Rabbi Yakov Horowitz writes about his website, which he recently reconfigured to function as a blog:
…After giving it some thought, I decided not remove any of the negative comments. (For the record, I removed the posts that mentioned people’s names or names of institutions with regard to the abuse issue.) Why? Because I felt that once I decided to open my website to unedited comments, I felt that the honorable thing to do was to leave the negative ones on the site as well as the complimentary ones. Additionally, I felt that once I chose to solicit funds using the site, it was fair, if not unpleasant, for people to question my motives.
In the greater scheme of things, the flow of comments posted to my columns – positive and negative – in the past month has been eye opening for me, and I feel that my response ought to be to read them all carefully.
Let’s face it. Blogging is here to stay and people will respond to my columns in one way or another. On my website or on someone else’s. If anything, the exponential advances in technology will only add to this phenomenon of instant polling and interactive discussions in ways we cannot even imagine at this time.
I think that I am best off following the sage advice of Dovid Hamelech (Kind David), who, sadly, knew a thing or two about discord and adversity. “Be’komim alay me’reim tish’mana aznei (Tehilim 92:8)– When my adversaries rise against me, my ears should hear [their words].” There is a Chassidic interpretation that Dovid prayed to Hashem that he maintain the moral strength to carefully listen to the rebuke of the people who were criticizing him, rather than ignore their words as those of ‘enemies.’ I ought not get defensive or reactionary, but rather reflect on the criticism of those who took the time to post the comments – and hopefully grow from reviewing them.…
In other words, Rabbi Horowitz removed any specific reference to individuals, Rabbi Yehuda Kolko, say, and institutions, like Torah Temmimah and Agudah, but left in any attacks on himself. This is far more open than other haredi sites, which for the most part heavily filter all comments. It’s a step in the right direction – a step other haredim are unlikely to follow.