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Jerusalem - Beitar Illit Rabbonim Announce City-Wide Ban Against Open Internet

Published on: September 24, 2009 04:11 PM
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Jerusalem - Rabbonim in Beitar Illit announced all residents must sign an agreement not to be connected to unfiltered Internet, according to a report on Hebrew-language website Haredim.

At a central gathering held in the city this week it was also decided that “all Torah and education institutions and school principals must see to it that every student at their institutions comes from a home free of [unfiltered] Internet.”

HaRav Dovid Tzvi Ordentlich said, “This is a thousand times more dangerous than the threats Am Yisroel faces from without and from within. The Internet is like a tidal wave threatening to swallow up and endanger the entire edifice of charedi Jewry that has been built in this generation through so much hard work. The issue must not be taken off the agenda. The warning must be sounded all the time and everywhere.”

According to HaRav Tzvi Braverman, “Fifty percent of the problems in the city – sholom bayis and chinuch habonim – stem from the Internet. There is a hidden blaze in the city. An atom bomb underneath the city. We cannot have a situation here in Beitar in which an ehrlicht Yid sends his children to Torah-based institutions and there’s something worse than television. This is the battle of the generation.”

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Almost all of the city’s rabbonim took part in the gathering, which was initiated by the beis din headed by HaRav Ordenlich. “Those who are compelled to be hooked up to the Internet for parnossoh reasons, etc., must be linked to the filtered, controlled Internet,” the rabbonim announced, adding that on Shabbos Shuvoh the rabbonim at every shul would discuss these takonos.

Video courtesy of CH. 2 Israel 



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Read Comments (36)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:17 PM formelly Says:

is it a private community how could he say all residence. If it is not a gated community people can do what they want.

fifty percent internet, 25% TV 25% secular

they themselves by their action 0%

2

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:47 PM SimchaB Says:

Reply to #1: If they do what they want they will not be able to send their children to the yeshivos/bais yakovs in that city

3

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:46 PM Anonymous Says:

How are people reading this story if they are not on the Internet?

4

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:45 PM mythoughts Says:

Leadership always needs an external bogeyman to bash. It used to be TV now its internet. I’m not saying that it’s not a problem, but the overemphasis on a single cause (that needs no internal reflection) as the source of our problems is very simplistic. I guess taking on the problems in our chinuch system takes too much effort and might actually reflect badly on them.

5

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:38 PM Dag Says:

82.3% of people who quote statistics make them up

6

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:50 PM anonymouss Says:

While I agree that todays TV programs internationally have become really unacceptable to even proper secular people, the internet is also becoming as such since still today the majority of veiwing is done for improper veiwng.
However, while Rabbonim may talk and consul their veiws , they have no right whatsoever to impose these takonos on a secular included city. They can have parents in Yeshivas agree or their balabatim but the imposition on a city id disgustuing. The Tel Aviv seculars' hating Chareidim are looking better and better for decisions like this and the one about the concerts or the type of music one prefers at weddings.. The Ayatollahs are exactly like these people. Thel have every right talk the power of persuasion not imposition. Shame o n them.

7

 Sep 24, 2009 at 04:24 PM Yak Says:

Beitar is a Completely Enclosed CHareidi Community. Ashreichem that they are cleaning Klal Yisrael From the Avi Avos Hatumah.

8

 Sep 24, 2009 at 04:31 PM joel rich Says:

Perhaps one test of this statement is to measure current problems in the city with those of a similar population 20 years ago.
GCT

9

 Sep 24, 2009 at 06:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Although unfiltered internet might be one of the problems causing a spiritual descent in our community, it's not the root cause of all problems. I think that there will always be a way to access shmutz for those that are looking for it.

How about we arm our children with the weapons needed to combat temptations.
Let's give them a proper chinuch and encourage kosher extra curricular activities.

10

 Sep 24, 2009 at 06:38 PM joe Says:

I think the people in beitar should be focusing on the fight of their life which is their right to live there instead of worrying about the internet something that if someone wants he's going to figure out how to hide it

11

 Sep 24, 2009 at 09:25 PM Zev Says:

The fact that they feel that their super-duper holy lifestyles can be threatened by something as unremarkable as the internet says more about the shaky foundations of their chinuch system then it does about the 'horrible' internet. I know hundreds of orthodox, frum people, whose work requires them to spend many hours on line daily,
who take their Judaism far too seriously for the internet to even be an issue.

12

 Sep 24, 2009 at 04:12 PM Ironic isn't it? Says:

I love the irony in the fact that were it not for the internet, I would not have heard about this story.

13

 Sep 24, 2009 at 04:09 PM Anonymous Says:

can someone please please please come out with some new invention so that they leave us alone already & we can go about our lives I'm old enough to make my own desicions & they can say in their OWN shuls what they wish but there's no need for them to tell me what to do. can someone maybe start a new eruv or a new sheitel that their wifes won't wear so that its asur.?

14

 Sep 24, 2009 at 03:34 PM Anonymous Says:

What a joke...they issue a takonoh that ignores the real source of problems in the chareidi community which it the unsustainable model of large families and no jobs and income. If they truly believe the internet is the underlying issue for their social problems and economic distress, they must really be challenged. We don't have an issue of chareidi men staying home and watching porno in lieu of getting a job. Wives are not cheating on their husbands by going online to J-date. If this is what passes for leadership in the chareidi community, they are really in trouble.

15

 Sep 24, 2009 at 10:49 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #13  
Anonymous Says:

can someone please please please come out with some new invention so that they leave us alone already & we can go about our lives I'm old enough to make my own desicions & they can say in their OWN shuls what they wish but there's no need for them to tell me what to do. can someone maybe start a new eruv or a new sheitel that their wifes won't wear so that its asur.?

Um, excuse me, but this IS their own town. If you don't want to obey their decision you are free to live elsewhere. If you already live elsewhere, you're free to remain there and not move to their town. But in their town they are the morei de'asro.

16

 Sep 24, 2009 at 10:46 PM Anonymous Says:

A prominent Principal was asked why he didnt make the Parents sign an agreement that they wouldn't have internet in their home. He answered that he didnt want to turn them into liars.
A parent can sign anything, and then continue doing whatever they want in their home.

17

 Sep 24, 2009 at 11:26 PM Anonymous Says:

I find that these kind of statements are usually a response to fear. It appears that these Rabbonim are scared of the power of the internet, the knowledge and truth that comes from sources other than themselves and their representatives. Eventually the citizens in that closed community will be completely shut out from the world. While that may appeal to some, it's really very dangerous.

18

 Sep 24, 2009 at 11:39 PM Truth Says:

They're behind the times- Lakewood did this years ago.

19

 Sep 25, 2009 at 08:57 AM Raphael Kaufman Says:

Reply to #15  
Milhouse Says:

Um, excuse me, but this IS their own town. If you don't want to obey their decision you are free to live elsewhere. If you already live elsewhere, you're free to remain there and not move to their town. But in their town they are the morei de'asro.

Are the Rabbonim actually the elected temporal authority in the town as well as the religious authority? If so, they are entirely within their authority to prohibit the internet or anything else and you are correct; "if people don't like it, move." If, however, they are simply issuing a religious ruling, then it only applies to their followers and the other inhabitants are free to do as they wish as long as they are within the law.

20

 Sep 25, 2009 at 09:00 AM formelly Says:

Reply to #15  
Milhouse Says:

Um, excuse me, but this IS their own town. If you don't want to obey their decision you are free to live elsewhere. If you already live elsewhere, you're free to remain there and not move to their town. But in their town they are the morei de'asro.

it is not their town, it is not a closed gated community. Anybody can leave there and us the internet as they please.

Located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit was established in 1985 and initially settled by a small group of young families from the religious zionist yeshiva of Machon Meir, including that of Rabbi Reuven Hass (now of Beit El).

21

 Sep 25, 2009 at 04:52 AM Anonymous Says:

I wonder what their policy is regarding smoking?

22

 Sep 25, 2009 at 01:11 AM lakewood bum Says:

all they want is a filter. whats the big deal? just use a filter. you can download a free one.
and thats all lakewood wants any way. be aware and be careful.

23

 Sep 25, 2009 at 03:49 AM Anonymous Says:

What do they mean "filtered internet?" I filter it myself with settings and parental controls, and all sorts of codes, including the on off buttons. what is the difference they are speaking of? If 50% of all the problems are currently related to the internet than what were the problems before the widespread use of internet? Internet is definitely a problematic issue in every frum home, but i can't honestly see any way to stop it as a societal influence, nor is there a remote chance that we will be able to prevent the reliance upon it.

24

 Sep 25, 2009 at 03:41 AM lets do a root canal Says:

The problem with all these rabbanim is that they tend to deal with the symptoms and not with the root problem.
If the chinuch system was the way it really should be, and the children were coming out emotionally happy and stable, living FULFILLED lives, then they would have no need to turn to porn to satisfy their lack. And, lets get real. Internet is here to stay. Instead of banning it with huge street signs (which actually makes young children aware of a to-eva that they weren't aware of beforehand) why don't we teach our boys about shmiras einaym and kedusha-just like they harp on tznius with the girls. The main thing is to arm our children with the ammunition they need to fight the outside influences. Not to simply stick our heads in the sand and ban it, and hope that it will go away.
Most people who are hooked on porn have issues or a big yetzer, and not b/c they accidentally came across something. So lets work on the issues and yetzer, b/c if they don't get their fulfillment from the internet, they'll get it from somewhere else.

25

 Sep 25, 2009 at 02:48 AM Jo Blow Says:

Someone should please tell for all the rabonim. Rabbis, times have changed and a normal person can not live with out internet, No business can run with out internet. Internet is a part of life and stop trying to destroy it, you will only make it worse.

26

 Sep 25, 2009 at 02:10 AM anonymous Says:

Reply to #17  
Anonymous Says:

I find that these kind of statements are usually a response to fear. It appears that these Rabbonim are scared of the power of the internet, the knowledge and truth that comes from sources other than themselves and their representatives. Eventually the citizens in that closed community will be completely shut out from the world. While that may appeal to some, it's really very dangerous.

"the "knowledge" and "truth" that comes from sources other than themselves and their representatives", can be seen with a filtered internet too.

"Eventually the citizens in that closed community will be completely shut out..." from the bad world. Which is a good thing.

Again! They didn't ban internet. They said to have a filter! Which is what every proper jewish/religious/nonreligious home should have.

"While that may appeal to some, it's really very dangerous"
Extremely.I'm scared that if men will not have a chance to view p*rn or if teenagers cannot watch all the s*x , drugs, violence in today's entertainment world , they just might die...

27

 Sep 25, 2009 at 01:58 AM Anonymous Says:

He could move his community to China where the government will help him with thought control over his masses, but he has no right to dictate to individuals to how to think and live their lives day to day, but this the point of his world, fear of independent thought and information outside their little walls, just like Communist regimes fear their people being exposed to truth and knowledge.

28

 Sep 25, 2009 at 01:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Someone who wants to watch something wrong will always find a way to do it.
By forbidding something, it makes it much more desirable. What they should spend their time doing is teaching the community about the evils of it, teach our kids how to use things safely and within their parents' sight ect. You forbid candy to your child and dont let it into your house. So when they go to camp, school, their friends' houses, to the grocery store ect, they will buy it and eat it in excess. If you allow controlled access to items (too much candy can be problematic in a different sense, it is a mashal) the kids will crave the item less and less. They will learn self control and limiting themselves and to use things responsibly! If it forbidden, the first time they see one they will start exploring and C"V do terrible things!

29

 Sep 25, 2009 at 12:11 AM Moshe Says:

True belief in torah does not require fear of the world. True Torah can withstand the internet

30

 Sep 25, 2009 at 12:23 PM frum but normal Says:

i heard this story from one of harav Freifeld's z'l talmid,
some kenoim came to him to have him sign some kind of a ban [don't remember what it was for],and he absolutely refused,and explained his reason,
that if our only way to protect and defend our religion,is by banning everybody and everything around us,then we have basically admited that we are bankrupt,and we cannot explain and defend our beautifull religion.
something to think about

31

 Sep 29, 2009 at 01:21 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #27  
Anonymous Says:

He could move his community to China where the government will help him with thought control over his masses, but he has no right to dictate to individuals to how to think and live their lives day to day, but this the point of his world, fear of independent thought and information outside their little walls, just like Communist regimes fear their people being exposed to truth and knowledge.

Who's this "he"? You are talking about the combined rabbonim of the whole town. If you don't like it, don't live there.

32

 Sep 29, 2009 at 01:20 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #20  
formelly Says:

it is not their town, it is not a closed gated community. Anybody can leave there and us the internet as they please.

Located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit was established in 1985 and initially settled by a small group of young families from the religious zionist yeshiva of Machon Meir, including that of Rabbi Reuven Hass (now of Beit El).

You are wrong. It is their town. The Torah gives them that authority. And without their approval, good luck finding housing.

33

 Sep 29, 2009 at 01:18 PM Milhouse Says:

Reply to #19  
Raphael Kaufman Says:

Are the Rabbonim actually the elected temporal authority in the town as well as the religious authority? If so, they are entirely within their authority to prohibit the internet or anything else and you are correct; "if people don't like it, move." If, however, they are simply issuing a religious ruling, then it only applies to their followers and the other inhabitants are free to do as they wish as long as they are within the law.

They are the HALACHIC AUTHORITIES of the town. That gives them all the right they need to issue such a decree. That is what MOREI DE'ASRO means.

34

 Nov 29, 2009 at 05:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Zev Says:

The fact that they feel that their super-duper holy lifestyles can be threatened by something as unremarkable as the internet says more about the shaky foundations of their chinuch system then it does about the 'horrible' internet. I know hundreds of orthodox, frum people, whose work requires them to spend many hours on line daily,
who take their Judaism far too seriously for the internet to even be an issue.

Our chinuch is the best it can be at this point, especially considering everything we're up against, and it is rapidly improving with all the new knowledge of education. The internet is a problem for every community, in every culture, in every religion, and the ultra-orthodox communities are no different. No "chinuch" will simply by default just bypass this problem. And if you think the internet is "unremarkable" then you just need to read up a little more on the effect it's having throughout the world. It's particularly those who downplay it's seriousness, because of "people they know" who don't have a problem with using the internet (as far as we know), that cause more and more ppl to fall in.

35

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