HaMevaser: Shabbos Drasha on Internet


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ib1.jpgThe erev shabbos HaMevaser reports that in compliance with the request of Gedolei Yisrael Shlita, this shabbos, Shemos, many rabbonim will address the prohibition of having an internet connection in one’s home, and the dangers accompanying such a reality.

The report states that those involved in the unprecedented anti-internet campaign report a hisorrirus, an encouraging level of compliance, including the closure of a number of chareidi websites, some people affiliated with website leaving their position and investments, while others are removing the internet from their homes.

HaMevaser adds that many principals of mosdos are actually taking an active role to follow-up to make certain “they are hermetically blocked from websites that operate in contradiction to the wishes of gedolei yisrael”.

During the kinos of the leaders of mosdos, the principals indicated they are aware of the awesome responsibility they have, and they are calling for immediate and aggressive action to remove this “to’eva” from the midst of our homes.

Officials add that leaders of mosdos Chinuch Atzmai are formulating new guidelines for talmidim and their homes towards a system-wide standardization. The report concludes that the anti-internet effort has made its way to the Diaspora too, reaching chareidi communities outside of Eretz Yisrael, towards removing the tuma from homes, including websites that are so-called “chareidi sites”.

PREVIOUS LINKS: For previous YWN stories on the Internet ban: Click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, & HERE.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)


  1. The “askonim” say “The report concludes that the anti-internet effort has made its way to the Diaspora too”. For good or bad this is total hype. Here in Borough Park no one is taking any notice of this campaign. Life goes on as usual and normal. The Internet is a basic part of life today, unlike television which no one needs. That is the difference between the two and no amount of shouting gevalt will change reality.

  2. Don’t just ask about Hamevaser. What about all the web sites of our Torah institutions and the Chassidusen? Sorry I forgot, one can donate at the office!

  3. I am amazed. In the last seven months of 2009 we have had more frum Jews arrested for the most heinous crimes, even some Rabbis, and yet there was no “hisorrus” from our gedolim. There was only silence. So the message we are sending to our children is, you can steal money, traffic in organ donation, and molest children but what Hakadosh Baruch Hu really wants is for you to stay off the internet.

    Granted, if we weren’t on the internet then we would never know the Chillul Hashem our fellow yids have been perpetrating. We are supposed to be a light of understanding to the world. Do we really think this is the way to do it? Do our gedolim truly believe the reason these people are acting this way is because of the internet???

    How about if we start acting like really frum Jews? Ones with ethics, morality, and derech eretz. How about we don’t defend child molesters and destroy the lives of their accusers? How about we don’t give kovod in shul to someone who is awaiting trial on fraud charges? How about our Rabbis don’t entertain known criminals to their communities in their homes? Whatever happened to the communal cold shoulder? Instead of using it for acts of the above nature, we use it now against people who have the internet or television in their homes. Do we really think these actions please Borei Olam? If we do, we are lying to ourselves.

    It is time for us, the laymen, to help our people. If mussar was drilled in our schools and homes, as much as gemara is, our gedolim would not have to issue bans such as this. Those of us that are willing to sacrifice for the Torah should be pushing for this in all of our yeshivos. We need to reinculcate true Torah values into our lives. Our future gedolim come from the current children. What will they grow into if we continue to send backwards messages? If we don’t refocus on the true evils of our respective communities, Borei Olam will have to step in and it won’t be good for any of us.

    May you have a good Shabbos, filled with kedusha and true introspection.

  4. Before the Rabbonim go into this with such vigor, maybe they should FIRST take care of all forms of abuse in the community! The internet can be controlled….just shut the computer.

  5. to #4 there was…there was that gathering in vizhnitz hall…#5…by that reasoning abuse can also be controlled…just put your hand down and close your mouth…

  6. With the constant developing of cloud computing, it’s only a matter of time before not having internet in the home = not having electricity. In fact, many would argue that that’s the way it is already…

  7. #4 – As a matter of fact the gedolim did give divrei hisorirus when the scandals broke, both at the time and later at the Agudah convention. But why let the facts get in the way? What a golden opportunity to blast the rabbonim!

    That said, I agree that we should not put up with criminals, and that child-molesters should be ‘taken care of’. And I could not agree more that mussar and ethics MUST be drilled into our children. But just going around blasting “the rabbonim” for attempting to keep the internet out of their communities does little to help any of these problems.

  8. To #6 and #9 – At no time did I bash the rabbonim. I asked why the same vigor has not been applied to the true evils in our community, that has been applied to banning the internet. If the Rabbis want to ban the internet and apply the same vigor to all the other things we are experiencing, then ban away. The evils that have been exposed lately have been around for years. Only because they became public knowledge to the goyim, was there even a meeting. The meeting at Vishnitz Hall did not ban anyone, no one was put in cherem, no one was told to stop buying from these people, no one was told they are not considered chareidi if they associate with these people. My question remains the same. I don’t bash rabbonim; I expect them to guide us properly and I believe in holding them accountable when they don’t do their job. This is not Christianity where you can’t criticize the leadership. You should both read Rabbi Avigdor Miller, who explains quite clearly how we as a people have always held our rabbonim accountable to keep us on the straight and narrow.

  9. The Israeli newspapers (both Frum and no) have covered this Internet Ban extensively. This includes both the information you probably read on YWN and the story behind the story. According to the reports, actual internet usage of the frum sites (based on amounts of hits to the websites) has actually increased as a result of the Internet Ban. What’s also interesting is that the Sfardi community is NOT supporting the Ban.

  10. How about we don’t give kovod in shul to someone who is awaiting trial on fraud charges?

    He is awaitong a trial on charges. That means it was not provent yet and could very much be a lie. Unless you know better. So since when do you convict someone who might be 100% victim of the system? And looking at Rubashkin case, yes loking close to details, one would think twice even after the trial. # 4 If you realy believe what you say, then my “Brocha” to you is: Let Hashem judge you in the same menner on all acusations the Sotton brings against you.

  11. With all due respect to “All for the Boss” perhaps if you had to deal with just a fraction of the shailos that come before the Gedolim as a result of the Internet you would not have the audacity to place your comment.
    Perhaps the Gedolim do not just look at a problem rather they look at the source of the problem as well. Perhap, just perhaps, they feel that many of the issues our comunity are due in some measure to the Internet and perhaps that is why they are attempting to launch an all out war to save the community from the dangers of the worlwide web.

  12. Shavua Tov. I don’t believe not giving someone a kovod in shul,let’s say an aliyah, is judging them for good or bad. It is judging whether or not it is appropriate for the tzibur and the honor of the Torah for the person to receive an aliyah, and deciding it is not appropriate at that time.

    The Torah never said we are not allowed to judge situations and determine the appropriate action to follow. On the contrary, we are told specifically there are times to judge and what we may and may not judge. I will give you an example from Tanach.

    In the case of Sarah Imeinu and Hagar, Hagar assumed after becoming pregnant so quickly that Sarah Imeinu was not the tzadekes she presented herself to be. Hagar judged that the reason why Sarah didn’t get pregnant was due to her lack of righteousness. She was wrong and our Chochomim tell us she had no right to judge her. Sarah Imeinu saw Yishmael mocking the ways of Avraham Avinu’s household and told her husband to send him away. She judged that Yishmael’s influence was detrimental to Yitzchak Avinu’s spiritual growth. Hashem agreed with her judgement. Both women made judgment calls, so why was one right and one wrong?

    Our chochomim tell us Hagar’s mistake was in trying to ascribe a reason to what Sarah Imeinu was going through. Hagar got pregnant, that did not require any judgment about anyone else on her part. Therefore she was wrong. Sarah Imeinu was trying to build a holy family. It was important that Yitzchak Avinu be brought up in a specific type of environment. To protect that environment she judged Yishmael a danger. Maybe later she would turn out to be wrong and Yishmael would grow into a tzadik. But at that moment she could only rely on what was before her, not something that may happen in the future.

    Someone facing fraud charges may not be guilty, but it is possible they are guilty. At that moment we can only look at what’s in front of us.Giving a kovod before innocence or guilt is established is premature and sends an incorrect message to the tzibur. It is also insulting to the Torah if the person is guilty. We make the judgment call on what is best for the tzibur & the honor of the Torah, not the individual.

  13. Ben Levi – Why is it audacity to ask why the other problems in our communtiy are not addressed as vigorously as the internet problem? Why isn’t there an all out war launched against all of the evils we see coming to light, the same as is being waged against the internet? And why do you assume I don’t deal with very serious shailos everyday?

  14. When you understand why the internet is so dangerous, you will find a way to live without it, no matter what the century.

    If you have alcohol in your head and cannot figure out why the internet poses such a danger, you may ask someone with nice, clear chicken soup (without noodles or matzah balls) in his head to explain.

    (No, I’m not connected to it; I have YeshivaNet.)

  15. The last comment is one of the reasons the Gedolim are banning the internet. We don’t just speak lashon hara, we violate other forms of speech that are considered equally reprehensible by the Torah. Mocking, disparaging and belittling another Jew is assur; just as assur as eating treif. There are people who indulge themselves in such forms of speech and cause others to indulge, causing a host of serious sins to be committed.

    If someone doesn’t agree with your Torah view, insulting them won’t change their mind. However, if you posed reasonable, halachic arguments you stand a better chance of having that person consider what you have to say. You may not change their point of view now, but you could give them something positive to think about which may cause them to alter their perspective to some degree in the future.

    However, you did prove a point. The internet doesn’t make people say and do the things they do. You managed to insult a whole website of Jews who don’t agree with you, and you don’t even have internet access.