July 25, 2012 9:27 pm at 9:27 pm #604273LeyzerParticipant
Here is a synopsis of the Internet Asifa held on Sunday 22 July 12 – for those who may be interested in how we do it over here in the UK.
1. It took place in North West London (i.e. not Stamford Hill, which is home to predominantly Chassidim). It was attended by over 1000 Charedi men – some MO, some Chassidim, mostly ‘regular’ Orthodox – I think about 300 women. Basically the hall was packed. Overflow crowd were peeking in from outside.
2. Local Rabbonim in attendance came from all across the Charedi spectrum (litvish, sephardi, chassidish etc)
3. Four Rabbonim spoke, all in English (the odd Yiddish/Hebrew thrown in).
4. All attendees were given a TAG (Technology Awareness Group) booklet. This contained no horror stories, Divrei Torah or marketing blurb – just a runthrough of several filters and discussion of their pros and cons. There was no marketing of any frum-created software solutions – on the contrary, there were 5 full pages detailing the steps of installing K9 software.
5. All attendees were also given an A4 sheet detailing community guidelines (attached below). It was repeatedly stressed by the speakers that these were the minimum standards expected. If someone felt they could manage without the Internet, then good for them. Likewise if the Rav of a specific Shul wanted his conregants to follow specific rulings that was their business. But as the Rabbonim were aware that many people would find it hard to stop altogether, these general guidelines were drawn up instead as a minimum standard for the community as a whole.
6. Attendees were told that they should go home with the idea that it was a Chiyuv to install a filter. Inasmuch as a Mezuzah acts as a shomer on the house, a filter acts as a shomer on the computer.
7. There were 2 common ideas repeated by the speakers. One is that we are meant to be an Am Kadosh and as such viewing p**n and the like was unsuitable. The second idea was that we are responsible for the future of our children and if people are prepared to spend fortunes on private tutors etc for the sake of their children’s Chinuch then surely it was very irresponsible to give their kids smartphones or allow them unrestricted access to the internet.
8. Most of the reference seemed to be to the dangers of p**n and other s*xual issues e.g. developing relationships on Facebook. One Rav said he had had a case whose conclusion was ‘Lo Yavo Bikehal Hashem’…(vehameyvin yovin). Detailed reference was made to the story of Rav Amram Chasida (although I felt that if someone was not already familiar with the story they may not have fully grasped what exactly happened, as it wasn’t described in detail). There was only fleeting mention of other issues e.g. Lashon Hara, heretical ideas, etc.
9. The event ended with a Tag representative giving a runthrough of how to call them for assistance with filters. Unfortunately I left early to escape the crowd (I had to park miles away) so I may have missed some other tidbits.
THE NW LONDON INTERNET ASIFA COMMUNITY STANDARDS
We see these as the minimal guidelines for our Kehillah, and earnestly request everyone to follow this standard.July 26, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am #887567557Participant
Yasher koach! I’m very impressed by the London asifa: practical, down-to-earth, and thoughtful approach to a serious issue without the drama and political nonsense.July 26, 2012 4:03 am at 4:03 am #887568CsarMember
Beautiful. Sounds virtually the same as the message given to us by Gedolei Yisroel at the Kinus Klal Yisroel Asifa in New York with Rivivos Alfei Yisroel of over 50,000 men in attendance and tens of thousands more men and women remotely participating live.July 26, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am #887569LeyzerParticipant
Csar, are you being sarcastic?
IMO it was very different to Citifield in several respects. How do the London guidelines sound anything like the Psak announced at CF that business use in an office is the only permitted option?July 26, 2012 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm #887571CsarMember
It’s the same idea. The nitty gritties might have some unique aspects, but the overall message is certainly the same. And the London Asifa is obviously an outgrowth of the New York Asifa. (Which is where TAG originated.) The idea from the outset was to have additional Asifa’s in the various Jewish communities.July 26, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm #887572on the ballParticipant
Even though the USA Asifa was less practical and more of a ‘fire and brimstone’ event, merely the gathering together of tens of thousands of Yiden to take this stand has generated a massive wake-up call around the world. The UK Asifa which does sound as though it was much more focused and practical, is itself a product of this wake-up call.July 26, 2012 1:10 pm at 1:10 pm #887573gavra_at_workParticipant
Sounds like a good job done.
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