Di herst, Yoelish? Hast mein Twitter geleint? Did you chap my tweetlech?

Today, I was on Twitter and my Tweetdeck software was monitoring my usual words (Jewish, hiphop, etc) when I saw a tweet from a user I had never seen before:

The ruv shlita whant last knight to be mnachm auvel hrav tzvi rutberg r”y bies mier & his brother in low rabbi lazerzon

— Wiznits123

Wiznits123, as it turns out, is the Twitter voice of the Israeli haredi shtetl of Kiryat Vizhnitz (Wiznits), giving goings on of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, shlit”a and the Vizhnitzer Hasidic community. I decided to check out “Wiznits123″‘s followers — and discovered what I had previously not known but should have suspected: Twitter has reached its tipping point, and now even the most old-world of shtetlach are using social media.

Interested in news affecting the Satmar community? Then look no further than @KolSatmar, @KiryesYoel (the upstate New York Satmar enclave), @SatmarLive, @Iched67, @SatmarNies, or, if you want to remain disassociated from the shtetl in Williamsburg/Kiryas Joel, @SatmarBP from Boro Park.

Israeli followers of the Rachmistrivker Rebbe, shlit”a, can stay in the loop by following @Rachmistrivka. The goings on surrounding the Munkatcher Rebbe, shlit”a and his chassidus can be followed at @Minkatch. Interested in the community of the Spinka Rebbe, shlit”a? Look no further than @SpinkaNews. @RimnitzNews chronicles the Rimnitzer neias.

@KolBobov and @Bobov48 (the latter tweeting in Yinglish) connect the 53rd and 48th Street Bobov communities, respectively — in conjunction with @BobovNews. @Viznitz is an alternative site for Vizhnitzer Chassidim, and those interested in the Tosher community of Montreal can follow @KolTosh.

And then you have @CharidyNews, @AnashNews, and @KolCharidy, three twitter newswires, aggregating it all for the heimishe velt.

These are not modern, tech-savvy communities we are talking about here. (This, as an aside, is also a living, tweeting testimony that the SMS-free “kosher phones” are still not universally used, even in Bnei Brak.) Perhaps it is premature to say that the haredishe velt is finally waking up to the benefits of social media and networking, but at a minimum this shows a dramatic shift in charedi anti-tech thinking: @Wiznits123 even tweeted info about a phone-in pre-Pesach conference call-styled broadcast of the Rebbe, shlit”a, before Pesach.

Chassidic tischen, live tweeted. The shtetl of 2010.

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About the author


A modern charedi Jew-by-choice since 2000, and igniting headphones with Torah hiphop since 2001.

Originally from Maryland and now holding it down in the shtetlach of New York, won the Jewish Music Awards for "Best Hiphop" in 2006. Vocally anti-prejudice and pro-unity.

Love me, hate me, or debate me, know you can't ignore me, though.


  • Well here’s hoping these developments will lead to a uh… the development of a broader perspective from both our Chassidic brothers and their tech savvy less Haredi co-religionists. You know… Kol Haolam Gesher Ktzar me’od and all that…