web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Curing Internet Addiction with Torah Novelties

facebook madness

Photo Credit: addictiontreatmentmagazine.com

While walking the streets of Jerusalem on Friday, I noticed flyers for a local high school play called “Attraction to Distraction.” The graphic depicts two teenage girls, standing in front of each other, but busily texting on their cell phones. Having just written about distraction the night before it didn’t take me long to realize that this advertisement had just inspired another article.

In order to better appreciate what it means to be addicted to distraction, I thought it best to travel back to a time before smart phones, SMS and Facebook. While the methods of distraction have become more commonplace, the attraction to distraction is nothing new.

When I was a boy of about ten, I visited a water park with my summer camp. Although I didn’t know how to swim, I decided to go into the wave generating pool, committing myself to stay in the shallow end. But quickly, the thrill and excitement of experiencing bigger waves took hold, and I started walking slowly towards the deeper end. Suddenly, a wave sent me under the water and into a state of panic. I thought to myself: why had I ventured forward so far? Grasping for something to push off of to get closer to the ledge, after a few long seconds, a fellow camper happened to be swimming by. I quickly pushed off his shoulders and on to safety. Not knowing why I had interrupted his play time, he was upset and me, and the lifeguard nearby was totally unaware of what just transpired. Unable to explain the events, I kept quiet.

I tell this story because what led me to press on that day is what leads many of us to tread in the dangerous waters of the internet today. While we begin in the shallow area, by the time we realize, we are already swept up by the current. Although in front a computer, the risk of drowning is no less dangerous.

This cycle of events repeated itself many times in my life, especially during adolescence and young adulthood. What was a physical danger as a child quickly turned into spiritual dangers. But while the internet presented a “clear and present danger,” talk of abstaining from it weren’t compelling.

What do I mean? While it took me many years to learn this, when trying to wean someone away from an addiction, the first step according to chassidus is to first understand the core root of the addiction, then present the opposite expression of this attraction within the realm of holiness. For instance, some weeks ago I was asked for a suggestion in how to encourage a Jewish girl who was then in an ashram in India, to return to her roots. My suggestion was that she should travel to one of the Chabad rabbis there trained in Rabbi Ginsburgh’s system of meditation. As she is looking for a meditative system, she needed to be presented with the counterpart within the realm of holiness.

While AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, now primarily promotes abstinence, the conceptual start of the program is best depicted in these words from psychologist Carl Jung, written to Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, about Rowland H.:

“His craving for alcohol was the equivalent, on a low level, of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness …: the union of God.”

From the above we can begin to see that the question is not why we are distracted, but being that many in this generation are distracted by the internet–even so far as to wade into treacherous waters–our obligation then is expose the core root of the attraction in the hopes of publicizing the cure.

About the Author: Yonatan Gordon is a student of Harav Yitzchak Ginsburgh, and publishes his writings on InwardNews.com, a new site he co-founded.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Curing Internet Addiction with Torah Novelties”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Future guard? Arab child with Hamas headband aims toy rifle on the Temple Mount after prayers in the Al Aqsa mosque.
CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’
Latest Indepth Stories
Obama was all smiles for Israel's Ambassador Oren when they met in the White House.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund and the UN

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

An ISIS Gaza rocket launcher.

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

U.S. postage stamp honoring Haym Solomon.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

More Articles from Yonatan Gordon
game-figure-598036_1280-810x540

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Skateboard king at Chabad-Lubavitch Yeshiva in Jerusalem

I envision a Kiruv approach perceiving a world filled with Godliness instead of issues to be avoided

Whereas we didn’t expect much from HarperCollins, we need to expect more from ourselves.

What does it mean “to fight as a Jew”? Fighting with the power of voice, the “voice of Jacob.”

San Francisco schools transformed by power of daily meditation,successfully reducing school violence

Pop culture teaches “thought creates reality;” Chassidut: “Divinity’s a given,reality’s a novelty”

“Deliberance” means to be inspired by “hearing the great shofar blast” ushering the Redemption

There is no difficulty today recognizing the “doubled and redoubled” darkness of the world.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/curing-internet-addiction-with-torah-novelties/2014/02/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: