Charedi media fall foul of the rabbis

By Nathan Jeffay, April 7, 2011

Israeli rabbis have launched a bitter attack against Charedi newspapers and magazines which operate without their approval.

The two main Charedi newspapers in Israel, Hamodia and Yated Ne'eman, which between them sell 45,000 copies daily, are both are overseen by a rabbinical board who keep tight control over what they publish.

But in recent years, to the dismay of the rabbis who control these papers, various editorially-independent Charedi publications have entered the market. Phone lines which update callers with recorded messages of news are also popular.

Last week Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, considered the most influential Charedi leader in Israel, hosted rabbis for a meeting. Yated Ne'eman, which disseminates Rabbi Elyashiv's rulings, then published an editorial. It said: "Reading or listening to these media outlets is a threat to the balance and character of the Charedi public."

The publications under criticism reject these claims.

Last updated: 12:26pm, April 7 2011