The majority of the chareidi tzibur, perhaps with the exception of Chabad, has labeled the Internet taboo along will cellular telephones and other gadgetry. Talmidim are also prohibited from carrying MP4 players because they can be used for movies, and in some cases, electronic devices with audio capability only are also banned.
Rabbi Asher Schapiro, the son of the Naroler Rebbe Shlita Feels that some of the bans may actually be counterproductive. “The ban on the internet and cellular telephones, as well as the prohibition against chareidi performers from appearing in live events are contributing to a decline in the overall status of the young” he is quoted by Chadrei Chareidim as saying. Rav Schapiro is known as a senior ‘mechanech’, a respected educator with a wealth of experience.
The rav made his comments during an interview with Ze’ev Brenner, explaining he is not in agreement. He feels that too many prohibitions are simply resulting in a boomerang effect, pushing many away from where we want them to be.
The rav, a resident of Stamford Hill, in London, attributes the increase in the number of dropouts to the wave of bans, making it seemingly impossible for some of today’s youth to exist in the world in which we live,the 21st century.
Rabbi Schapiro feels that adding prohibitions may only serve to entice the young to desire and obtain these electronic devices even more than they might if a ban did not exist. He feels the same is true regarding the ban against chareidi singers – explaining it is simply too much. “It would be fitting to invest resources towards guiding the young as to the proper use of such devices rather than the across-the-board ban which have proven counterproductive” the rav is quoted as saying.
Rabbi Schapiro is also the founder of the Kol Bonayich Organization, dedicating his talents towards working with frum youths.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)