The Matzav Shmoooze: Crying Over Meat


meatDear readers,

As editors and frum American publications in general are scrambling to justify the publication of an advertisement that seems to have angered many readers for its over-the-top tone and hashkafically questionable content, I’d like to give credit where credit is due.

The ad, which many of us here in the States saw, stated as follows:

Think of the best steak

You ever had

The one that makes your mouth water

Every time you remember it

Think of its buttery soft tenderness

Its rich natural flavor

The way you almost cried

As you savored the last bite

Recapture the thrill

Of that moment

Every time you grill

That frum publications would publish such an ad raises questions on its own. Some editors might be saying that they don’t want to impose their “tastes” on their readership, so they didn’t object to the ad’s tone or message. Poor excuse. That’s plain silly. Of course we have to scrutinize the ads that we and our children are exposed to, no less than we scrutinize the articles we read or the pictures we see.

It was only over Shavuos that I learned that one publication, only one, resisted the urge and rejected the aforementioned ad, despite the pressures to have it published and despite what I imagine, though I don’t know for certain, was a financial loss, or a potential one. The Yated Ne’eman, it appears, was the only American frum publication to reject the ad. Kol hakavod to them. And kol hakavod to me and my family who subscribe to that newspaper.

It is sometimes much easier to offer apologies and excuses after the fact. It is often harder not to make the mistake in the first place and to have the proper foresight and hashkafah.

Thank you Yated for taking a stance once again. May you continue to be a beacon of light and Torah hashkafah.


Reuven Pfeffer

Brooklyn, NY


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. I give credit to
    Rabbi Pinchis Lipshitz, the owner of the Yated
    We know we can count on him to assure proper haskafa
    bracha v’hazlacha

  2. We all should stand up and express our support and gratitude to The Yated for its strong commitment for Torah values and ethics.
    This is the ultimate challenge for any newspaper, sacrifice revenue for what it believes in and promotes.
    We are proud to be strong supporters and advertisers of the Torah newspaper of Klal Yisroel- The Yated.
    Finally without ever compromising, this paper has proven itself over and over to support the causes, issues, concerns and needs of Bnai torah.
    Kol Hakovod!

  3. I thank the yated as well.

    I look forward to a certain “Yankel” claiming the ad may be a good thing. His “proof” will be a Gemorah in Chulin that mentions that for everything Hashem Commanded us to refrain from, He provided a permissable alternatative. One example is adultry. However, the Gemorag in Psochim 112 expicitly advises us to avoid that permissible alternative…

    Adittionally, Hashem permitted an “aishes yefas tohar”. However, we are told that who marries one will turn to hate her and she will give birth to a ben sorer umoreh.

    Yes Hashem did provide permissible alternatives, but that’s an aid in our battle against the yetzer horah. It’s not meant as an excuse to live a piece of steak

  4. What is so terrible about the AD?? How do these people behave at a Kiddush ?? When they grab the Petcha with their hands, and almost stick their feet into the Chulent bowl ? And then complain there was not enough meat? These people are so sensetive — they should not be– Clean up your own back yard first, and then your front yard, and teach your children some manners, after you master some yourself.

  5. #4 here i am!
    You say “Yes Hashem did provide permissible alternatives, but that’s an aid in our battle against the yetzer horah. It’s not meant as an excuse to live a piece of steak” so dont, when did I say you should live a piece of steak (whatever that means) kudos to you for standing up and fighting your yetzer harah. Huuray you get a big star!
    All i said was its not osser to enjoy steak. Period. That is all i said. I never said th add was agood thing, i never said it should be prnted. I never said it was tasteful
    Your example further prove my point. simple question: If somebody wants to marry a yefas tohar (obviously when it was applicable) is he allowed to? Not – is ist a good idea, not should he work on himslef, but is he allowed to?
    You bring a the gemara in psachim to “prove” “your point” (im not quite sure what your point is) though im not sure how you address the gemara in chulin, i guess you arent gores it.
    Look all im saying is you cant complain when other people arent on your madreiga. You are able to avoid steak, really that is great! however if it is not assur you cant fault others who are on a lower madreiga than you for partaking in what is mutar. Is that so contreversial?

  6. I grew uo in a small neighbirhood called flatbush.Flatbush was the virtual melting pot of klal yisroel.
    We had shuls and neighbors ranging from satmar to mizrahi and many different types in between.
    life was fun and simple
    we had two stores one was grossmans grocery (any one who learned in chaim berlin remebers mr grossman z”l) and webers butcher
    food came in brown bags together with a good shabbos and a hartzigger mazal tov for a simcha.There was a book where we wrote down an a bill.Mr grossman would say ‘a yingle who learrns in chider doesn’t eat hersheys choclate.
    Fast Forward 20 years Mr.Grossman is in olam ha-emmes.(yehi zichro baruch) no longer can deliver an”order in 50 pound seed bags.It’s out of style.
    The flatbush of my youth is out of style.
    Replace by avodah zara heavens were mentchlichkite was replaced by the “art” of over-shopping and over-eating.Food shopping is an activity.Our old B68 bus stop is now a parking lot valeting shoppers to purchase wagu beef (80 dollars a pound ,Mr. weber would challish) 90 different cheeses (of course likavod Yom Tov) 700 different dips.

    flatbush wake up!!!! this life is ekeldigggg
    if you don’t know what ekeldigg means Mr.Grossman z”l would have told you.

    good bye the flatbush of my youth.where we got a dvar torah from mr.frankel zt”l in flatbush take out.Replaced by some no-goodnikks singing yalla yallili in the aosles of a grocery store (not to mention the un-tznius of women bopping to the beat)Mr.Grossman would have shooed them out of the store.

    Rest in peace the flatbush of my youth where a trip on the B11 encountered such luminaries as Reb Shteinvurtzel riding the bus to give a shiur.Or Reb Josh Silvermintz with his bags of przes for varoius pirchies.

    Some cry when they eat meat

    I cry when I go back to Flatbush

    (who ever grew up there agrees with me)

  7. #7,

    If you don’t think anything is wrong with this ad, nothing anyone says is likely to change your mind.

    Have a good Shabbos and enjoy your cholent! 😉

  8. “Do as I say not as I do” Have you ever been to a frum Kiddush? Do you notice how many people grab the food without plates and forks and stuff it down their mouths.Do you notice the pushing and the lack of Derech Eretz.Do you notice that many of the elderly get pushed and jostled.I guess this doesn’t bother many people as they keep doing it but the AD does bother you.Sometimes I feel that I am living in Chelm.

  9. That as is awful, how megushim dik does this store want us to be?

    A big yasher koach to the yated for not printing this disgusting form of advertising we are FRUM yidden not tayveh seeking animals!!!

  10. “kol hakavod to me”

    Dude, you’ve got to be kidding. Even if you’re right, is that how highly you think of yourself? You’re probably from New York. Ick.

  11. HELLO, nothing wrong with the ad except for its focus on GASHMIUS, the ‘idol worship’ of society.

    To pick one paper as the ‘spokesperson” of Torah Jewry is absurd, dishonest and incorrect. There are topics that are deleted and not reported that are essential to Bnei Torah from this newspaper.

  12. Big deal. so the yated didn’t take the ad. so what? does that make it great? big deal. it doesn’t make it great or better or anything. Yes, i said so.

  13. Has anyone ever noticed the “churbin” people make at a kiddush ? The second davening is over, people are fressing like they have no food at home. And the so called Kiddush Club ?!?
    The ad itself is a sympton ……. the disease is how low we have sunk when it comes to ‘self love’.

  14. The ad is wrong Hashkafically, however this is Yiddishkiet in America 2011. We are shakua in Tayvos Achila as well as many other ones I wont mention here.

  15. Bla bla bla
    just because the yated picked the right side doesn’t mean you have to praise them like they are G-d’s gift. tone it down please

  16. It’d beautiful that we are about something most of the world wouldnt think twice about.

    Uncle George, perhaps some people have a hard time in this area, but that doesn’t mean they, and others, have to like it.

  17. Its great that the Yated resisted the “moisros’ ad and did not go for the money.
    However, we should convey to our readers the idea that we have to do whats right and at the same time NOT look for “chesroines” by others, even if they do not apply it in the same way that we would of.

  18. Hi I have a question that ive been wondering about.
    It seems that the gist of the problem is something along the lines of, as a commenter put it so well on the other post on the topic: “Other people are enjoying gashmiyus way to much” Now while I’m not debating the veracity or appropriatness of complaiing about this “problem,” I am wondering where it ranks in people’s eyes in a list of problems facing klal yisroel.
    Is it #1? top 10? Top 100? top 1000?

  19. The ad is abhorrent and is everything wrong with the materialistic votex of American society. We cannot be numb to such things. All of the publications should set a standard that does not degrade Yiddishkeit with the attraction of gross physical desires. One wine ad for Shavuos urged the reader to “indulge.” Indulge??? Just let yourself go and be physical — a great message to ourselves and our youth. Crying over a steak or any such physical pleasure when Klal Yisroel has so many challenges and true things to shed tears for is akin to crying over the false reports of the Spies — Hashem should have mercy and our tears should be reserved for the well-being of Klal Yisroel.

  20. Or, we could be dan liikaf z’chus and look at the ad and those that it appeals to in a favorable light. B’H, we have sufficiently refined our humanity that we can appreciate the subtle goodness of a well cut, properly cooked piece of kosher meat. B’H we are not animals. B’H the people that appreciate this ad might have risen above the animalistic behaviors of the typical kiddush go-er. Instead of eating like an animal, just for the sake of shoveling food in our mouths, we have developed our human qualities to really appreciate the goodness of the food God gives us. We can truly internalize the depth and complexity of God’s edible creations when we say a bracha. The same can be said for the modern Jewish community’s learning to appreciate good wine, fine dining, well-made clothes, architecture, ect. As long as we do not violate halacha, let us develop the human in us, recognizing what we can do with the world we have been given.

  21. Comment number 6 from Daniel is correct – even if no one hears us we should protest this gross influence so that it does not penetrate within us. The Chafetz Chaim was once heard protesting an avleh and when the great Sage was asked why when no one heard him, he said he was doing it to protect himself.

  22. OH PLEASE!!!! pick your battles! Its an advertisement. Meant to be a joke! I understand its not so “ba tampte” but stop getting carried away with nonsense. I was a musmach by a gadol that often had people coming in trying to make machos for every little thing..He usually sent them away ..

  23. The ad could have been properly modified to portray the proper hashkafa .how about beutify your shabbos meal with this high quality meat,or a yom tov sueda,or a rosh chodesh sueda .or siyum mesechta,or a suedas mitzva .etc etc

  24. Whats the big deal? A little tounge and cheek (meat). There is nothing wrong with a geshmake piece of Fleish (in the proper time) People take this part of life too seriously. Stop looking at the ads and look into a Gemara.

  25. What about all the Ads for hotels and concerts that are very questionable hashkafacally? If they refrained from advertising about suculent steak, they should refrain from promoting megushamdike vacations and concerts.

  26. I have no comment on the ad. I am living here among my fellow yated, mishpacha, hamodia,-buyers in flatbush and have become accustomed to all kinds of nonsense. I was extremely saddened by commenter #9. I had no idea Mr Grossman Z”L was no longer among us. Did #9 know him well? I am sure he is enjoying the schar for all the fond memories he left us, and for numerous mitzvos u’maasim tovim. We are part of a different world today, a true olam hafuch where steak is a top priority and other values and ideals have gone out of style.

  27. #9 I know how you feel! You literally took the words out of my mouth, albeit you say it much better than I would have.

    Maybe one day we can get together and reminisce.

  28. How about advertisments for concerts that are not sepearte seating. It is more more important to stop taking these blatanly assur adds before worrying about the taste of a staek.

  29. No question that the Yated deserves credit for refusing this ad. However, they long ago sold their souls when they started printing the “Letters to the Editor.” Eliminate that feature of the paper and I’ll start buying it again.

  30. Advertising is all about getting people to spend their money when they otherwise wouldn’t have. Every single advertisement in every single magazine and newspaper has this as its goal. The advertisement has to overcome your reluctance to spend your money. It does this by having you “indulge,” “treat yourself,” “experience,” and other things like that. Pomegranate is an expert at advertising. The whole store is a huge advertisement: changing the decorations for each yom tov, valet parking, tasting stations etc. Kol hakavod to a store owner with good business sense, who gives a lot of the ensuing money to tzedaka and good causes. (Just ask Bonei Olam…)
    If you think that frum publications should screen their ads, where exactly should they draw the line? Rejecting something that is assur? Rejecting something that is in bad taste? Rejecting something with a woman in it? Should they stick to halacha, or start identifying the sensitivities of their readership? When they start traversing the gray area of “sensivities,” where do they stop? Where’s the line? We all agree this ad doesn’t go against halacha. So at what point should the publications reject the ad, and what should they allow?

  31. When I was a bachur in Philadelphia Yeshiva, I couldn’t understand why the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Elya Svei Zt”l used to spend hours at a time locked in his office with Pinny Lipshitz discussing all the issues of the day. Why was he discussing “politics” with this bachur?

    In retrospect, Rav Elya’s keen insight and foresight are truly mind-boggling. “Aizehu chacham haroieh es hanoilad.”

    For his part, Rav Pinny has carried on a class act. I think what drove him to reject this ad is the same thing that drove him to go all out for R’ Sholom Rubashkin.

    I think he constantly asks himself: “What would Rav Elya have done?”

    Rav Pinny-Mechayil el Choyil!

  32. I personally don’t see what’s wrong with the ad!

    In fact, with all the publicity the company has received over it, they’ve accomplished the whole point of advertising!!! They’re the talk of the town!

  33. # 8 Yankel,
    Thank you for the star Mr. 80. Much appreciated

    The point from Psochim is quite clear: doing any of the “mutar counterpoints” (your words) is not a good a idea and can have unwanted consequences. That’s what the Gemorah spells out.

    As to your claim about complaining about others not being on my madreiga. You seem to have missed the point. An ad encouraging Jewish soldiers to take a yefas tohar is wrong.

    Jewish publications have responsibilities. This is not an ad they should accept.

    I think your best retort will again be about confusion. It may help you overlook the fact that Jewish publications and websights do have responsibilities.

  34. 51:

    Anything more convincing?

    Ever read this article from Rav Brazil? Whom did he mean? Did he mean you? Enjoy it

    [Since that article isn’t accepting comments anymore, I’ll post a response to the last comment to that article by “visionary” here.

    A site that gives the appearance of being, and claims to be, kosher, is worse than one that is obviously ruleless. The one with bad pictures, or without rules and “moderators”, anyone who cares will be aware to stay far away from. Certainly they won’t allow it to influence their life.

    However, a site they claims to be kosher and has certain rules but doesn’t follow it, they really wreck havoc. They’ll defame and slander people on their wedding day,,, on and on and on.

    Here’s something Yankel/popa/80 posted:

    The ??? ??? on ????? ?? says that the animals which have only one sign of kashrus are actually worse than the animals which have none.
    He says that their one sign actually adds tumaa, since they now have the extra element of not being ???? ????.
    He then references the rashi by the brothers of yosef ??? ???? ???? ????? ???? ????? ????? ????, ??? ???? ??? ??? ????
    He also references the midrash about esav that he was like the pig who shows himself as if he is tahor.
    He concludes that people who show themselves as tzadikim when they are not are worse than a rasha gamur.
    So I think I’m going to have to side with BS that it is a bad thing. I’m not exactly sure how this impacts specific behaviors which we are talking about.
    ??? ??? ????? ??? ??
    ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???. ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ????? ????? ??? ???? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ??? ??, ?????? ??? ?? ????? ???? ??? ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ???? ???, ???? ????? ????? ????? ???? ????. ?????? ???? ?? ????? ???? ?????? ????? ????? ?? ?????? ???? ????? ???? )?????? ??? ?? ?( ????? ????? ????? ?? ????? ?????? ????? ??? ????? ??? ??? ????? ??? ???? ?? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??????? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ???? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ????? ????? ???? ???? ????, ??? ????? ??”? ?? ???? )?????? ?? ?( ??? ???? ???? ?????, ??? ?? ????? ???? ????? ??? ???? ????? ??? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??????? ????? ??? ??? ??? ????? ?? ???? ???? ??????… ]

  35. Ben torah dont you get it. Nobody could possibly disagree with Anon since he is so obviously right. Thus any body who disagrees must be all the same person.
    #50 = confused = confused = confused, I never said they shouldve printed the ad you havent addressed what I said, but dont bother you cant because im right.
    You are a big tzadik on a very high madreiga, and iyh one day i will reach your madreiga. But for now as long as it is within the realm of halacha, i will enjoy my steak. You can go ahead and erase all the parts of the torah that you view as beneath your madreiga Rch”l like yefas toar and gemara in chulin I will learn from them, and realize that they exist to teach us how to live our lives, not to be ignored.

  36. Allow me to try another approach, who knows? Perhaps i’ll get through.
    I never said the Yated shouldve printed the ad. Reread what I wrote if you dont believe me.
    There are 2 seperate issues at hand. In the previous post on the subject, the author criticsed the ad itself. That is what I disagreed with since there is nothing halachikly wrong with the ad, I think it is wrong to critisse those who are not on your high madreiga as long as they still adhere to basic halacha.
    This post is different, it is praising the yated for not printiing the ad, ie being on a higher madreiaga. There is nothing wrong with that, obviously! It is a free country and every publication has the right to raise their standards as high as they want.
    Allow me to explain this to you with another example. Lets rewind to 1980 when the Jewish observer had pictures of women. It is wrong to critisce them for having had pictures of (tznius) women since that isnt keneged halacha. You are on a higher madreiga, and dont want to look at women? Gezunterheit that is your right. But as long as I am following halacha, there is nothing wrong with what I am doing BY DEFINITION! At the same time, you are free to praise the JO when they decide that it is no longer appropriate to print pictures of women. There is no stirah between those two approaches, much as there is no stira between my 2 points on this “steak ad”
    To reiterate I never said the Yated shoulve printed the ad, they find it beneath them and their readership, kudos to them. All i said was there was nothing wrong twith the ad halachickly.

  37. to #37 and #38
    thank you .I knew some old flatbushers would agree.
    i was thinking about this almost all shabbos.especially when we read the stoty of the slov (quail pheasant)
    obvoiusly “taavas ha-achilla” was a huge issue then and it still is

    so of course we can sit back and reminice ove the old simplicity and accepting nature of flatbush of old

    yes the memories brings such warm feelings,the old rebbe landau ztz’l who was atzaddik in our midst.Meir lowinger stanidng in front of chiffons.the old mr.presser of presser bakery.Yankel levizts sefarim store with his freindly and carefree additude.I learned alot about Torah and sefarim just hanging out by yankel levits.Ahh who can forget the activity of succos when reb leiby puritz and the esrogim.
    Here is my own opinion,the attraction to flatbush was it’s easygoing non-judgemental and accepting nature.It contrasted it’s neighbors like boro park and williamsbug which were much more singular ans “seemingly” judgemental.

    Flatbush with it’s choice of shuls was gorgeous.Great rebbes lived here ,The aforementioned reb yechezkel shraga landau ztz’l. the muzhairer rebbe who was a nephew of the satmer rebbe ztz’l.the chenchkovitzer rebbe rtabbi teitelbaum of e13th st.the list goes on
    great Roshei yeshivah and the greatest poskim zichronam livracha and yibedlu lichyaim.I still remeber seeing reb shmuel birnbaum looking for an esrog by puretz.
    Visiting gedolim like reb yankev ztz”l and rav rudderman ztz”l.
    who can not be amazed by the succes and growth of yeshivah chaim berlin and all it tousands of talmidim?who live and many teach in flatbush

    so “vuss is geshen”?? where did this nice little shtetel morph into a resturaunt row and a shoppers haven?how did the simplicity level ( i will not mention modesty for i will be called a kanaai and a hatemonger)and the easy going nature go?
    please tell me? this question bugs me day and night

  38. I cry when the writing quality of the blog of the “Online Voice of Torah Jewry” falls to that of rushed texting.
    There is nothing wrong with having a good steak once in a while.
    Based upon the expected price of the meat in the ad in question, no one is going to gather “10 piles” to gorge on it for 30 days.

  39. BTW #50 there is such an ad about yefas toar. It is in parshas ki seitzei. I hope you arent calling the torah wrong rachmana litzlon for printing parshas yefas toar. Ok so you can withold from yifas toar again you are a big tzadik . But at the same time there is absolutly nothing, zero, zilch, nada wrong with someone who does take a yefas toar. BE very very very careful before you disagree with he last point. As Youd be critiscing David hamelech Rch”l!!! Does it have unintended consequences? sure, then again so does eating steak, though that doesnt make it assur, and that didnt prevent The ribono shel olam from allowing it. Being frummer than the ribono shel olam is never a good idea.
    Im not quite sure who these other posters you think i am are, I didnt write that kli yakar comment you attributed to me, though for the life of me I dont see what you find so disagreeable with it.

  40. wow-it does something to me when i see how many people posted here-it means we all care about this: whether we agree or disagree. If we look at the secular world and then see what a ruckus is made over an ad like this, “mi k’amcha yisrael”! After reading all the posts I don’t even know what to think anymore… there definitely is something wrong wtih the ad but where do you think the ad is coming from?? The guys who decide what gets written there KNOW what will attract the public-and the “public” means US!! All of us-whether we like it or not! Unless we stop buying any magazines or newspapers that publish these ads… and stop buying at the stores that put out these ads… and all that. The problem isn’t only the ads-it’s our entire mindset that’s sadly becoming less and less of the way a frum person is supposed to think.
    On the other hand, in today’s day and age there’s so much going on, that we should be thankful we’re reading “kosher” magazines and reading about “kosher” food and entertainment and all that…
    It’s a tough world out there… There’s no right or wrong: there’s a bunch of fuzzy grayness and confusion.

  41. I’m surprised issues like this offend or even stand out to anyone nowadays; but that’s possibly because I’ve grown up in a society seeing worse and more blatant cases of such advertised hedonism, if I’m understanding the issue correctly.

    As for the people who were not desensitized, I agree with the comment 12 in that this issue is being blown out of proportion and that there are more important matters that we, as Jews, should place our scrutiny.

    I just think that things like these become major issues in homes where religious emphasis is placed on the wrong matters.
    Ex. The way your wear your Shabbos hat vs. The way you perceive and speak to others.

    Even for a Tzadik, this advertisement should be a small, “Lower the tone a bit” as opposed to a, “How could you do such a thing?”

  42. #61
    your zaydeh was a product of an old time world
    he was 3 words “AN EHRLICHER YEED”

    one day we will wake up and see that there are no old-style yeedin.

    gone will be the serious poilsh yeed with a gutte sharf vort.Or the Hungarian zayde who still gets emotional mentioning his rebbes name.The galitzanner yeed with his vertlach and geshmack.

    it will be repalced by a new dor of eltere yeedin probably will be reffered to as senior jews .Of course full of Toarh and mitzvos (like a pomegranite) but gone will be the flavor the taam the geshmak

    take your kids to landaus or muzhay there are still a few left.humble happy simple yeedin.take them once to modzhits to hear bentzion shenker .i know it’s not in style but when moshiach comes the sings the leviim will sing will sound more like a modzhitzer march than 8th day hip hop.

  43. Thank you so much 4 speaking so nice about my grandfather he was a real poshit yid that tried to only good….. #9 what’s your name plz????

  44. To Reb Yankev:

    If they want people to buy their steak, there is nothing wrong with putting in an ad. They want a full page ad, that’s their choice. The only thing wrong with it is that, like #15 said, it’s too gashmiusdik.


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