One of the original staff of Yated Ne’eman (Hebrew edition in Eretz Yisrael) is Rav Yisrael Gellis, who was there in 1985 when the first edition rolled off the press, eventually becoming the editor-in-chief.
Speaking with Galei Yisrael’s Yisrael Tucker, Gellis reveals why the old timers felt compelled to step aside, unwilling to cooperate with efforts to compromise the integrity of people including the Av Beis Din of the torah city, HaGaon HaRav Yehuda Leib Landau Shlita, as he was directed to tell lies about R’ Landau’s kashrus in an effort to elevate the image of the kashrus agency that was started in Ponevezh, Badatz Sheiris Yisrael.
Gellis tells the first newspaper was released 24 Tammuz 5745 (1985) and the price was 600 old shekels.
Gellis explains that the newspapers directors of today are simply out of the loop, and they don’t understand the hashkafa and they were never in the home of Maran HaRav HaGaon Shach ZT”L. “They never met him, asked him and discussed with him and they don’t understand the hashkafa of the newspaper”.
He mentioned to safeguard the honor and image of people was paramount in the newspaper, but this is not the case today.
Following is portions of the radio interview:
Galei Yisrael: The battle in the newspaper today is because they refuse to write that Rav Shteinman Shlita is gadol hador? Forgive the question but we wish to understand.
Correct. That is exactly what is at the heart of the dispute.
They are not embarrassed. Who do they think they area?
Good question. One of them had a billiard club on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem. He became the first editor of the newspaper who was thrown out.
Who is that, (Nati) Grossman?
Yes, exactly. He had the billiard hall on Jaffa near the old City Hall. He infused hashkafa into the newspaper that ignored the yishuvim totally. They wrote against the hashkafa of Maran Rav Shach. One day, a grandson of Rav Shach came, a son of Ephraim Shach, who lives in Beit El and he was told it was out of control.
Why did you leave?
Badatz Sheiris began and they wanted to enhance the kashrus. How was this going to be done, by telling the tzibur in his parve ice cream there was dairy ingredients. They wanted me to write this. The vaad ruchani would review and then the ruchani editor gave the final word, and at times being “items ready for print” from Bnei Brak.
One time I got a phone call that a letter from Rav Shach was on the way and I was told to save a place on the side. Then I get a call saying “not this way” and he edited the letter, adding a line, and then sent it in to be published with the additional sentence.
At 10:15 I got another call and was told “not good”, and this person edited it again. At that point I left, three years after the newspaper was launched.
Who is more problematic today? Lavin or Grossman
The newspaper today is problematic and it simply worthless. Once upon a time there was one newspaper, Hamodia. It was good for many things, to clean windows, sift flour, wrap fish and do many things with it. Today B”H there are a few, each with a purpose. HaMevaser today is still good to clean windows. Mishpacha is good for wrapping fish since it is a better quality paper. Yated Ne’eman is good for nothing.
If they don’t listen to Maran Rav Shteinman they are opposed to daas torah – don’t you agree.
Indeed, that is what exists today. They simply do as they please. I don’t read it anymore, not for years.
What is going on there today? Who is the new sheriff?
It appears they will be throwing out a few more people. The naggid Rav Shimon Glick supports many many yeshivos. Maran Rav Shach and Maran Rav Shteinman said not to support any hospital or other mosdos, just limud torah.
If tomorrow they put out a letter that is against Rav Shteinman, the roshei yeshiva will boycott it and they can all go home. There was a move to bring me in by Glick, but it is not happening. I am no longer in the business.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)