A warning about the danger to children of unfettered access to the Internet through computers and cellular phones was delivered to hundreds of Yeshiva Darchei Torah parents Monday night by Rabbi Yaakov Bender Shlita, the Rosh Hayeshiva.
The yeshiva is not known for shying away from modern educational tools and methods – and is even notable for the businesslike manner in which it conducts activities such as large meetings and fundraising – but Rabbi Bender used an uncharacteristically lengthy hour-long address to deliver a firmly anti-Internet message.
He went so far as to say that no home ought to have Internet access without the approval and guidance of one’s rav or rebbe, according to Moshe Benoliel, a yeshiva spokesman.
That would appear to echo a no-Internet policy introduced in Lakewood, N.J.’s yeshiva community several years ago, though it is unclear if, behind closed doors, there is anything approaching widespread observance of the ban.
No specific incident precipitated Rabbi Bender’s remarks, Mr. Benoliel said, though he did relate a few horror stories during his speech.
In bringing up what he considers to be a very serious problem, he “stated that the dangers inherent in modern technology may be the greatest threat faced by the Jewish People in its history,” recounted Mr. Benoliel – Rabbi Bender was prepared with suggested solutions.
Technical experts were on hand, and literature was available to advise parents about Internet filters and even “kosher phones” in which all features are disabled except telephone service and voicemail. No text messaging; no Internet access.
Yeshiva administrators spent days making phone calls urging parents to attend. In the end, 600 people showed up, a very good turnout, Mr. Benoliel said.
(By Jewish Star Staff)