PHOTOS: Live Blog From Massive Asifa At Citifield [UPDATED 11:30PM EST]



11:30PM EST: More than 400 photos have been loaded, with hundreds more to be added shortly. Thanks to our team of photographers, led by Hillel Engel & Chaim Greenbaum. See link in extended article.

10:45PM EST: HaRav Don Segal is now leading the crowd in Kabolas Ohl Malchus Shomayim.

10:40PM EST: Rav Ephrayim Waxman is leading the gathering in reciting the Tefillas HaShelah.

10:20PM EST: The Lakewood Mashgiach, HaRav Mattisyahu Solomon Shlita is now speaking (English).

9:40PM EST: HaRav Don Segal Shlita, the Mashgiach from Eretz Yisroel, is now speaking (Yiddish).

9:20PM EST: Hagon Rav Shmuel Halevy Wosner Shlita, the Baal Shevet Halevi is now speaking (Yiddish) via video-hookup from Israel (Bnei Brak).

8:50PM EST: The Skulener Rebbe Shlita has just started speaking (Yiddish). Moments before he started, the Vishnitzer Rebbe Shlita from Monsey (Reb Mottel) arrived.

8:20PM EST: Rav Ephraim Waxman Shlita is now speaking a second time – in English.

8:00PM EST: More than 1000 woman have packed the Bais Faiga Hall in Lakewood, NJ, and are watching a live video feed from the Asifa. There are dozens of other locations in many areas, which are packed with women watching the event.

7:50PM EST: The Jeboo Dayan from Montreal is now speaking (Yiddish).

7:42PM EST: Rav Ephraim Waxman has just ended his Drasha, and the Pshevorsk Rebbe, who flew in from Antwerp, Belgium, for the Asifa, is now speaking (Yiddish).

>7:30PM EST: Reb Menashe Frankel (Lakewood) just introduced Rav Ephraim Waxman (Monsey) is Yiddish. Rav Waxman is now speaking in English.

7:00PM EST: The stadiums are just about filled to capacity, and the program has begun.

Tehillim was recited by Rav Moshe Green (Monsey), and the Tzibur is now Davening Mincha.

5:40PM EST: Thousands of people have started arriving at the CitiField and Arthur Ashe Stadiums in Queens. Security is tight, and everyone is being thoroughly checked. Besides for Misaskim running the security detail, Hatzolah from just about every neighborhood is on hand, as well as Shomrim from many areas, and even Chaverim Volunteers are at the stadium.

Misaskim requests that everyone please be patient as security checks you into the stadiums.

YWN PHOTO LINK: Click HERE for photos by Hillel Engel.

(Eli Gefen – YWN)


  1. Dare you to post my comments.

    Important Asifa, no doubt.

    Next Aseifa—> alcohol and drug use, cigarette use and child abuse.

  2. Thanks for posting fotos and divrei chizuk.

    A real question:
    1.How many people in attendance understand and speak only ENGLISH?
    2.How many people in attendance understand and speak only YIDDISH?
    3. How many people in attendance understand and speak both ENGLISH & YIDDISH?

    IOW why so many YIDDISH speakers when the olem favors ENGLISH…. or is it mostly a chassidish olem.

  3. Perhaps you have a good point. I think you should get together your cheers and put one together. These ate universal problems. I am sure you can get someone to sell a Rothko or something similar to fund it.

  4. There still are a lot of other problems. Lack of proper tsnius is still an issue. Women are still wearing short tight skirts, tight tops, tight maternity clothes, etc. This is always an important concern.

  5. I’ve been listening for several hours and come away with a sense that this program could have beem considerably more effective if the speakers spoke more in English (since most potential internet users are presumably English speaking) and they would stop crying and screaming about the issue of internet access as if it were the mabul or shoah (two analogies used by several speakers). The large percentage of yidden use the internet without spending their days playing games,gambling, watching porno movies or posting untziniusdike photos of their shver on Facebook. It is a basic tool in our daily lives for commerce, work-related activity and learning torah. For that small percentage of frum yiddenaddicted to the “dark side” of the internet, we don’t need all these gadolim screaming “gevalt” at 60,000 attendees at a stadium. We need common sense guidelines on filtering, how to limit childrens’ access and ways to use the internet more effectively in our learning.

  6. Gaolhadorah, the “advance publicity” seemed to indicate that this was the purpose of the asifa – how to use the internet safely. Sounds from what you’re telling us that instead the secular media will be (again) laughing at us, and the participants for the most part will come away feeling like the speakers are totally out of touch with the reality of everyday life for balabatim. I expected better, since the earlier rants to ban the internet obvioulsy were not only ineffective, but they were ignored by those who in every other instance would look to our gedolim first.

  7. Many of you are just looking for excuses not to change or were not listening as you were doing what we were told not to do. Remember it is our children we have to worry about! Remember to what the Skulener Rebbe Shlita said of why we have so much tzoros. Don’t use the Yiddish as an excuse as there were English subtitles.

  8. Gadolhadorah you are 100% right. There was absolutley no guidance for proper internet use nor were any ideas pressented on how to educate the youth. This was the regular internet is assur mantra. All that was added was that all must follow the rules of Ichud Hakehilos and those that don’t will forfeit their olam haboh. What a wasted opportunity.

  9. I’m going to share one thought: As an internet user I agree, no one can say they never saw anything bad on the internet- because they weren’t looking for it- it “happens”. A majority of the Rabbonim weren’t saying throw out all your internet just filter it properly.
    Now here’s my thought: at Citi field there was a gate around the field. No cops, no photographers, none of the organizers or Rabbonim were allowed to walk on the field- NO ONE! Do you see how precious they look at and protect their silly baseball field? Now imagine that field as your Neshoma or your Child’s Neshoma- HOW WOULD YOU PROTECT THAT FIELD??? Enough said. Period.

  10. I want to hear from those who went what did you walk away with?
    What lessons did you learn that you could not have learned had you not gone to the baseball field? I’d like to learn from you

  11. 16. Not to belittle your point however if you knew how EXPENSIVE that “silly” baseball field was and how much goes into maintaining it so that the people who are paid MILLIONS of dollars a year to work there do it without injury, you wouldnt look at it like a “silly” field.

  12. The above idea was shared with me by a friend on our way out of the Asifa. When he saw that I posted it here he said it would be “l’toels” if anyone wanted to copy and post it anywhere else. That’s the real beauty of the internet. Yasher Koach.

  13. Somehow all these discusssions remind me Korach Veedossau.We see all the GEDOILEH YISROEL coming together to let us acknowledge the danger of internet…I am Swiss we have a big company with 50 people working for us many of them chareidim, we have filters Boruch H. and it works.
    But let me tell you beeing involved through my daughter in laws and through Rabbonim in our Mishpocheh there is a lot of Zoress out there because of all the internets in one’s house.
    The Rabbonim wanted as a first step that we should acknowledge that this is a dangerous weapon, they are the Ones where people run too if there is a Zoroh!Dear Yidden we know that internet is here to stay, but once we know that we can loose our children chasvesholem through them we will surely do all the necessary steps to have it the safe way.You cannot expect from a young curious child not to want to explore and to look at everything they are presented with.
    I am sure that after this Asifa H. will provide our leaders with SIYATO DESHMAYOH to continue guiding us so that we can be Zoiche to the GEULOH BIMHERO BEYOMEINU

  14. Of course there are some things that could have been done better, but don’t forget this was the first time that an event like this, with such broad participation of both Litvish and Chasidish people was ever done. Over all it was a breathtaking Kiddush Hashemthat will be etched in our collective memories for years to come. It’s about time that someone is doing something to address the single biggest threat to kedushas Yisroel in our generation.

  15. Brooklynhocker,

    Your point is well taken. However, things do ‘just happen’.

    You can filter the net till the cows come home, there are always inappropirate adverts and stuff that show up on your screen.

    I am an internet user as well, and as much as I am commited to stick to ‘tachlis’, as in all other temptations that come our way in life, one can always be nichshal when it comes to internet!

  16. Mark Levin: Yes I know the turf cost a boat load of money. That’s EXACTLY why I called it silly. It doesn’t have the power to heal you or make you smarter, or live longer- it’s just there for the over paid PLAYERS to run all over. My friend used the stadium’s protective actions as an analogy to the pricelessness nature of your/child’s soul.
    Imagine all the time and money poured into educating a child, hours and hours invested by teachers and mentors, only to have it all ripped away in a moment by a stranger on the internet that shows them the “other way of life”
    My point was; protect what’s of utmost value to you, as they do their YES, “SILLY” baseball field. At the end of the day we Frum Jews all know what’s Emes and what is Hevel Havalim, no matter how much you enjoy it or spent on it.

  17. Poshut1: I think Rabbi Waxman said it best. If you add up all the time you spend on the internet (yes even here on YWN) everyday and then were to take a sefer and learn a portion of that time, you’d be amazed at how much you’d accomplish. If you’re honest with yourself you know he has a point. All in all the problem with the Asifa was it was marketed as an educational lecture by the Bal Batim and the Rabonim that spoke gave Musser a different way then was expected. Take from it what you want.

  18. Aishes Chayil: yes, we are in agreement. An ad may show up in the corner for a legitimate store that in your eyes may be harmless, but at the same time is exerting it’s power over you- it makes you want it- it makes you want to look (somewhat)like that(if only it wasn’t so revealing), that’s why it’s called marketing. You wouldn’t invite someone dressed like that to enter your home with your husband and children around (use any pop culture actress or singer and you get the picture). I’m not such a kanoy but I understand the argument against the freedom of content on the internet.

  19. Personally I think filtered internet is a lot cleaner than the streets. If I wouldn’t be able to shop online, I would be shopping in Manhattan, and the people and the billboards there are definitely not good. Even if I’d shop in Boro Park there are people there not quite as dressed as they should be. My filter at least filters out 99.9%. Yes, there is that remaining .1%, which I would be better off without, but I’d say it’s the cleanest option.

  20. Two of my sons went with their yeshivas, and came home shaking their heads in confusion. I asked if they gained anything, and they both (separately) concurred that nothing was specifically mentioned about how to use the Net safely – which was how they marketed the tachlis of this event. They also felt that the English subtitles were not keeping up with the Yiddish speakers, so they had to get by on their minimal Yiddish.

    This event cost well into the millions. Somehow it seems like money that could have been spent in a better way – like paying our Rebbeim, Morahs and teachers better, and providing them with the skills they need to inspire, not assur. And for that small group of protesters – they do have a valid point! It’s humans who are being protected by certain communities who’ve abused kids; not computers.

  21. Where was the “ichud” of the kehillos?
    If I separate the choshuva presence that graced us on the dais, I really am pained to admit (really, because this speaks to my dream of true achdus in klal yisroel) this was a total disaster. The yetzer horah won. He allowed politics and egos to dictate the agenda. It was a complete chasidisher event. Complete false advertising. For those of us who don’t speak yiddish, we gained nothing. Frankly, I wonder for those that do speak yiddish, whether they also gained. Of course there should have been yiddish speakers, but they should not have dominated, it should have been at least 50/50. I”m really sad. Really. I gave my nation more credit and I am disappointed. I feel terrible saying this. Rabbi Wachsman was truly amazing, he inspired. I appreciate the presence of gedolim, but we are mostly common plain simple people, that need to be spoken to on our level. Of course the gedolim should speak, but because they are on such a high level, kept it to a minimum, with divrei brocha, and then allowed those that can connect with the public to speak, such as rabbi wachsman. There should have been more practical presentations. We all know the internet has problems, we’re sitting there, we’re past that discussion, now please help us. Don’t repeat what we already know. Clearly, R’ Matisyahu was trying to save it at the end, by speaking in english to all the “mevakshei Hashem”. He understood….
    But then I tell myself, that maybe this internet, with the easy ability to speak one’s mind, has turned me into a critic, when I should simply accept what happened with the belief that greater people than I will ever begin to be, were there, some knew the program, agreed to it, and I have to shut up. I am a follower, and have no right to question. I”m really torn about this. Not only did this asifa not inspire me, it actually bought me down. I know of the countless children that will now hear of the criticism, which will undermine our gedolim, and further water down klal yisoroel. I”m sad.
    They had 40,000 people in one ‘room’, they squandered the opportunity.
    I really wanted to be proud of our nation. This was going to be our “Olympics”. I guess I’ll have to wait for that feeling at the siyum hashas. It can’t come soon enough…

  22. (Please read my post #29 first )From the fact that Yeshivaworld, and the other sites are not prominently posting the event in BIG at the top of their respective websites tells me that they agree that this event was a flop. This could have been so big, that it should have dominated the top of their websites for days, in MASSIVE lettering. Now it’s just a simple article, like all the other nohrishe pieces of news. Isn’t that amazing …. we have a rare historical gathering of 40,000 chareidim with all the gedolim and its not making massive headlines on the frum news websites??? But they are right in doing so. So thank you to them. Save it for the siyum hashas.

  23. HadEnough…. you are right on the money! Perhaps they should have reviewed tapes of the last Siyum Hashas to see how to inspire all. Personally, I’m glad I took the opportunity yesterday to gain inspiration (albeit not internet related) from Ohr Sameach’s Yom Iyun.

  24. Modern Orthodox, I am so glad to hear that your community has no problems with the internet. NYPD watches the internet for pedophiles, the secular community talks about the issues IT has with the internet but your community has no problems. How lucky you are. I am happy for you.

  25. It was a great, inspiring event despite the fact that I didn’t understand much of the Yiddish and felt that many people left confused. This needs follow up. It was mentioned that each Rav needs to help his community deal with the Internet based on their own needs. The real sad part is that most of the people that really need the followup help, the explanation of exactly what should and shouldn’t be done, are looking to the Internet for it, and the ichud isn’t posting anything on the Internet. So everybody is left to get their opinions from the Lashon Hara blogs that exist to bash the Gedolim.

    The Chofetz Chaim mentions on the mishna in Avos “ארבע מידות בהולכי לבית המדרש: הולך, ואינו עושה–שכר הליכה בידו; עושה, ואינו הולך–שכר מעשה בידו; הולך, ועושה–חסיד; לא הולך, ולא עושה–רשע.”
    The Chofetz Chaim mentions that there is a 5th category of those who go in order to scoff. They get “schar” for going and “schar” for doing. In other words, they lose out on even the mitzvah of going because their going is for bad.

    This is what the Lashon Hara bloggers do. Some went, some didn’t. Those who didn’t go got “reports” from those who did go. And they looked for anything they can find wrong with the event and with the message and then spewed their drivel about it online for all to see and for all to join them in their Chilul Shem Shamayim to counteract the great Kiddush Hashem that took place.

    It is this stuff that is being read by those searching for answers, those who left the event confused about what exactly the message was and what they should and should not be doing. Unfortunately they then get sucked into the leitzanus.

    What these people should be doing is going to their Rabbonim for hadracha. כי-ישרים דרכי יהוה, וצדקים ילכו בם, ופשעים, יכשלו בם. Hopefully those who are mivakshei Hashem will do what is right.

  26. I am one of the oldest in my family, I come from a yeshivish home but I am the “black sheep” and you want to know why? Its because they all think they know what’s best and think that by telling us WE ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE INTERNET OR MOVIES OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT is what makes us want to explore.. And when a parent catches their child not following there rules we get PUNISHED and then you guys ask why we hide from you and lie?!? Is because you look down upon us and ur ashamed we didn’t turn out like you.
    What the parents and rabbis have to understand is that THIS IS the generation a generation of technology that’s just going to grow and in your words (be a bigger problem) as the years go so instead of banning us and punishing us, WORK with us UNDERSTAND us by allowing internet but in safe ways

    its sad to say but it’s the truth and only my generation can understand this:
    There are a lot of yeshivish of families who have children going off and most totally off because they were deprived and didn’t know the outside world and when they had a chance to get a look at it they grabbed it
    and then there are families who are frum but have no problem with internet or TV or cell phones with texting and from my view and MANY people I have had these kind of conversations with AGREE that the percentage of yeshivish children going off the D is much higher then the frum families who allow these things but safely because there not deprived….
    So Rabbis and Parents you have to learn and realize that this is the generation (moderated).

    * if any adult has criticism about what I said then don’t bother to comment because if you do that just goes to show what I said is true how your not us or our generation so you don’t understand so please save it to someone who wants to hear!