Feb 8, 2011

Parshat Blah Blah

Haaretz newspaper, like probably all the Hebrew newspapers in Israel, print the times for Shabbos (in and out) every Friday. Last Friday the printed their normal box of candlelighting times, but the title of "Shabbat Parshat Truma" said "Parshat Blah Blah" instead.
Parshat Blah Blah

That upset some people, including the head of Rabbanei Tzohar, as it indicates that they treat such information with a lack of importance. As Rav Moshe Be'eir said, "...This square, with the times for the beginning and the end of Shabbos, even though it is small relative to the page of the newspaper, contains within it a connection to the religion and tradition of Israel, a connection to generations upon generations of those who were, and continue today to be, careful about keeping the Shabbos, and to the Jews who even gave up their lives for the sake of keeping Shabbos. Treating it lightly, whether done intentionally or lackadaisically - and I don't know which would be worse.  I request you investigate this shameful incident, how such a mistake could happen in your important and worthy newspaper..."

It seems to be making a big deal out of a simple mistake. Newspapers make mistakes all the time. I can even imagine how this happened - they had not yet checked the calendar to find out the name of the parsha, and inserted "blah blah" as a placeholder. Then when they checked the calendar for the times they forgot to replace the placeholder with the right information. It happens to me sometimes, hopefully rarely, in a paper I edit, and I can imagine that is what happened in this incident. Though Haaretz is important enough that they should not have such mistakes, at the end of the day we are all human and mistakes do happen. At least they did not get the times of Shabbos wrong, as that would have possibly caused  people to be mechalel shabbos without realizing it...


  1. rotflmao, that was exactly how I felt last shabbos.

  2. Mordechai Y. ScherFebruary 08, 2011 5:02 PM

    In the old days, it would not have been inconceivable that Haaretz would do that intentionally. They aren't just a left=wing paper. They are a media organ which for decades has spewed falsehoods to cast aspersions on any and all who they deem wrong in the Israeli political and social scene. I had firsthand experience of this when they interviewed me as part of a student group in the late 70s. What appeared the next day had no resemblance to what I had said. They are completely unconcerned with the truth. They are disdainful of religion.

    Yes, it may have been an innocent mistake. But coming from them, it still fits into a long chain of disdainful treatment for Torah.

  3. It looks like a practical joke.
    The guy who did it probably thought that the editors would notice and correct it.
    I would not be surprised that the mistake was overlooked because the guys in charge at haaretz genuinely thought in their ignorance that this is actually the name of the Parsha.

  4. A good friend of ours told us that she once saw in the Jerusalem Post an article that included the phrase:
    United States Chief of Staff General Vivashvili (check spelling) visited Europe this week.
    That is not an exact quote, but everyone gets the idea, the editor had left in the parenthetical request to check the spelling of the general's name!

    While the HaAretz newspaper has a reputation of being very biased, I would not be surprised if this particular situation was a case of rather stupid human error.

  5. Must have been the week. Our daughters' high school news sheet last week had a box which said:
    Shabbos comes in
    Shabbos goes out

    which we thought was rather cute!

  6. Let's assume blah blah was just a placeholder...that in itself is problematic, and shows a lackadaisical attitude toward shabbos.

  7. Mistake?

    Please review the Ramba"m's 3rd rule on Kaf Zekhuth. You know. It's the one that nobody likes to talk about.

    3. A known rasha' (as opposed to the know Tzadiq mentioned in rule 2) appearing to do something good, must be assumed to have ulterior motives.

    Thus, a rasha' doing something nasty out in the open should be taken at face value.

    C'mon. How can "Blah, blah" be a mistake? A misspelling is a mistake.

    This is clearly an "I don't give a damn about the Torah" statement.

    The only possibility here is that it was an individual or couple of people who snuck this in, and the Am HaAretz newspaper was irresponsible in its supervision.


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