Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Orthodox Jews, Infidelity and the Internet

There was a recent story about Chasidim using the internet to facilitate infidelity and leaving their community (link). This isn't particularly surprising and certainly did not begin with the internet. And while the story is about Chasidim, I don't think anyone should believe that it is limited to them. They just have a harder time of disguising their identities and make for more sensational media stories.

R. Yaakov Horowitz wrote an excellent response to the story (link). Aside from his recommendations regarding education, I think the following evaluation is spot on:

Unfortunately, individuals have been committing indiscretions since the beginning of time. Read through any of the sheila-and-teshuva seforim over the last 400 years, and you will see how our great leaders responded to incidents similar to what the CBS story conveys. But the Internet accelerates and amplifies everything. The Internet didn’t create immorality – it only facilitates this behavior in a way unthinkable 10 years ago.

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