Come next Sunday, it will be 64 years since something monumental occurred in Israel. Namely, the voice of Yahadus hachareidis was brought back to life, with the launch of the Hebrew-language Hamodia. It happened exactly 11 years after Dos Yiddishe Tagblatt, the famous Orthodox newspaper published between the two World Wars, printed its last issue and was forcefully shut down by the Nazi beasts.
This was not the first Hamodia to be established. The first edition of Hamodia was founded in 1910 by three luminaries: Hagaon Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, zt”l, of Vilna; the Imrei Emes of Gur, zy”a, and Hagaon Harav Chaim Soloveitchik, zt”l, of Brisk. The Rav of Poltova, Rabbi Eliyahu Akiva Rabinowitz, z”l, served as the editor. Rabbi Yaakov Lipschitz, z”l, of Kovno and Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levin, z”l, of Warsaw were appointed as secretaries to take care of all the details involved in running a newspaper of the highest caliber.
In his memoirs, the legendary leader of Agudas Yisrael, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Levin, z”l, reiterates time and again how important it was in the eyes of his father-in-law and mentor, the Imrei Emes of Gur, zy”a, to maintain a clean and reputable Jewish newspaper of the highest standard. While demanding full coverage of what was happening all over the world, no less than what was covered by other papers, the Imrei Emes emphasized over and over again the importance of keeping even an iota of improper material out of the paper and ensuring that everything printed was b’lashon nekiyah (in clean language).
Reb Itche Meir, as he was known, continues to say that towards the end of WWI when the Germans and Russians were about to leave Poland and leave control to the Poles, major askanim got together in Warsaw to decide whether or not Yahadus hachareidis should come out with their own statement. This was a very serious political matter which could put the very existence of the Orthodox community in Poland in jeopardy. It was Reb Itche Meir who was asked to travel from Warsaw to Gura Kalavara to seek the guidance of the Imrei Emes, zy”a .
“Throughout the entire journey, I could not stop thinking about the issue at hand,” he said. “When I arrived to Gur I presented the matter, down to the most minute detail. The Rebbe listened carefully, and within a few minutes I received a clear and decisive response as to what to do. With this subject out of the way, the Rebbe proceeded to discuss the mistakes and typos which appeared in Jewish publications and how careful we must be to make sure that Orthodox Jewish publications should be on the highest standard. I stood there astonished at how quickly I had received a response to a question that was weighing so heavily on everyone’s mind, while the Rebbe was spending much more time discussing the quality of the paper.”
It is important to note the fact that on Rosh Hashanah before tekias shofar the Imrei Emesasked his holy brother, Hagaon Hachassid Harav Betzalel Alter, Hy”d, to announce in the Gerrer Beis Medrash how vital it was to bring only a clean newspaper into one’s home.
One hundred years have passed since the first Hamodia was established in Poland.
Sixty-four years have passed since Hamodia was re-established in Israel.
Sixteen years have passed since the English-language Hamodia was established.
Today we are proud to present you with an enhanced and reformatted edition of the paper you have all come to depend on for clean news of the highest standard.
Upgrades in design, graphics and columns, and higher quality paper, are just a few examples of what you will find in this redesigned edition.
What has not changed are our core values.
Hamodia remains the paper you can proudly bring into your home.
We are committed to continue to provide you with clean, hashkafically sound news of the highest quality, such as you have come to rely on. Hopefully, you will enjoy what you see.
Your input and comments will, as always, be welcome.
We at Hamodia daven for continued siyatta d’Shmaya.
May we share besuros tovos from all of Klal Yisrael.