The Matzav Rant: We’ve Failed, We’re Gutless

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matzav_networkBy Shmuel Miskin

Our people have demonstrated strength, bravery, courage and fortitude when situations have arisen. We’ve done the impossible, we’ve overcome challenges, and we’ve defied the odds. We’ve shown selflessness, we have distinguished ourselves as merciful and caring people, and we’ve made clear why we are a unique nation.

But with all our virtues, we are human. We have weaknesses, both individually and communally. In the next few lines, I will briefly comment on one glaring weakness of ours, and that is dealing with individuals who wreak havoc on our communities, inflict damage on members of our people, or defy requests to cease and desist from hurting our interests.

On a communal level, I believe, we have failed to deal with those within our communities who, wittingly or unwittingly, for fame, honor or money, or for any number of reasons, do things that hurt us, hurt our mosdos and kehillos, and negatively affect our standing in our cities and towns.

Often, we have no guts. We don’t know how to deal with or rid ourselves of bad people. We allow them to do their thing, destroying us from under our noses.

We think we have tactics, but we don’t, especially when the bad people couldn’t care less what people think of them or their activities. They snub their noses at authority.

And in present times, those who ignore all authority and calls for responsibility have a powerful weapon: the internet. Let me call a spade a spade: We have totally failed as a community in reigning in what I’ll call “rogue blogs,” meaning blogs run by individuals who do what they want, the way they want to do it, without a care for what is in the best interest of the community they live in or the greater Jewish community. And no, I’m not talking about those who have left the path of Torah and spend their days digging up dirt. I am talking about those who still reside in our communities.  They get caught up with the newfound attention their blog or website receives and there is no turning back for them. On a daily basis, they can be uprooting a community from the inside, making life difficult, and often impossible, for the representatives of the tzibbur who work constantly on ensuring that our kehillos are protected and have what they need.

But it’s gotten even worse.

Now, apparently, not only have we shown that we can’t fight the rogue individuals who will do what they want, but we have people of authority who are scared to take these people to task. Why? Because in the age of blogs, you can’t win and you can’t fight. Even if you know who you’re dealing with, you’re powerless. Because you are fighting a blog. Say the wrong thing to the person you wish to influence and he’ll tear you down on his blog within minutes.

So what’s the eitzah? You guessed it: If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Outcasts and defyers will now be coddled and treated with kid gloves for political convenience. We will have tacit and explicit endorsements being given to rogue blogs and other fringe elements because who wants to start up with people who have no conscience, care nothing about their reputations, and will do whatever they want regardless?

For political and social expediency, all standards and principles are going straight out the window.  

For shame.

{Shmuel Newscenter}


  1. THOSE WHO KNOW WHAT MISKING is talkign about will understand quite well
    and those who don’t know won’t.
    but misking is right on the money.

  2. #1.
    He is talking about guys who blog about all the failures in the orthodox system (children abuse, yeshivos who only accept the brightest, boys who act out in Israel, escapades, just to name a few…).

  3. I am on the list of those who do not know what you are talking about but I do agree that blogs are hurting Klal Yisroel.

    It is not the blog that hurts it is the outright Chutzpah and Gayva that some of our people have thinking they represent us.

    The media sees a yarmulka on a head and automatically the person receives a title of Rabbi. Doesn’t make sense right? Well neither does this make sense that somehow because you have a blog you are now considered someone to be reckoned with.

    Reb Noach Weinberg ZT”L would always say that 70 years ago there was a physical holocaust but today there is a spiritual one and it is far greater, far worse and with many more casualties then Churban Europe. The awful influences from these Meshugoyim with blogs is our own killing our own. We cannot blame this on the Goyim. We are witnessing the daily slaughtering of our Kedoshim just this time Nebach it is our own people who are the murderers.

    Hashem Yazor. Hashem please take your Nekamma out on them. Hashem please bring the Geula and rid klal Yisroel from these cancerous people.

  4. This has to be the most nonsensical ‘rant’ ever written on this blog.

    Mr. Miskin does not identify the specific issues with which he has a problem. Nor does he say what the endorsements are for, which blogs are being endorsed …or even who the endorsers are!

    Why in heaven’s name was this even posted? What is the point of it? It is a complete and utter waste of anyone’s time to read.

  5. Reb Shmuel, would you please speak English. What in the world are you talking about? Collect your thoughts and then get back to us.

  6. Mishkin apparently thinks he is the only one entitled to an opinion.

    That’s what this is really all about.

    In any event. G-d bless the bloggers for exposing things the mainstream chareidi press deliberately covers up or denies.

  7. I have to admit that I’m kind of stumped myself.

    Exactly what type of blog are you referring to? What, exactly, is a “rogue blog” in your definition?

    Blogs run the entire spectrum. There are those that are, admittedly, provocative and looking to generate content. But then again, there are also those that, out of concern for the direction that our community (or segments thereof) are heading, voice our concern in civil tongue and in thoughtful manner.

    Is any blog that expresses dissent with the status quo a “rogue blog?” Or is there a more precise definition that you are targeting (but not making clear in your article)?

    As a blog owner myself, I am very curious to hear your answer.

    The Wolf

  8. Ok, Rabbi Miskin, if we are gutless, have the courage. Name the blogs and what they have said and clearly illustrate why (or how) they are wrong.

  9. Yes for the first time people have a way to voice their opinions. For the first time people can state what they want. For the first time, people can challenge the system, the askanim, the power structures, the gevirim.

    And you can’t handle it. You can’t handle someone yelling that the emperor is naked. You can’t handle people not accepting the notion that only a few know what is going on and the rest should simply follow in silence. Furthermore, you don’t have the intellectual arguement to challenge the bloggers. So all you left with is the scream of a wounded animal.

    The world has changed. Get with it. We know what happens to a species that can’t adapt to changes in the environment.

  10. WOW! I see more than one of the very bloggers Reb Shmuel Miskin presciently wrote about, are here poo-pooing it all saying they don’t understand!!

  11. Who is Shmuel Miskin and why is he given forum to rant? Many of his rants have been a waste of time and pretty much the opinion of one man – why is a news forum giving what is essentially a comment on life the space?

  12. until all of klal yisroel joins together as one Mashiach cannot come.
    joining together means no more arguments , no fight etc… when that is the situation then mashiach can come

  13. I must admit that when I read the first part I was cautiously optimistic that Mishkin was writing about pedophiles and religious convicts…

    Then I read the rest to see it was once again nothing more than his usual holier than thou sanctimonious

  14. “WOW! I see more than one of the very bloggers Reb Shmuel Miskin presciently wrote about, are here poo-pooing it all saying they don’t understand!!”

    Very well, Rov, then please explain.

    Is a blog that offers civil and respectful criticism about problems affecting our community a “rogue blog?”

    The Wolf

  15. If Rabbi Miskin has a point to make let him come out and say it plainly instead of leaving people to play the guessing game, it is very in effective.

  16. Come on! Use your seichel.
    For those who haven’t figured it out, someone in askanus gave an endorsement of a blog ( not one about children abuse, yeshivos who only accept the brightest, boys who act out in Israel, escapades, but rather a community blog). Mainstream ehrliche Yidden view the blog as a chilul Ha-shem and a source of trouble for the community.
    Endorsing the blog is therefore a troubling thing.

  17. Is a blog that offers civil and respectful criticism about problems affecting our community a “rogue blog?”

    No. One that looks for every nitty gritty unpainted corner of the Torah world to viciously attack, is. Comment section included.

  18. Excuse me, but “rogue blogs” are not our biggest problem. What we don’t have the guts to do is to stand up and denounce deviant people for what they are, deviants, not True Torah Jews. No, instead we protect them, and scream “anti-semetism to those who have exposed. This is our biggest problem, and you waste our time complaining about “blogs” because they aren’t towing the party line and trying to protect these deviants also?! If we got our own house in order, these blogs would have nothing to write about!

  19. I beleive in open dialogue. There are issues facing our community that need to be addressed, HOWEVER (I think it’s my favorite word- there always seem to be contradictions in life)there are those with different opinions that abuse such forums. For example, if a frum site reports a story of a frum sicko (the truth is I’m not sure we can call these people sick – as i’m not so sure they even perpetrated the crimes they were indicted for because the American justice system does not mete out true justice.) But for arguments sake, lets say a frum Jew abused somebody- then these Jewbashers who love to bash the frum, crawl out of their holes and start ranting that the’re taking off the veil of secrecy , as if every second one of us were abused or are abusing. It creates a very misleading picture of our community.

    Also every little thing that is wrong in our community is blown up to epic porportions so that we are made two resemble two footed animals as opposed to good humans who can sometimes make mistakes.

    Now thank you #25 for enlightening us, as the article was extremely unclear, and no I didn’t know about an askan’s endorsement of any particular blog, but rather assumed that Miskin was talking about blogs.

    There are blogs that allow bloggers to post misleading, hateful posts. They are not doing a service for the community at all, but a very grave disservice to say the least. In fact some of them do not allow objective posts at all. I once tried posting a comment that if our comminty is so bad, with so many abusers, how come people are not moving out of our communities to safer places, how come people are not pulling their kids out of yeshivas and placing them in public school, if yeshivas are so unsafe? Well, do you think my blog was posted? No it was not. And it didn’t get lost, I posted the same blog twice. So there is no real discussion going on, rather a representation of the blog owner’s views.

  20. There are those of us who were inculcated with anti-zionist hatred when we were young, but now that we are more mature, we scratch our head and say, what on earth is wrong with having a State of Israel, which is the greatest gift the klal has had since the churban. Why is so much sinas chinam being taught about our secular brethren who did so much to establish a haven which has grown into a thriving country where all of us Chareidim, Modern or Secular benefit from its existence.

    Yes, we are tired of this. and tired that an equal number of gedolim in numbers and stature were actually pro-zionist, but have been edited out without a trace of Chareidi history and biography books.

    We are also tired of hearing the sinas chinam against frum colleges.

    Yes, we who write on blogs are tired of the status quo of sinas chinam, and feel that we are finally making a dent in the wider community, that only ahavas yisroel will bring the geula. Blogs may be the RBSH’s way of allowing feedback, so that problems can be corrected.

  21. I thought this was going to be a post about joining the US Military. Maybe we can learn some derech eretz from our men in uniform?

  22. #28: If we got our own house in order, these blogs would have nothing to write about!

    WRONG. As long as people resort to lies amd exaggerations they will ALWAYS have what to write about.

    Everyone should read #29 and try it for themselves, like I did. These “truth-seekers” and “truth exposers” are the epitome of sheker.

  23. Someone should suggest to matzav that we’re tired of hearing this “nisht git mishkin”. He’s full of self-righteousness even when he has a point, let alone the times when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

  24. The argument of this article is that Jewish authorities should use their power to stop Jewish bloggers from publishing objectionable material.

    The argument of many of the bloggers is that Jewish authorities should use their power to stop Jews from abusing others.

    Both arguments suffer from the fact that, in our free-for-all society, the actual power of Jewish authorities is rather limited.

  25. There is a vital need for these blogs. The mainstream websites such as this very Matzav and YWN delete any opinion that does not tow the party line. Sorry fellas, but stifling open discussion by editing out is a two way street. If you and YWN won’t print my opinion, someone else will. So you saved all the little ignorant beis yaakov girls from hearig what I and others have to say, good for you. But the ones with a brain will find us and then you will not only look stupid, you will have lost your credibility. So open up and debate us on the merits of the case. You can’t shut us up anymore, we have other outlets and we will use them.


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