Lubav & Farbs – OpEd by Zalman – the creator of TMZ blog

Zalman is the original creator of the now dead twomilezone. From this article you can see were the inspiration came from to create it and what keeps us going until today.

If you are one of thousands of new viewers to Cholent please read this article to begin to educate yourself.

History

When examining the history of Lubavitch in  this country one will see that, as per the shita of the Rebbe to utilize out  every possible median to spread the message, magazines and newsletters became an  integral part of Hafotzas Hamayonos.  From Hakriyah Vehakdusha, Talks and  Tales and on, Lubavitch has published a plethora of publications throughout the  years. The objective of these publications was to address the [lack of]  publicity (or PR in modern terms) needed in order to spread the message of Torah  and Chassidus. This notwithstanding, we know how the Rebbe was ever so careful  to meticulously ensure that the message never, Chas V’shalom, be compromised by  the Levushim being used to carry it. Even on brochures merely advertising the Peulos of Lubavitch, the Rebbe showed surprisingly cautious insight with how things were presented. Following the creation of LNS, the Rebbe’s continued interest and involvement in maintaining the elevated standard of any news bit that was going to represent Lubavitch is today well known. (See teshuros from  the Krinsky chasunos.)

Even the Kfar Chabad magazine – seemingly an  internal publication – had immense involvement from the Rebbe who showed concern  for what/how was published. [Honoring 30 years of the KCM, Reb A.D. Halperin is  sharing amazing stories of the Rebbe’s involvement, instructing him about  articles and interviews and how/when to run them (many about the crucial issues  of the day).

The degree of the Rebbe’s involvement in publication and editorial  contact is mind boggling.]

With the increasing popularity of the Internet  came the pioneering idea of creating a website where one can be informed of the  goings on within the Lubavitch community. It was a Heimishe site that had an  informal style to it; it had a spattering of Yiddish words and was essentially  Chassidishe Devarim Betelim. It soon progressed into a service that let people  know what was going on.

Soon enough, other websites appeared on the  scene, each with their own twist and agenda, and with them came the spirit of  competition. Slowly the standard started to slip away. It now became OK to post  questionable news bits in order to expose a scoop and gain popularity. This  notwithstanding, there was always a general sense of responsibility and respect  to the name of Lubavitch, as well as to the readership of the respective sites.  The general feeling was that even if the editors posted something questionable,  they would not cross “the red line”.

Most recently, there has been a  website that emerged onto the scene that appeared to be just another member of  the news site family. Time and experience have shown that this was sadly not the  case; this website has evolved into something beyond recognition. It was another  animal altogether.

Where the Rebbe understood the full potential of the  positive power that a Lubavitch publication can have when harnessed in the  proper fashion, we are now experiencing the polar opposite.

Private  Business

This new site operates like a business. Whereas before a site  may have had an agenda that is “political”, here the agenda is money. In order  to get money, you need to sell advertisements, and what are advertisers  interested in? You got it, traffic (known as “clicks” or “hits”). So the  managers of the site have a direct interest in each and every news story posted, namely; MORE HITS.

Credit where credit is due, the founders of the site  are keenly perceptive. They understood that what would set them apart from all  the rest was one simple thing: Professionalism. A clean look, proper navigation,  well written articles and many photos/videos are things that people like. The underlying theme throughout the site is that it is thoroughly popularity based.  We give you what you want to hear/see. POWER TO THE PEOPLE. WOW!

But even  with the best intentions in mind, the motivation of making money can be more  enticing than being responsible with the platform that you have created and  using it out positively. Hence, a situation has arisen in which the highest  priority is getting more clicks. That being the strongest factor in the decision  of what and how to post can explain that lack of standard. A business has one  focus and that is to make money. In order to do that one must service people. So  now, the main consideration is to service the people by feeding them news that  will interest them. That, and deciding what and how they should  think.

Turning a Lubavitcher into a Lubav

What has resulted is  Chilul Hakodesh of the first order. By using hip and modern terms and themes  they slowly hack away at the sensitivity for holiness that was once a hallmark  of Lubavitch. Through seemingly benign language and connotations, they  successfully stand at the fore of the unfortunate paradigm shift in our  midst.

There seems to be an agenda here to paint the modern Zeitgeist as  the mainstream [or at least as proper and correct]. By choosing certain articles  to be featured and censoring comments [proven], the picture which is painted can  be very far from the truth. (There seems to be a pattern of choosing modern or  provocative stories from Chabad activities as well.)

Media  101

Those with a basic understanding in the workings of media will know that stuff that sells and makes people interested in your media outlet – essential to selling advertisements that bring the money – is mostly Shmutz.  People have an insatiable (and sort of unexplainable) craving to know what’s going on. Every news outlet is going to report on the happenings. What’s left is only to spin it right. In this area, the better you spin it, the more successful  you’ll be in attracting the masses. As the saying goes “Olam Golam”. Most people  believe what they read and take it at face value. They don’t really second guess  what they are being told; “it must be true, I read it in the news”. Here, this  new site has found an easy break; by giving the news a modern twist they will  have a professional feel and this will put them at an advantage over the other,  less “media-savvy”, news sites.

If there is no news (of any importance)  to report, the media will create news (i.e. make news out of something that is not necessarily news worthy). With a special emphasis on Yenteshaft, this site  has successfully capitalized on another natural trait of people, namely: needing  to know all about other people all the time.

(There is an element of the  site that is tabloid-like. They will often put up articles, galleries and pictures that are not newsworthy at all, but have a gossip appeal. It is widely  viewed as a service when pictures of simchos are posted on-line, but if you put a  gallery of people eating lunch at Mendy’s, it surely gets hits and comments thus  serving the same purpose in much more unfashionable way.)

One of the  special benefits of being in the media business is being able to influence (or  control) how people think since the public is eating straight out of your hand.  This gives journalists the ability to do favors for their friends. Many times,  friends are also advertisers. So keeping your advertisers happy is a very  important priority in this business. Friend’s agendas also enjoy special  priority being that they have the ears of the “ journalist”. The people who run  this site are smart, they know that no one is influenced in one day, but you can  slowly sway the way people think by ever so subtly modernizing the content and  style of your news.

Another offensive practice of the publishers of this  site is the way in which they report Chasidishe Inyonim. The modern twist of the  language they choose as well as the style in which they write is appalling.  (Choosing to write the Rebbe’s name instead of writing ‘the Rebbe’ as a Chossid  would, or referring to Hey Teves as “the black Friday of Lubavitch books”, etc. etc. – the last time I checked Reb Yoel didn’t “farbi”…)

Another new  practice: whereas before editors would post items that were sent to them with  permission, today the editors of this site scour the web for anything Chabad  related, and post it without getting permission. In case, to your dismay, you  may see yourself featured without your consent, you may contact the staff of the  site. They may or may not decide to comply with your wishes about this post  which features you (if they can make an exception to their “policy”). Oh, so now  we are bound by their “policy”. [By the way, WHAT is their policy? I for one  would love if they posted publicly.]

In this business you can decide to  whom you would like to give a platform, and they will gain immensely from being featured – sometimes they may even become famous. Think of that type of power,  you can make someone famous or
decide not to. This site has clearly chosen to  feature and give (equal) coverage to prevalent and unfortunate existences within  the Lubavitch community. This is the Tnua of Modernism. Modernism is anything  that deviates from the way of Raboseinu Nesieinu, the way the Rebbe has taught  or anything that is not in the spirit of Lubavitch. On any given day, there will  be multiple news pieces that will be offensive to the Rebbe, to Lubavitch and to any Chosid that holds the ways of Chasidus dear. (Making heroes of the likes of  Matisyahu, Mendy Pellin, Dimitry Sality, and best player in the Crown Heights  Softball League. See the calendar that they left in the puddle outside every home in CH
for  more.)

If knowledge is power, and you control the knowledge people get,  soon enough, this media outlet becomes the standard bearer for its constituency  and the trend-setter for the next generation.

Free Market in  Lubavitch

The immediate tayneh is, “what do you mean, it’s a free  market”.

Free market means “Power to the people”. It means that you trust  the people that they can make the right decisions and if someone has a good product, he will succeed.

Meaning that the people decide what is good.  This idea never existed in Lubavitch [or in Yiddishkeit for that  matter].

In Lubavitch, the Rebbe would be the one to decide if something  was good or not. The barometer one would always use in make a decision was  “would this be how the Rebbe would want it done” or “What would the Rebbe say  about
it”. Indeed, every Shliach would ask himself “would I report this or send this in to the Rebbe?”

If you want to leave the Rebbe’s way for free  market values, it is truly a pity. (The G-dlessness of the site seems to be well  presented in the fact that there is no “Boruch Hashem”.) But do everyone a favor  and don’t misrepresent yourself as being Lubavitch and schlep the masses with  you down your unholy path. Don’t operate within Lubavitch without our standards.  That is downright offensive to each and every Lubavitcher. It is a downright chutzpa to the Rebbe.

This is, it seems, the first such challenge to  Lubavitch from the “Free Market” standpoint. If we let this one overcome us,  there will be no end. There is a massive attack on our values and a gross  misrepresentation taking place.

Lubavitch and capitalism are simply  incompatible. It is not a free for all.

One hears it said “they are  simply reporting what is going on”. As explained earlier, in the media there is  always an element of agenda in what you decide to report and how you decide to  report it. There is a difference between something happening in the community  that is wrong or against Halacha or against our way of life and putting it up on a pedestal for all to see. To give modernisms airtime alongside a video of the  Rebbe from JEM and Peulos of Shluchim is an absolute Chilul Hakodesh. [This is  also what is so confusing to many. It’s this synthesis of good and bad  that is so creatively and skillfully blended on the site that make it difficult  to detect at first glance. That video of the Rebbe, shiur on the Parsha or  Shliach Farbenging alongside pointless and juvenile op-eds or video promotions  for “ Chabad-lite” activities is what is making it so easy to drink the  cool-aid.]

Why do we tolerate this in our midst?

Where is the  leadership?

The burning question is, where are the Rabbonim? Where is  Aguch? Where are the Mashpiim, Roshei Yeshivos, and Roshei Hamosdos?

Have  we lost it completely? The immense apathy is shocking. Have the Rabeim been  Moser Nefesh all the years for us to fail now and see this wave of modernism  destroy everything? What will open our eyes to the severity of the situation?  What will drive the point home that everything that the Rebbe has built up is  now being threatened by those in our very own ranks? Have the leadership become  part of the problem? Have they been bought off by the media?

In the  recent past, Rabonim in Eretz Yisroel have made certain restrictions on the  Hebrew sites. They have made the statement that one cannot operate in the midst  of Lubavitch without the responsibility of holding up to our standards. There  has been a noticeable improvement in the standard in the Hebrew  sites.

Take the bold step and reign monster in. Have the courage to do  what the Rebbe has entrusted you to do. Instead of turning a blind eye, take  action. It is Pikuach Nefesh. Take action before it will not help anymore. (With this wave of moral relativism, it will not be long before the website wields more power than Rabbonim or Aguch – if that hasn’t happened  already…)

It’s 2011, what are your children doing on-line?

It  seems that there is a sort of mental block by many Anash. Things that were out  of the question just a generation ago when they were on TV are now OK if it’s on  a computer. It’s as if the content was not the problem, but rather the television itself. It seems that the older generation that did not grow up with  the Internet, does not fully grasp its potency and ability of  destruction.

Those who let their children use the Internet (seemingly  more people at younger ages everyday), felt safe letting their children going  onto the “ Lubavitch” sites. They felt confident that none of the content on  those site would be abrasive. That has now become the standard. Unfortunately,  not many have updated their policy with the appearance of this new  site.

Let us put aside for a moment the issue of modernism. The site  contains much adult content, from dating to the latest Crown Heights fad. This  creates a situation an 11 year old may know the ins and outs of dating from an article that he read online. He now also knows that there is a Singles evening and what Rabbi Manis has to say about the shidduchim crises. And then we complain about the youth.

It’s all about balance

The founders  of this site know very well that in order to stay within the framework of the  community, they need to walk a very fine balance and while pandering to the  modern crowd and pushing the envelope as far as it will go, they also need  stories from Shluchim and Mosdos about their work.

This is the Zeidineh  Zupitz. “We are not TMZ or the National Inquirer. Chas Vesholom! We have so many  wonderful reports about Lubavitch activities around the world.” This is the key  to balancing it all out.

Shluchim, Directors of central Mosdos, they are  relying on you to help them in their Hellenist agenda! And we give them what  they need to continue being Mechalel Shem Lubavitch and spit us in the face by  airing our dirty laundry. They are perverting our people slowly, changing the  social norms and bringing down the standards in Lubavitch.

Let’s stop  giving them the ammunition they so rely on until they agree to stop this  terrible assault on all that is holy to us. Let’s stop linking  them on our sites  (Torah Cafe) and let’s stop featuring them by our Lag Baomer parades (Tzivos  Hashem). Let’s invite them to work with on OUR terms, based on the ways the  Rebbe taught us.

It’s what you’re reading…

Unless you are from  the strong ones among us, this is what you are reading daily; whatever Shtusim  and Shmutz are going on. You’re reading about the singles event in Crown Heights  the softball scores and whatever the editors of this site have decided is on the  Seder Hayom. Today, let’s decide that THIS SITE is on the Seder  Hayom!

The tipping point

With what is going on in Lubavitch  today, there is a point – that is not too far off – that is the tipping point.  Until now, the norm has been those who are Ne’eman to the ways of the Rebbe and  those who have modernized have been the “deviation”. With time, is unfortunately  changing. The way things are going now, the norm will soon the Moderns, and those who adhere to the ways of Lubavitch will be the minority and the outcast  (“Yes, you the weirdo walking on Kingston with a beard…”).

This is  largely due to the exponential help of this new site that has given a new,  disgusting face to modernism in Lubavitch mainstreamed it by pushing into  everyones faces. They will irreversibly destroy a generation of Lubavitch while  we sit by idly.

The battleground

COLlive.com is the  battleground for Lubavitch! It represents the single biggest threat to us today.  Will we sit by and succumb to the pressures of the media or will we stand up and  act even though it may hurt is in the short term?

We cannot sit by and  watch. We owe the Rebbe more than that! We must act to take back  Lubavitch!

It does not take a Pinchas, but it does take a Nachshon ben  Aminadav. Let us make the Rebbe proud!

Let us lead the way and help  people choose between the free market and the Rebbe’s baale-batishkeit of  Lubavitch!

Plan of Action

Many have asked what can be done  against such a “powerful site” that is gaining more power every day?

The  answer is that each person on their own can only do a little, but collectively  we can accomplish whatever we set out to change.

Here is a plan that can  be implemented, and with the participation of the many, we can make a  difference.

1. Make a  Hachlata not to visit the site anymore (at least for a period of time). If may  seem hard, but there are plenty of alternatives for the news. In addition, it  will only be hard in the beginning; you will soon realize that you are better  off for it.

2. They should  be asked not to take pictures of your Simcha or post it on their  site.

3. Don’t send in any  articles, pictures, or videos from your Peulos. If you can, sign on the letter  from 500 Shluchim and Roshei Hamosdos that we will no longer provide anything to  the site until they establish a standard. They must agree to some level of  oversight as well. In addition, we are demanding that they take the name Chabad  or Lubavitch off their site and add a disclaimer to the site.

4. Whenever they put up something about  your Chabad House because they scoured the web to find something Chabad related,  pressure them to take it down (they probably won’t listen, but at least they  will know that there is opposition).

5. Explain the issues that exist with this  site to whomever you have an influence over.

6. A letter should be written by Rabbonim,  Mashpiim, Roshei Yeshivos and Roshei Hamosdos telling them to change their site  completely to comply with standards that will be  set.

________________________________________________________________

P.s. Please don’t tell anyone when you post this my real name, nor that fact that i made the TMZ site.

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4 responses to “Lubav & Farbs – OpEd by Zalman – the creator of TMZ blog

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