The Tabloidist

Making the News

Rabbi and blogger Chaim Shaulson digs dirt on the worldwide ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

"They tried to kill me in 1989. They came to the office in New York. They knew that, every Tuesday night, I go to the office and then to the print shop. But that night, the computer was broken and the computer technician was there, so they captured him and put him in a van. Only after a few kilometers did they realize it wasn’t me.

"I started my blog a year and half ago, last November. I have nearly 3 million readers, mainly from Israel, then the USA and Europe. The main issues in my blog are those that the ultra-Orthodox religious clergy refuse to discuss. For example, today in London, we discovered that some kids had been abused by members of the Orthodox community. No one wanted to talk about it, so I did.

"The ultra-Orthodox say that “Don’t Talk” is their rule. But then people won’t know what really happened; they will only know the rabbi’s version of it. This is not acceptable. You have to fight inside the community. My work is to build up issues so people are forced to think with their heads. Most people are scared to be hit or attacked or killed.

"Rabbis say that computers are evil, even though some haredi have secret computers, iPads and even Internet in secret. But they are not supposed to. They are not even supposed to have phones that can send text messages. The ultra-Orthodox may not watch television or read normal newspapers, only the community’s ultra-Orthodox papers about community issues. They have no contact with real world. So I blog."

 

Illustration: Fanqiao Wang