Yiddishkeit and Technology

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    ok, so I hear this guy make the following comment: “The problem with the Gedolim’s approach and handling of this issue of technology, and especially the internet, is that they were 10 years too late!”

    I thought about that.

    He knew. Only he knew.


    They are 10 years too late in realizing that you can’t Assur it, and should instead focus on the ‘how’ rather then the ‘if’. Don’t push them off another 10 years.

    Now, to be fair to Rabbanim, decisions are often made by Daas Askan and shoved under the rubber stamp for approval. Had Gedolei Torah discussed, analyzed, and pondered the status and the Nolad, perhaps it would have been approached differently.


    I was using the internet in 1994, it was NOT new in 2002. The only thing that occured around 2002 was that everyone started having high speed internet connections (DSL and Cable Modems) in their houses instead of just at their jobs

    Mass uses of Cell phones date back to around 1986 when the Cell was inveted (Prior to that a different system was used).

    Fine iPods are new, but WALKMANS and DISCMANS date back to the 1980’s


    The gedolim analogized the internet to the television, and riding on the success of past gedolim who banned tv, they decided to ban internet. Anyone who missed the folly in that 15 years ago surely sees it now. The biggest problem now is that people have too much pent up guilt after all these years of “going behind the rabbi’s back”, which has greatly diminished their respect for their leaders. After years of rationalizing that the rabbis are out of touch, it is hard to suddenly do an about face and change their lives drastically at the same time.

    I hate to say this, but I will. It also doesn’t help that no one has come out and said, “We were wrong before.” Sometumes an apology goes a long way to restoring respect.


    “Now, to be fair to Rabbanim, decisions are often made by Daas Askan and shoved under the rubber stamp for approval.”

    yeah, ok, lets say.

    “Had Gedolei Torah discussed, analyzed, and pondered the status and the Nolad…”

    And why did that not happen ? Did “Daas Askan” stop them from properly analyzing the matter ?

    Don’t know what their rationale was, but yes, it is a bit ironic that they’re trumpeting this asifa as if they’re on the front lines of dealing with the issue, when what it comes down to basically is the fact that they didn’t deal with it correctly by attempting to assur it completely.


    If the write up about this Asifa in the lakewood voice’s before pesach edition was anything to go by they are going to inform us at this Asifa that…..wait for it… there is such a thing as filters!!!

    I don’t understand why people do not get that the only way to fight this is to make Yiddishkeit more appealing not the things that are assur more assur…. these days you cannot force ANYONE to do ANYTHING you need to sell it to them.


    excellent squeak. maybe i took awhile to figure out what to do about the problem instead of just assering it they’re making an alternative


    exlakewoooder – I was thinking along your line of thought about focusing on positives and being mechazeik yiddishkeit by emphasising more on what simple things we all CAN do, and making it a geshmakeh experience.

    I am ALSO hoping that they are going to project what the world will be like in TEN YEARS FROM TODAY and draw up practical and fair plans that will be appealing to the general public, and be easy to follow, WITHOUT necessarily zeroing in on what to ASSUR but what we SHOULD do. I really hope this Asifa comes through as a smashing success!


    The $150,000+ being spent on this event could:

    – Feed 3,000 Families for a Shabbos

    – Pay for 30 kids to go to sleep away camp and get a true Torah experience


    This is actually quite a productive thread.


    people dont realize how much easier life is w/o the technology. I started working for a customer service and people get frustrated from gadgets just be smart and dont buy them its that simple


    zahavasdad its not your business where the money goes if its not your money than dont say anything & obviously the rabbanim think that this is important to spend every single penny on it


    I honestly don’t understand what they plan on saying. The problem- Internet. The solution- either get rid of it or get a filter. And don’t let your children on it unsupervised. What else can they say? It’s going to be twenty speakers all saying the same thing.

    I don’t see why it’s so important to rent Citi field to ‘raise awareness’.


    This event is not either the idea of a Gadol Batorah. This is actually an example of what I was describing. Whoever thought this up also thought up ways to make it become popular. One way is to make it a public Teffilas Hashla affair, and the main way was to get famous Rabbonim to appear and even to back it.

    When they come in front of a Rav with a paper to sign, his signature is an approval of the message rather than a proclamation that you wanted to write the same thing. I hope the Rabbonim of tommorow will realize this.


    zahavasdad: I agree. This event does not need to be live, and even if it were, it could easily be in a less costly venue. What would be just as effective but more cost-effective would be to make a video presentation instead of all of the speakers.

    Where’s the money coming from, anyway?


    HaLeivi – like it or not, this is the project of R’ Mattisyahu and Skulener Rebbe, they’ve been working on it for months.

    Before the internet, kids always had places to go find “bad stuff” if they wanted to. They weren’t there in droves, so that obviously is not such a big problem (I’m talking about what causes issues, not where one could go if they already have an issue.) Clearly the main problem is the availability in the homes. Now if everyone had a filter, why is there such a problem ? Yes, you can bypass passwords etc, but you can control access to your computer etc, and yes, there are still plenty of kids not so knowledable in computers.

    The situation is such that many people just don’t understand the problem. People think it wouldn’t happen to their kids etc.

    This asifa will serve to convince everyone that unfiltered internet is simply a no-no. They will be concinced to get filters, understand it or not. The big, public nature of the event is both for chizuk, and to make a mass impression. People will realize that this is what is being done, and stop rationalizing. They will finally start to get educated about proper internet usage. And this will go a long way towards helping the problem.

    The issues of making yidishkeit appealing etc. mentioned on this thread still stand, of course.


    Anyime you have an event, you need to make turnout, Turnout should equal or exceed expectations.

    If you have an event at say a High School Auditorum You need 800-1000 people to fill it up and call it a success.

    At Citifield you need 50,000 people or the stadium will look empty. If the Stadium LOOKS empty even if you get 20,000 people, its still a failure. You have made greater expectations.

    And I dont think 50,000 is that easy to get. People have to work, People have to watch little kids) People just cant get to Citifield. Some might think its Bittul torah and not go, others might have Simchas to go to instead etc.

    And considering other than the date, details have been thin about such things as the time and ticket information. Its all a receipe for disaster


    Several Chasidus’ booked huge blocs of seats, if the Rebbe says go they go, so that’s not such a probable scenario.


    My Rabbi Told me they are having a meeting in my neighborhood, but he couldnt go so he asked a question (via e-mail..The invitation came via e-mail) He wanted to know if the speakers would only be Rabbanim or would include people who actually understood the internet and internet security.

    He got no reply so he thinks the answer is no.

    He feels the event will be a bash the internet event with the only solution for people to look over other people shoulders (Big Brother) and he feels this will not work

    YW Moderator-42

    The $150,000+ being spent on this event could:

    – raise awareness about a very important issue.

    – begin the process of solving the issue.

    If done right it will be money well spent.


    Even if no experts will speak, the rabbanim have been well educated about the practicalities involved. I personally know of meetings they’ve held with experts in the field.

    That’s the way it should be – getting hadrachah from gedolim, who have come to their conclusions after consultings with the appropriate experts in the field. We need these expert’s knowledge, not their opinions.

    YW Band

    I can guarantee that R’Matisyahu Shlita will speak, very possibly R’Avrohom Schor Shlita, R’Frand Shlita etc.

    We need hadracha with a true sense of yiras shomayim which is the root of the problem (we lack alot of it unfortunately). I hope to attend iy”h. Will you join me?…


    I know people from the modern to the Yeshivish (Lakewood) bent.

    I have been trying to gage what the interest in this event it. In the more modern communities there definatly is a disdain towards this event.

    However in the Yeshivish people I know, its been more of an INDIFERENCE, and they are not going either. I will be in Lakewood before the event and will be able to gage their feelings towards the event.

    Notice there have not been many replies to this thread, giving the impression even here there is somewhat apathy or hostility to the event as well

    Feif Un

    “This asifa will serve to convince everyone that unfiltered internet is simply a no-no.”

    Sure. Let me know how that works out.


    The bulk of the money put up for the event was done by a single individual who already does all the things mentioned by Z-dad and others in huge amounts. It would be difficult to tell him that doing things like giving 5 million to Mir and catching them up on all their outstanding chovos to thousands of Aniyey Bnai Torah of Yerushalayim is not enough. He is doing this for a specific reason from his discretionary funds. He is perfectly entitled to do so, without peole questioning his judgement, which has proven to be pretty right quite often.

    May Hashem continue to bless him to be able to continue his avodas Hakodesh ad bias goel tzedek!!!





    I find it bizarre that we’re less than 4 weeks away from this ‘massive’ gathering, yet not one iota of info was given to the public on how to buy tickets…?


    1) I think it is a source of incredible merit to Klal Yisroel who will fill up Citifield Stadium for the sole purpose of hearing our Gedolim’s hadracha.

    2) I firmly beleive SOMEONE will get up, and offer a plausible takana.

    3) The importance of adressing this subject of ‘yiddishkeit and technology’ cannot be emphasised enough. Thus, expectations are extremely high. if such an event, monstrous in money, people involved, and advertisements, etc. turns out to be not just an ‘eye-opener’, but one of the MOST MEMORABLE EVENTS IN RECENT JEWISH HISTORY, ONLY THEN will be a success! I don’t care how beautiful the speeches are, and how they are delivered, this all-important gathering MUST BE nothing less than one of the greatest things that happens on American shores for Klal Yisroel! Better than the Siyum Hashas, and better than the ANY gathering ever. The ideas and proposals by our Gedolim must be something really original, not just another ho-hum speech about filters and web-partners.


    the problem with the internet in chinuch is that the chol is meant to be taphel to the kodesh which is very difficult when technology offers a more immediately vivid experience to the kids than is available in kodesh. if you are the sort of kehilla that cuts themselves of from this altogether then that’s not a problem but if you are a kehilla who tries to integrate the technology into the chol education then it is a real problem because the kodesh cannot capture the kids’ imagination.

    polisha chosid

    just a short quote from HaRav Shloma Freifeld Ztl:

    “If the only way we can sell our children on Torah is by forbidding everything else, then we are bankrupt”


    think any of the rabbonim will speak out against “CR addiction”? I can use LOTS of help on that!!



    lol baalhabooze,

    i think it will be a nice asifa but i do think it is late in coming. because although they shouted and warned us about the dangers of internet over the years, i think the proper chinuch abilities by many parents were lacking and people underestimated their kids’ weakness vs the powerful yeitzer hara. i bet more than 90% of parents first said ‘not MY kid’ before they went otd. i feel THAT is what should be addressed among other topics.


    “TOO LATE” doesnt cover it

    not even half of it


    I think there will be a tremendous amount of chizuk and inspiration to gain from an asifa of so many pple and the tremendous achdus of so many gedolim unified for the purity of Klal Yisroel, if you feel you are too holy to join than maybe you are the one that can really use it most.


    two thoughts

    – kids are going off becuase they – never really got kriah – were unable to keep up in chumash – didn’t get gemara at all – gave up. How can you not use technology to help kids who are struggling to learn?

    – on the other hand, for the stronger kids, the purpose of teaching is for the melamed to create a chibur penimis for the child to torah. Technology is known to be impersonal. Rav Shach z”l said that his aim in teaching Torah was always to give his talmidim ahavas ha’torah (not necessarily to cover as much ground as possible (although he did praise Reb Beinush z”l for introducing the daf to the Mir))


    i hope the speakers/gedolim are reading this thread! ?

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