Why Marvin Schick Hates Matzav.com

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marvin-shickBy Marvin Shick

We English-speaking Orthodox are blessed with an abundance of attractive publications ranging from a daily newspaper to weekly magazines and newspapers. There is much good writing and useful information in these publications and although it is at times a struggle to keep up with the flow and still spend sufficient time on Torah study and other vital needs, it is good to know that our community has reached this stage of development.

What we cannot – or ought not – be proud of is some of the content of these publications. There is too much writing that embraces far right-wing ideology and has reckless disregard of the truth. What I am referring to is not the embrace of conservatism, whether on social or economic issues. Rather, I am referring to writers who seem to regard Rush Limbaugh as their “Rebbe” and who think that the halachic requirement to respect the leaders of our country is something that they can disregard. Here are two recent examples:

“The American president cannot be convinced of the truth; instead he empowers tyrants such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Syrian President Bashar Assad and, most recently, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani.” (Matzav.com)

“Well, let’s check in with the Fars News Agency, which, by the way, is just like a regular news organization, only instead of publishing what’s actually going on, they just make up stuff in Farsi. In other words, they are to Iran what CNN is to America. The difference between the two is that Fars only writes what Iranian clerics tell them to write, while CNN would never think of doing anything like that…unless American clerics (sometimes read: the politicians in power from whom CNN’s directives are received) tell them to.” (Ami Magazine)

Is this stuff for real? Barack Obama empowers Putin and Assad and the president of Iran? CNN makes things up and there is scarcely a difference between it and the Fars News Agency?

You would not know from these comments and too many others like them that during the Obama presidency strong sanctions have been placed on Iran causing enormous hardship to that country’s leadership. This is in contrast to the weak actions taken against Iran by the U.S. during the eight years of President Obama’s predecessor. You would not know from the first of these comments that the relationship between Obama and Putin has deteriorated significantly.

There is a good deal more that can be said about the wildness of these charges and how they depart from even the most minimal standard of truth-telling. What is frightening is the poison that is being fed to too many in our community. What is frightening is how despite our painful history at the hands of the far right, much of it still recent, there is an eager embrace of the far, far right-wing. For shame!

Cross Currents

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. well it looks like the only one who really cares about the Jews is the right. yes in the past the right was bad for the Jews but as things changed they are better. the left all they care about is themselves and getting reelected. rush is a smart guy say what ever you want. if you don’t like his guts is one thing but he still makes sense. the left all they want is 1 thing POWER. so do the republican but that’s why we have to fight to keep the government out of our life. and that’s what the so called far right do, the woos-es bend. some think that by getting Jews in government things will be better. well from history it doesn’t look like it.

  2. I totally agree with this article. This site will never give the President credit for anything. Instead he is bashed for everything he does with no effort to ascertain the truth. This is a tremendous chilul Hashem in my opinion and a serious lack of hakaras hatov. We as bnei torah should have the brains to deferenciate right from wrong based on the facts and not based on political affiliation. President Bush made a disaterous mistake by sending our troops into Iraq for no reason at all and there was almost no criticism of that on this site but when the current president is trying to avoid a similar disaster in Syria, he is criticized. I can go on and on. The bottom line is that most of us can decide on issues based on its merits and no, we are not talmidim of Limbaugh or Hannity!!!

  3. Marvin Schick is a choshuve Yid, and an astute observer of the frum scene. So even if we think he is wrong, we should listen to him with respect and consider what he says.

    Dr. Schick is the President of a venerable Yeshiva, RJJ. And there is an inyan to respect a president!

  4. Jake, I agree fully. But besides all you said, pretending that everything Obama touches turns to poison is just intellectually dishonest. And that’s coming from someone who’s not a fan…

  5. His point of disrespecting the leader of the U.S is well taken. However, the author makes the point that the news is incorrect. It seems that the author is bothered more by how much we follow Mr. Limbaugh, than that of disrespecting the presidency. Which one is it, truth-telling or disrespect?

  6. Obama’s health plan will destroy small business, Yeshivos that offer health insurance and most of the Middle Class. He is a socialist and liberal, have usually found that the right wing idealogy matches Torah Hashkafa much more than LIBeral, left wing.

    Sorry Mr. Shick if you are upset.

  7. Is Marvin as bothered about the websites that spew lashon hara day after day or is that okay? Because I haven’t seen an article against them

  8. The problem is, the “left” hates anything & everything about Torah & Kedusha. They are the ones forcing degenerate policies such as taking the mention of God out of public schools, gay “marriage” & abortion on demand. The “right” has at least, in words, defended the norms of decency. I agree with Dr. Schick that Limbaugh & Hannity are not to be taken as halacha lemoshe misinai. Over all the “far right” has been a lot more accommodating to the Torah world.

  9. Thank you Marvin Schick for saying the obvious that nevertheless need be said. Matzav should get out of the business of cheering for one side or other in domestic political issues.

  10. Mr. Shick, while well-meaning, is a left-of-center idealogue who has no use for anything to his right. Which means the opinions of the gedolei yisroel shlit”a and chareidim on most of the contentious issues of our day.

  11. I second #9. Mr. Schick wasn’t speaking specifically about Matzav – he was talking about the frum English media in general, and he’s absolutely right. Some seem to havebeen written by PR representatives of the Tea Party, or the more extreme right-wingnuts. Usually, though, the media articles themselves aren’t so bad (except for featuring Rush Limbaugh, Trump, etc.) but the talk-backs are frequently off the wall. You wonder if some of these people are really trolls or just suffering from emotional problems. We do need to have news which is more than just PR for one side or other.

    As for Matzav itself, most of the articles are fine, although the headlines definitely need work (much too sensationalist). However, Mr. Limbaugh is not our friend, and he’s much too involved in promoting Mr. Limbaugh to be believable. There are other more responsible conservative commentators to quote.

  12. It seems to me that Dr. Schick specificaly aplauded the emergence of frum media outlets such as Matzav. He simply decries the slavish adulation of anything that emanates from Rush Limbaugh and those who degrade the President no matter what he says or does. It is high time someone called our publications to task for this unforgiveable irreverence. We owe the President respect and should limit our public display of criticism as askanim have throughout the generations of our sojourn in this malchus shel chesed.

    Dr Schick never said he hates Matzav and the headline is grossly unfair. Instead, you should pat yourself on the back for publishing the tochacha of an elder statesman who was meshamesh gedolei olam and knows what he is talking about on this subject. I suggest a new title: “Words of Mussar to Matzav and Other Frum Media Outlets from Dr. Marvin Schick”.

  13. Come to think of it, your headline on this piece is a great example. Nowhere does Mr. Schick even mention Matzav by name, much less say that he hates it. I sometimes get the impression that you write the headline without really reading the article, or do it on your iphone while waiting for the train. Matzav has some really good material – it’s just that the level is a little uneven.


    It’s amazing, we care more about FEELING more frum by siding with frum people from another religion than BEING more frum and disavowing their drive to push Xtianity on us!!!!!!!’

  15. I sincerely appreciate the comments responding to my post, including those comments that differ from my position. What I cannot understand is the heading placed on the post. Apart from the words scarcely making sense, nothing that I have written indicates that I hate Matzav.
    Marvin Schick

  16. I see Marvin Schick making accusations without backup. His challenge to the assertions of the Right is “Is this stuff for real?”
    I’m sorry, but I for one consider myself too intelectually honest to consider a dissmisive rhetorical question as a refutation to an entire philosophy.
    To wit, America has a terrible reltionship with Putin precisely because Obama is weak. They have no healthy respect for the US as they had “during the eight years of President Obama¬ís predecessor.” It is hard to imagine that Russia would thumb their noses at us so blatantly (and especially in the instance of Snowden), if not for the fact America has lost respect.
    Mr. Schick may be (and for the record, most certainly IS) a good Jew. But when making a political arguement, please have substance rather than hide behind the veil of religion and deploring the “shame” of those that feel differently from you. The fact that you still feel the need to compare Obama to Bush (whom you cannot even bring yourself to name), smacks of the vitriol we often see with feverish liberilism.
    Let’s just talk about Obama’s record and comptency on its’ own. My feeling is that he is a failure and incompetant. I am anxiously waiting to hear substantive arguements to the contrary.

  17. sorry Marvin! Obama represents all that is vile about politicians who have no sense of “right and wrong.” he panders to whatever pressure he gets politicaly. he encourages despots, tyrants, and sonei Yisroel. he encourages welfare and discourages work from those who ARENT engaging in Torah or Tikkun Olam; who just hang around all day engaging in drugs, hiphop and being cool. he is in favor of toeivah marraige, abortion, and trashing ethics.

  18. When a Torah site wants to push a political agenda, they are abandoning the mission of Hillel and adopting the mission of Pessimism.

  19. I am very disappointed with Marvin Schick. I considered him a straight shooter until he met with Obama. After that day, only syrup and praises were heard from his mouth about the President.
    The good thing about being American is that are free to express our opinion, and Mr. Schick is free to express his.
    Our sages warned us about getting too close to govt officials: Hevi Zehirin Broshus… Mr. Schick is no longer objective when it comes to Mr. Obama, so I would trust Matzav a lot more when it comes to the President.
    Mr.Schick is a smart, eloquent and a good man. But, in the case of Obama, he is also a bought man and so what he says on the subject is completely irrelevant.
    Good Shabbos

  20. I do see Obama empowering Ruhani, by congratulating the Iranian people for the “change” etc. and not stressing that actions is what matters. John Kerry then rushes to negotiate a “deal”… I mean they’re simply far from firm with him. Fact. And with Assad oh come on, you know how for 2 years he did nothing, which most certainly empowered him.

    As far as CNN, there have been many cases that yes they make up things, omit things, and they are very obviously an agenda driven ‘news’ agency. Comparing them to the fars news was meant as an illustration of being untruthful. Most people around here view religious and government intervention as a terrible thing, but liberal intervention is taken as a sign of enlightenment. This analogy is attempting to uproot this false impression.

  21. I don’t know Marvin Schick personally but the examples he gives are flawed.

    The fact that sanctions have been raised against Iran during Obama’s presidency does not contradict the fact that he is empowering Iranian President Hasan Rouhani. The sanctions were put in place before Rouhani became president but now he is talking about easing the sanctions because Rouhani made some good will gestures. Whether you agree with Obama that Rouhani’s good will gestures are legit and should be rewarded or you agree with Netanyahu that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing is irrelevant to this discussion, the bottom line is that Obama is empowering Rouhani by easing the sanctions.

    The fact that the relationship between Obama and Putin has deteriorated significantly also does not contradict the fact that Obama empowered Putin. Putin looked like a statesman and peacemaker because Obama backed himself into a corner and allowed Putin to raise his own stature by playing right into his hands.

    CNN doesn’t lie???? Gimme a break! After the invasion of Iraq which toppled Saddam Hussein, CNN admitted it had been lying in its Iraq coverage for years so that Saddam doesn’t kick them out of the country.

  22. I guaranteed that Mr. Shick did not feel the same way when democrats bashed Bush for everything over his two terms. He also was blamed for everything. That is politics, whether right or wrong. Why does it bother him so much that we don’t like Obama? I think it is intellectually dishonest for Mr. Shick to put down people who don’t support his political views. He says we have a reckless disregard for the truth. That is subjective. I, of course, think democrats have a reckless disregard for the truth. This is America, we can agree to disagree respectfully.

  23. “What is frightening is how despite our painful history at the hands of the far right, much of it still recent, there is an eager embrace of the far, far right-wing.”

    What is this supposed to mean? Please explain.

  24. The reason Putin an Obama have strained relations is because Putin does whatever he wants. He has absolutely nothing and no one to fear.
    It use to be, the world would answer to the superpower that America was, but he has no respect for Obama as a world leading president. For that matter, neither does anyone else in the world.Be it the Arabs or the Europeans. We lost a tremendous amount of clout with Obama as president. Through Obama’s speeches and policies,the Israelis were put into the same level playing field as the rest of the Middle East countries.He continues to show his ignorance in foreign policy over and over and over again. From his actions in Libya and cover ups, to the Syrian debacle, and how he continues to mishandle the whole Egyptian mess.
    Not taking advantage of the Iranian revolution a few years back, can be included too. At best, he continues to tolerate Israel,and shares intel when convenient and allows them to help advise in strategy, because of Israels experience,and his own deficiency in foreign policy.He continues to surround himself with weak,indecisive people to help him run this country.
    We didn’t even get to the domestic issues! The tremendous debt that keeps on growing and growing from all his liberal spending policies makes us weak in the long run.
    The socialist concept of Obamacare and how it ruins the American economy in the long run is not something to be proud of.Especially the way it was rammed through on the American people.
    Oh,lets not forget about the IRS scandal either.
    Stating these facts, I’m not sure how one can blame anyone from being anything other than dissatisfied with this president. This doesn’t mean that he did nothing that is commendable.
    Capturing Osama,and giving the Iron dome to Israel are very commendable.(Although both were abled in a large part due to the policies of the Bush administration.)Whenever liberals hear something not to their liking,they will usually deflect it as not thinking out of the box or just copying what Rush and Hannity say.
    It could very well be that they do say these things also,but I don’t need them to tell me to say anything. It’s all there for anyone who has clear glasses on their eyes.
    To those that don’t see it this way, I am concerned about your naivety and gullibility.
    As angry as some can be at MATZAV for stating the obvious truth, it is more disappointing to see the tactics of the liberals being used by someone as respected as Marvin Schick.

  25. Regardless of your politics, to think Rush Limbaugh speaks the truth is just no correct. Mr. Limbaugh is a shock jock, nothing more, nothing less, who will say whatever he thinks will get him the most press or rile up the most people. There are plenty of websites on the goyish-net that list many of Mr. Limbaugh’s “truths”.

  26. anyway you look at it these publications may have some value if it saves from reading secular publications they are still bittul zman.

    martin nerl

  27. There is plenty of blame to go around. All websites, newspapers, talking heads, politicians and blogs are biased – whether to the right or left. There is not a single one that consistently provides objective facts.

    Bottom line: don’t believe anything you see or hear in the media – anywhere.

  28. I think that those that disagree with his article as aknee jerk reaction should have the courage to challenge their assumptions. He makes two points:
    (a) dishonesty
    (b) respect for leadership
    To realize his point on (a) would require more time and thought than most people would tolerate.
    The point on (b) is true regardless of (a). If you are involved in “haskafas Hatorah”, ask a talmid chacham. If you don’t care about haskafas Hatorah – well then, sorry about that. I hope you change your attitude

  29. #9 excellent! the bashing one against the other is why my children refuse to let me read anything to them or their wives….ever!

  30. he seems to be indicating that the Nazis ysm were far right, but in fact they were far left – occultist, atheist, neopagan, and believing in the Theory of Evolution etc to support their eugenic views

  31. While I deeply respect Mr. Schick, I must disagree with him on the first quote.

    Yes, Mr. Obama has most definitely empowered Putin, Assad and Rouhani. The fact that the relationship between Obama and Putin has deteriorated is beside the point. By outsourcing the United State’s foreign policy to Putin, the White House has significantly empowered him.

    By drawing a red line and then refusing to do anything significant once it was crossed, Obama has empowered Assad.

    And by ignoring the Iranian head of state’s past and falling for his slick salesman act, Obama has significantly empowered Rouhani.

  32. This article is right on.
    We as Jews should be looking for truth, and not be pulled in by cheap ideas, be it Left or Right.
    Remember: they’re all wrong, both Right and Left. Only Torah is true. Don’t get sucked into anybody’s political shtick.

  33. Reb Marvin, what are we going to do about the high tuition costs for our kids Yeshivo’s? I know you’re involved in trying to help Frum Mishpachos with this issue. My wife & I both work (I’m even working today – Sunday) and we still can’t pay all of our KN”H 6 tuitions! Most are understanding, but one of them calls non stop and is causing us high levels of stress!

  34. This type of thinking is that of misguided bleeding-heart liberal Jews from the post-Depression era. These people – their greatest moment is when the “mi sheberach” for the President is recited in Shul. True, “halvai” we would be able to give unflinching respect to our Country’s leader, in the spirit of “holkin kavod lamalchut”.
    Unfortunately, Barack Hussein Obama is the Neville Chamberlain of our time, who – many historians feel – is the real guilty party for all the horror of WWII. Only that Barack Hussein is much more deft, cunning and sly than Neville ever was. The mullahmaniacs of modern-day Iran are no less evil than Hitler ym”s. Once ch”v they get their paws on any WMD they wil… ch”v be able to do much more damage than H did.
    The sanctions – be they as painful and hard-hitting as they may be – ARE NOT WORKING!!! Iran is continuing at an even more accelerated rate to produce a nuclear bomb. There is no doubt that if Israel were allowed to they would take out ALL of these nuclear sites in a stunning raid, the way they always do – with the Helping Hand of Hashem Yisborach. But he just continues stalling. His MO is weakness and cowering to the enemy, just like Chamberlain.
    Bibi is right on the money. But he unfortunately is becoming a lost voice amongst all the people who (like Dr. Mr. Schick)glorify Obama’s “do-nothing-ness”, thinking: Oh! How great! He’s kept us out of getting entangled in a war with Syria! etc., etc.
    Everyone must do whatever they can to speak out against this insidious President who has a bad agenda for the World at large and for the Jews in particular.
    Concerning the Russians – the only one who dealt with them in the right way was the late Ronald Reagan. He spoke extremely sharp with them and called their bluff. This is what brought down the evil of Communism. Vladimir Putin is criminal rag replica of Russia’s Communist past. He should never be trusted, and should only be dealt with sharply, in the same tones Reagan used with Gorbachev.
    Oh of course the way of truth is much harder to maintain, but in the end that is the way to win.

  35. With the overwhelming liberalism of the mainstream media, the antidote is to sometimes lean in the other direction. The “right-wingness” of the various publications referenced is nothing compared to the “left-wingness” of CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times. Let’s be fair in our criticism.

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