant: the paper always has some important Torah community story on the front page. Whether announcing the imminent arrival of a Torah giant in America, the passing of a great rosh yeshiva or the opening of a yeshiva in Moscow, Russia, the Yated has set priorities in news reporting that have become the industry standard everywhere.

When reading through the front pages, it is amazing to note how, throughout the years, the Yated has continuously been improving, striving to bring its readers an even better and more professional product. It is simply amazing to see the earlier issues with a table of contents that barely makes it past 20 pages and the paper of today which often features more than 200 pages!

Another remarkable thing is to discern how the Yated and its editors took great pains to use its front page to report on organizations that have been moser nefesh to serve Klal Yisroel. Whether it is Lev L’Achim, Torah Umesorah, Shuvu and numerous others, it was the Yated who helped the then fledgling, or underreported, organizations reach Klal Yisroel, explain to Klal Yisroel what they were doing, and thus enable them to create their own revolutions in chinuch and kiruv rechokim.

It is clear from the front pages that the Yated’s bottom line has always been to promote Torah and kevod Shomayim, with Rabbi Lipschutz selflessly providing space on his coveted front page to these organizations, thereby making a statement to Klal Yisroel. The statement that he so effectively made was that the accomplishments of these organizations are far more important than Sharon, Clinton, Bush, Barak or any of the other supposed major leaders and players on the world scene.

The authentic, earth-shattering news for the Jewish community is that another Jewish child has been brought close to Avinu Shebashomayim, another rebbi has learned additional chinuch skills, another Jew has been inspired by the words of the rosh yeshiva at the Torah Umesorah Convention. That is the real front page news.


One of the most popular sections in the Yated is the Readers Write section. When you ask people, “What is the first section you read in the paper?” many invariably respond, “Readers Write.” It is such a popular section because people really speak their minds and it therefore gives the reader an idea of what is going on in the minds of those in our community.

Similarly, I am sure that many Yated readers are curious to know what goes on in the minds of their favorite writers. What really goes on behind the scenes at the Yated?  In this 120-page section of the book, any reader wanting to know the inside story about what their favorite writer is thinking and exactly what they do for the paper can find out.

One can also read about who the writer is, how he or she came to the Yated, and how the writer’s column or article evolved into its present format.

There are so many Yated readers who feel that our favorite writers are almost part of the family. We sit with them every Shabbos, reading them, being inspired by them. Now, in this book, you can really get to know them on a personal level and hear their story.

The Writers Write section also features a fascinating and important historical treatise written by Yated columnist and biographer, Avrohom Birnbaum, on the early history of Chareidi newspapers and periodicals, and the effort and pains taken by the gedolei hadoros of generations gone by to ensure the availability of kosher newspapers to combat the poisonous influence wrought by newspapers operated by Maskilim who ridiculed everything that is holy.

In the Writers Write section of the book, we get an inside look at the picture section of the Yated and the tremendous amount of work invested into that column by Rabbi Chaim Moshe Lipschutz, the Yated Picture Editor.

One of the most fascinating articles in the Writers Write section is the one written by Rabbi Yitzchok Hisiger, assistant to the publisher, editor and writer, who actually compiled and edited the Yated 20 Year Commemorative Book. Rabbi Hisiger, a rising star in the world of frum journalism, walks us through the hectic final two days before printing. From Rabbi Hisiger we learn the significance of Monday and Tuesday in the Yated weekly schedule, how much work and sleepless hours are invested in those crucial 48 hours,, the staggering amount of material that must be edited and laid out before printing, and the sheer amount of split-second decision-making facing Rabbi Lipschutz during those hectic hours at the printer on Tuesday evenings. Only after reading Rabbi Hisiger’s description of the frenetic, behind-the-scenes activity during the few hours before your paper hits the newsstands can one appreciate how much effort is invested in order for the final product to be worthy of gracing the most upstanding homes in Torah communities across the Fruited Plain.


After going through some 700 pages of the Yated 20th Anniversary Commemorative Book, the reader feels overwhelming awe, particularly when the realization hits. What is the realization? That the Yated is not just a medium that filters news from objectionable material. It is far more than that. Rabbi Yossi Rosenberg, Yated columnist and baal hashkafa par excellence, put it succinctly when he writes:

“A common misconception is that all there is to producing a Torah-true newspaper is to filter violence, indecency and immodesty out of the regular news. Once this is done, we assume the paper is then “kosher” and may be brought into any Torah home. Such thinking is grievously wrong. How news is related – even the regular, political news – will vary greatly, depending on one’s hashkofas hachaim, one’s stance on political and social issues, one’s personal weltanschauung.

“In a letter explaining the need for the Yated Ne’eman in Eretz Yisroel, Rav Shach elaborates on the objectives of the newspaper (Michtavim Uma’amorim Vol. 5: 536-7). Rav Shach understood that the secular, liberal and fringe elements of society had begun using the news medium to further disseminate and legitimize their personal views. By using subtle and not-so-subtle inferences and insinuations, ‘dry’ news items, and especially lengthier features and articles, had become replete with hashkafos often entirely at odds with the truth, the Torah, and even common sense.

“Rav Shach therefore recognized the unequivocal need for a newspaper which would provide not only news clean of the obvious indecency and immorality, but also news clean of negative influences and inappropriate insinuations. News itself, when simply reprinted from secular sources, is quite different than news viewed through the Torah’s prism. Complementing such a paper, of course, would be articles and features geared towards promoting, explaining, and elucidating the Torah’s view on life and life’s issues.

“This, in short, is the Yated’s raison d’être. It is an enormous undertaking, and an awesome responsibility. As someone who has been privileged to write for the Yated, it is quite humbling to contemplate the great responsibility – and conversely, the enormous potential.”

Perhaps the overwhelming feeling one gets, once one finishes the nostalgic 700-page trip down memory lane is, “Thank you Rabbi Pinchos Lipschutz for serving as the shlucha d’rachmana to make sure that all of that happens!” 

To order the book for $24.95 and receive free shipping, click here.

{Article by Yisroel Lichter}


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