[Avodah] Reading Newspapers and Other secular Literature on Shabbos

Ben Waxman ben1456 at zahav.net.il
Sun Nov 4 21:03:58 PST 2018

[Micha wrote:]
> On 11/1/2018 7:11 PM, [RnTK] via Avodah wrote:
>: The Levanon and the Magid were both Torah publications. So no, the
>: Netziv's Shabbos relaxation did not consist of reading maskilishe
>: newspapers!> HaMagid was an shomer Shabbos  Haskalishe  newspaper.

> About my earlier mention of the Netziv's Zionism, both were Zionist
> papers.

I have never looked at these papers so I have no idea what their content
is like.

If their content was anything like what today's so-called Torah
publications (Yated, HaModiya, etc) are like, much or even most of their
content was similar to what any other newspaper put out. These papers all
write about the daily news with some restrictions on sexual content In
addition to the regular content, they have some additional Torah based
articles. But these articles are definitely the minority of the content.

So if the papers that the Netziv read were anything like today's papers,
he read mainly the news and in addition maybe some other Torah-based

I don't think of these papers as being Torah publications, rather they
are party newspapers that include some Torah".

I would ask a different question though: What constitutes a Torah
publication? Does it have to deal with parshat shavua, Gemara, mussar,
exclusively? Would reading about an opinion piece, written by a rabbi,
on world affairs constitute Torah? Rav Kook regularly wrote news
columns. What about a mixture of Torah and news? How much of each?
Is the content of each article reviewed to make sure that it doesn't
violate the laws of lashon ha-rah?

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