Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apologists of J-wire's Chilul Shabbat - please note

To all those comment-writers who denied/defended the Chilul Shabbat e-mails sent regularly by J-Wire with justifications and excuses like:

Milhouse said...
If, as you say, this is a daily mailing that goes out every day on the dot of 3 o'clock, then it's obvious even to blind Freddie's dog that it's an automatic job. No human sends out a message at exactly 3:00:00 every single day. Nor is it in the nature of a news site for someone to type up a single "daily update"; such messages are always an aggregation of whatever stories have been entered in the last 24 hours. If you don't realise this then you have no business commenting on anything that goes on on the net. For you to use this as the basis of an accusation of chilul shabbos is outrageous. You need to substantiate that charge, or withdraw it and apologise. Hotzo'as shem ra is also an aveira.

Milhouse said...
Moshe, on the contrary AJN watch did not dot or cross anything, and indeed offered weaker evidence than was available. The 3 pm daily e-mail is far from "obvious chilul shabbos"; on the contrary, it is very obviously not chilul shabbos, and anyone who would accuse someone on that basis is a motzi shem ra. Now the evidence from the datelines of the individual stories is disturbing, and does at least indicate a probability that there is chilul shabbos going on, though J-wire should be given a chance to explain it. But that was not the evidence that AJN watch originally presented.  Is it such a great mitzvah to accuse people of averos? Do you know what it means to beg the question?

Emes said...
It's probably an automated email that goes out at a certain time each week/day. Send Henry Benjamin (not Harry, as the previous poster claimed) that he correct this. The solution is simple and it's really no reason to pour scorn on this fellow who is doing a great chesed to the kehillah through his hosting of the site.

mikeybear said...
Have you verified with J-Wire that this is the time they actually posted the message? It is possible that the message had been posted earlier and was delayed by a mail server

AustIsr said...
Cummon AJNWatch, "dan lkaf zchus" - Jwire probably has an automated email program in action and I am sure that the site's manager Henry Benjamin (a thoroughly good bloke) would not intentionally wish to offend members of the kehillah.....I seem to recall posting a comment along the same lines last time you raised the issue of alleged chillul Shabbos at Jwire, but you seem to have ignored this advice...

Really? Huh said...
It is not even against halacha, there are thousands of frum websites and emails running during Shabbes and this issue has been dealt with by many competent Rabbinical authorities. There is no problem there. But apparantly AJN Watch missed that shiur or as usual he is trying to stir up trouble. Move on...nothing to see here folks.

Uncommon Sense said...
Some of you may not know that emails can be sent automatically

We invite the above writers to explain this email which arrived at our "inbox"  today, Wednesday, the 2nd second day of Pesach at 4.32 pm.
Just in case any of the defenders/deniers again tries to claim that the email was/could've posted before Yom Tov, please read it! It reports on the Marrickville Council meeting which took place Tuesday night - a time when all good Jews - observant and traditional - were enjoying the Seder!

And this...
J-Wire reader Jack Pinczewski attended the Marrickville Council meeting. Here is his report….


  1. And the AJN? It's electronic edition (which is replica of the printed one) is already out tonight - and includes a full report on the Marrickville circus.

    Nice yomtov and "jewish" media people had..

  2. As long as harry benjamin writes nice stories about Sydney yeshiva and their big kitchen no one is gonna say a word to him about his blatant chilul shabbos.

    However should he for any reason 'turn' and write a few negative pieces, then watch the bullets fly!

  3. Please correct the list of defenders; my name was omitted, and I would be ashamed to have people think that I failed to defend Jews to the best of my ability on the basis of what was known at the time.

    As for this instance, it's hardly the smoking gun you're looking for. The email was apparently written at 1:00 AM Wednesday morning - that is, on the first day of chol hamoed for many residents of Australia.

  4. Joe, you still under the effect of the 4 kosos? Wednesday was chol hamoed? For who?

  5. Henry Benjamin will be surprised to learn that he is a sabra! And Joe, if you knew the halacha you'd realise that even an israeli isn't allowed to publicly desecrate Yt in Chul.

  6. Can I please correct George.
    The AJN's online or print edition did not have the Marrickville decision.
    As noted in the actual paper, the article relating to Marrickville went online AFTER yom tov went out on Wednesday night.

  7. Well done AJN Watch for exposing chilul shabbos. But sinas chinom (hatred for ones fellow Jew) is also against the torah, and your blog is full of that, and always was since it started.

    The only difference is that henry benjamin does not pretend to be a frum Jw. Ye you do. the chilu hashem you make is therefore far greater...

  8. Anon according to you the Torah is (Chas veShalom) full of sinas chinom! Eg 'mechaleleho mos yumos'

    Exposing and condemning chily sgabbos and other torah desecrations is part of 'hoche'ach tochiach es amisecho'

    Please hoch nisht in chaynik

  9. reply to anon 2.33
    you obviously don't know about this but there is a an electronic version of the full AJN of both the Melb and Syndye editions available via a site called
    (Reading it ther costs more than the printed edition - go figure!)

    That was available Wednesday night before 9.31 pm - and included the Marrickville affair.

    So when do you think the article was reported typset and printed???

  10. In reply to George... you are just wrong.
    Read the paper.

    It has the Marrickville mayor on the front but in the paper it doesn't actually have the decision.

    It says the paper was finished before the vote happened and so in the paper it doesn't actauly report what happened at the meeting.

    Check your facts before you accuse people. Go and read it now before you reply.

  11. Sorry, you are correct. I apologise to both you an d the AJN

  12. Well I for one am glad that a number of Jewish people attended the disgusting Marrickville Council's meeting.

    Had they not, it is possible they would have continued their anti-Semitic boycott of Israel which should be a bigger problem for you than the other matter discussed in this thread.

  13. I was one of the commentators on the previous occasions that AJN Watch exposed chillul Shabbos at At that time I was dan l'kaf zchus, but it appears that the only conclusion one can come to given the latest proof is that there was indeed chillul yom tov. I agree that it is shameful that a website for Jews, about Jews ,and by Jews publishes on days when halachah dictates that it is assur to do so.

    However, I reiterate a suggestion that I previously made: Has AJN Watch or others sought to establish contact with Henry Benjamin, suggesting that he institute a new policy of not publishing on yom tov or Shabbos? Surely the argument is that this is the most appropriate and respectful approach to follow for a Jewish website.

    As for the AJN and its publication of the Marrickville issue, I happen to know that the paper is open for business on second day Yom Tov. Frum staff members who wish to take second day off will need to use up their annual leave to do so.

    However, if only chillul Shabbos at the AJN was the only matter to be concerned about! The kashrus of advertisers is another concern, as is news stories and ads for events by groups and businesses that are open on Shabbos and/or provide services that are forbidden by the Torah...

    The issue has been one ever since the AJN advertised bellydancing at Hakoah in Sydney on Friday nights in the 1970s...

    The AJN as a commercial enterprise is never likely to backtrack from its approach. However, as is owned and run by an individual, we're in with a fighting chance to influence the site's policy.

  14. Dan, I cannot agree with you. It wasn't the attendance of a few Jews that made the council change its mind. Just like teh attendance of so many Jew-haters there also didn't make any difference to the outcome.

    On the first 2 nights of Pesach every Jew should be sitting with his/her family at the Seder - discussing Hashem's miracles against far greater and more dangerous enemies than Fiona Byrne and her cohorts.
    LaHashem hayeshuah!

  15. In response to austlsr, I would say that it isn't the role of AJNwatch - or any blog - to be doing kiruv work and/or getting people to refrain from chilul shabbat.
    That is the role of the rabbis in our community.

    (And I have no doubt that Henry B is a reader of this blog and knows well that he is upsetting frum Jews.)

    Being a subscriber of J-Wire it is clear that its owner Mr Benjamin is on pretty close terms with the Sydney Yeshiva Centre and its myriad of rabbis. J-Wire reports always praises their activities(which is good.)
    It also carries a weekly column form another successful Chabad rabbi in Sydney - Rabbi Gourarie.

    Shouldn't some or all of these rabbis be working to influence their 'mate' to stop public desecration of Shabbat and YT? That makes more sense than asking an anonymous blog to do so and has far better chance at success.

    It wasn't so long ago that Australia's Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis were at the forefront of encouraging more and more Jews to keep Shabbat (and generally all mitzvot).

    That seems to have changed with many of them - especially the younger generation - becoming 'politically correct' and refraining from making such 'hard' demands from our unaffiliated Jews.

    Yes they put tefilin on them every now and then, bring them some matza on Pesach and have them shake a lulav.

    But what about shemirat shabbat? Why is it so rare to hear about any efforts in that direction?

    I happen to know that in Sydney Rabbi Blackman and a number of others do try to promote this and have been quite succesful. In Melb I understand that the beth hatalmud Kollel, merkaz Hatorah, Rabbi Berlin and a few others do similar work.

    But where are the approx 50-60 Chabad rabbis and shlichim who operate all across Australia? When was the last time that we heard or saw anything published about keeping Shabbat?

    True they do continue to encourage candle-lighting by mums and daughters, which is commendable.

    But,which BTW if done too late - has the lighters committing chilul shabbat. Yes I know they are asked to light before sunset, but with irreligious and halachically ignorant people, this request often isn't taken seriously and is of no great significance, as they usually light at the 'shabbat dinner' - which is well past sunset.

    Hopefully now that this is being aired publically someone will talk to HB and convince him to send out Friday's posts early in the PM and Saturday's after Motzash.

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