Mar 11, 2010

Rabbonim being made into askanim

A new paper has come to town. "Hashavua", a religious paper based in jerusalem and Bnei Braq, run by "Kav L'Itonut HaDatit" has been opening up satellite newspapers in various communities around the country, and this past week their Bet Shemesh branch issued its first edition of a local religious/haredi newspaper.

Of course, they are stepping on some people's toes in the process. The local haredi paper, "Chadash" is the most affected by this, and cannot be happy about their new competition.

Some businesses are complaining that they are being pressured and threatened to not advertise in the new newspaper. Local rabbonim are also being brought in to tell people not to advertise, despite the fact that the new newspaper was opened with the halachic permission of Rav Shteinman and Rav Kanievsky (supposedly).

I have no problem with Chadash fighting against competition they might consider as unfair or as taking a piece of their pie.

If they have claims of "hasagas gvul", take them to beis din. Fight it by giving better rates on advertising, improve the quality of the newspaper (in my opinion since they added the English section the quality has only gotten worse which was a difficult feat considering how bad it already was), make it more professional, etc.

Stop mixing the rabbonim into your business issues. Go to them with the shailos, bring your case to beis din, but stop calling on the rabbonim to help you pressure potential or past advertisers. Stop using the rabbonim as your askanim. keep the business apsect of it in the realm of business, and not in the realm of rabbinics.

When you mix the rabbis into these issues that they have no place being involved in, it only causes, in the long run, a degradation of the honor of the rabbis and of the respect and esteem in which the rabbis are held.

The rabbonim should not become askanim of businessmen. They should remain rabbonim. Ask them if such a campaign is allowed, ask if you can fight against the competition, ask if it is hasagas gvul, but don't get them mixed up in dealing with advertisers.


  1. I don't know why you object to the buisnessman. he does what he can. Your article should focus strictly on the "rabbonim." Any Rav worth his salt would refuse to sign and would urge the person to initiate a din torah.

  2. Competition creates a better product, whether news, clothing, food, etc. With everyone in Israel having three opinions on everything, a new newspaper is just what the people need. Another light to shine on ALL the issues.


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