Television: A Cry of Anguish and Appeal to Our Jewish Brethren 📺

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  • #1192848

    feivel
    Participant

    “kol yisrael yesh lahem chelek b’olam habah”

    you need to know how to learn Gemorah. there are many ways to forfeit it.

    if you are riding along thinking you are guaranteed a portion in Olam Ha Boh, you better study the matter more completely,

    before its too late.

    #1192849

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    hey i’m so proud i knew something from the gemara that the gemara-girls didn’t know! wow thank you bais yaakov! (and brothers!)

    #1192850

    000646
    Participant

    Feivel,

    but wich one (or more) of the issurim that watching T.V. transgresses causes you to lose your chelek in olam haboh?

    #1192851

    illini07
    Member

    UJM:

    I do have one, he’s my rav. Disbelieve me if you want, but to be honest, I don’t really care what you think. And last time I checked, there was only one who said that tv is an automatic forfeiture of olam habah. So by my count, the score is even.

    Again, what happened to ask your posek? Or is it “ask your posek, but only when no other rabii disagrees?”

    I’ll say this too: even if I DIDN’T have a rav who said that having a tv is not automatically assur, I would STILL question R’ Miller’s statement. I question anyone who supports Yehuda Levin…

    #1192852

    Joseph
    Participant

    illini – do they teach avoidance so well in law school?

    Obviously close to everyone here disbelieves you. You cannot cite even one mainstream or well-known or for that matter any, Rabbi, who is on the record supporting or even allowing television in Jewish homes.

    And now you attack Maran Hagoen Harav Miller ZTV’L??? Such chutzpa and audacity! It is now as clear as the sun you have no chelek in Olam Habo; if the television hadn’t done it, that surely did.

    Go ahead and attack me as viciously as you can. The more vicious, the bigger my bracha.

    #1192853

    The Big One
    Participant

    NOW I fully understand Rav Miller’s words. After illini attacked Rav Miller, I can see how Rav Miller was so confident in saying these people have lose their cheilek in olam haboah.

    #1192854

    ujm
    Participant

    ilini07 – You are a Rasha. I’ve never seen anyone besmirch a tzaddik like you.

    #1192855

    If TV is a free ticket to Gehinnom then kal v’chomer the internet!!!

    #1192856

    brooklyn19
    Participant

    illini – sometimes when a a rav makes a psak – that’s it. you don’t even get up to the stage of asking your own (probably small-time) rav his opinion.

    and even if you did – is it worth the risk? how can you possibly sleep at night knowing you’re ignoring 35(???) major rabbonim?

    i have a lot of relatives with tvs. some are frummer than others. but none of them say that it’s really allowed. at least they’re aware that it’s a problem! maybe their portion of hell will be smaller…

    #1192858

    notpashut
    Member

    Illini,

    “SO BY MY COUNT THE SCORE IS EVEN”.

    From the day R’ Moshe Feinstein Ztz”l was niftar, there may not have been a bigger gadol in America than R’ Avigdor Miller.

    ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND????

    #1192859

    000646
    Participant

    Joseph, Ujm, The Big One,

    Since when does questioning a statement of R’ avigdor miller make somone lose there chelek in olam haboh?

    Why do you have a right to belittle any statement by any M.O. Rabbi Or rabbi who’s hashkafos are to liberal for you but no one can question a radical statement that no one can bring a mekor for made by one of the rabbis you go by?

    #1192860

    anon for this
    Participant

    Joseph and The Big One,

    Both of you accused Yanky55 of telling loshon hara. Are you saying this because you don’t believe R’ Soloveichik had a television in his apartment, or because you think Yanky55 is telling the truth but it’s wrong to say it? Please clarify.

    #1192861

    kiruvwife
    Member

    Just a thought….before worrying about losing Olam Haba…does it occur to those who consider themselves thinkers that watching TV is losing Olam Hazeh?

    Hashem has given us the gift of time (not hours, minutes, days—that’s how we measure time)—time is about being and doing. Taking time and literally killing it by watching TV, and ingesting what it has to offer is losing this great gift of life that Hashem has given us in this world.

    After chewing on this concept, than one can really give honest thought to one’s own portion in Olam Haba……and I leave it up to the Gedolei HaDor and Einei HaEidah to decide what it is that causes a person to lose their Olam Haba.

    (I’m hoping this will redirect the fierceness of where this thread has been heading i.e the personal attacks)

    #1192862

    notpashut
    Member

    onlyemes,

    Maybe you should change your screen name to match your comments.

    #1192863

    oomis
    Participant

    This entire line of the thread is getting insulting to some of the posters and bordering on offensive. ONLY Hashem gets to decide who loses his chelek in Olam Haba -not you, not I, not anyone, including rabbonim. It is upsetting to see some of the smug remarks that have been posted here. One does not require the haskama of YOUR rov that TV is OK to have in the home, if his personal rov does not asser it. There is a very huge difference between ALLOWING something and actually condoning it. You may not find a rov of note who is willing to say it’s a GOOD thing to have a tv, but you will find many who will tell you it is nonetheless not an aveira, particularly if one uses the

    V-chip and monitors closely (as I have always done) what the family is watching. Many secular educators also believe it is not a good thing to have a TV, but neither do they say it is a terrible thing to have one. It is a subtle difference, but if you think about it, it is still a difference. There are many excellent educational, nature-oriented, and newsworthy programs on TV, besides the things that concern our rabbonim. As with everything in life, the key is to use moderation, seichel, and know when enough is enough. My children learned a great deal from PBS, when they were toddlers, and there are still many fine programs on nowadays. This entire conversation will be moot for many in February, when the TV signal goes digital, and many people do not upgrade their tvs to be compatible with the new format.

    #1192864

    notpashut
    Member

    000646,

    You constantly post questions such as your last one which I’m not sure if you really mean to be serious or not.

    I’ll assume that you are serious & answer your question.

    There are Rabbanim & then there are Gedolim.

    Similarly there are doctors & then there are world class specialists.

    Now, if a Gadol makes a statement or paskens a shaila, The thinking human being understands that if the Rav of his shul says differently without backup from a different Gadol, he is really just making a fool out of himself.

    For instance, if someone has a brain tumor & a world-renowned specialist says that if we operate on the patient he will die, but his pediatrician says that it’s no problem, do you think he’ll say – “well, MY doctor says it’s O.K. so that is what I’m going to do”?

    R’ Avigdor Miller was a Gadol whether he was YOUR Rav or not.

    Just like R’ Soloveitchik was a Gadol even though (if you haven’t figured it out yet) he wasn’t MY Rav.

    R’ Avigdor Miller said that someone who has a TV in the home has no chelek in Olam Haba.

    There is no reason to assume that R’ Soloveichik would have disagreed with the proclamation made by the Gedolim to rid one’s home of the TV.

    THEREFORE, to say “Oh, I’ll take my chances on losing my Olam Haba & ignore the call of 37 Rabbanim & Roshei Yeshiva (many of whom are Gedolim) because MY Rav said it’s O.K.” is pretty stupid.

    Just like saying you’ll risk the surgery ’cause YOUR doctor said it’s OK.

    Now I’d like to ask all you pro-TV people a question.

    The fact is that R’ Yisroel Ya’akov Fisher (Rav of Yerushalayim who was niftar about 5 years ago) held that it was Muttar to smoke. That’s what he held till the day he died. ALL other gedolim hold that it’s assur.

    Now, what would you say about a person who says, “MY Rav (R’ Fisher) holds that it’s muttar to smoke so why shouldn’t I smoke”?

    Obviously you would say he’s an idiot. (although Sjs would say that she “respects” & “accepts” his decision).

    Why is he an idiot? Because he’s risking his life.

    THEREFORE, even if R’ Soloveichik WOULD say that it’s OK to have a TV in the house, anyone who would rely on his opinion is an even bigger idiot than the smoker, ’cause I sure hope one would rather lose their life then their Olam Haba.

    #1192865

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Hate to say it, this thread is full of Lashon Hara about both Rav Miller and Rav Soloveitchik and should be closed.

    I do not believe Rav Miller, who we (my family) have been close with since he was Rav in Rugby, would say such a sweeping statement about Klal Yisroel just for the ownership. As far As I am concerned, it is Lashon Hara/Motzi Shem Ra to repeat it.

    Same with Rav Soloveitchik, I don’t know the answer, but its Lashon Hara to discuss.

    Please close the thread.

    #1192866

    000646
    Participant

    NOTPASHUT,

    There is a big diffrence between a doctor and a rov: we call a doctor a good doctor when we see that what he does works, we know that smoking kills because we have the satistics to prove it.

    We have no way of knowing who has a chelek in olam haba and you have no way of knowing if one rabbi knows more then another unless you can somehow faher them and know wich one knowes more wich you cannot do.

    If you wish to play the numbers game there are alot more M.O. rabbis and rabbis of other affiliations then there are black hat rabbis.

    i never said i think its o.k. to have a t.V. i just dont beleive that having one would make somone lose there chelek in olam haba and i dont claim to know for a fact either way.

    #1192867

    jphone
    Member

    Will Hill. Your question to me is silly. It is what they call a Red Herring. It deflects the discussion from the crux of the discussion to some side point.

    The Rabbonim named on this letter about TV (those who are still alive), also declared that one should not have internet access. I am not aware that the Rabbonim have stated it is muttar to have internet access IF…..

    The same way you have a hetter to be online (work, filters, whatever), people use the same argument to have a TV in their home. Only news, etc…

    That you do not like their decision is not their problem. They never suggested you go out and by a television, not you are or anyone else. To categorically state that someone will lose their olam habbah because they own a TV is, in my opinion, stupid, ignorant and dangerous. None of the Rabbonim cited above would ever make such a comment. We all know it.

    #1192870

    notpashut
    Member

    000646,

    I give up. But I’ll respond anyway.

    1)We have the statistics on TV as well.

    2)A Rav who learned shas over 60 times & knew Chovos Halevavos, Sha’arei T’shuva & Mesilas Yeshorim by heart probably DOES know who has a chelek in Olam Haba.

    #1192872

    Anonymous

    The conversation was good and productive but has gotten out of hand.

    #1192874

    chofetzchaim
    Member

    In last week’s parsha (Eikev) it said “v’lo tavee to’eiva el baitecha”

    al tikri to’eiva ela televisia

    (I know, it doesn’t work as well with the Ashkenazic pronunciation of the sav)

    #1192875

    bpt
    Participant

    Thanks for reviving this CC. I gave up TV more than 20 years ago, and the once in a while that I do see what is on today (parents / friends, ect) I am shocked at what is shown today. Yet when I point it out, the TV owners don’t see the big deal. That I would guess, is the result of acclimation. If it creeps up on you slowly, you don’t sense the decay.

    (great interpretaion of the possuk, by the way!)

    #1192876

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    BPTotty, I haven’t noticed anything wrong with Iron Chef. Its a competitive cooking show that’s amazing. Gives you new ideas on what to cook.

    There is filth on TV. There is filth on the radio. There is filth on internet.

    Use it responsibly.

    #1192877

    bpt
    Participant

    Clearly, since I’m on-line the majority of the 9-5 day (both work related and CR hock), I must agree with you. Useful tools are just that, useful and need to be handled with care.

    But would I keep a loaded pistol in my home? Or live downstream of a coalmine? No, because the risk to my family’s health makes it too big a gamble. Both very useful things, but one’s best kept very far away from.

    I may not be able to see the side effects of exposure right away, but the experts say its harmful, and hindsight seems to back them up, so why risk it? True, with proper safeguards technology can be a wonderful thing, but at home? That’s a risk I’d prefer to avoid.

    #1192879

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    But would I keep a loaded pistol in my home?

    Would you have a pool in your backyard?

    At work, IT has a full record of where you go and what you do on your computer. There is no Yichud.

    SJS compared having a TV to having (unfiltered, unchecked)internet at home, and there is no question that having such internet is worse.

    The question is where to draw the line.

    #1192880

    Max Well
    Member

    Rav Avigdor Miller constantly said (and can be heard on many of his tapes) that by someone having a television in the home he will lose his chelek in Olam Haboah.

    It is well worth listening to these tapes, available at many Torah Tape libraries.

    You can listen to one such time by CLICKING HERE.

    To quote: “No question, anybody who has a TV in his house should know beforehand that his life is wasted. He has no chelek L’Olam Haboa. No question at all about it.”

    #1192881

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    To quote: “No question, anybody who has a TV in his house should know beforehand that his life is wasted. He has no chelek L’Olam Haboa. No question at all about it.”

    Well, since my life is wasted and I know that I have no chelek in Olam HaBah (something I suspected well before you put up that quote anyway) now I can truly serve HKBH as a servant al m’nas shelo lekabel pras.

    The Wolf

    #1192882

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    Max well, may as violate shabbos, kashrus, THM and everything else since I have no olam haba. So that you for elucidating. I’ll now go to the cafeteria dress scantily cladd and eat a bacon cheeseburger.

    #1192883

    blinky
    Participant

    There is really no need for some of these comments. All Max well did was quote somebody-he didn’t make it up. Otherwise it sounds as if you are bashing R’ Avigdor Miller.

    #1192884

    Max Well
    Member

    One who has lost his chelek in olam haboa, can re-earn it.

    Like Rav Miller zt”l says, take the TV and throw it out the window.

    (Please do so after insuring no one is anywhere near that window below.)

    #1192887

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    One who has lost his chelek in olam haboa, can re-earn it.

    Like Rav Miller zt”l says, take the TV and throw it out the window.

    Alas, I cannot do teshuva. Even if I throw my TV out of the window, I still don’t regret having one. Hence I’m missing the first, essential step of teshuva.

    Besides, I’m fairly certain that I lost my Olam Habah long before I had a TV. My getting rid of a TV to restore my Olam Habah is like trying to bail out the Titanic with an eyedropper.

    The Wolf

    #1192888

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    There is really no need for some of these comments. All Max well did was quote somebody-he didn’t make it up. Otherwise it sounds as if you are bashing R’ Avigdor Miller.

    I did not bash R. Miller. I challenge you to show me where in this thread I did so. I may disagree with what he says sometimes (and I didn’t do that in this thread either), but to bash him? Never.

    I certainly have my faults, but that isn’t one of them.

    The Wolf

    #1192889

    bpt
    Participant

    Would I have a pool? Yes, I suppose I would if:

    I had a good gate

    I was able to train my kids to swim

    I (or someone esle) was there to supervise

    TV (and internet) usage is much harder to control and I doubt my kids are ready to swim that pool. And you do made a good point, knowing the IT dept can nail me is a very good deterent (that’s why I don’t have internet at home)

    #1192890

    bpt
    Participant

    And while I don’t want to enter the fray re: who has / lost a chelek in Olam habah, SJSs comment was really funny!

    (Wolf was very witty too, just not as funny)

    #1192891

    kollel_wife
    Participant

    I think perhaps everyone could refrain from criticizing eachother. I think we all know that wasting/killing time and viewing immorality are wrong things (obviously the 2nd one much worse).

    No orthodox Jew would condone having a immoral magazine with some ok pages on their coffee table.

    Television and the internet both have that component to them. Many kosher things juxaposed with unkoshe. You just turn the page and it’s right there. A person can make the choice to only look at what’s ok, but that’s a tremendous challenge for many. Rabbonim feel the risks are too great to ignore.

    I don’t think Rabbi Miller would say someone who uses television/internet in a “kosher way” only has lost his olam haba, but he’s certainly risking his olam habba and if not his than that of his family.

    I think we all have to be open minded and courageous enough to realize these risks and take appropriate measures accordingly. And work to improve each and our own madreiga to avoid these things depending on where we are holding. But no one can bury their head in the sand and say there are no very serious risks.

    Quoting that the Rav had a television doesn’t mean he approved on the immorality on it, and if he was living today I imagine he’d come up with guidelines for internet/television use for his followers. Although he may have not struggled with the desire to view inappropriate things and waste time too, he would understand that many would have such struggles.

    We should all be zocheh to improve in these areas – no matter where we come from without trying to put others down!!

    #1192892

    blinky
    Participant

    Wolf-my turn to apologize-I should have been clearer-“bash” was not the word. Maybe ‘cynical’ was better though my comment was really aimed toward the poster after you. Again im sorry I should have been clearer.

    #1192893

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf-my turn to apologize

    No problem. My apologies for misunderstanding you.

    The Wolf

    #1192894

    bpt
    Participant

    Wolf –

    Sorry, I missed this post:

    “Even if I throw my TV out of the window…I’m missing the first, essential step of teshuva”.

    Perhaps. But you’ve made step 2. Plus, getting out of the sun, (while you may not regret being out in the 1st place)will still protect you from a sunburn

    “getting rid of a TV is like trying to bail out the Titanic with an eyedropper”.

    never underestimate the power of a 1st move. (open for Me a door as wide a the eye of a needle, and I’ll open, ect)

    I rarely go head to head with you, but when you talk down about yourself, that cannot go unchalleged.

    #1192895

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Perhaps. But you’ve made step 2. Plus, getting out of the sun, (while you may not regret being out in the 1st place)will still protect you from a sunburn

    True… but the cases aren’t really analogous.

    I rarely go head to head with you, but when you talk down about yourself, that cannot go unchalleged.

    Truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it and ignorance may deride it, but, in the end, there it is. — Sir Winston Churchill

    The Wolf

    #1192896

    HaQer
    Member

    To quote: “No question, anybody who has a TV in his house should know beforehand that his life is wasted. He has no chelek L’Olam Haboa. No question at all about it.”

    When gedolim makes statements like this they expect them to be understood using seichel and not taken completely at face value. There is a chazal that if one learns 2 halachos per day he is guaranteed olam habah. Does this mean that if I learn 2 halachos every day and then go and purposely violate them I will still go to olam habah because, after all, I learned 2 halachos per day? Of course not. The point in the segula of learning 2 halachos per day is that if one does so he will, over the course of time, come to know a lot of halacha and will then hopefully follow it. It is the following of the halacha, the doing of the mitzvos properly and the avoiding of the aveiros, along with the zechus of his daily learning that gets a person to olam habah.

    Same thing here. It is the consequences of owning the TV that R’ Miller ZT”L claims will make one lose their olam habah. If I own a TV but I and my family never use it, I am sure that R’ Miller will agree that it will not affect my Olam Habah.

    I do not know whether or not it is true that the Rav had a TV in his house, but if he did, he probably did not waste away his life watching it, nor did he use it to watch things that he shouldn’t be watching. He was probably also very careful not to allow the other members of his household to let the TV ruin their lives. A gadol like the Rav was on the level to control himself and his household in this way and is therefore not subject to R’ Miller’s claim that he will lose his Olam Habah. It is therefore not a stira to say that the Rav had a TV and that R’ Miller said that a TV takes away Olam Habah. Seichel will tell you that R’ Miller was speaking to the hamon am, not to yichidim like the Rav.

    I see a few problems with an individual owning a TV.

    First of all, even if everything he is watching is completely appropriate, it can still be a big waste of time. The time spent watching TV will take away from learning Torah and doing other mitzvos which will cause a person to have a much smaller chelek in the next world than they would have otherwise.

    Secondly, there is the content itself which has deteriorated over the years. I used to enjoy occasionally watching sports but nowadays there is so much shmutz even in that. The commercials are all completely inappropriate and even during the games themselves the cameras will often focus on inappropriate things.

    Theoretically, if the content was clean and the time spent is minimal it would be OK to own and watch a TV. But, our gedolim know that this is not the case. The content is not clean and watching TV can be addictive. You might start out watching one baseball game per month, it will then progress to one per week then one per day. Then you will want to watch the pre-game and post-game and Sportscenter as well and eventually it will take up all of your time and you will waste away your life. The yetzer hara for this addiction is even greater when it comes to inappropriate programming.

    There may be some yichidim who have enough control over themselves and their life to be able to resist the temptations and use the TV appropriately. But, even for those people who can control themselves, the chances are that they cannot control their families. Having a TV in the house might be OK for these people if they were living alone but if they have children it is another story. It sounds to me from the discussion above that the Rav had a TV in his house during his older years. He used it to keep up with news and sports so that he could better connect with the people in the world including his grandchildren. From this I conclude that at the time he did not have young children in his house to worry about them using the TV inappropriately. It was also a time period when TV was not as bad as it is nowadays. I highly doubt that he had cable, etc. If he did have a TV he used it for occasional news and sports only and even that was all done leshem shamayim.

    #1192897

    Max Well
    Member

    Rav Miller bases his statement regarding TV causing a loss of Olam Haboa based on the Mishna in Sanhedrin 10:1 that says a person loses his Olam Haboa by reading the wrong books since it corrupts his mind. Rav Miller says the television is 100% worse than the seforim chitzonim. There’s more to what he says (you can listen to Rav Miller in the post above) but that is the core in a nutshell.

    And I don’t see anyway around the face value of it. I mean, if it is never turned one, that may be analogous to not having it. But if it is watched, the seforim chitzonim issue comes to fore.

    And frankly even the so-called “clean” shows have completely assur content, at the very least during commercials. And even during the so-called “clean” show, you almost if not always have a (even goyish) woman dressed untzniusdik per Torah standards (i.e. uncovered elbows or knees) – which itself makes it all assur. (This point is more relevant to men than women, but you still have the aforementioned issurim, even for women.)

    Wolf – I agree with BP Totty. Perhaps they somewhat are more analogous than you realize. Just like you won’t get anymore sunburn if you leave the sun (even if you don’t regret), you won’t lose the future olam haboah you earn after you rid your home of the TV.

    #1192898

    minyan gal
    Member

    When it is time for my neshamah to part company with my body, I believe that Hashem will decide my future. It doesn’t matter how much TV I have watched in my life – nor what the content was, but rather, how I lived my life. Attending shul, studying various Judaic topics, giving tzedakah to the best of my ability, and doing kind things for others will be the deciding factors. No one person has the right to sit in judgement of how other people choose to live their daily lives (as long as it doesn’t involve illegal activities – then one certainly may be judged). We all do what is right for ourselves and our families. Yidden are often far too quick to point out even minor variances in lifestyles as being harmful. Many of us spend so much time pointing out differences that they forget how much alike we are. It seems the fact that we are all Bnei Yisroel gets left behind. We should be more united and quit quibbling over lifestyle differences. It just serves to be divisive. Accessing the various forms of media available to us is far less harmful than all of the Lashon Hora that arises from from many of these blogs.

    #1192899

    SJSinNYC
    Member

    If I take R’ Millers words at face value, there is no reason for me to keep any mitzvot AT ALL. After all, I have no chelek in olam haba. And I’m not planning on getting rid of my TV.

    I don’t think you realize how many people have some version of a TV in their house. If you have internet access and don’t filter EVERY website that has a tv show posted, you essentially have a TV. I know plenty of people that “don’t have a tv” and keep up with the latest shows in the internet.

    I generally watch TV while folding laundry. Or knitting. Or sewing. Or washing dishes. It takes me through boring household chores when my husband is at minyan, learning, doing other household chores and the kids are sleeping.

    #1192900

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Wolf – I agree with BP Totty. Perhaps they somewhat are more analogous than you realize. Just like you won’t get anymore sunburn if you leave the sun (even if you don’t regret), you won’t lose the future olam haboah you earn after you rid your home of the TV.

    How do you know that I have any future Olam Habah? You’re making an unwarranted assumption.

    The Wolf

    #1192901

    personally i don’t have a tv, nor do i plan on getting one. i’m pretty sure, that if the Rav zt’l were still alive today, he would be much more restrictive about the tv. tv now and tv in the 60’s are two completely different animals.

    #1192902

    bpt
    Participant

    “How do you know that I have any future Olam Habah?”

    Thats easy – Its the opening line of each week’s Pirkei Avos. We all have a chelek. Its part of our contract.

    #1192903

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Thats easy – Its the opening line of each week’s Pirkei Avos. We all have a chelek. Its part of our contract.

    Actually, it’s a Mishna in Sanhedrin. But that’s beside the point.

    Tell that to Yeravam. Or Achav. Or Deog.

    Clearly the Mishna is talking about people who don’t otherwise lose it. Otherwise, the rest of the Mishna is meaningless.

    The Wolf

    #1192904

    squeak
    Participant

    Wolf, you just slipped up and showed that you are much more learned than you care to admit recently.

    #1192905

    its also in Pirkei Avos

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