Orthodox Blog Banned

The Jewish Week, New York/December 28, 2010

The popular ultra-orthodox blog, Vos Iz Neias, was the target of a recent ban issued by 36 prominent rabbis from Brooklyn, Lakewood, Philadelphia and Europe, including such names as Rabbi Aaron Moshe Schechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn and Rabbi Yerucham Olshin, of the Lakewood Yeshiva.

The statement issued strong words against the site, saying its anonymous publisher "airs dirty laundry in public," according to the announcement, which was printed in Hebrew and posted in Orthodox neighborhoods. "It writes against officers and politicians…to ruin their reputations," the rabbis said. The ban continued by saying that a prohibition stands against visiting the site, advertising on it, or patronizing any of its advertisers.

Vos Iz Neais, Yiddish for what is news, serves primarily as an aggregator, reprinting news stories concerning Jewish issues from local publications including Newsday, The New York Times, The New York Post, and The Jewish Week.

VIN's major competition, Yeshiva World News, which follows a similar format, was not mentioned in the ban.

Rumors circulated around the blogosphere about the agenda of the signing rabbis. The 5 Towns Jewish Times speculated that the ban occurred because the site reprinted a series of articles accusing AssemblymanVito Lopez, chair of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn, of misusing funds. Lopez has close ties to many chasidic rabbis, especially in the Satmar community.

Attempts to obtain a comment from Vos Iz Neias about the ban were unsuccessful.

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