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January 18, 2007

Lakewood Internet Ban Spreads To Brooklyn

Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum writes in the Jewish Press:

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 attendees were advised of the steps the observant communities of Lakewood, Monsey, and Skver (Spring Valley) have successfully taken to stem the influence of the Internet. Rabbi Moshe Greenfeld, chairman of the Monsey effort, described the unity of Monsey’s Torah institutions in their campaign.…
   
         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.

         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.

        Rabbi Moshe Green, Rosh Yeshiva in Monsey, described the Internet as destroying the religious character of those who trespass there. Rabbi Nochum Gotlieb, menahel, Yeshiva Bais HaTorah in Lakewood, described the necessity of always being on guard. Any child, he reported, can purchase an Internet access device for a mere few dollars and connect any computer to the Internet within seconds. Lakewood, as a yeshivish community, has achieved the greatest success to date, in the battle against the Internet.…

The Internet breaks the rabbis stranglehold over information. It allows the weak and powerless to fight back against rabbinic oppression. It levels the playing field. And rabbis can't win if the game is played fairly.

Meanwhile, the point man for haredim in dealing with "at risk" kids has this to say about what the real threat is:

…In my opinion, the number one risk factor – by far – for children abandoning Yiddishkeit is abuse and neglect. This is not to say that the majority of kids who are off the derech were abused. But of all the complex and varied educational, social and familial factors that present risk to our children, the most damaging by far, in my opinion, is abuse. The very real threat posed by external influences, such as TV, Internet, ‘bad friends’ are all firecrackers compared to the “atom bomb” of sexual abuse.…

The grand pooba of Agudath Israel, the Novominsker Rebbe, is busy attacking blogs and banning the Internet, while ignoring the issue of rabbis and rebbes who sexually abuse children. If there ever was a morally bankrupt organization, it is Agudath Israel of America.

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Internet tool of Borg Empire
You will be assimulated-resistance is futile

These retarded rabbis can fight all they want but it is too late

Guess what, I'm on it: Don't click here!

You know what the preceeding has been.

Sad to see them fight the absolutely inevitable; in 10-20 years the Agudah will cave in, as it always does, and have a great website, as do the OU and Star-K, as do various yeshivas. It'll be just another instance of Daas Toireh reversing itself, as it has done countless times (see my Daas Torah comment back in May, 2006 on this blog), e.g. Jewish education for women; Chasidus; the excommunication of Rambam; the use of the Hebrew language; the validity of the state of Israel. The rabbis take a stand, everyone ignores them, the rabbis then say "Oops" and follow the followers. That's one of the signs of Moshiach (the real one) just around the block.

ISN'T IT AMAZING THAT THESE PHONIES TELL THEIR WITLESS FOLLOWERS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE INTERNET, BUT REFUSE TO TELL THEM TO STAY AWAY FROM CIGARETTES!!

shmuel-
Doesn't it all come down to this-Either one believes that the Torah is the word of Hashem or it isn't. If it is you are correct. If its not you are no better than some prehistoric caveman worshipping the sun god?

And it's obvious that either the Toarah is the word of Hashem or not- its one or the other. Suppose I don't believe its the word of Hashem but merely a tradition believed in by my ancestors for many years-If I don't believe in the Torah as the word of Hashem can i be Jewish in your opinion?

Oh and one other thing-are you a married, do you have a job, do you children have arranged marriages and do you have more than one black suit-or is your closet full of them-(I'm serious)

In one of his columns, Marvin Shick (I know he's not a favorite of most of the people here) said that in Israel, the yeshiva curriculum is way too rigorous for most of the students there. He claims that most of the boys who go over the edge do so because they can't keep up with an unrealistic regimen, and the Roshei Yeshiva blame the internet for their own failure to follow Shlomo HaMelech's advice of "Chanoch lenaar al pi darko." He's right about Israel, but he could have said the same thing about the USA. Having seen five children graduate Charedi high schools in America (with varying degrees of success by any standard) I know that the lack of realism is prevalent here, too.

Anyone who uses the internet is going to hell in a chariot of boiling sin.

1. Re: cigarettes: I had the same complaint for a long time, but now the Agudah, to its great credit, has indeed proclaimed that yeshiva boys have to stop smoking. It is my understanding that there is a video out, featuring Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetzky and the Bostoner Rebbe, pleading with yeshiva boys to stop that habit. So let's hope that video gets lots of exposure.
2. The Torah is the word of Hashem. I believe that.
The problem becomes when the Oral tradition, in the form of the Mishna and Talmud, forever locked in the 6th century at the latest, begin making pronouncements about science which simply don't fly in the modern era. Whether it's (a)the sun revolving around the earth, then hiding behind the thick black firmament and doubling back to rise in the east (see BT Pesachim 94a/b and the dispute with the scientists of the world there, which led to our law of "mayim shelanu" for matza baking; the Mishna Brura in the 20th century writes explicitly that, as per the gentile scientists, the sun dips below the earth at night, heats up the water in the ground and thus it must be cooled in the morning before using it), or (b) a half flesh/half dirt mouse (see M. Chulin 9:6; Rambam there; Tiferes Yisroel there; Prof. Sid Lehman's article on Tiferes Yisroel's pshat in the Chazon Nachum scholarly journal in honor of Dr. Lamm), or (c) mermaids/sea creatures/dolfinin which are half human/half fish (see top of BT Bechoros 8a and Rashi there)and which can mate with humans, and more and more, the rabbis of the Talmud were wrong, wrong, wrong on many of their assessments of science. Nothing wrong with being wrong: it's human to err. Problem: when charedim proclaim that the rabbis of the Talmud are infallible. It's doubly problematic when Rishonim admit Chazal were wrong. What are we to do? I learn their scientific statements, run them past science, see if they're correct. If not, no harm done; they were wrong. Still great, just wrong. Tractate Horayos exists because batei din, rabbis and scholars make mistakes. This infallibility notion is modern, a crazy response to modernity, and I can't fix it. I can just not buy into it and explain to others why they shouldn't, either. Why believe untruths?
And: recently married; have a job; suits are blue and black; used to have grey and even a forest green; look better in dark colors; I dress conservatively but always try to think outside the box (which in Charediland is verboten---I do it anyway).

3. To Prof. Reisman: thank you. Those concerns have been mine as well for a long time. To have one-and-only-one curriculum for all yeshiva boys is insane. The average boy is not at all well served by all-day Talmud, and it's excruciatingly boring---especially if Aggadic portions are skipped (!) (it's there to be studied, a part of the Talmud, and they are SKIPPED! What else need be said?)No Tanach studied (it's been hijacked by the Maskilim (!), a minimum of halacha l'maaseh studied, no bekius in Mishna, no Midrash, no Tosefta...this is Torah study?

What specific steps are involved ? The article is vague.

Meanwhile, Gershon the swindler himself is online all the time.

Looks like the Karaites may have seen things we are only beginning to see now hundreds of years later, or maybe not being able to avoid seeing anymore.

I wonder, was the charedization, and steady drift to chumrot in halacha a process begun after the holocaust? Perhaps the rabbis felt it necessary to become more and more religious to keep the Jewish people alive.

Also, I believe that when rabbis pass new gezeiras or decrees, if the majority of the Jewish people do not accept them, they are nullified. For example, BT Berachos talks about Ezra's decree that a baal keree must immerse in a mikve before studying torah and davening I believe. Because this decree was never accepted by the Jewish people, it never became binding, and ultimately was nullified. If the Orthodox world hear some of these decrees that sound too strict and decide not to accept them(maybe for example no denim skirts), then these decrees would be nullified, I would think.

Several weeks ago, I attended a seminar about "kids at risk". Everyone asked all sorts of questions, but were all avoiding the REAL problem.

Can anyone remenber the last time they unbderstood a WARRANTEE, or the little pamphlet that comes with you PRESCRIPTION?

Yet, the yeshiva world expects a nine year old boy, who learned how to read 2-3 years ago, to understand rigorous legal discussion, in poorly written run - on - sentences, using all sorts of 2000 year old jargon, in a language that no human alive still speaks, and condemns him if he doesn't excell!!

Gemara is a very important part of Judaism. I am not here to (G-D forbid) denigrate the Talmud. It's just that not evry single little boy can comprehend it, not be bored by it, and certainly doesn't deserve to be discarded, if he's unsuccessful at it!!

I can maintain a healthy lifestyle, and not be a professor of Organic chemistry. Similarly, I can be very observant, if I spend only an hour a day on Talmud, and spend the rest of the school day on Halacha, Chumash, Navi, etc.

A Jewish mind is a terrible thing to waste!!

These "rah-bonim" (not my pun, by the way) do NOTHING for klal yisroel. Zip zilch. Sick of hearing/reading about them and their desperate attempts at control.

To Lion of Judah,
See Dr. Chaim Soloveitchik's seminal article in Tradition 28:4 (1994)titled "Rupture and Reconstruction: The Transformation of Contemporary Orthodoxy"---he answers your question. Yes, it's post WWII; yes, we now ignore family tradition---not good enough, we lost the mesorah; we have to be more precise, etc.; yes, we do it to separate ourselves from less-halachic movements, etc.

It sounds like someone is trying to "out-frum" the Amish.

"Also, I believe that when rabbis pass new gezeiras or decrees, if the majority of the Jewish people do not accept them, they are nullified. For example, BT Berachos talks about Ezra's decree that a baal keree must immerse in a mikve before studying torah and davening I believe. Because this decree was never accepted by the Jewish people, it never became binding, and ultimately was nullified. If the Orthodox world hear some of these decrees that sound too strict and decide not to accept them(maybe for example no denim skirts), then these decrees would be nullified, I would think."

Yeeha, Lion of Judah glad to hear somebody else remembers this important clause. First these neveilas put all these chumras and nonesenical minhagim into place, then they manage to get the common man and woman to believe that somehow its right up there with the Aseret Hadibrot. The first thing to do is to end the superstituous fear of these idiots. The only way we can steal the heart of the people back to Torah and Darcai Noam is slow and sure, this didnt happen overnight and it wont go away overnight but we must start somewhere.

Blogs like this are a part of it. I dont agree with everything here but Im glad he posts it anyways so as to shatter any illusion of these people being cute Fiddler on Roof characters full of mirth and schnapps and wise sayings.
Nagel Vasser, Pinky Pointing and the Torah during hagba. Laws of Tahara that is strictly in the domain of the Kohanim and they want everyone to act like their going into the kodesh kedoshim so to this and that.
Sorry, most of our fathers were humble crafstman, merchants and farmers. While they were working, leeches like these Rabbis were sitting in Jerusalem oblivious to anything but their own. Small wonder that Ben Zakai asked for Yavneh. All his slumming kolel buddies were there, screw the Jerusalemites, get my ass out of here. They have nurtured an image as lovers and protectors of the people and those that truly were can be mentioned by name in a 30 second list. And most of them were harrassed by the Kiss Roman Tachat group led by Zaki.

The English Yated Neeman newspaper is no longer being printed.

It was v.popular in the Misnagdish Olam, and had a high journalistic standard, always with at least one top article each week.

It was no friend of Chabad, often being highly critical, to put it mildly. It was know as part of the "Yellow Haredi press"!

What is the reason for its closure? It can't be finacial, because Yated is fully supported by the Reichman brothers.

I'll miss the Yated. No better newspaper to in which to wrap one's fish.

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