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London - Noted Charedi Mechanech: Banning The Internet Is Not The Answer

Published on: December 27, 2011 12:15 PM
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In this undated photos Rabbi Shapiro in conversation with Belze'r Rabbie.In this undated photos Rabbi Shapiro in conversation with Belze’r Rabbie.

London - In a blockbuster Interview with Zev Brenner on Talkline this past Motzei Shabbos, Rabbi Osher Shapiro explained how the internet is not the reason for the ever growing problem of at risk teens that plagues society.  Rabbi Shapiro, who lives in Stamford Hill London, is the son of the Naroler Rebbe Rabbi Berish Shapiro Shlita, in addition to being a well known mechanech and founder of Kol Bonayich, a United Kingdom based outreach organization.

In fact, Rabbi Shapiro placed the blame for the younger generation’s fascination with the internet squarely on the shoulders of those who issued internet bans and said that the act of banning something such as the internet or a concert only increases its appeal. According to Rabbi Shapiro the internet, like the telephone, the radio or the cell phone, is an instrument that was, at first, met with great trepidation by many in the Jewish community, but when used properly can become an integral and appropriate part of our lives.

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Listen to the full interview here . the interview starts at min. 15:15


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Read Comments (57)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 27, 2011 at 12:23 PM Reb Yid Says:

They say that the Chofetz Chaim was upset when the telephone was shown to him, because of its potential to spread loshon horah. And of course he was correct, but somehow we've come to live with it, and apply the same diligence at not speaking loshon horah over the phone just as we do when speaking in person. Instead of banning the internet and having people disobey the ban willy-nilly, perhaps it might be better to create a mindset of "the internet is kosher only with a filter", like keilim can be used only if you tovel them, etc.

3

 Dec 27, 2011 at 12:39 PM kalman1 Says:

I have a hard time believing that the sole fascination with the internet is the banning of it. A Righteous cause is not an excuse for moronic statements.

4

 Dec 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM c Says:

Nice ! Thank you Rabbi Shapiro for having the courage to speak the truth!

5

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:02 PM belzer gabbai Says:

I don't know who this Rabbi Shapiro is but I agree with what he says.
I've argued for the longest time that the problem with today's teens is that they're not happy with themselves and feeling that their missing something and don't know what. This leads them to examine different acts and ways of life.
We need to build confidence in our children and make them strong enough to be able to stay firm with their beliefs.

6

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:20 PM KevinTheMevin Says:

Emes gezokt

7

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:29 PM greatidea Says:

Maybe he should speak at the next Aguda convention !!
We have to stop looking for a scapegoat for our problems. We as parents need to be more active in our childrens lives. We have to realize that not all our children are cut out to learn all day. Where r the yeshivas that teach our children that it is ok to go to college or have a respectful job - that some1 who earns a parnosa to support his family and makes time to learn and daven everyday is a good jew? Enough with the bans !! The concerts, water, wigs, weddings, books etc.. If there are any leaders in our communities let them stand up and find real solutions.

8

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:34 PM Brooklyn Mechanech Says:

I personally know HaRav Schapiro as a wonderful and very effective Mechanech. I sent him 4 teens that were nebach at risk. Who after Harav Schapiro strong intervention and guidance are know leading beautiful frum ehrliche homes.

9

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:35 PM UseYourHead Says:

I can guarantee you 100% there are many "brand-name" Gedolim who would say the exact same thing, if not for the fear of being marginalized by so-called "kanoyim".

10

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:36 PM PowerUp Says:

Well, on this one the guy is wrong, of course you can't flat out ban the internet, but I will totally understand if its banned let's say from residential houses.

The truth is, VIN news has readers from the whole spectrem of judiasm so whatever I will argue, there will always be people dissagreeing, but one thing is clear, the internet is the culprit of problems in our chinuch system, just ask any person who is involved in chinuch, most "gitin" in the frum community's had something to do with the internet, either at the beggining or at the end, thus making the marriage insolvent.

Its funny how people say they need it at home for business, without thinking for a minute that its not worth all the money in the world, the problem that arises from internet.
I have had several situations since I'm married that I had to get internet, it did not even cross my mind to bring it in to the house, I'd rather have it a block away from my house and pay for a office then have it in my house.

The truth is, the problem is not the internet, its computers in residential houses, once the computer is there, a teen could connect to the internet without the parent knowing, through mobile phones or Dial up.

Someone who has a computer at home will C"V if something happens not be able to say "yudeiny loy shofchi es hadam hazah"

11

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:37 PM Thankful Mother Says:

I am mommish writing this note with tears in my eyes and tefillos that Rav Shapiro should succeed in whatever he does.

He saved my son and our entire family. We were devestated by my sons condition and the effect he had on my other 8 children. Until someone connected us to Rav Usher Shlita. May Hashem help him with the best.

12

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:37 PM Anonymous Says:

I agree with you Rabbi, but with the point when you argued with the noted askan Mrs. Freier about English studies in the chadorim, perhaps you dont live here in the USA, and just to answer "Amunah" "Betuchin" was not the way we were taught. Why not abolish english all the way? If we do have it, then why not until 12th grade with a GED or diploma? When you mentioned Bobov, yes, I am a bobover talmud, went until 7th grade, how fortunate I am. I worked with some other BP yungerleit for a few years in an office, they couldnt write one sentence without mistakes, and had a big negative affect overall.
The reason why Bobov stopped english 8-12 grade because of the low attendence, in part because these bochorim were looked down at, what a shame. Now that I am in biz for 8 years, how foolish were we, so much time went to waste in Mesivta we could have gotten a GED/BA and at least have time with family at age 20-30 not starting college then.... 90% of working yungerlait will agree with me on this.

13

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:38 PM Anon Says:

Davening in the same Beis Medrash as Rabbi Shapiro I know him very well and have alot of admiration for him. May Hashem give him all the koach he needs to continue his great work.

14

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:40 PM Mendy Says:

R' Usher is so innovative and so correct. He is amazing. He had shimush from the greatest experts in this field.

15

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:41 PM Lakewood Bubby Says:

He saves one child at a time. He is a mumcha.

16

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:43 PM Psychologist Says:

The Maaleh and value to R' Usher is that he does NOT live in "the box". He is a thinker and does not live in denial and does not fear reprisals from Rabbonim.
He would never be allowed to speak at an Agudah convention because then all the other 15 speakers won't have what to say.

17

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:48 PM Anonymous Says:

The simplest thing for a Rov or dayan to do is condem and further condem. They do not have to excuse themselves. Its easy and painless. If they are matir and say it is permissable they are considered as not frum.

18

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:50 PM Anonymous Says:

Rabbi Shapiro is one of the choshiver Bnai Torah and ehrliche in London. His opinion is frequently sought by Rabbonim who have difficulty within their community.

19

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:53 PM Bnei Brak Says:

I know first hand, that any person who approached Rebbetzin Kanievsky A"H, regarding at risk chinuch issues, she handed them Rav Shapiros private cell number.

20

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:53 PM Trolly_McTrollerston Says:

of course the internet isn't the problem - the problem is an educational system that doesn't teach critical thinking but rather promotes blind acceptance of everything the Rebbe says... (you know he's not the pope, right) If our kids were given the skills to think through and analyze they wouldn't be so overwhelmed when they are confronted with well thought out arguments from the other side or when they are placed in unfamiliar situations...

21

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:53 PM skvererebbe Says:

Reply to #5  
belzer gabbai Says:

I don't know who this Rabbi Shapiro is but I agree with what he says.
I've argued for the longest time that the problem with today's teens is that they're not happy with themselves and feeling that their missing something and don't know what. This leads them to examine different acts and ways of life.
We need to build confidence in our children and make them strong enough to be able to stay firm with their beliefs.

very true ! and well said ! and would just like to add that bring in sports ! what a difference it would make imagin skwerer and belzer yeshiva take'n out to a giants game or maybe an interleague game like yankees verses mets with some tailgaiting ?! they would feel much better about themselves and would't look for trouble on the internet !

22

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

We are so happy that he finally openly discussed his opinion

23

 Dec 27, 2011 at 01:59 PM Anonymous Says:

After hearing from the biggest Gedolay Yisroel the same language, it is nice that now someone without fear tells us the TRUTH.

24

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:02 PM MTL Says:

Whatever happened to taking responsibility of your children on yourselves? Instead of banning something (which is the immediate easy way out, but will leave you with a child who goes off the derech in the long run), how about actually Communicating with your child and actually Teaching him/her what is good and what is bad or what is right and what is wrong?

All the banning does is make people want to know more about what is banned. And when they do it when it is banned, they'll only get the information the wrong and bad way.

Kol Hakavod, Rabbi Shapiro, for not being afraid to tell it like it is.

25

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:18 PM bubii Says:

Reply to #21  
skvererebbe Says:

very true ! and well said ! and would just like to add that bring in sports ! what a difference it would make imagin skwerer and belzer yeshiva take'n out to a giants game or maybe an interleague game like yankees verses mets with some tailgaiting ?! they would feel much better about themselves and would't look for trouble on the internet !

you hit the nail on its head skewrrebbe i think the kids need a reality check a game of baseball would definitly help and also more uptodate thinking in other matters:)))

26

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:21 PM Berl Says:

I know his son Yakov well and he is one of the greatest baalei chesed you could find. I wish he moves to Lakewood. It would be a great asset to our community. B'emes he should probably run for some political office where he could do alot of good for the community.

27

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:23 PM Yanki Says:

Reply to #21  
skvererebbe Says:

very true ! and well said ! and would just like to add that bring in sports ! what a difference it would make imagin skwerer and belzer yeshiva take'n out to a giants game or maybe an interleague game like yankees verses mets with some tailgaiting ?! they would feel much better about themselves and would't look for trouble on the internet !

quit the opposite

He is saying to use technology for good purposes like home phones news papers etc. mingling with goyim, real bitul torah, for what? Exercise yes

28

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:24 PM Boro Park Bobby Says:

I would nominate Rav Shapiro to the Moatzei Gedolei Hatorah.

29

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
kalman1 Says:

I have a hard time believing that the sole fascination with the internet is the banning of it. A Righteous cause is not an excuse for moronic statements.

Rav Shapiro is a pious Yid your criticism is "moronic".

30

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
greatidea Says:

Maybe he should speak at the next Aguda convention !!
We have to stop looking for a scapegoat for our problems. We as parents need to be more active in our childrens lives. We have to realize that not all our children are cut out to learn all day. Where r the yeshivas that teach our children that it is ok to go to college or have a respectful job - that some1 who earns a parnosa to support his family and makes time to learn and daven everyday is a good jew? Enough with the bans !! The concerts, water, wigs, weddings, books etc.. If there are any leaders in our communities let them stand up and find real solutions.

Very well said. Let's look at ourselves for solutions. Enough with the bans. One size does not fit all in chinuch.
Let's also end the superficality and selfishness of our youngsters in shiduchim. Many famillies and yeshivas have failed our children. The sense of entitlement of some of our youth is disgusting.

31

 Dec 27, 2011 at 02:51 PM Shloime from Narol Flatbush Says:

Those that do not daven at Narol or never met any of the Heilige Mishpacha are missing a lot. The name Reb Shapiro since WW2 has signified a correct approach to Yidishkeit without strangling the younger generation. It might be possible that Reb Usher's kids know how to use a computer?

32

 Dec 27, 2011 at 03:13 PM jaymc Says:

I heard the interview live and I want to commend Rabbi Shapira for taking care of these precious neshamas. I work with TAR (teens at risk) and have to respectably disagree with his notion that BANS are in essence free advertisement. There is a new breed of TAR - the internet/Facebook breed and it is a plague that has never been seen before. Traditional methods of dealing with TAR are close to obsolete. I have yet to see a working method. To parents that have TAR I wish you all Siyate Dishmaye and strength to get through. Love your children unconditionally even when it seems impossible and even if you feel like your being manipulated - give LOVE. They will give you nachas - one day.

33

 Dec 27, 2011 at 03:37 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
UseYourHead Says:

I can guarantee you 100% there are many "brand-name" Gedolim who would say the exact same thing, if not for the fear of being marginalized by so-called "kanoyim".

We have several "up & coming" yeshivos that cater only to metzuyonim & the rich, thereby creating many unhappy talmidim who nebech fall away so their roshei yeshivos who have great support create a wind among the "gedolim" to blame everything on internet, they start with a few temimusdike tzadikim and with their signatures get the rest of the rabonim to "follow the leader". These rabonim innocently are convinced by these "askonim" that what they concluded is approved unanymously which causes them to go along as you say.

34

 Dec 27, 2011 at 04:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #7  
greatidea Says:

Maybe he should speak at the next Aguda convention !!
We have to stop looking for a scapegoat for our problems. We as parents need to be more active in our childrens lives. We have to realize that not all our children are cut out to learn all day. Where r the yeshivas that teach our children that it is ok to go to college or have a respectful job - that some1 who earns a parnosa to support his family and makes time to learn and daven everyday is a good jew? Enough with the bans !! The concerts, water, wigs, weddings, books etc.. If there are any leaders in our communities let them stand up and find real solutions.

The Agudah is fast becoming an obsolete organization. Why don't they open their mouths about what is going on in Beit Shemesh.

35

 Dec 27, 2011 at 04:39 PM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #10  
PowerUp Says:

Well, on this one the guy is wrong, of course you can't flat out ban the internet, but I will totally understand if its banned let's say from residential houses.

The truth is, VIN news has readers from the whole spectrem of judiasm so whatever I will argue, there will always be people dissagreeing, but one thing is clear, the internet is the culprit of problems in our chinuch system, just ask any person who is involved in chinuch, most "gitin" in the frum community's had something to do with the internet, either at the beggining or at the end, thus making the marriage insolvent.

Its funny how people say they need it at home for business, without thinking for a minute that its not worth all the money in the world, the problem that arises from internet.
I have had several situations since I'm married that I had to get internet, it did not even cross my mind to bring it in to the house, I'd rather have it a block away from my house and pay for a office then have it in my house.

The truth is, the problem is not the internet, its computers in residential houses, once the computer is there, a teen could connect to the internet without the parent knowing, through mobile phones or Dial up.

Someone who has a computer at home will C"V if something happens not be able to say "yudeiny loy shofchi es hadam hazah"

And if he has computer only at work ,what is the difference. I have never heard of one single avayre whats oser at home and mutart at work.

36

 Dec 27, 2011 at 04:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
PowerUp Says:

Well, on this one the guy is wrong, of course you can't flat out ban the internet, but I will totally understand if its banned let's say from residential houses.

The truth is, VIN news has readers from the whole spectrem of judiasm so whatever I will argue, there will always be people dissagreeing, but one thing is clear, the internet is the culprit of problems in our chinuch system, just ask any person who is involved in chinuch, most "gitin" in the frum community's had something to do with the internet, either at the beggining or at the end, thus making the marriage insolvent.

Its funny how people say they need it at home for business, without thinking for a minute that its not worth all the money in the world, the problem that arises from internet.
I have had several situations since I'm married that I had to get internet, it did not even cross my mind to bring it in to the house, I'd rather have it a block away from my house and pay for a office then have it in my house.

The truth is, the problem is not the internet, its computers in residential houses, once the computer is there, a teen could connect to the internet without the parent knowing, through mobile phones or Dial up.

Someone who has a computer at home will C"V if something happens not be able to say "yudeiny loy shofchi es hadam hazah"

I marvel at the ignorance of some. Internet problems are astronomically more common among adults than teens. I am sure that there are young people who use internet for wrong things, but they once went elsewhere to satisfy their urges. The overwhelming majority of internet problems is with adults. There are many reasons for it, too many to fit in a comment here. It is true that a teen could access internet on a home computer via other means (wi-fi, thumb modems), and the computer in the home carries its risks. But the notion that the prevalence of broken marriages and gittin in the community is blamed on the internet is simply foolish. There were way too many gittin 20 years ago, and there was no computer, cell phone, or internet involved. I say that from heavy involvement in shalom bayis, chinuch, and direct dealings with dayanim and batei din. Yes, internet has its risks, and we need to get some conotrol over that, but bans are futile. As mentioned, we need to restore prominence to the concepts of yir'as Hashem and avodas Hashem in our chinuch and lifestyles. HKB"H has been totally filtered out. Emunoh and bitachon need to become real again.

37

 Dec 27, 2011 at 04:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Reb Yid Says:

They say that the Chofetz Chaim was upset when the telephone was shown to him, because of its potential to spread loshon horah. And of course he was correct, but somehow we've come to live with it, and apply the same diligence at not speaking loshon horah over the phone just as we do when speaking in person. Instead of banning the internet and having people disobey the ban willy-nilly, perhaps it might be better to create a mindset of "the internet is kosher only with a filter", like keilim can be used only if you tovel them, etc.

How about a filter on telephones? Or maybe ban the phones from homes(Emergency Only) and allow in the offices only

38

 Dec 27, 2011 at 05:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Thank you Rabbi Schapiro for speaking the truth. We have to arm our children with confidence that they can be true Oveid hashem.
1). Being frum means davening, keeping shabbos, and not engaging in deviant behavior. Frumkeit trancends labels we try to give ourselves to comfort ourselves that others will judge us favorably.
2) Parents: be true to yourself and your children..if they are not in the proper setting take them out! Stop living for others.
3) Arm your children with the necessary resources so they can gain independence and make decisions that are guided from Emes.
There's more but I won't bore you.
If a collective change is not made by all, litvish or chassidishe, we will feel the ramifications from the generation that comes from the present kids "at risk" population who will choose to raise their children in our frum communities.

39

 Dec 27, 2011 at 06:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
belzer gabbai Says:

I don't know who this Rabbi Shapiro is but I agree with what he says.
I've argued for the longest time that the problem with today's teens is that they're not happy with themselves and feeling that their missing something and don't know what. This leads them to examine different acts and ways of life.
We need to build confidence in our children and make them strong enough to be able to stay firm with their beliefs.

While the internet might not be solely to blame for teens at risk, no one can honestly deny how much damage it has caused to numerous frum households. A number of divorces have directly resulted (yes, known personal cases) from wives having discovered what their otherwise ehrliche husbands were looking at and doing online. The pull is irresistable for many, addictive for others. Filters are not fully effective. Yes, one can argue that much Torah and Chesed are spread online. That's precisely the deceptive nature of the Nisayon. Under the guise of all the good one access, the Yetzer Hara ensnares even the most unwilling. This is the biggest challenge of our times and has the potential to Chas Vshalom destroy marriages, ruin good people, adults and children alike.

40

 Dec 27, 2011 at 06:21 PM anon-e-mouse Says:

I think that the biggest problem of the internet is the bitul zman. shmutz can be avoided.

41

 Dec 27, 2011 at 06:38 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

I couldn't agree w\this Rabbi more!

Look.... the internet was the only way that Noahides like us were EVER able to leave the Avodah Zara of Christianity! Period!

I have probably listened to hundreds & hundreds of lectures from wonderful Rabbis (maybe even thousands- I've never counted- lol), who brought me & my husband out of the nonsense we were stuck in & had been raised in.

We live in a place where the nearest orthodox shul is 3 hours away! How would we have ever learned what it means to serve the ONE TRUE G-D (and not a "son" of His, c'v'), had it not been for Rabbi Mizrachi & so many others who showed us the way?!?!

Where were we supposed to learn this stuff w\out a support system of friendly Jews helping us along the way on our search?!

I just cannot express enough how vital the internet is to the secular & younger crowds as well, who may never want to come to a lecture... but who might listen to one on the internet at least!

I KNOW there's perversion on the internet! Like television, radio & everything else... things like this can be corrupted & often are!

But there is so much good being done... you cannot throw the baby out w\the bathwater!

Please!

42

 Dec 27, 2011 at 06:46 PM DavidCohen Says:

Blaming Internet use on Internet bans is a little simplistic, it would be just as appealing without the bans, the bigger issue is the asinine belief that bans will actually have any effect. Face it - your kids are already online, and you are better off knowing it than denying it. Yes, I said it, your kids have already been online - many have Facebook accounts that you don't know about, most have multiple free email addresses including ones you'll never know about, they have visited sited you don't know exist both intentionally and otherwise. Denial helps nothing and no one. The Internet is a tool, albeit a very powerful one, and like any tool it has to be used safely. Trying to pretend that it does not exist is as pathetic a response as trying to ban it. The better, and SAFER, option is to use it WITH your kids, show them the right way to use it, just as you would other tools like drills and cars and bicycles.

43

 Dec 27, 2011 at 07:38 PM divorces were here years ago Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

While the internet might not be solely to blame for teens at risk, no one can honestly deny how much damage it has caused to numerous frum households. A number of divorces have directly resulted (yes, known personal cases) from wives having discovered what their otherwise ehrliche husbands were looking at and doing online. The pull is irresistable for many, addictive for others. Filters are not fully effective. Yes, one can argue that much Torah and Chesed are spread online. That's precisely the deceptive nature of the Nisayon. Under the guise of all the good one access, the Yetzer Hara ensnares even the most unwilling. This is the biggest challenge of our times and has the potential to Chas Vshalom destroy marriages, ruin good people, adults and children alike.

I know of marriages that were destroyed by illicit meetings. so please do not be shocked that otherwise ehrliche husbands were looking at and doing things online. The taava and disease might be the same just the execution is different. There is nothing new under the sun.

44

 Dec 27, 2011 at 08:56 PM Ina Says:

I am glad that Rabbi Shapiro understands that banning does not work. However, I am unhappy with his "emunah" position. Our children need a secular education and time must be devoted in the school day to this end. Thank you Ruchy Freier for speaking out on this issue.

45

 Dec 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM SandmanNY Says:

TO QUOTE RABBI DR. ABRAHAM TWERSKI, who said to me in a media interview some years ago: "Most of our communal ills can be traced to a common root - one that I call SDS - Spiritual Deficiency Syndrome. What a Jew is spiritual healthy, knowing who and what he/she is, all manner of sickness and temptation are diminished. Conversely, when a Jew is spiritually weak, devoid of an authentic sense of self, there is no defense. Genuine self-esteem is a profound antidote against many modern distractions." Rabbi Twerski has been an addictions specialist for over 50 years and has authored over 50 books, many on the subject above.

46

 Dec 27, 2011 at 11:09 PM Living in Denial Says:

Those who make new Bans every monday and thursday, are causing rather than curing the problem simply because they live in denial, not realizing that their Bans simply don't work.

Since all broad Bans are simply and realistically ineffective, thearfore all "the ban makers" have wasted all their time and energy on methods which can't possibly ever work ever, most of the time for most people.

The genie is out of the bottle and there is no way to ban it or stop it.

Instead of of using effective methods, had they used their brains and had they lived in reality, instead, they are living in "ban" fantasy world.

Had they embarked instead on methods which actually work effectively, in the world of reality, such as the advice given by the likes of Rabbi Osher Shapiro and the likes of Rabbi Twersky, it would work.

Bans simply don't work and can't possibly work for the vast majority, except for select few and so putting all your eggs in one basket which is a Gzera Shein Rov Hatzibur Yachol Laamod Boy, is not only ineffective but outright stupid and they are living in denial of reality, failing to realize that their methods of bans will never ever work for the majority of Klal Yisroel

47

 Dec 28, 2011 at 12:55 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #41  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

I couldn't agree w\this Rabbi more!

Look.... the internet was the only way that Noahides like us were EVER able to leave the Avodah Zara of Christianity! Period!

I have probably listened to hundreds & hundreds of lectures from wonderful Rabbis (maybe even thousands- I've never counted- lol), who brought me & my husband out of the nonsense we were stuck in & had been raised in.

We live in a place where the nearest orthodox shul is 3 hours away! How would we have ever learned what it means to serve the ONE TRUE G-D (and not a "son" of His, c'v'), had it not been for Rabbi Mizrachi & so many others who showed us the way?!?!

Where were we supposed to learn this stuff w\out a support system of friendly Jews helping us along the way on our search?!

I just cannot express enough how vital the internet is to the secular & younger crowds as well, who may never want to come to a lecture... but who might listen to one on the internet at least!

I KNOW there's perversion on the internet! Like television, radio & everything else... things like this can be corrupted & often are!

But there is so much good being done... you cannot throw the baby out w\the bathwater!

Please!

Sorry Sherry, don't mean to be rude or disrespectful ..happy that you are in a station in life that works for you. But at the risk of loosing many to the filth of the internet, we don't have to risk it to worry about how you or any other person would learn about Hashem. If a person has a seeking soul, he will get there...I mean people have gotten there before the internet. We have converts in our nation, before technology existed, you know. It's not our problem to worry about converts...the convert will seek us out if he is serious.....but there is a lot to be said about what could be found on the internet that is destructive.
Sorry, we are not in the business of converting people...they are definitely welcome if they are sincere and seek it...but we are not looking for it. There are plenty of our own that need conversion, trust me. First lets get the secular to be observant, then we will worry about the rest.

48

 Dec 28, 2011 at 03:33 AM Mayer Says:

Reply to #39  
Anonymous Says:

While the internet might not be solely to blame for teens at risk, no one can honestly deny how much damage it has caused to numerous frum households. A number of divorces have directly resulted (yes, known personal cases) from wives having discovered what their otherwise ehrliche husbands were looking at and doing online. The pull is irresistable for many, addictive for others. Filters are not fully effective. Yes, one can argue that much Torah and Chesed are spread online. That's precisely the deceptive nature of the Nisayon. Under the guise of all the good one access, the Yetzer Hara ensnares even the most unwilling. This is the biggest challenge of our times and has the potential to Chas Vshalom destroy marriages, ruin good people, adults and children alike.

Everything you say is correct but banning is not the answer. Educating adults, teens and children is the answer. The nisoyon is put before us to enable us to overcome it, not ban it.

49

 Dec 28, 2011 at 07:20 AM Darth_Zeidah Says:

Reply to #43  
divorces were here years ago Says:

I know of marriages that were destroyed by illicit meetings. so please do not be shocked that otherwise ehrliche husbands were looking at and doing things online. The taava and disease might be the same just the execution is different. There is nothing new under the sun.

No one, I repeat: no one, ever contracted any physical disease from using a computer.

As for the issue of taava, 'ה gave each and every one of us a brain and a sense of שיכל. It's up to each of us to take advantage of that blessing and to know what is אסור and what is מותר.

If we do that, there should not be the necessity that so many orthodox Jews seem to have to rush to a רב פוסק for a decision on how to conduct every minor jot and tittle of their lives.

As for "marriages that were destroyed by illicit meetings" the original poster is absolutely correct: "There is nothing new under the sun".

They happened for millennia before the invention of the computer, so do not blame that black box for all the ills of the modern world; blame weak-minded men and women.

50

 Dec 28, 2011 at 09:16 AM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #47  
Anonymous Says:

Sorry Sherry, don't mean to be rude or disrespectful ..happy that you are in a station in life that works for you. But at the risk of loosing many to the filth of the internet, we don't have to risk it to worry about how you or any other person would learn about Hashem. If a person has a seeking soul, he will get there...I mean people have gotten there before the internet. We have converts in our nation, before technology existed, you know. It's not our problem to worry about converts...the convert will seek us out if he is serious.....but there is a lot to be said about what could be found on the internet that is destructive.
Sorry, we are not in the business of converting people...they are definitely welcome if they are sincere and seek it...but we are not looking for it. There are plenty of our own that need conversion, trust me. First lets get the secular to be observant, then we will worry about the rest.

No, no... you weren't being disrespectful! It's ok! I understand totally what you mean.

But my husband & I aren't converts. We're Noahides! And so what I'm telling you is: if there are righteous gentiles out in the world who are willing & desiring to learn more about Judaism, HaShem, etc. the internet is often the ONLY WAY we can do that! Period!

There is no orthodox Shul who would accept our family UNLESS we agreed to convert right away! And we live 3 hours away from the nearest orthodox Shul! Unless we pick up & move our entire family (which is financially out of the question), to a place where there is a close-knit Jewish community... there is LITERALLY no way we can learn!

Now, as for "worrying" about the state of our souls... we're not asking anyone to! I agree with you, that if somebody cares enough about HaShem, they'll do what needs to be done to learn! But then, aren't you kind of making my point? I mean, the internet often IS a person's method of learning what they need to know!

And not just for gentiles, but for the secular Jews who you are all so worried about too! They are often of a younger crowd, who could really benefit from the lectures being online!

51

 Dec 28, 2011 at 08:45 AM maxedout Says:

The best solution is to ban the bans, and anyone who signs one.

52

 Dec 28, 2011 at 10:39 AM agiddacup Says:

I am not frum but come from a frum background. I work in the Department of Education with many Yeshivas to provide services to children who need academic assistance. I must admit, I am no longer shocked at the Yeshivas' inability to think outside the box. The expectations presented to the boys is that learning English is not important. I have never seen so many illiterate young boys headed for a future of nothing, but sitting and learning. Don't worry about the internet because these young boys can't read.

They know nothing about life outside their community, nothing about making a living and worse, disrespectful toward people who are not from their community ( I wonder where they learn that?).Of course, God forbid, when one of these boys falls outside the box and cannot sit still, has a hearing loss, ADHD, can't read Yiddish well, or worse, cannot learn the way they are expected to, they are pressured by their parents, stigmatized by their peers and embarrassed by their Rabbis. This is not learning.

Before you start blaming the internet, take an inventory of what goes on in your schools and your home and what it tells your children.

53

 Dec 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM reply to Darth Zeidah Says:

Reply to #49  
Darth_Zeidah Says:

No one, I repeat: no one, ever contracted any physical disease from using a computer.

As for the issue of taava, 'ה gave each and every one of us a brain and a sense of שיכל. It's up to each of us to take advantage of that blessing and to know what is אסור and what is מותר.

If we do that, there should not be the necessity that so many orthodox Jews seem to have to rush to a רב פוסק for a decision on how to conduct every minor jot and tittle of their lives.

As for "marriages that were destroyed by illicit meetings" the original poster is absolutely correct: "There is nothing new under the sun".

They happened for millennia before the invention of the computer, so do not blame that black box for all the ills of the modern world; blame weak-minded men and women.

Darth_Zeidah Says: Says:
“ No one, I repeat: no one, ever contracted any physical disease from using a computer.
I agree and meant to state that but I was concerned it might not be posted. but it remains very true. it should be stressed that diseases of this nature spread to innocent spouses.

54

 Dec 28, 2011 at 04:59 PM marcia Says:

Reply to #52  
agiddacup Says:

I am not frum but come from a frum background. I work in the Department of Education with many Yeshivas to provide services to children who need academic assistance. I must admit, I am no longer shocked at the Yeshivas' inability to think outside the box. The expectations presented to the boys is that learning English is not important. I have never seen so many illiterate young boys headed for a future of nothing, but sitting and learning. Don't worry about the internet because these young boys can't read.

They know nothing about life outside their community, nothing about making a living and worse, disrespectful toward people who are not from their community ( I wonder where they learn that?).Of course, God forbid, when one of these boys falls outside the box and cannot sit still, has a hearing loss, ADHD, can't read Yiddish well, or worse, cannot learn the way they are expected to, they are pressured by their parents, stigmatized by their peers and embarrassed by their Rabbis. This is not learning.

Before you start blaming the internet, take an inventory of what goes on in your schools and your home and what it tells your children.

Now you did it! You went and told the truth, the very scary truth...but it can be done and done extremely well. You can be frum, complete school, be educated in Talmud, computer literate, be a mother, wife, and have a career. It is a matter of discipline. When so many frum families work together as well as they do, children help out so much more than the Society around them do. There are many positives but many negatives too.

55

 Dec 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #50  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

No, no... you weren't being disrespectful! It's ok! I understand totally what you mean.

But my husband & I aren't converts. We're Noahides! And so what I'm telling you is: if there are righteous gentiles out in the world who are willing & desiring to learn more about Judaism, HaShem, etc. the internet is often the ONLY WAY we can do that! Period!

There is no orthodox Shul who would accept our family UNLESS we agreed to convert right away! And we live 3 hours away from the nearest orthodox Shul! Unless we pick up & move our entire family (which is financially out of the question), to a place where there is a close-knit Jewish community... there is LITERALLY no way we can learn!

Now, as for "worrying" about the state of our souls... we're not asking anyone to! I agree with you, that if somebody cares enough about HaShem, they'll do what needs to be done to learn! But then, aren't you kind of making my point? I mean, the internet often IS a person's method of learning what they need to know!

And not just for gentiles, but for the secular Jews who you are all so worried about too! They are often of a younger crowd, who could really benefit from the lectures being online!

My dear Sherry...
How about the people that lived in the age of NO COMPUTER???? I mean the Noahide laws are not new...People have lived by them for centuries..where did they go and find out about them..? The libraries, perhaps...and other sources of information are out there...What I'm saying is that at the expense of losing a soul, we take no chances...Every soul is a potential tzadik, since we don't know the outcome of anyone's life...and their potential...
And trust me, any secular jew knows where to go to get info if he opens his eyes and seeks Hashem. Today, the talmud and thousands of sefarim are written in English. What happened to reading instead of instant gratification through the computer? If there is a will, there is a way.

56

 Dec 29, 2011 at 06:43 AM Nuchim Says:

of course internet is not the problem its like saying ban all knifes coz u can kill urself with it... the job of good parents is to teach their kids that a knife is dangerous and u have to know how to use it. no one disagrees that the internet is bad but to say ban the internet in all problems will be solved is the biggest nonsense i ever heard coz with todays technology its literally impossible to avoid using it and if ur not prepared how to use it u WILL use it in the wrong way.
the other problem is, i heard from so many "so called" mechanchim that the problem is our kids are unsatisfied so they look for it the wrong way. so my question is why don’t they look into the reason why our kids are unhappy with their lifes? why do they have to seek satisfaction if our way of living is the best way? i wonna see one of our big rabunim stand up and say enough with the denial lets start educating our kids that the torah way doesnt mean no to everything but instead start showing them the good part of leading a torah life and properly prepare our kids how to be a good jew when going out in the big world to do business, lets face it max 5% stay in kolel the rest 95% are left with no education

57

 Dec 29, 2011 at 06:38 PM arileaman Says:

Kol Hakavod...

Spot on on everything. Having worked myself with teens in crisis (or as Osher calls it 'in pain') what he is saying is 100% and he says it with experience and not assumptions or theories.

Whilst the internet is damaging and can be most harmful, kids have to be trained how to use it and families need to have 'safe surfing' as it has and will be a vital part of our lives. Its when its forbidden explicilty that kids will turn to as a first point of call when going 'off' and in those cases their exposure will be long term damaging. But as Osher says the source of problems is not teh Internet. One has to understand why he has turned to the Internet - many years ago that kid would have turned to Communism or similar to escape.

It takes guts to come out and say the truth on radio and I do not in any way put down letters from Gedolim who write againts it, for they are the giants who can see what we cant. so Internet aside the main thing is 'Ahavo Rabba'

Keep up your Avoidas Hashem

Yedidcho

Ari

58

 Jan 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM BroadMind Says:

With all my respect for Reb Osher whom I know personally.There is no doubt that the internet is a most powerful and dangerous tool and just as when my 6 year old will pick up my plugged in hammer drill I will snatch it from his hand before he harms himself so will I ensure that my children have no access to the web at whatever personal incovenience that will cause me, because I cannot take the risk of them harming themselves.
Whoever tries to brush aside the terrible risks involved in the Web by quoting that we have to control our teivos etc. is either being atrociously naive or trying to cover up their guilt feelings for their personal behaviour. Every serious forum in whichever religion or sect in the world including internet suppliers themselves are outspokenly aware of the dangers and shortfalls of internet exposure and are all looking for solutions to protect their children and Spouses!! from excessive exposure.
Am Yisroel Kedoshim do not need to be the first to expose their children's pure Yiddishe Neshomos. Obviously every rule has exceptions and some children may need discretionary access due to their circumstances but by no means may we scorn the view of Gedolei Yisroel.

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