Effort Underway To Have Gedolei Yisrael Unite And Call For A Day Of Tefilos Against Technology

5

An effort is underway to persuade all of the Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael to convene and call for a Day of Tefilos to stress the importance of the education of the children and the need to distance from technology. This refers to the Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael of Shas, Yahadut Hatorah and Agudas Yisrael.

The secretaries of the councils are reportedly cooperating towards reaching a nussach that will be accepted by all three councils. Their goal is a kol korei for a day of davening as stated, and highlighting the importance of chinuch of the children. Organizers are hoping to have this done on erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan ahead of Shavuos.

Organizers stress the need to highlight the need to distance from the threats posed by some technology today, as well as the need to highlight the importance of education values, which include distancing one from unwanted technology.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)




5 COMMENTS

  1. This bulletin frightens me greatly. I am very aware of the dangers of technology, and it is not that I am afraid that Gedolei Yisroel will be proclaiming things that I do as wrong. I follow Gedolei Yisroel, and expect their takanos to be standards for Klal Yisroel. My fears are quite different.

    1. Most of the Gedolim that we are addressing with this issue know too little about the subject. They understand Torah very well, and my haskomoh on that is not needed. But most know about technology only what they are told. If askanim paint a terrible picture, they only know that and nothing more. As in the past, many such issues were brought through gedolim, and ended in Kol Koreh’s which were ridiculous, baseless, and plainly inaccurate. This resulted in diminished returns as in fewer people complying with takanos.
    2. As with most proclamations, there is no arm of enforcement available, similar to the beis din which cannot enforce its psak. The fear of people not obeying the restrictions is suubstantial (for good reason), and the only tool available and used is the restrictions placed on getting children admitted to yeshivos and schools, or throwing them out. While this form of bullying may be effective, it tends to produce efforts to circumvent the process. Those yeshivos that insist on someone’s account number for a filtering system (TAG, Meshumar, etc.), may well be provided that information, but the parents will purchase additional phones. There is no really effective way to monitor compliance. Punishing the children (I know the intent is on forcing parents into compliance, but let’s be honest) is unacceptable.
    3. It has been suggested many times already, though not taken seriously by Gedolim or the askanim, that our children be provided education on how to utilize technology properly and safely. In this modality, filters and restrictions are recognized as assets, not liabilities.
    4. The situation in Eretz Yisroel is different from America. One cannot generalize from one to the other. The impact of Citifield in Eretz Yisroel was tumultuous, and there was chaos afterword. The Gedolim in America need to address the problem here. The Gedolei Eretz Yisroel should limit their statements to takanos for their own communities.

    I lay the blame for the ineffectiveness of creating community wide mechanisms on the askanim, many who provide inaccurate or incomplete bases of information to the Rabbonim. In reality, today’s world requires technology to function. To ban it completely is of equal stupidity to banning electricity or plumbing. Do we want to believe that the entire advance of technology was engineered by the Yetzer Horah? Or might we be more accurate in noting that the conveniences offered are a chesed from HKB”H, while the Y”H jumped on the bandwagon and hijacked these powers to fuel his evil mission? If there is chesed, and we realize that HKB”H granted us a wonderful tool, we would look to use it for Kavod Shomayim only, and we would create structures to protect it from being diverted to anything else.

  2. Hopefully, something was lost in translation or the kol korei was issued by the chief rav of Chelm. Its an oxymoron to call for a greater focus on education while simultaneously seeking to deny students access the the basic technology tools through which they can obtain educational skills needed to function and earn a parnassah in modern society. I had hoped that the declining number of anti-technology “asafahs” meant that most rabbonim were learning more the critical need for computer skills and the availability of filtering tools to limit access to online pritzus. Instead, we read here about some mindless new effort to revert back to life in the Alte heim and guarantee the next generation will be largely dependent on welfare and handouts.

  3. In response to poster #1 who is questioning the knowledge of Gedolei Yisroel c’v. You may not be aware of it but Gedolei Yisroel would not guide us if they would feel that they don’t have all the facts. I would venture to say that their constant talks with askanim, school principals, parents, and everyone else gives them alot more insight to the issues then most people have. This combined with their stature is why Klal Yisroel relies solely on them for the final say and guidance.

  4. What a well written post (the little I know). I agree with every word. We need to work with the technology, and education education and education.
    Just as a point, the Iphone which is often portrayed as the source of all evil, is actually the easiest to make Kosher and keep it that way. Mine does not even have browser use! I dont need it but I have all the apps I need for business, some leisure, no Youtube and even the whole of Shas courtesy Artscoll.
    And all the filtering etc is built in to the restrictions and a friend has the password. And yes as i daven in a chasiddishe shul which doesnt allow smartphones I also have a old kosher Nokia. Alternatively I could leave it outside shul but I often need a phone in shul for chessed reasons!

  5. Baruch hashem in eretz yisrael most of the bnei torah do not have smartphones. The reason for this is because the gedolim there spoke out early, even before iphones came out, before anyone became dependant on them.