Psak Halacha on Internet Access

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  • #603585
    Chulent
    Member

    Rabbosai,

    We heard the Psak Halacha issued by Gedolei HaPoskim regarding the permissibility of having internet access. Most notably Hagaon Haadir Posek Hador Ba’al Shevet Halevi HaRav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a, as directly stated himself live at the Kinus Klal Yisroel, Maran Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a, as stated in his written letter, and the hundreds of Gedolei Yisroel attending the Asifa.

    As I understood the Psak Halacha, everyone is obligated to ask a shaila if they may have internet access (assuming they want it.) And to filter it, if approved for access. But is it only allowed for business use? What about (kosher) pleasure/entertainment internet sites? Or educational sites? And can one allow their child to access educational or entertaining websites? Is one, ever permitted to even have internet access at home? As I understood Rav Wosner, possibly not. And if so, can the internet only be utilized for business purposes?

    What websites must, al pi halacha, be filtered out? All non-business sites? Must blogs be filtered out? (Obviously the kefira blogs must be.) E-Commerce/shopping sites? Is Facebook definitely a site that is always assur?

    ============================================================

    And for people employed by Gentile companies, large multinational conglomerates, and the like, where they have no control over filtering options, they cannot dictate to their employer to activate an appropriate filter. The employer likely monitors usage, but doesn’t necessarily care too much if the employee goes to various assur websites that aren’t considered bad by a goy. What are these Yidden to do about their work internet access (that they otherwise require for their employment duties)?

    ============================================================

    I beg your indulgence in requesting that ONLY sincere, l’shem shamayim, replies and discussion be posted on this thread. If anyone, for any reason, isn’t abiding by the Psak Halacha, please save your comments for another relevant thread; not this one, PLEASE. And if there is any replies here not fitting this that does get posted, for everyone to please disregard it and continue the discussion earnestly. I sincerely wish to understand our halachic obligations under this Psak Halacha.

    Yasher Koach

    #878693
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    I promise to be sincere if you promise to stick to a diet of only Chulent from now on.

    #878694
    Avi K
    Participant

    Presumably all these questions must be included in the shaila (assuming the person accepts the pesak, as there is no power in our time to make a gezera on all of Am Yisrael). Each case is different.

    #878695
    Chulent
    Member

    That’s the point, that each case is different. My concerns are what are the baselines.

    #878696
    pcoz
    Member

    I think the baseline is that Internet access is dechuyah and not hutrah

    #878697
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The baseline is it depneds on your community.

    I was told by the Morah D’Assrah of my community that the Ban DOES not hold here, And the reason is we were not invitied so the Ban is not valid.

    No Rav has the right to impose his views on other communities and its never been done before. (For example the Chief Syrian Rabbi was not invited so if you are Syrian you need not follow the Psak)

    Ashkenzaim never imposed their views on Sephardim and vice versa.

    So when it was said that the asifa Psak hold for the entire Klal Yisroel if they were there or not it is not sure and not the Psak.

    Now if you belong to a community that was invited and accepted (Chabad was invited but didnt accept for example) then you must ask your rov

    #878698

    In todays climate of serious difficulties with finding Shidduchim, 749 Shidduchim were made on Sawyouatsinai, in the last few years, totally on the Internet.

    Internet is like fire. It can be utilized for both very positive and very negative goals.

    #878699
    Chulent
    Member

    Rav Rafael Harari (the Syrian Godol & Rosh Yeshiva of Ateret Torah) was at the Kinus and signed unto the Psak Halacha.

    #878700
    147
    Participant

    & even more Shidduchim have been made on Frumster, so it is an integral & vital part of the Jewish landscape.

    #878701
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Rav Rafael Harari (the Syrian Godol & Rosh Yeshiva of Ateret Torah) was at the Kinus and signed unto the Psak Halacha.

    I am not Syrian, but how come this is the ONLY account of this I have seen, ever account says he as not there and not invited because he speaks only Hebrew to audiences.

    #878702
    147
    Participant

    B’H Rav Rafael Harari lectures in Ivrit & not in Yiddish. I have heard him talk a few times, & Kol haKovod, for Ivrit & not Yiddish.

    #878703
    Chulent
    Member

    Rav Harari didn’t speak at the Kinus since he speaks in Ivrit, and they wanted all the speeches to be in only Yiddish and English. But he was there and agreed to the Psak Halacha with all the other Gedolei Yisroel in America, Eretz Yisroel and elsewhere.

    #878704
    Loyal Jew
    Member

    Medium size and 147, nothing said at the asifa (to my knowledge) allows use of the internet for shidduchim. For every yid who is redt a shidduch over these on line services, many more make themselves unfit for shidduchim by using the internet without a heter.

    #878705
    Health
    Participant

    Chulent – So you know the general Psak – it’s Ossur unless for business. Go ask your LOR if you want a personal Heter.

    #878706
    takahmamash
    Participant

    For every yid who is redt a shidduch over these on line services, many more make themselves unfit for shidduchim by using the internet without a heter.

    Did you actually hear this from someone reliable, or did you make it up yourself?

    #878707
    Loyal Jew
    Member

    I consider my daughter reliable. She and others like her won’t accept a shidduch with a boy who uses the internet without a heter, even if it means staying single.

    #878708
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Rav Harari didn’t speak at the Kinus since he speaks in Ivrit, and they wanted all the speeches to be in only Yiddish and English. But he was there and agreed to the Psak Halacha with all the other Gedolei Yisroel in America, Eretz Yisroel and elsewhere.

    Do you have proof of this, surely if he was there and agreed with the psak a picture of him there exists, and someone heard him say it that he agreed with the Psak. He has a fairly large community and lots of people must have heard him say he agreed with the asifa.

    And just because he was there in the stands (if he was) doesnt mean he agrees with the Psak either, the Morah D’Assah of my community was there too and he came out stronger against the asifa after he went

    #878709
    Chulent
    Member

    Chacham Yosef Harari-Raful shlita was sitting on the dais and can be seen in many video frames. Are you familiar with how he looks? All the Gedolim officially attending the asifa agreed that unfiltered internet is an issur gamur.

    #878710
    Eli51
    Participant

    People who think that they won’t find a shidduch because they can’t date on the Internet is wrong. If Hashem wants you to find a shidduch as long as you do your hishtadlus Hashem will make your shidduch come in a different way. I have heard people say if not from frumster or sawyouatsinai etc. they would have not found their shidduch. I believe these people would have found their shidduch a different way had they not used these websites. I am not saying it’s ossur to use but I am saying if someone who is in shidduchim who is on one of the dating websites gives up the Internet it doesnt mean they won’t find a shidduch.

    #878711
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I found this on Matzav

    I know for a fact some of this Rabbanim did not represent their communities, At least one from my community is there but he is not the Morah D’Assra and doesnt speak for my community.

    Interesting how Rav Dovid Feinstein was there and nary a word from him either

    9:46 p.m.: Among the rabbonim at the asifa are the Skulener Rebbe, Rav Don Segal, the Novominsker Rebbe, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, Rav Aharon Schechter, Rav Yitzchok Feigelstock, Rav Shlomo Feivel Schustal, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, the Pshversker Rebbe of Antwerp, Rav Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Satmar, Rav Mordechai Dovid Ungar of Bobov, Rav Malkiel Kotler, Rav Yeruchem Olshin, Rav Dovid Schustal, Rav Yisroel Neuman, Rav Mattisyahu Salomon, Rav Yaakov Forchheimer, the Viener Rov, the Zibo Dayan of Montreal, the Dinover Rebbe, the Nadvorna Rebbe, the Rachmastrivke Rebbe of Yerushalayim, and others.

    Updated: Additional rabbonim present on the dais are Rav Yitzchok Sorotzkin, Rav Dovid Feinstein, the Skverer Rebbe, Chacham Yosef Harari-Raful, Rav Shmuel Miller, Rav Shimon Alster, Rav Moshe Wolfson, Rav Aharon Feldman, Rav Elya Kanarek, Rav Elya Brudny, Rav Noach Isaac Oelbaum, the Pupa Rov, the Zvhiller Rebbe, the Naroler Rebbe, Rav Mordechai Dov Fine, Rav Refoel Schorr, Rav Yisroel Simcha Schorr, Rav Avrohom Schorr, Rav Mottel Zilber, Rav Dovid Magid, Rav Yaakov Horowitz, Rav Chaim Mendel Brodsky, Rav Yaakov Hopfer, Rav Shlomo Avigdor Altusky, Rav Yosef Mermelstein, Rav Hershel Zolty, Rav Zev Tikotzky, the Tenka Rov, Rav Yitzchok Paler, Rav Yaakov Bender, and Rav Asher Kalmanowitz.

    #878712
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Interesting how Rav Wosner gave the psak and NOT Rav Dovid Feinstein or any of the american Rabbanim.

    (I cant say I can tell you which Rabbanin on that list go to which Yeshivot)

    #878713
    MorahRach
    Member

    I don’t think anyone is saying no one would find a shidduch if it was not for these dating websites.. But sometimes you need to do some work to see results. You cannot sit on the couch and say Hashem will provide food for my family. You need to go out, get a job, make money and purchase food. Hashem gives you the means ( your health, agility whatever) but you need to put forth the effort. These sites DO help MANY people who otherwise are having a great deal of trouble finding a shidduch.

    #878714
    takahmamash
    Participant

    I consider my daughter reliable. She and others like her won’t accept a shidduch with a boy who uses the internet without a heter, even if it means staying single.

    I’m sure your daughter is reliable, but it’s pretty obvious that you can’t make a sweeping generalization based on her and “others like her.” My daughters are all reliable, but that doesn’t mean I would make such a statement based only on them.

    #878715
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I consider my daughter reliable. She and others like her won’t accept a shidduch with a boy who uses the internet without a heter, even if it means staying single.

    Excellent. This helps solve the shidduch crisis by taking girls off the market. Yasher Koach!

    #878716
    147
    Participant

    Loyal Jew’s asseretion that there is no Heter to meet a Shidduch via internet & get married, is totally out of touch with reality. I know several frum couples who met over the internet, who are B’H very happily married, whereas I unfortunately know even more singles who refuse to seek a Shidduch over the internet, but are getting no-where with Shadchonim nor personal contacts, so hence are sitting single for years >> decades.

    Hence I consider Loyal Jew’s scolding of Jewish Frum dating sites, to be very insulting. S/he is living in a bygone era.

    #878717
    ari-free
    Participant

    Why would any young woman want to take the chance that her future husband might secretly use the internet to look at other women and have an online affair?

    I think the women will do more to force this issue than even a thousand asifas. Once it is accepted that unfiltered internet will result in a severe liability for shidduchim, the issue will quickly resolve itself.

    #878719
    Loyal Jew
    Member

    “147”, I was making a narrow point. In the coverage of the asifa, the gedolim were reported as limiting the use of the internet to parnassa, and even then with big restrictions. From now on, boys who “surf” are not only unfit for shidduch because of what they probably saw but also for spiting the Gedolim. I didn’t “scold” the sites. Those who use them AFTER asking Torah and getting a heter, yesh al mi lismoch.

    #878720
    apushatayid
    Participant

    “All the Gedolim officially attending the asifa agreed that unfiltered internet is an issur gamur.”

    What does it mean officially attending? Did anyone attend unofficially?

    Regarding an earlier comment, I remember many people in the section of Citifield where I was sitting all made the same comment “hamibli poskim biamerica”?

    #878721
    Chulent
    Member

    All the Gedolim and Rabbonim shlit”a sitting on the dais were officially supporting the Kinus, its message and the psak halacha read out loud by Hagaon Haadir Posek Hador Ba’al Shevet Halevi HaRav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a. They were aware of the message and the psak halacha prior to the Asifa. These Gedolim and Rabbonim are from America, Canada, Europe, South America and of course Eretz Yisroel. And were of Litvish, Chasidish, Ashkenazish and Sefardic origin. They include, but is not limited to, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav Ahron Feldman, Rav Ahron Schechter, Rav Malkiel Kotler, Rav Matisyahu Solomon, Chacham Yosef Harari-Raful, Satmar Rebbe, Bobover Rebbe, Skvere Rebbe, Skulener Rebbe, Rav Don Segal, Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel, Rav Noach Issac Oelbaum, Vishnitzer Rebbe, and the Viener Rov.

    There were many more Rabbonim shlit”a sitting in the stands as well.

    #878722
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    All the Gedolim and Rabbonim shlit”a sitting on the dais were officially supporting the Kinus, its message and the psak halacha read out loud by Hagaon Haadir Posek Hador Ba’al Shevet Halevi HaRav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a.

    So, if they all support the p’sak given at the asifa by R. Wosner that the internet is forbidden in the home with or without a filter, will that be the message delivered at the second Flatbush asifa in less than two weeks? Will it be reiterated at this meeting that R. Wosner paskened that children who have parents with an Internet connection (filtered or not) in their home should not be accepted into yeshivos?

    Or will the message be different now that (to borrow a baseball term) we’re in front of the home crowd? And, if so, how can you say that the gedolim support R. Wosner’s p’sak?

    The Wolf

    #878723
    Chulent
    Member

    Since last week there is a prominent sign posted in Rav Lieff shlita’s shul (the Agudah where the Flatbush Asifa will take place) with the above Psak Halacha (with those two words in big bold letters) of, and signed by, Hagaon Haadir Posek Hador Ba’al Shevet Halevi HaRav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a.

    #878724

    ari-free

    “Once it is accepted that unfiltered internet will result in a severe liability for shidduchim, the issue will quickly resolve itself”

    Please explain how the public will know whats done privately.

    #878725
    Chulent
    Member

    The same way people filter out shidduchim of homes with television’s.

    #878726
    cherrybim
    Participant

    “Rav Harari didn’t speak at the Kinus since he speaks in Ivrit, and they wanted all the speeches to be in only Yiddish and English.”

    Who are “they”?

    And are you saying that if Rav Harari spoke English or Yiddish, that he would have been invited to address the Asifa?

    And how do you know that he doesn’t?

    #878727
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Going on the internet to give Mussur about the internet is like going into McDonalds and giving people Mussur about Kashruth while eating a Big Mac

    #878728
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Since last week there is a prominent sign posted in Rav Lieff shlita’s shul (the Agudah where the Flatbush Asifa will take place) with the above Psak Halacha (with those two words in big bold letters) of, and signed by, Hagaon Haadir Posek Hador Ba’al Shevet Halevi HaRav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a.

    So, you’re saying that they’re NOT going to say anything along the lines of “if you must have it at home, make sure it’s filtered…?” And they’re going to make sure that yeshivos no longer accept (or throw out) kids from homes with internet connections that are filtered?

    The Wolf

    #878729
    Chulent
    Member

    I have no idea what they are going to say. I only reported what I know, as it seemed relevant to your point.

    May I suggest that you attend and thus obtain firsthand knowledge of what is being said?

    #878730
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    May I suggest that you attend and thus obtain firsthand knowledge of what is being said?

    Considering the fact that I don’t even keep Yom Tov, I’m pretty sure that I will not be welcome there.

    If someone doesn’t even keep Yom Tov, worrying about whether or not he has a filter on his internet connection is really secondary.

    The Wolf

    #878731
    Health
    Participant

    Loyal Jew -“She and others like her won’t accept a shidduch with a boy who uses the internet without a heter, even if it means staying single.”

    Just curious. Does she also refuse to date s/o who doesn’t wear a seatbelt? smokes? speeds or drives recklessly? talks on the cell while driving? over-drinks at Simchas?

    #878732
    jbaldy22
    Member

    @Chulent it happens to be that many of the rabbonim by the asifa privately disagree with rav wosner – their being there does not mean that they endorse his position nor believe that it is at all practical. Even Rav Mattisyahu did not take that position – he may wish it were possible but i would not say that it can be at all considered to be psak halacha for all. In fact I have spoken to rabbonim in Lakewood who do not go nearly that far – i think you should talk to whomever your rav is about what is the best solution for you – and i think that this is what the people who made the asifah had in mind – not to make generalized psak halachas or bans.

    @Loyal Jew so it is better to not do pru urvu and be single rather than marry a guy who uses the internet – wonderful made up hashkafos.

    #878733
    avhaben
    Participant

    Jbaldy: The speakers at the Asifa said several times the psak is backed up by Rivivos Yisroel and is binding upon Klal Yisroel based upon Rabbeinu Yonah’s Shaarei Teshuva and someone who disregards it loses his Olam Haboa.

    #878734
    Loyal Jew
    Member

    Health, the analogy doesn’t hold. He can be mekabel to wear a seatbelt, to give up smoking. etc. He can even be mekabel to stop defying the Gedolim. But he can’t be mekabel to un-see what he saw on the internet.

    JBakly, it isn’t a made-up hashkafa for good girls to reject a shidduch with a boy who dirties his soul and (since the Asifa) defies the Gedolim. Pru urvu is a mitzvah, not an animal act done for lack of choice. Such a shidduch wouldn’t work anyway because good parents wouldn’t go into debt and give up retirement to support the Torah of a SIL like that.

    #878735
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    “Rav Harari didn’t speak at the Kinus since he speaks in Ivrit, and they wanted all the speeches to be in only Yiddish and English.”

    Who are “they”?

    And are you saying that if Rav Harari spoke English or Yiddish, that he would have been invited to address the Asifa?

    And how do you know that he doesn’t?

    I dont know if Rav Harari speaks english or not, I am sure he probably does though. However his shita is to speak at least in public in Hebrew a jewish language, just like there are those who say one must speak in yiddish because its a jewish language, he hold that hebrew is a jewish language.

    Remember he is Syrian and yiddish is no more jewish to him than french.

    Ive met a quite a few Charedi Sephardim lately and it seems they have adopted Hebrew as their “Jewish language”. I wonder what Rav Ovadiah Yosef speaks.

    “They” is Satmar and related Chassidic groups who feel its wrong to speak english and even more wrong to speak Hebrew. As the Chassidic groups are larger than the Syrian groups and able to get more people to come, their position won out.

    It is their Shita that its assur to speak Hebrew and its their position, who am I to argue, but its Rav Harari position that its proper to speak Hebrew

    #878736
    apushatayid
    Participant

    Since I don’t speak yiddish, I only know what others claim “the psak” (not to be confused with “the decision) is. I have not heard a unified response so to me it is meaningless. My Rav is OK with my internet access, so long as I have filters installed. That is my psak.

    #878737
    apushatayid
    Participant

    MSS. Now, attached to every shidduch resume it is required to include the last 2 web chaver reports. This way, if you don’t like that they read breitbart, you can turn down the shidduch.

    #878738
    AZ
    Participant

    AZ: they will be saying that which had been the plan all along…..

    Internet is here to stay- period. we need to learn how to use it effectively and responsibly.

    My guess is there they’ll say that totally unprotectected internet is simply not acceptable in our community.

    Exact specifics kinds and levels of protection is something that depends on a case by case basis of a Rov/Mentor in conjunciton with a qualified technician.

    Wolf: could you agree with that message?

    #878739
    jbaldy22
    Member

    @avhaben that was rhetorical and i can tell u that if u were to ask rav mattisyahu directly whether he believed that to be true he would likely say no. he would agree that everyone should ask their own rav what is the best solution for them. If you would like I can have someone ask him directly.

    #878740
    AZ
    Participant

    Av Haben:

    The alleged psak of the asifa (internet is assur in the home even for business and even with a filter/protection) is NOT binding on rivivos alfei yisroel.

    In fact, the very next day, Rav Matisyahu Salomon spoke differently, as did the Roshei Yeshiva in Lakewood. And even what the R”Y in lakewood said, they explicitly stated was a higher level of protection and they spoke only to their talmidim.

    and THEY DID allow for situations that the alleged “psak” of the asifa did not.

    I’d be hesistant to think that they were willing to sacrifice their olam habah over it.

    Suggestion:

    Av Haben: Please get past what was said at the asifa.

    Zahavasdad: Please get past what was said at the asifa.

    My yiddish isn’t so great, perhaps what Rav Wosner said wasn’t even a “psak” despite what the large still scoreboard indicated perhaps it was a suggestion for people who couuld possibly live by, which rov minyan and binyan of klal yisroel clearly can not.

    It is for this reaon that i posted the brochure that was created by the people who initially were behind the asifa, and it was with their permission that i did so.

    Either way, i am comfortable saying that the statment that under no circumstances should internet be in a home, even for business even protected, is NOT a psak for rivivos alfei yisroel

    For the record:

    I have no devices in my home with internet connectivity capability (never did). I have a browslerless blackberry (never had it any other way), i have yeshivanet in my office (never had it any other way).

    Disclaimer:

    For whatever it’s worth, i recognzie that my personal set up wouldn’t work for everybody. I am simply mentioning that i’m not all for full access unprotetcted etc…

    Lets focus on constructively adressing the issues instead of debating irrelevant points.

    #878741
    avhaben
    Participant

    Jbaldy: Most certainly do have him asked directly. If you are to faithfully report Rav Matisyahu shlita’s reply, it will be they meant EXACTLY what they said b’rabim in front of over 50,000 Yidden.

    Apy: I’ve seen Rav Wosner shlita’s psak posted in shuls all over flatbush, boro park, and elsewhere. In Litvish, Chasidish and Sfardish butei medrashim and shuls everywhere. It is written in loshon kodesh.

    #878742
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Either way, i am comfortable saying that the statment that under no circumstances should internet be in a home, even for business even protected, is NOT a psak for rivivos alfei yisroel

    As the OP said:

    We heard the Psak Halacha issued by Gedolei HaPoskim regarding the permissibility of having internet access. Most notably Hagaon Haadir Posek Hador Ba’al Shevet Halevi HaRav Shmuel Wosner shlit”a, as directly stated himself live at the Kinus Klal Yisroel, Maran Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a, as stated in his written letter, and the hundreds of Gedolei Yisroel attending the Asifa.

    As was said in the Asifa, you now lose your Chelek in Olam Haba. B”H we will be in good company. IMHO, it is more likely that those who sacrifice Yiddishe Kinder for their personal gain, or for their own sense of superiority, will lose their Chelek. Not those such as yourself, who works towards a solution to one of the major issues in the Klal, the Shidduch Crisis.

    As a Rov (who is known to not pull punches) pointed out, Rav Chaim has no idea what a video is, let alone internet. (This was from first hand experience). I can safely waive the P’sak of anyone from EY regarding any technology (even without pointing out the EY P’sakim have nothing to do with America, and are non-binding anyway).

    AZ has been the most logical regarding the Asifa. The speakers (for the most part) talked……(deleted for YWN). Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein basicly says the same thing in Cross Currents. However, the point of introducing the concept of restricted internet to the RW Yeshivish and Chassidish communities (where the center already uses filters, and the MO also does or (for LWMO) don’t care) was worth the entire Asifa.

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