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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
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Surfing the Asifah, Now That’s a Roundup

Absolutely the finest image from last night's Asifah. Move over Andy Warhol, make room for VosIzNeias!

Absolutely the finest image from last night's Asifah. Move over Andy Warhol, make room for VosIzNeias!
Photo Credit: Stefano Giovannini / VosIzNeias.com

Every opening to the outside world is a calculated risk. Every time we open a window we chance being shocked by something vile. Every time we ride in our cars, take the subway, even go to shul – something terrible can offend our senses and even influence our very being.

Opening a book – are you kidding me?

Answering the phone – who can it be?

Turning on a radio? Forget it.

Don’t want to bring up television.

As I understand my own religion, my job in this world is to sanctify that which is mundane with my actions. The entire world is open before me, a Jewish woman or man, to set an example of how it should be used righteously. All of it, every last part of it.

We can’t all do it, some of us don’t have the emotional or psychological mettle. That’s fine. I’m happy and proud to belong to a segment of religious Judaism which simply does not fear new things. And I understand and support those who aren’t available for that experiment.

More power to them and to us.

CAN WE HAVE DAILY CULTURE SHOCK OR DOES IT GO AWAY?

It was heartening to see how many folks were seriously trying to come to terms with the Asifa’s main message. And what they thought the message really was.

Internet: A Plea for Common Sense Dad pointed out a few things. However much we all enjoy and use the internet, using the internet can become an addiction. If you don’t believe me, look up the studies. I haven’t seen anything good come out of an addiction to anything. Even Torah. An internet addiction, though, isn’t like being an alcoholic. Alcoholics might be “dry drunks” as long as they don’t drink, but as long as they don’t drink, they’re ok. Not great, but ok. This is more like gluttony. You might be hugely overweight, but you still have to eat. It’s a lot harder to control yourself and give yourself a tiny portion of something you really want then to avoid it completely. (Dad’s analogy)
Sparrow’s Musings

Internet Asifa a Great Kiddush Hashem In the final remarks, the rabbis pledged to move forward with the continuous forging of new ideas. Future gatherings will probably be at a lower cost and scale but focused on actual changes and improvements the community will need to make. Future agendas will include problems and questions such as attitudes towards education and employment, proper allocation of charity funds, funding Jewish education as a community, today’s shidduchim system, agunos, extremism and intolerance, segregation of Ashkenazim and Sefaradim, participation in the Israeli workforce and armed forces, the system of Halachic rulings in Israel and America, reliance on subsidies, and integrity and honesty.

Many of the attendees left the event feeling invigorated about their future and that of their children and grandchildren, echoing the sentiment that through justice and kindness we may merit the coming of the Messiah.
Yosef Drimmel, Rationalist Judaism

Ignorance is Sacred …. To Whom The Internet is terrifying to the rabbanim perhaps because of porn, perhaps because it exposes youth to foreign ideas, but even more importantly, because it enables open dialogue and an honesty they cannot afford if they are to survive as a community, the community they insist they are; pure, innocent, and above their own frailties. And if a few children must be sacrificed for this wholesome lie, then so be it. It is better than any broken truth.
Judy Brown, Rare View

Satmar and the Asifa – Achdus or Isolation? The organizers of the Asifa are desperate to make this about Achdus even more than they are about fighting internet. They therefore felt it was more important to have Satmar involved than to have women attend.

This despite the fact that it is the mother who is in the trenches. Mothers are the guardians of the home. Their husbands are all in the Beis HaMedrash. Morning, noon, and night. Unless they have fallen so low spiritually that they now work for a living. Either way it is the woman that is on the front lines. Not the man.
Emes Ve-Emunah

Reflections on the Internet Asifah People who claim that the enticements of alien values, pornography and heresy always existed, and that the internet doesn’t really change anything, are, frankly, naive. Of course these things always existed, but when they become vastly more easily accessible, they are going to be accessed by people (and especially children) who wouldn’t otherwise access them. In fact, people who claim that the Internet doesn’t change anything are precisely those people who need an Asifah that will open their eyes to the reality!
Natan Slifkin, Rationalist Judaism

SPREADING THE LOVE

Just good, practical advice.

The Protesters Most importantly, as you make your way into citified you will see people, if you can call them that, who will be protesting all kinds of narishkeit. Please don’t talk to them, they hate all rabonim and are apikorsim. Some of them even dress funny. Nothing they say is true and it is their lies that this Asifa is really all about. We know they are lies because the askanim said so. Mock them and Spit on them, like the chareidim in beit shemesh did, just please try not to let it get out on shmootztube this time.
Important Guidelines for the Asifa at Citifield

This next one is a harsh response to the one above (links to it).

Dovid Teitelbaum Has Finally Lost It It started with a nice respectable article about focusing on building up our children instead of demonizing the internet. But it didn’t take long for it to degenerate into wild-eyed feverish postings about conspiracies and cabals all out to pick Dovid Teitelbaum’s pocket.
Haredi And Proud

THANK GOD THEY DIDN’T BAN HUMOR

Now, this was a creative effort!

Funniest Tweets From Citi Field Anti-Internet Asifa We tracked the Twitter observations all through the evening, and selected some of the best ones to share with our readers. Some are funny, some are sarcastic and biting, but all have some measure of truth and reality that was missed by the organizers of the asifa. We hope you enjoy them.

There’s a double header tonite. Next up is the Amish versus the Automobiles.

I am missing my brother at the asifa. He was last seen wearing a white shirt, black jacket and hat and had glasses.

I’ve decided that I am only giving tzedaka to organizations via the Internet.
Al Kustanowitz, Jewish Humor Central

HOLY REVENGE – DON’T FORGET IT

In our usual discussion of messianic redemption, we don’t often stop to think about Holy Revenge as part of the whole eternal peace thing. But it’s in there, and the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, who served a stint as the editor of the Jewish Press, was the Rebbe of Vengeance, if you will. Thank you, Hirhurim, for reminding us.

Kahanism and Vengeance
R. Kahane believes that exacting revenge is a great mitzvah. “There is nothing greater and more righteous than revenge in its place and time.” His argument is theological: When the wicked prosper, God’s providence becomes more hidden. By facilitating divine justice, the avenger increases awareness and the glory of God. Revenge is a Kiddush Hashem.
Hirhurim, Musings

About the Author: Tibbi Singer is a veteran contributor to publications such as Israel Shelanu and the US supplement of Yedioth, and Jewish Business News.


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