On Monday, Hamodia reached a milestone.
On the upper left corner of each daily edition is a volume number. On Monday, that number was 3,000.
It is with great feelings of gratitude to the Ribbono shel Olam that we mark our 3,000th edition. As we have journeyed this path together, we recognize the enormous siyatta diShmaya that Hamodia has merited. We don’t take this lightly, and we don’t take this for granted.
When the idea of a daily newspaper was first broached, there was no shortage of naysayers and doubters. When one very prominent editor in the world of English-language Torah publications was contacted about the idea, he was very blunt about the prospects of such an endeavor getting off the ground. He found the very notion so ludicrous that he told me I needed to see a doctor!
Many other individuals agreed that it was not feasible, declaring the idea of an English-language daily Torah newspaper a wonderful concept in theory, but wholly impractical in reality.
Ten years later, the very same individual wrote a moving article for a special Hamodia supplement, describing how he travels “in good company” on the subway each day, as the daily Hamodia serves both as a vehicle to keep him well informed on current events, as well as a “protective wall” between him and the outside world.
From its inception, Hamodia’s sacred mission has been to open a kosher window on the world for our community — and a window into our community for the world, including leading elected officials.
The first Hamodia daily was published on 20 Kislev 5664 — December 15, 2003 — the yahrtzeit of my unforgettable father, Rabbi Leibel Levin, z”l, the founding editor of the Hebrew Hamodia. His glorious legacy serves as our beacon, lighting our path, and his influence is felt in every issue.
When we started the daily, we were in uncharted territory. As the only English-language Orthodox Jewish daily in the world, and the only Jewish daily in the Diaspora, we had no other publication to learn from or emulate.
The distinct, vast and fundamental differences between a Torah publication and the rest of mainstream media are unbridgeable.
Instead, we built it from scratch, uttering constant tefillos for Heavenly assistance, giving it our hearts and souls, and relying heavily on feedback from our broad spectrum of readers.
We are very thankful to you, our dear readers, for your loyalty as we have made this momentous journey together.
We are honored that each morning our newspaper appears on the table of some Gedolei Yisrael, who use Hamodia to be informed about what is transpiring in the world.
Over the past 12 years, we have been gratified to hear from countless readers — including prominent corporate professionals — that thanks to the daily Hamodia, they no longer have any need to read a secular newspaper.
Three thousand times, we merited to produce a paper that protected your right to know, as well as your right not to know.
Without your unflagging dedication and the mesirus nefesh of our staff, this would never have been possible.
Few outside the industry can imagine what it takes to produce a daily paper five times a week, 50 weeks a year. To paraphrase the Postal Service, in rain and in snow, in extreme heat and humidity and in frigid cold, the daily was delivered to your door.
Each day anew, our editors seek to meet the inherent challenge of culling and preparing the latest news, all under the strictest hashgachah, while meeting the inflexible deadline of our printer. Our staff members have all but forgotten what it means to eat supper with their families, arrive on time to a local chasunah or attend a simchah out of Brooklyn.
On Motzoei Pesach, instead of putting away the dishes, they come in to work to produce an Isru Chag issue. On Motzoei Yom Kippur, they break their fast and make their way to the office.
They view the fact that being part of this lofty mission known as the daily Hamodia is avodas hakodesh and a great zechus, and this gives us all the strength to persevere.
In many ways, the world has changed dramatically over the past 12 years, and as a result, the ways that many in our community choose to receive their news has also changed. In recognition of this reality, in accordance with our mission, we seek to provide a kosher window on the world for these individuals as well. As always, we do so under the close guidance of our Rabbanim, in keeping with our rock-solid hashkafic principles and highest journalistic standards.
While the print edition of the daily Hamodia is only available in the tri-state area, our digital edition is read from coast to coast and across the world. Those who are accustomed to reading their news online can now do so as well.
In the very first editorial that my father, z”l, wrote for the Hebrew Hamodia, he concluded with a message that is equally pertinent to us as well.
“Times have changed and circumstances have changed, but our ideals remain one and the same.”
Ruth Lichtenstein, Publisher