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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
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It’s Not Just About The Internet… We’re Creating Apathetic Robots


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Alan Morinis, in Every Day, Holy Day wonders, “What could possibly cause you to vary from the truth? Probe your motivations and you will encounter some other trait like envy or laziness – seeking its own satisfaction. You deviate from the truth when some inner trait wants to bend reality to its own purpose” (p. 344).

As you see, envy fueled by chutzpah and engineered by selfish materialism causes people to steal and lie, all for the sake of Heaven — ; so they can join the “in-crowd” and look like everyone else with fancy shoes, exquisite hats and starchy, imperfect white shirts.

Not surprisingly, the men and women that Rachel Shteir, author of “The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting, spoke to presented different views on shoplifting: The men sounded as if they saw themselves as heroes in video games; one described the excitement of racing through the aisles of Target, outwitting the sales staff, security people and cameras.

People want to feel good about themselves.  They want to be seen in a respectable light by their friends. When this can be accomplished without deception, people are usually honest.

Yes, the Internet and hand- held technology are to blame for seriously deteriorating the holiness of Jewish society, destroying relationships and distracting us from what is truly our purpose in life – serving Hashem by doing HIS mitzvos. Even secular psychologists, who once were technology advocates, are now decrying the lack of one-to-one communication and the compulsion to check our hand- held devices in spite of danger, social awkwardness and rudeness.

Fortunately, there are mitzvos in addition to guarding your eyes. Number Eight is, “Thou shall not steal,” and Number Nine is, “Thou shall not lie.”

What is the answer? Another type of filter. We cannot expect people to live in caves and never have access to the outside world. Our computers need filters desperately, but what’s next , — putting filters on women’s heads so men will no longer be tempted to look at them in the street? No. The answer is to filter our own minds and heads by becoming role models for our children in shul, at home and in business. By dressing properly ourselves, by understanding that being holy is about respecting ourselves enough to feel good about our own personal strengths, instead of looking outside to the latest styles, gossip and news for validation.  The answer is bringing up our children to understand that they have a God-given soul, and direct them to understand their strengths instead of teaching them that what they do will lead them straight into Gehinnom. To teach our children from a very young age about Go-d, faith, trust and the privilege of being Go-d’s chosen people, not a nation that has to rely on the whims, customs and fads of others to feel good about ourselves: This is truly the test of our generation.

About the Author: Allan Katz, M.S. has a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, and is working toward licensure and his certification as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist with the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals. He is the author of Mask in the Mirror, a motivational book for healing from sexual compulsivity. (http://allanjkatz.com). He is the moderator of the U.S. hotline for religious Jews suffering from sexual compulsivity and Internet addiction as well as a phone group leader with Guard Your Eyes.com. He delivers lectures and workshops nationwide to schools, synagogues and organizations who want to spread awareness and protect their members from this epidemic. He can be reached at ajk@allanjkatz.com or at 901-359-8299.


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2 Responses to “It’s Not Just About The Internet… We’re Creating Apathetic Robots”

  1. Lacey Dalby says:

    What in the world do email, texting, and the internet have to do with the types of dishonesty and stealing you write about? As far as I know, people have always stolen, and it has always been wrong. Technology is not prompting people to do it.

  2. Aharon Yaaqob says:

    Okay Lacey what about the rest of the argument or have you missed the point?

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The Orthodox Jewish world continues to seesaw back and forth about the pros and cons of the Asifa on Technology at Citifield in New York. Debates abound about on the best Internet filters, blocks and technological band-aids to which will surely repair the dangerous environmental influences of the outside world. Let’s ban or block the Internet and suddenly our children will be less distracted, our communities more heimish and our learning and davening more for the sake of Heaven instead of rote blabbering to get it over with.

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