web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Selfie

Selfie

Naturally the very religious world, be it Christian, Jewish or Muslim, jumps at such examples of cultural decadence to bolster their claim that only they are safe, moral societies with waterproof and airtight morals and standards. If only it were true. For all the outward piety of secluded or protected ghettos or enclaves, we are constantly being made aware of the disgusting sexual abuse of minors, followed by cover ups on the part of major authorities and pressure on victims to remain silent. Cheating, deception, and corruption are constantly bubbling to the surface and being outed, precisely because the very modern media tools that allow us to behave so badly, also reveal the dirty underbelly of ghettos of every kind. Closed societies allow problems to fester and their denizens to think that if they excoriate the outside world, that will make their inner worlds safe and secure.

So yes, the internet, television, phones with cameras, all the trappings of modernity do indeed allow for abuses and misuses. Prostitution and pornography have always existed. If now one can get it all on cellphone, that doesn’t change the pathology. But at the same time these very tools have allowed us to take the lid off the heavy layers of hypocrisy that much of the religious world has used to keep itself pure and untouchable. The attempted ban by some very Orthodox on the internet, which is manifestly failing, might for awhile help prevent such new words as these reaching the top of the list: mikvahrape, ghettobully, koshertaxfiddleifitsforayeshiva, or glatwaysofrefusingaget. But that doesn’t mean these are not problems. And if this true of us, how much more so is it true of much bigger and more dangerous religious hierarchies.

I need to add this line to preempt the usual response I get if I ever criticize religious communities. I am NOT, I repeat NOT, saying all, or most, or much of the Charedi world is like this. It is not. But small parts and some individuals really are. It does us no good to pretend all is perfect in our garden and let them get away with it.

Information, publication, dissemination, and revelation, these are our best safeguards against the tyranny of the closed and narrow-minded. But we need to learn how to use them responsibly, ethically, and morally. Happy is the person who can sleep tight at night knowing he or she has nothing embarrassing that might appear on Facebook in the morning. A little less selfie-ishness and rather more consideration.

About the Author: Jeremy Rosen is an Orthodox rabbi, author, and lecturer, and the congregational rabbi of the Persian Jewish Center of New York. He is best known for advocating an approach to Jewish life that is open to the benefits of modernity and tolerant of individual variations while remaining committed to halacha (Jewish law). His articles and weekly column appear in publications in several countries, including the Jewish Telegraph and the London Jewish News, and he often comments on religious issues on the BBC.


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 “Selfie”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Jeremy Rosen
putin napoleon

Obama’s incompetence, the way his naive worldview and credulity have made a fool of him, are equally frightening

Rashid Khalidi

The Ramaz School was wrong to refuse to allow Rashid Khalidi, the Palestinian apologist, to speak to its senior students.

Imagine you take your family somewhere where there is no such thing as a day off.

Pascal’s famous wager was that it makes sense to bet on God.

The Talmud (Eiruvin 96a) mentions that Michal, the daughter of King Saul, wore Tefilin and no one objected.

We’ve known that you can define neither Jews nor Judaism in a way that will satisfy all its various elements.

The religious world needs to fight back constructively.

There is a dichotomy between personal, private prayer and public communal prayer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/selfie/2013/12/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: