In the News

Why do I need to follow the news?

Comments (27)

(27) Anonymous, January 13, 2009 6:40 PM

There is no need to follow the news because it is the same stories over and over again and it is a waste of time. Anything significant you will hear about from other people or a different way, so you will not miss Gods messages.

(26) Pickedaname, January 12, 2009 5:24 PM

Your life can depend on it

History screams for Jews to pay attention. You need to know the next time a new Hitler starts slowly disarming Jews.

(25) Leah, January 2, 2009 10:26 AM

I must disagree

As a psychotherapist and observant jew, I must disagree. I once gave an assignment to a group of patients suffering from PTSD to avoid the news and if possible all movies, tv, and radio with some exceptions. As an experiment, 3 years ago, I also stopped. I was watching oprah as I'd arrived home early, as my hands were in raw chicken, the news started. In the 2 minutes it took to wash my hands and grab the remote: I heard: a child was dragged by a hit and run, a missle crashed killed several people.... in those 2 minutes, my stomach was already upset. I would like to start a campaign to encourage parents and educators to ban tv, radio, computer games, x-boxes and the like. They are: emotionally, physically, and spiritually damaging. There are exceptions, like educational tv, some childrens programs, pbs. In short, we have a responsibility to "safeguard" what we put in our bodies, what we put in our ears, and what we put in our minds or will will suffer from the un-holy deposits and damages. If children play violent games, watch violent movies, and play violent music, is it any surprise at all what is happening?

(24) G.M. Grena, December 20, 2008 12:27 AM

Never Thought I'd Disagree With You...

...but this time I do. Nearly all of your readers enjoy hearing your opinions, but it's interesting that several other people have commented that they don't care about "the news" either. I'm surprised to hear you say that God talks to us through the news, like as if it's on a higher plateau of spirituality than a bird hopping around on some pavement searching for a scrap of food, which moves us to want to give it some breadcrumbs. That lesson from our heavenly Father repeats itself all over the world every single day, & it's just as interesting, if not more valuable, than anything you'll ever learn about God from "the news" media.

(23) Anonymous, December 18, 2008 9:18 AM

Worth the Paper it is Printed On?

And what do I have after I become "informed?" Well that will depend on who informs me. Will I read the conservative or liberal press? Will I listen to NPR or "Rush?" I think I'll stay happier and less informed.

(22) Leslie Morrison, December 17, 2008 10:05 AM

It's important to be informed!

As the wife a a journalist, I can appreciate the incredible value of understanding the issues that affect our lives. Knowledge and information gives us power and understanding to make better decisions. Wouldn't you want to know about a medical breakthrough that could save the life of someone close to you? Also, we live in a democracy with the power to vote. This presidential election was one of the most important in our lifetime. We have to know the issues!

(21) laya, December 16, 2008 10:24 PM

we start to wear the negativity

At Thanksgiving my husband was told to look for another job, he learned he has skin cancer and my precious only grand baby of a few months is being evaluated for hydocephalus. The world seems to be spinning out of control and we begin to wear the negitivity that we hear everywhere. Turn the news off.

(20) Efraim Jaffe, December 16, 2008 8:28 PM

News today: momentous - it must mean something...

Mumbai...Madoff...The bus accident near Eilat...the economy...if nothing else, it causes us to think and reflect for a moment...for that alone its worth it...

(19) Anonymous, December 16, 2008 5:47 PM

I still don't understand, how can one find HASHEM's messages in the news? In a kidnapping, murder or terrorist attack (CHas VeSHalom) how can we find HASHEM??

(18) ruth housman, December 16, 2008 5:01 PM

news worthy

Certainly an argument can be made for being educated and the news is important because we need to know what's happening around us. Of course there is so much bad news. Can we do anything to tip that balance? I think the message in all of this is to continue as best we can, to be compassionate with others. What's over there could be here. Sometimes yes, we need a break, a little leavening. There are times I need to catch up with the news but it's usually contagious and I get what I need from others. But I would never say it's not important to be informed, because we need to make informed choices. To not know is a form of being in denial.

(17) Rena, December 16, 2008 3:16 PM

me too

I also do not read the paper, do not listen to the radio, do not seek out the news on the internet, and do not own a television, oh and I'm actually intelligent. I believe my quality of life and that of my children's is better for it. My home is more peaceful and so am I. I figure that if the news is important enough, I will find out about it, i.e. the tragedy in Mumbai, the presidential election, etc.. Furthermore, I don't think we as humans are faring well with knowing all the tragedy that is out there, it is only in recent times that this has been available and there has never been as much emotional and psychological problems as there are today. It's a well known thing that the media plays on human fear and that's how they get people to tune in to (or buy) them, i.e. "...up next, the silent killer in your tap water, stay tuned to find out what we've discovered...". I could go on but i think you get the picture. As for the lessons we could learn from the news out there, I think that there are quite a few that are placed right around us, from the local happenings, to the people we deal with everyday and their situations, if we would only open our eyes. About the gossip and celebrity news - need no explaining why that is useless and doesn't do any good. On a side note, thank you very much Lori and for all of your various commentaries and articles on all different aspects of life and Judaism, I learn so much here and you enrich mine and my family's lives in so many ways.

(16) Tefilla Buxbaum, December 16, 2008 12:12 PM

A Rav's perspective

As a survivor's kid, I always have an obesssion to know what is going on in the world. A Rav in Israel said, "If there is something Gd wants you to know, he will let you know without you having to watch media". I have found that to be 100% true. Whenever I manage to say 'no' to another news story, a neighbor or friend will tell me what happened that Hashem wanted me to know. Great job Lori! Tefilla

(15) Anonymous, December 16, 2008 9:13 AM

I am so glad that Big Rabbayim set us straight.

Dearest Leba Rochel,til 120,
After my husband and I were newly frum and still living in America, I was privledged to hear a tape by Rabbi Ezriel Tauber. He talked about getting OUT OF THE MEDIA for 40 days and see how your mind will be cleared from the major clutter that it brings into your world. My husband and I checked it out and got rid of our TV, radio news stations, newspapers, magazines (yes, even the so called frum ones), and anything else that came into our world of informing us (ha!)...What a different world we were to begin living. We moved to Israel very soon after this experience. Throughout the many years of living here we have the freedom and choice to continue and not participate into the news as it unfolds. I am so grateful. I was listening to a tape via Rabbi Shimshon Pincus, zt"l, and he was also speaking of this relevation to "STOP THE MEDIA." God runs the world and the media is not in His words. We observant Jews know what He wants us to do at all times and that is to live full Torah centered lives doing Torah and Mitzvos and preparing us for the world of truth. Don''t I have better things to do with my time than listening, reading, commenting and shmoozing with others about the news, especially the news as reported by the biased and dishonest media. I haven''t missed a thing and believe me I hear often, too often enough, about what is going on out there. God is talking to me all the time, am I listening is the question. I have much more time to be involved with the many avenues of being a frum woman including being a Kollel wife, mother, extended family, community involvement and then there''s davening, tehillim, reading amazing and inspirattional Torah books, listening to educational and uplifting Torah tapes, preparing for Shabbos, chaggim, going to Vorts. weddings, Brisim, Kiddush''s, Bar Mitzvahs, making a shivah call, cooking and baking, exercising, sleeping well, helping others, welcoming new neighbors, shiurim that are beyond amazing, planning Nishei events, and the list goes on and on...News, let God take care of it. I have plenty of what to do...

(14) Anonymous, December 16, 2008 8:35 AM

Why Watch the News?

The news in general is bias, basically distortions, and geared to sell newspapers & products. HASHEM wants us to know that HE is in control, he is running the world, I trust HIM not the US president, PrimeMinister of Israel and certainly not the Security Council. When HASHEM wants me to know something HE will send it in messages that are Truthful. E

(13) Laura, December 16, 2008 8:31 AM

Following the News Makes Me Realize How Blessed I Really Am

If I am having a bad day, watching the news makes me realize that I am ok and should be thankful for the good life I really have and how I should pray for others.

(12) Anonymous, December 16, 2008 7:35 AM

Super comment!

You have hit the nail on the head again. I always look to see when you have a new video on Aish. I can't tell you how much I appreciate you. Your point was excellent -- we need to know what message Hashem is giving us. I heard on a tape from Rabbi Miller ztl that it is not that we see things, but that Hashem is showing them to us. Again, from the bottom of my heart I thank you. I had the opportunity to hear you speak at Young Israel Shomrei Emunah in Silver Spring, and I loved every minute of it. You shown like a star and I think people were in awe of you and what you have done. To be in the presence of someone whom Hashem has chosen to lead us was incredible.

(11) Anonymous, December 16, 2008 7:24 AM

when "news" is biased, is it still news?

Seems to me that, with all the spin, bias, and outright fiction published under the guise of "news" -- whether in print media, TV, or other -- it would be hard to read what is actually news in today's world. Many of the comments here relate this to the exalted dollar... advertising controls the news. True, but I think it goes deeper than this. Most of the mainstream media (MSM) have a set of "rules" by which they play, and it seems to me that Israel, Jews, Judaism, Zionism, etc., are at the bottom of the "truth" pile. It is so rare to see a story that isn't biased against us today.

(10) Mindy, December 15, 2008 9:27 PM

When people want the Jewish point of view, they look to us

I don't relish listening to bad news, and it seems that there isn't much else sometimes. But when people know you are Jewish, they look to you to find out how we see things. It is a chance to tell our story, and be a light to the nations. But first we have to get the facts, and sometimes that means following the news. You don't have to rely on the networks, there's the Drudge Report and, where you can get different points of view.

(9) Annie L, December 15, 2008 9:18 PM

how G-d talks to 'us'

each one of us gets to know how G-d talks to each one of us, I don't think He talks to all of us through the news, not at all and somehow I get the news I really need to get - like the terrorist incident in Mumbai, I got it through Aish, and through Honest Reporting and through 'Why' on G-d's green earth would I want a secular journalist's slant on it?? their slant is about 'them', not about the story that makes news, and 'them' and their 'slant' is old news, same ol', same ol' ! Not for me, I won't waste my time on them.

(8) Anonymous, December 15, 2008 12:35 PM

right on!

Lori, you're right. As a Jew I should know what's going on in the world. I am inspired to start following the news. thank you!

(7) Miriam, December 15, 2008 11:15 AM

News as Advertisement

Hi Lori, I check the news out on line every other day or so just to make sure nothing major like the Mumbai massacre has occurred. The purpose of news has become to advertise products and services. Whatever sells becomes news. This is not unlike realtiy tv shows or soap operas. Just think of how every angle of a sensational scandal is covered. Gossip and slander abound. Facts are distorted. Fingers are pointed at anyone available. Whether it is print media, radio, television or the internet remember someone wants you to buy something and they are willing to pay big bucks to get their ads to the greatest number of people possible.

(6) Anonymous, December 14, 2008 10:03 PM

used to follow the news...

I used to follow the news, but stories about Jews or the Middle East just made me mad because of the way that they were misrepresented and slanted. Most of the other stories were either pure gossip or depressing. So I stopped. I don't know too much about what is going on in the outside world, and I am much happier that way. If something major happens, something that affects Jews and contains a message to us from Hashem, I know I will find out about it from my friends, rabbi, or sites such as Aish where the focus is not the news itself, but what we should be learning from it.

(5) Hmm..., December 14, 2008 7:51 PM

Hashem has many ways of speaking to us...

I agree that it is important for us to be informed about world events, but news today is a tricky thing- the mediums which news is presented through can be filled with the bias and gossip that you mentioned. Hashem sends us messages through world events yet Im not sure that we must go out of our way to search our for Divine messages, they can often be found on a personal level. I beleive there is a balance between no-news seclusion and news-junkie, like you said. Good luck balancing!

(4) SusanE, December 14, 2008 1:51 PM

Whose News? Not For Me, Thanks!

Lori, Many people are probably much brighter and more discerning than I am about finding the truth in Newscasting. But for me...News on TV...nope, I don't follow it. News in the daily newspaper...nope I don't follow the national or international stories, just the local news, classifieds and about town. International News on the internet...if it is something that is of interest, I compare 3 sources from other countries about the same story and decide what the true story might be. My opinion of the News on television is that it's an entertainment program brought to us by powerful advertisers. News in the newspapers is reading material brought to us by the approval of the advertisers. The celebrity gossip and the entertainment industry and political views of the different forms of media are much too complicated for me to sort out, I don't follow their programming. I'm not immune to either the subtle marketing of ideals or the blatent marketing of ideals. EVERYONE has an agenda.

(3) s, December 14, 2008 1:20 PM

I'm not so into the news, but I agree about listening if something important happened that I should know about.

(2) Yisroel Pollack, December 14, 2008 1:06 PM

The Old Fashioned Way

In a close-knit community, it might not be necessary for everyone to have an ear attuned to the media. It might be enough if a select few, maybe just one or two people, paid attention, and everyone else found out what was happening through word of mouth.

(1) Rosen, December 14, 2008 8:49 AM

highlighting what news is important

While the news on celebrity gossip is generally unimportant, how do we differentiate what news sources are accurate in the Middle East such as with Palestinian journalists either reporting what they perceive or just exasporating/exaggerating stories for their own propaganda and political gain? Also, why is there often "spin" when it comes to stories on Israel where they're blamed for the Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism? Either understandably or arguably, terrorists attacks would still occur across the globe, regardless of whether Israel exists or the US supporting Israel, right?


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