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.
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.
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.)
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
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.
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.