Picking Up the Pieces

A cacophony of voices with all types of messages, delivered with passion and purpose from every venue and platform available to individuals and to professionals, accusing, analyzing, blaming, defending, ultimately confusing, assaulted all of us.

Since last week it’s been almost impossible to measure the deluge of opinions written and spoken by people from all walks of life rushing to share their viewpoints, many jumping to conclusions and condemnations without full information and without regard to the collateral damage they were causing all around, the korbanos they were sacrificing on the altar of “the public’s right to know.”

Along the way they trampled on everyone’s feelings and sensitivities; they crossed all red lines of privacy and purity, of tznius, which is the essence of Klal Yisrael, the core of our existence, the secret of our survival.

A few clear voices were almost drowned out in the tsunami of messages, but they were there for the asking. Daas Torah, who calmly and deliberately provided practical guidance to all parties — to parents, to children, to parties who feel they are wronged, to educators, to principals and to professionals. Their advice to the media who had exploited a tragic scandal was crystal clear: You do not belong here.

And so, in keeping with our long-standing mission, Hamodia is once again choosing, under very challenging circumstances, to take the high road and focus on the future: trying to protect our community, particularly the vulnerable ones amongst us — including children, troubled teens or struggling adults — trying to provide chizuk, and trying to preserve the purity that still exists in our community.

Hamodia stands firm in the face of frivolous accusations of coverup or whitewash. The Torah demands that evil be expunged from our midst, and there are proper venues for this process. Not in the media. Allegations have to be investigated and pursued, in accordance with halachah. Not in the media.

Our mission is always uppermost in our vision, even when we experience pressure to waver. Only the Ribbono shel Olam knows how much Hamodia has sacrificed not to lose sight of our mission. Every day we walk a tightrope. We have a duty to provide a clean window to a world that is not clean. And that means that we are obligated to guard the purity and safety of our children.

Our hearts are with all those who have suffered now and in the past. Our tefillah to the Ribbono shel Olam is for protection from evil in any shape or form in the future.

And we are left to pick up the pieces in a shattered world. We were asked why we didn’t write anything in last week’s weekly, in our daily edition, or on our website. Instead of responding immediately, we deliberated extensively, seeking yishuv hadaas and daas Torah.

As a family newspaper, we will continue to deal with different sensitive issues delicately, b’siyatta diShmaya. No external or internal pressure will cause us to compromise our principles.

We are here to serve Klal Yisrael, in accordance with the mandate bequeathed to us by the holy founders of Hamodia, going back more than a hundred years: Hagaon Harav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, zt”l; the Gerrer Rebbe the Imrei Emes, zy”a; and Hagaon Harav Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk, zt”l. We stand ready to help all those, not only readers, who seek help, advice or references for any issue, related or not related to our core mission. B’ezras Hashem, we will continue to be there for them and will attempt to serve as a beacon of light in a dark world.

We will persist, bli neder, in eschewing sensationalism and raising the banner of tzedek and emes high. We have the strength and guidance of the giants who traveled this path before us, dealing with the various challenges and triumphs that Klal Yisrael has experienced in the last hundred years.

We remain loyal to the principles of our founding Gedolim, and we are committed to perpetuating their mission to our utmost ability and under all circumstances, with the guidance of the Gedolim of our generation.

We pray to the Ribbono shel Olam shelo yetzei michshol tachas yadeinu, and that Klal Yisrael should be spared any further tzaar.

May Hashem provide strength and clarity, healing and comfort to all of Klal Yisrael.

Ruth Lichtenstein

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