Thursday, May 05, 2011

Such is the “Matzav”

Part of an ongoing commentary on the bias against city eruvin.

This past Friday (April 29, 2011) Matzav.com the site that claims to be “The Jewish world @ your fingertips” included a post titled “Organization Encourages Children to Promote Controversial Boro Park Eiruv.” The audacity of this post is that it masquerades as a news article while being blatantly biased. The post is also full of inaccuracies some which clearly belittle Gedolei Olam. Furthermore, this site censors all posted comments giving the impression that most commenter’s agree with their biased opinion (however, in order to pretend that they are objective, they do allow a few tame comments in support of the eruv).

The following is a detailed rebuttal of the post:

“Back in the day, when the vast majority of our youth veered from Torah, Zeirei Agudath Yisroel and Young Israel was founded to help the young of Israel cling to the Torah. Thankfully, these organizations are not needed for that purpose today. A new organization has now cropped up, however. It is for children - perhaps only boys - between the ages of 8 and 12. Any child of said age who signs up to promote the Boro Park Eiruv was offered free rides this past Chol Hamoed. Additionally, they will be taken fishing on Fridays, free of charge. Other trips and perks are in the offing as well.”
In order to make this absurd analogy, they purposefully misconstrue the function of this organization. This eruv organization was not established to promote the eruv per se but only to raise money for the upkeep of possibly the most mehudar eruv in the world. This is no different than similar fundraising programs promoted by other organizations in the neighborhood.

“The organization is called Zierei Vaad Hoeirev, and young children are being persuaded to believe in the validity of the Boro Park Eiruv, which has been deemed halachically unacceptable by leading poskim of this and the previous generations.”
What? No young children are being persuaded to believe in anything. The concept behind the campaign is to offer the child an incentive to raise money for the organization. It is understood that this is with his parents’ consent. Why should this be any different than the other controversial organization that runs a similar program for children? Did Matzav express any reservations regarding the other organization’s campaign? Moreover, parents who oppose the Boro Park eruv would never allow their children to partake in this campaign. Consequentially, for children whose parents allow them to carry in the Boro Park eruv, this campaign is not controversial at all.
The author and Matzav know very well that there are rabbanim supporting the Boro Park eruv. Everyone has a right and a chiyuv to follow his rav. Is Matzav arguing that we should only follow whom they deem “leading poskim” and not our rabbanim? Who do they think approve of the Boro Park eruv, some katla kanya’s? Rav Fischel Herskowitz shlita and Rav Yechezkel Roth shlita are not “leading poskim?” Pray tell me then who are the leading poskim in our community (or even the entire America)? Clearly, this post is mevazeh some of the “leading poskim” of our generation.

“Among those who do not carry in the Boro Park Eiruv are Chassidim of Bobov, Satmar, Ger and Klausenburg, among others.”
This paragraph is mostly incorrect. Actually, many Bobover Chassidim from Rav Mordechai Dovid shlita’s kehilah do carry, as some of his most chushver Chassidim are strong supporters of the eruv. Many Satmarer do carry in Boro Park. Almost the entire Klausenburg carries in the Boro Park eruv. In any case, it’s irrelevant which group does or does not support the eruv. Every rav has a right and a chiyuv to establish an eruv if he deems it appropriate.

“The aforementioned “organization,” officially sponsored by the Vaad Ho’eirev of Boro Park, published brochures, signs and pamphlets and have had them placed all over Boro Park. The boys who participate will be taken to see how the eiruv “works” and the area that it ostensibly covers. Because of the strong opposition to the eiruv by leading poskim, many have expressed consternation at the idea of involving children in this endeavor.”
The Vaad HaEruv of Boro Park is under the aegises of some the foremost poskim in America. If these psokim deem it appropriate to establish an eruv, why shouldn’t children be allowed to join this worthy cause. Who is Matzav fooling when they claim that “many have expressed consternation?” It is only the author of this shameful post and maybe a few more people who are making a ruckus.

“Even if you carry in Boro Park, is this organization justified?” a Boro Park askan, expressed to Matzav.com. “Why raise children to get involved in such battles?”
Battles? Who is perpetuating a battle? Is it the person following his rav who allows him to carry or is it his children whom he allows to join this organization? Is he forcing you to carry or even to support the eruv? If the author of this post would have stopped to think about it, it is the people who harass passerbys whose rav allows them to carry who are perpetuating the machlokas. Oh, and by the way, does this so called Boro Park askan have any other worries or is this maybe his only askanus.

”And if this organization is altruistic, why is it limited to those who carry on Shabbos? If one chooses - as the majority do - not to rely on this eiruv on Shabbos, why should his son not get the free rides or free trips?”
How inane. If I don’t eat your hechsher, is it your problem that my kids cannot eat in your house? Tell me, if you do not support the eruv why would your kids want to be involved in this campaign? I am sure that those who vocally oppose the eruv have children who are on the same page as their parents. However, I can assure all of you that, notwithstanding one’s opinion regarding the validity of the eruv, if one would allow their children to partake in this tzadaka organization, he would be granted all incentives being offered.

“At this time, some are afraid that the vocal opposition to the eiruv is waning and the laxity it is causing is being ignored, with people being indifferent to the matter. At this time, it is not clear if this new effort has received any rabbinic backing.”
Finally they admit what is the underlying reason for this post, “the vocal opposition to the eruv is waning.” It is understandable that “some” people are afraid, because they lost the battle which they created. Of course they are worried that the future generation involved in this campaign would grow up supporting the eruv. Instead of these mecharchei riv being ostracized, they are supported by a mouth piece such as Matzav. Actually, this campaign does have rabbinic backing which is more than you can say for about this post.

Shame on the editors of Matzav for allowing such a thinly veiled biased article to be posted, an article that is, in essence, trying to negate the fact that some of the foremost poskim actively support the Boro Park eruv. Finally I think it’s high time that the truth is revealed about what happens when a Charedi community which Matzav claims to represent does not allow the establishment of a neighborhood eruv. Stay tuned. We shall see if the editors of Matzav will take a stand about the shameful practice of chillul Shabbos happening under their very own noses.