Statement regarding YouTube takedown

In response to YouTube’s takedown of JewishMedia, Jewish Educational Media’s acclaimed video channel, Executive Director Rabbi Elkanah Shmotkin, released the following statement:

The Talmud teaches that the Chanukah candles may be lit nightly until the hour of “כליא רגלא דתרמודאי.” The Chasidic Masters teach the inner meaning of this law: “The candles illuminate until the rebel on the thoroughfare is transformed to light.” It’s a shame that such a bright source of light on so public a thoroughfare was dimmed on Chanukah, but I have no doubt that it’ll be back and shine even brighter.

Clearly, we still have some work to do, but sooner or later, the last corners of darkness will be illuminated.

The Rebbe hammered home, every single year without fail, that the message of Chanukah is to always increase in light. From both a moral and legal perspective, JEM is the custodian and owner of these videos, so though it might take a few days, it’s only a matter of time before they will be available once again, better than ever.

Clearly, we need to be doing even more. Our team will be sure to use this time to plan new ways to bring the Rebbe’s teachings and inspiration to even larger audiences.

I’m surprised at how vulnerable YouTube’s system is, that a child with a mobile phone and some false claims can disable a channel with over seventeen years of history and tens of millions of views.

It’s Chanukah, and people are especially eager to be inspired by the Rebbe and his teachings. It’s a pity that YouTube has delegated to an algorithm the moral responsibility that every human being has to another.

Regarding the individual who did it: Honestly, I have tremendous compassion for him. He needs our prayers.