Friday, January 19, 2007

The Internet And The Observant Community

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Fighting the internet is like fighting the telephone. You're never going to win. You'll have much more success teaching people how to use it responsibly.

From this week's The Jewish Press (link):

More than 120 rabbis, dayanim, heads of yeshivos and principals of girls schools in Boro Park and Flatbush, met on Sunday, Asarah B’Teves, December 31, to implement a takanah to counteract the sakanah (danger) of the Internet. The meeting was called for by Rabbi Yosef Rosenbloom, Rosh Yeshiva, Shaarei Yosher; Rabbi Yechezkel Roth, Karlsburger Rav; Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, Novominsker Rebbe; and Rabbi Moshe Wolfson, Mashgiach, Yeshiva Torah Vodaath...

The Novominsker Rebbe recalled that American Jewish history was replete with battles to protect Shabbos, kashrus, Taharas HaMishpachah, all of which are proudly adhered to in observant Jewish America today. However, the Rebbe stressed, the threat of the Internet is greater than all the previous perils combined...

The Karlsburger Rav reviewed the 60-page directives that were distributed to the meeting’s participants. The Rav elaborated on several of the key steps that are being taken and must be strengthened.

Several meetings of rabbis have been called throughout the years to review the threat of the Internet and its inroads into the observant community. At an Agudah meeting of rabbis in September 2003, a report of Internet usage within observant communities was given. Surprisingly, in Boro Park, Flatbush, and Williamsburg, more than 90 percent of the homes in each community had Internet access...
No detail on what the results, if any, of this meeting were.

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