Unfiltered Access to the Internet allowed?

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  • #591267

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Based on some of the recent conversations here in the YWN Coffee Room as well as some recent news. I wanted to pose the question.

    There is no arguement that unfiltered access to the internet has caused a literal Churban in Klal Yisroel it has destroyed homes turned children off the derech and more. The Danger of unfiltered access to the internet is real.

    Not only that but there is serious doubt as to whether it is halachically permissiable to have unfiltered access to the Internet in ones home.

    If so why is it that there seems to be a growing chorus of people screaming in righteous indignation at those who would dare get drunk on Purim. Something which has been the accepted Mesorah for hundreds of years and may cause damage or may not. But when it comes to the growing threat of the Internet these same people are silent.

    #675054

    Josh31
    Participant

    Drunkenness is worse.

    Unfiltered internet can be a threat to Kedushas Yisroel, and even to Tsuras Adam (being a human).

    A Drunk has already lost Tsuras Adam.

    I do not believe we have a widely accepted Mesorah for real Drunkenness, even for one day a year.

    #675055

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Josh I hate to break it to you but this is not a matter of belief facts are that there is such a mesorah ask any Rosh Yeshiva what they did in his Rebbis Yeshiva.

    As for the other point.

    Again ask any Rav what is causing a greater churban Drinking on Purim or the Internet.

    #675056

    tzippi
    Member

    The question is, is the drinking being done al pi mesorah. There’s a beautiful story in The Heavenly City about a nistar named Baruch Mordechai. We have come (down) a long, long way from that, and some of the other inspiring Purim lore.

    #675057

    jphone
    Member

    unfiltered internet can kill your neshama. Drinking to much can kill you physically. At least there is a chance at doing teshuva while your alive.

    #675058

    volvie
    Member

    IMO, they aren’t comparable. While unfiltered internet has a virtually 100% likelihood of causing serious negative consequences both spiritually and possibly even physically that can sometime be difficult to almost impossible to completely recover from, drinking one day a year can be managed responsibly by many people – as demonstrated by 1,000’s of years of Purim.

    #675059

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Volvie-Well Put.

    #675060

    Josh31
    Participant

    “drinking one day a year can be managed responsibly by many people – as demonstrated by 1,000’s of years of Purim”

    Unfortunately, a much smaller group demonstrate the opposite.

    The Mesorah is to drink more than usual, not get to the level of degradation.

    #675061

    oomis
    Participant

    Ben Levi, even were it true that a greater churban is caused by the internet than by drinking (and I do not accept that as a given), what someone does in the privacy of his home on the internet is known only to him and damages him privately. What some foolish teenager or even more foolish OLDER guy does in PUBLIC while intoxicated is known to ALL. NEITHER of these is good for those people, but the danger of causing physical damage to himself and to OTHER innocent victims is far greater when one is drunk, than when one is using the internet (which CAN be used for the good, as well, as opposed to drunkenness, which bodes no good for anyone).

    #675062

    volvie
    Member

    Unfortunately, a much smaller group demonstrate the opposite.

    As you admit, it is a much smaller group than the masses and masses of Yidden who can and do drink responsibly and become shikur on Purim per our Mesorah.

    The much smaller group can’t change the Mesorah of others with their irresponsible behavior. They need to control and refine their behavior. And if that means refrain from drinking too much due to their inability to restrain themselves from taking matters to far, then they have to do what it takes for themselves. Nevertheless, this much smaller groups issue will not interrupt the much larger masses of Klal Yisroel from practicing their Mesorah as their Zeida’s practiced it for 1,000’s of years on Purim, and is codified in our Seforim HaKedoshim.

    #675063

    oomis
    Participant

    It is not such a small group. Let’s tell it like it is. If it were not such a problem, people like Rabbi Shmuel Kamenentzky and Rabbi Twersky would not be telling us it is assur. Obviously it is a far greater epidemic than has been previously thought to be so.

    #675064

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Oomis think you will will agree that making a parnosa is a very good thing yet the Rambam followed by the Shulchan Aruch all the way down to the Aruch HaShulachan pasken if one’s job forces them to be in a situation of Yichud they are required to give their job and find another.

    I personally was present when one of the greatest Poskim in America whos seforim are basic texts for those studying for semicha (incidentally one who gets drunk on Purim) stated that the internet is destroying homes, families and children left and right and it is prohibited to have unfiltered access in ones home. As an aside he mentioned “And even if one needs it for their parnosa who says it’s mutar?

    It was some years ago so I can not say for sure if my memory serves me correct by I think he went on to say that he will not go into it because people will not loisten to him.

    I B”H was zoche to learn by Gedolim as well talmidim of Gedolim all of whom advocated “drunkeness” on Purim and all of whom prohibited unfiltered access to the Internet.

    When I was a bochur I needed a cell phone because I was dating I am quite proud to be able to say I got a personal Heter from my Rosh Yeshiva zt’l who when I have been told in his youger years used to give a shmuess on Purim holding a Bottle of wine.

    It is people like that who’s every action and decision was dictated by Halacha and soley by Halacha who must serve as the Leaders of the present generation.

    If it would only be so then I am quite firm in the belief unrestricted access to the internet would be as common in the holmes of Bnei Torah as TV and all would be drunk on Purim and Moshiach wopuld come sooner because of it.

    As the song from MBD goes “there will be singing dancig laughing” an apt description of a drunken yeshiva bochurs Purim.

    #675065

    volvie
    Member

    oomis, We’re going to have to agree to disagree. You and your like-minded will minimize your drinking on Purim, whilst we and all our like-minded Yidden will follow in the footsteps of our Zeida’s and as codified in the Seforim and will drink Ad D’Lo Yoda.

    The Gemora (Megillah 7b) quotes Rovo that “one is obligated liv’sumi [Rashi – to become intoxicated with wine] on Purim ad d’loi yoda [until one cannot distinguish] between ‘cursed is Homon’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai'”. Shulchan Aruch (OC 695:2) and Remo, rule in accordance with Rovo, and state that this is an obligation. The Bach states that according to the Tur one is literally required to become so intoxicated on Purim that one is unable to distinguish any difference between ‘cursed is Homon’ and ‘blessed is Mordechai’. The Shelo Hakodoish and Chacham Tzvi are said to have fulfilled Rovo’s ruling literally. The Shelo Hakodoish is also quoted as stating that one who is frail by nature is exempt from becoming intoxicated – the implication being that one who is fit and healthy is obligated to become intoxicated. The Rambam (Hilchos Megilla 2:15) rules that one should take wine to the stage that one becomes intoxicated and falls asleep. The Sfas Emes explains that the obligation of ad d’lo yoda is a requirement to rejoice and drink continually.

    #675066

    hereorthere
    Member

    In the section on shidduchim someone said that part of the problem with shidduchim was that (not an exact quote, but the basic idea of they said was) “the women went out into the world and learned to have minds of their own and the mothers of the boys could not manipulate them they way they used to be easily manipulated”.

    Saying they “had minds of their own” strongly implies it was good for the girls to go out into the secular world and get some ‘sophistication’ that the boys did not have so they would not be “manipulated” or have to ‘look up to the men going out to work and earning the money” as it used to be in the old days.

    And yet this outside world is exactly what is being complained about that is brought into the home, by the internet.

    So which way is it?

    Is it good to go out and become “sophisticated” as they praise the girls for doing or is it the bane of the frum community and harbinger of it’s destruction?

    #675068

    jphone
    Member

    I highly doubt anyones Zaydes, or Rebbes, got so drunk to the point where they were puking their guts out and were a danger to themselves and those around them. The “famous posek” you reffer to, I doubt he was barfing all over the table and I highly doubt he gave his haskama to those who did so as well. Moreover, if he felt that the drinking done around him had nothing to do with ad dlo yada and everything to do with “having a good time” I am 100% certain he would have told those people to stop drinking.

    Lastly, it is very easy to quote “famous posking”, “great roshei yeshiva” and “prominent rabbonim”. We all can. It is a completely unverifiable claim. Name names. Who said what tpo whom and when. Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky has been quoted as advocating the exact opposite of what you are. Please name a contemporary Rav or Rosh Yeshiva who disagrees with him. Rav Shmuel knows the Rambam and all the sources you cite and he STILL said what he did, are you saying he is at odds with them? He doesn’t know of them or understand them? For your “argument” to have any validity (in my eyes) please provide a name.

    #675069

    hereorthere
    Member

    Also even in the middle of the most frum community into the grocery stores and the shoe stores and eateries etc….the most untznius people sometimes come into shop.

    Smetimes they are not even Jewish at all.

    So unless everyone is going to be banned from working and banned from even comming out of their houses banning the internet will not insulate anyone from the rest of teh world.

    I never ehard of any frun yidden stoping from going into the Jewlery business and working in Manhattan because some extremly untznius people would come into teh stores and be seen on teh streets where the yidden had to go to and be in order to do their jobs and I never heard anyone quoting Rambam or Aurach Hashulchan, in complaint against it.

    #675070

    oomis
    Participant

    “there will be singing dancig laughing”

    All of which we can ALL do without getting drunk – and BETTER, because we aren’t falling over each other when we are not smashed. I do not need to debate this. Those who feel the need to justify their potentially egregious behavior in drinking to excess and possibly acting like animals in public places, will find an halachic basis for it. The rest of us will find an halachic basis for NOT causing a great chillul Hashem on Purim this year, as has happened in previous years. I sincerely pray that none of the drinkers has cause to regret his dedication to this one halacha, that can be interpreted in so many less dangerous ways than taht of blanket permission to get blotto.

    #675072

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Oomis Why is it that you ignore the central question of this thread?

    Why is it that you seem to feel it necassary to scream from the rooftops over drinking on Purim but are silent regarding the clear unanimus threat of the internet that is growing by leaps and bounds and threating to undermine the very fabric of our society?

    We know your views on Drinking that why this question was posed.

    #675073

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    hereorthere; there’s is quite a difference between seeing untznius people and being in a situation of Yichud. The Hakacha I qouted is in regard to Yichud not seeing untznius people.

    No less a personage then Rav Matusyahu Salamon (another Rabbi who gets drunk on Purim) has stated that being alone with unfiltered access to the internet is a question of Yichud.

    Not having unfiltered access to the internet may not shield someone from seen an untznius women but it may shield him from interacting with her in some way. (v’dai l’chakima brimizah)

    #675074

    Ben Levi: Of course it’s not good to have unfiltered access to the internet in your house. If you’re going to have the internet it should be in a public part of the house, where anyone can walk in at any time and preferably it should be filtered. I don’t think anyone is going to argue with that and we’ve been hearing this almost ad nauseum.

    What you say about drinking that it “may cause damage or may not.” is ridiculous. Anyone who is not drunk on purim has witnessed numerous examples of damage caused by people in the name of mesorah. The chillul Hashem caused by kids getting drunk and having to go to the hospital, getting arrested, causing damage to people or property is enormous. The physical danger and possibility for chillul Hashem is reason enough to speak out against it. The reason people are more outspoken about drinking than about the internet is probably because the drinking is public and everyone sees it where as the internet problems are private and not seen by everyone.

    #675075

    Josh31
    Participant

    Those who should not have unlimited access to internet should not have unlimited access to alcohol.

    The next question is up what age for both. Perhaps 80.

    For alcohol, the bottles should be stored with two locks, one can only be opened by husband and one by wife.

    For some of us, Yichud with a bottle is very dangerous.

    Noah and Lot were not degraded by the internet.

    The Mitzvah of drinking on Purim can be accomplished with the proper Shimirah (protection from excess) in place.

    #675076

    hereorthere
    Member

    There is quite the problem of yichud out there in the world.

    When a person is alone in a store, just about to close and someone walks in

    or two singles live on the same floor in an apartment building for example.

    #675080

    Just-a-guy
    Member

    The comparison here is not correct. The reason not to have unfiltered internet access in the home is because there is the potential for negative consequences, i.e., you may be tempted to get involved in inappropriate conduct that can have disastrous results involving people veering off the proper spiritual path. Drinking excessively on Purim is the dangerous act itself and the equivalent to the question about unfiltered internet access would be the simple act of having liquor or wine in the home. You must be careful with both, but drinking excessively is like looking at shmutz on the internet, not the same as having the ability to look at shmutz if you were so tempted.

    #675081

    oomis
    Participant

    Youdontknowme, made the same point as I. The internet is very private, and CAN be filtered voluntarily, but even if not it is still private. Getting drunk on Purim is RARELY private, and in any case, people who drink alone are at risk for becoming potential alcoholics, but I digress. I did not ignore the issue, Ben LEvi, I was responding to a specific point. You seem to feel one cannot have a good time without drinking to excess on Purim, and that is a canard. Believe it or not, one can feel trtemendous simcha without being snockered. And if you are worried about internet use, I suggest using a filter on yours. After all, you are posting here, so someone is using the internet at your house.

    #675082

    hereorthere
    Member

    I remember being taught that one may fulfill the mitzvoh of not knowing the difference between “cursed be Haman ” and “Blessed be Mordechai” just by drinking more then usual or by sleeping (possibly even just by drinking milk?).

    One problem with drinking is that it’s not just public but could endanger the public such as when someone drinks and the G-d forbid, drives.

    The internet does not cause such direct immediate damage.

    Technology is not good or evil.

    It’s how it’s used that makes the difference.

    #675083

    haifagirl
    Participant

    I guess I’m in big trouble. My internet is unfiltered. I just monitor my own behavior. And there is no such thing as a “public area” of my apartment, unless I go out into the stairwell. And the Rambam said women should not go out of the house more than once or twice a month. So if I don’t go to work, who will support me?

    #675084

    ronrsr
    Member

    I think of the internet as a big city. As with any big cities, there are safe areas and unsafe areas. There are shopping districts and red-light districts.

    No one has built a wall to keep me out of the unsafe areas or out of the red-light districts, yet somehow I manage to avoid them almost all of the time. If I happen to find myself in one, by accident, I leave quickly.

    Also, is there any virtue for doing the right thing, if doing the right thing is enforced? We keep kosher not because it’s easy to do, not because it is externally enforced with filters and fences, but because we seek to do what is right, and eat in a holy manner. If all non-kosher food were to taste bad, would following the holy diet have any meaning?

    Shouldn’t we be allowed to CHOOSE to do the right thing, in the face of temptation?

    #675085

    ronrsr
    Member

    And why do we admire the drunkard who straightens out his life and returns to sobriety more than the drunkard who merely follows temptation and continues to drink, while his life collapses around him?

    And if there were no temptations, would living a virtuous life be a virtue?

    #675086

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jphone: Seder Hayom states that one is to become inebriated on Purim to the point that they are rolling on the floor throwing up.

    Oomis: I do not have a wireless chip and access that I do have is through YeshivaNet which I highly recommend for their excellent support.

    As to the point of choosing to do the right thing.

    The Rashbam in Bava Basra makes clear that if someone walks in a non-tznius place when there was an alternative is considered a rasha, even if he closes his eyes.

    I find it interesting that those who are so quick to site one Rosh Yeshiva’s position that one should not drink to excess on Purim are quite willing to ignore that same rosh Yeshiva’s repeated calls both privatley and publicly that one should not have unfiltered internet in their homes under any circumstances.

    #675087

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jphone: Seder Hayom states that one is to become inebriated on Purim to the point that they are rolling on the floor throwing up.

    Oomis: I do not have a wireless chip and access that I do have is through YeshivaNet which I highly recommend for their excellent support.

    As to the point of choosing to do the right thing.

    The Rashbam in Bava Basra makes clear that if someone walks in a non-tznius place when there was an alternative is considered a rasha, even if he closes his eyes.

    I find it interesting that those who are so quick to site one Rosh Yeshiva’s position that one should not drink to excess on Purim are quite willing to ignore that same rosh Yeshiva’s repeated calls both privatley and publicly that one should not have unfiltered internet in their homes under any circumstances.

    #675088

    tomim tihye
    Member

    Can anyone declare with certainty that he or she is ALWAYS in full control of his or her thoughts and actions?

    If not, you require a filter.

    (That’s why I have YeshivaNet.)

    Ron- Last time and this time, you left quickly, but next time, or the next?

    Why would you put yourself in a dangerous place so frequently if you can so easily avoid the danger??

    #675089

    Jothar
    Member

    Why are they mutually exclusive? Halacha and seichel is against both. Who here is bigger than the roshei yeshiva who signed on the kol koreis, or bigger than Rav shmuel Kaminetzky shlit”a, or bgger than the poskim who say not to be mevatel krias shema, bentching and maariv? And who here knows more than the hatzala members if it’s a sakanah or not?

    #675090

    volvie
    Member

    Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky specifically told children at risk – from Project Yes – that they should follow the less stringent shitta. The R”Y was not speaking to the public at large. If anyone is in doubt about this, they are welcome to visit the Yeshiva in Philadelphia for Simchas Purim and bear eidus to shikur bochorim.

    #675091

    volvie, I personally follow the shitoh to get drunk until I forget Shoshanas Yaakov.

    But all these people yelling about drunk bochrim are trying to undermine halacha just because some exploit it.

    Just like if there aer car accidents you would outlaw driving. Ridiculous!

    #675092

    volvie
    Member

    Talmid: Exactly.

    #675093

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Why has this turned into another discussion of drinking?

    Can’t people ansewer the question that this discussion was aimed at?

    #675094

    Any mekoros to look into? I can’t find any.

    #675095

    oomis
    Participant

    TLC that is a poor analogy. No one said to eliminate drinking on Purim, only to LIMIT the excessive use of alcohol by people too young and immature to understand the impact their actions have on themselves and on others, who have a right to enjoy THEIR Purim night as well. That is not undermining halacha, but it interesting that you view simple menschlechkeit in that way.

    #675096

    I apologize if I have misunderstood your intentions oomis, but the question is who is too ‘young’? I hope you will not quote American law to prove me the age, as some did in the ‘Drinking on Purim’ thread. The medinoh doesn’t decide our halocho

    #675097

    volvie
    Member

    oomis, No one on this or any other thread disagreed with to “LIMIT the excessive use of alcohol by people too young and immature to understand the impact their actions have on themselves and on others.”

    #675098

    jphone
    Member

    It has been suggested in this forum that it is only a minority of people that take drinking to an excess. I suspect the same is also true of unfiltered internet usage.

    The difference being, that a single person who falters online can negatively affect many people at once (the details have been spelled out at numerous asifos and dont require further details here). A person with a drinking problem, can negatively affect only those in proximity to him (although it can be quite a negative affect – especially if it causes injury or death).

    It think if we spent more time teaching basic hashkafas hachaim and fostering greater yiras shamayim in yeshivos and bais yackovs we will be better equipped to deal with the challenges posed by the world wide web, drinking and anything else society throws our way. We dont. We are so busy saying that everything is bad, and then banning it, our kids dont know WHY these things are bad and when it isnt spelled out in black and white for them, they are at a loss how to proceed.

    I watched a missionary “debate” several yeshiva bachurim on a Manhattan subway platform recently and they were simply at a loss about how to respond to his “questions”. (Its bad enough they werent even familiar with perek beis in tehillim) They really couldnt explain why yiddishkeit had an issue with people who claimed to be monotheistic but had a few different beliefs. They were unfamiliar with some of the basic Ani Maamins. If they cant deal with basic hashkafa questions, how can we expect them to deal with the challenges of the internet, peer pressure (drinking being an example – especially when it is clothed in “proofs” from poskim) and the myriad other activities that are the antithesis of what the torah wants from a yid. Stop banning and start teaching.

    #675099

    volvie
    Member

    So it seems then we have a consensus on the two issues at hand:

    1. One should not use the internet unfiltered.

    2. Those too young and immature to handle excessive alcohol should not be allowed to do so, while those who can should.

    Freilichen Purim!

    #675100

    Well said volvie.

    #675101

    oomis
    Participant

    So then really NO ONE is disagreeing. FINALLY!

    #675102

    volvie
    Member

    It’s amazing isn’t it? We were focusing too much on the semantics and we we’re all stressing different areas… but in essence, we all agreed with each other!

    #675105

    jphone
    Member

    I think those too young and immature to use the internet unfiltered, should not. Those who are old enough and mature enough may do so. The same is true with a telephone and lashon hara, a car and reckless driving, the list is endless. “Internet” has become the fall guy for all that ails us and it is “banned”. Did anyone ban driving by everyone without a hetter from their rav that they are old enough and mature enough to drive safely?

    #675108

    Ben Levi
    Participant

    Jphone you don’t fin it slightly hypocritical to decide that you may ignore the psak of Rav Shmuel Kamentetsky on one thing but declare fealty to his wise understanding on antother?

    #675109

    Jothar
    Member

    Volvie, I disagree. Nobody SHOULD do excessive drinking. I define excessive drinking as drinking which causes the drinker to be mevatel mitzvos asey deoraysah. Volvie, there is also no shita to drink the night before (when many bochurim get drunk). Volvie, do you agree that any bochur who is mevatel mitzvos asey deoraysah is NOT being makayem a mitzvah, as the mitzvah derabanan of drinking on Purim is NOT doche mitzvos deoraysah?

    I drink plenty on Purim- Grey Goose, as per the psak of my rav that any mashkeh is acceptable. but I am also mekayem the mitzvos deoraysah, as per the mishna brurah. Those who don’t are drinking excessively. Those who drink themselves to the point of alcohol poisoning are also doing an aveirah.

    #675110

    jphone
    Member

    Rav Shmuel Kamenetzky has not said, to the best of my knowledge, (and if I am wrong, I will gladly change my statement), that someone who is old enough and mature enough to use the internet unfiltered, may not do so.

    #675111

    volvie
    Member

    jphone: Rav Shmuel HAS said that everyone who uses the internet (supposing they have a dire need for the internet in the first place) should have it filtered.

    Jothar: One can follow the shitta of Rovo as described in the Gemora (Megillah 7b) and the Shulchan Aruch (OC 695:2) and Remo, Bach, Tur, the Shelo Hakodish, the Chacham Tzvi, Rambam, and the Sfas Emes (as I enumerated their positions on the previous page of this thread) whilst still not being mevatel mitzvos asey deoraysah.

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