Social media, like any medium, has been a force for good since it has become a daily communication tool in the Chabad and many other Jewish communities in the U.S., Israel and elsewhere.
Facebook, What’s App, and email have helped people to share inspiration and ideas, announce programs and important communal information, encourage people to donate in Charidy campaigns, etc.
There is also the other stuff that are shared around like a trail of goo: Donald Trump clips, daily scenes at 770, funny animal photos, clips of terror scenes, insightful and silly sayings.
And then there is the “need to know stuff.”
The last category is anything we share in the hallowed mission of “transparency.” That can be documents of the latest quarrel in an institution, a degrading photo or rumors about a community member, the passionate arguments in the name of ‘everything that is holy’.
Here’s the tricky thing about transparency: It’s only really transparent when it comes from a totally unbiased source. You want to work on transparency, by all means, please do (we can use more of it).
If you start yelling “transparency” when you find yourself in a disagreement, you’re just a fraud masking your loshon hara while using bully tactics. Airing your own dirty laundry is not transparency and “fighting for justice.” It’s just airing your dirty laundry.
“But people have to know!” you will say.
No, they don’t.
Transparency never meant notifying the entire world about every disagreement and problem you are having. Disagreements are a part of life, they happen everywhere and they will happen with individuals and organizations. Even our greatest leaders are capable of disagreeing and are all human.
Your mission in this world wasn’t to C-Span Lubavitch or be the watchdog of Crown Heights, or Kfar Chabad, or London, or Russia. You are not the government and we are not your citizens. We’ll survive without your round-the-clock coverage of machlokes.
“But what about a miscarriage of justice?”
Well, justice is defined by Torah, not by your side of a fight. Those that circulate disagreements are not doing it to promote transparency or justice. They are doing it to shame the other side of their conflict into acquiescing to their demands, or simply out of boredom (it’s not clear what’s worse…).
“But who will shed the light on the corruption of our leaders and Rabbonim if not me?”
Do us a favor; if you’re involved in a disagreement, please let it be anyone but you. You aren’t shedding light on anything, you’re just being destructive to our community to make yourself feel better or fulfill your agenda.
I’m not here to tell you to go to Rabbonim or listen to a Beis Din when you find yourself at odds with someone. People have been politicking for centuries. It’s America, you ultimately will do whatever you want.
Just would you please leave our communities, our spouses and our children out of your machlokes? Every 16-year-old Yeshiva bochur is up to date on every disagreement. That is the biggest Chillul Hashem to our own children and communities.
If you came that much, quit your job, open your own organization, switch to a different shul, send the kids to a different camp, and start listening to another Rov. Just leave the rest of us out of it. Stop pretending that you are doing us the favor by sharing your loshon hara.
And to those that are sharing, stop being pawns of other people’s games. Loshon Hara isn’t only the responsibility of the speaker and listener, but also of the sharer and forwarder…