Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
Dealing With Technology’s Negative Aspects
Proclamations abound in Hebrew, English and Yiddish concerning a mass rally called for Sunday evening, May 20, at Citi Field (Roosevelt Avenue and 126th Street in Flushing, Queens). Seating capacity is approximately 45,000, including standing room. Ticket sales, at $10, began on May 2.
The rally will focus on and attempt to deal with the negative aspects of technological advancements, primarily the Internet. Hardly a day goes by without yet another technological breakthrough being announced, with each new device further revolutionizing technological applications.
The rally was called for by Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Portugal, beloved Skulener Rebbe in Boro Park, and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, greatly respected mashgiach ruchani of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood. Rabbi Salomon has for years stressed that the greatest challenge facing the frum world is the encroachment of the Internet.
The Skulener Rebbe’s call represents the invitation to the chassidishe community. Rabbi Salomon’s call represents the invitation to the yeshivishe community.
In addition to the Skulener Rebbe and Rabbi Salomon, attendance at the event has been endorsed and encouraged by the Monsey Vishnitzer Rebbe, the Beis Din Tzedek of the Eidah Hacharedis of Jerusalem, Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, Rabbi Aaron Leib Shteinman, Rabbi Yehuda Adas, Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, and virtually every leading chassidishe rebbe and rosh yeshiva.
An English broadside proclaims the importance of rabbonim from “out of town” communities participating in the event as representatives of their communities.
The call to “out of town” rabbis is from (in the order on the proclamation): Rabbi Chonon Wenger; Rabbi Doniel Neustadt; Rabbi Avrohom Weinrib; Rabbi Dovid Merling; Rabbi Naftali Burnstein; Rabbi Gershon Bess; Rabbi Moshe Silver; Rabbi Yitzchok Margareten; Rabbi Avrohom Teichman; Rabbi Zev Cohen; Rabbi Shmuel Baddouch; Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro; and Rabbi Dovid Haber, all prominent rabbis in the United States and Canada.
“Expo” hours are listed as 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the “asifa” (assemblage) program is from 7 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane, the sponsoring organization, was established to deal with the challenges of technology perceived to be damaging to the fabric of religious communities.
The Internet has of course had a tremendous impact on culture and commerce, including the rise of near instant communication by e-mail, instant messaging, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) “phone calls,” two-way interactive video calls, and online shopping sites. Every facet of the Internet serves and has an impact on the observant community. And the Internet continues to grow, driven by ever greater amounts of online information, knowledge, and commerce. Since 2007, more than 97 percent of the world’s telecommunicated information is carried over the Internet.
Some governments, such as those of Iran, North Korea, Burma, China, and Saudi Arabia, restrict what people in their countries can access on the Internet, especially political and religious content. This is accomplished through sophisticated software that filters domains and their content so that they may not be easily accessed without elaborate circumvention.
In Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, Internet service providers have voluntarily restricted access to socially unacceptable sites listed by authorities. Many countries, including the United States, have enacted laws against the possession and/or distribution of certain material over the Internet, especially that of child abuse. But software filtering is not mandated. There are many free and commercially available software programs with which a user can choose to block offensive websites on individual computers.
The darker side of all the new technological advances is widely recognized. Legislation has been enacted to deal with practical problems such as hand-held cell phone usage during driving, texting while driving, privacy issues, etc. Monumental challenges continue to threaten civilized conduct in addiction to frivolous computer usage and Internet addiction. Some national political leaders, here and abroad, have been disgraced and destroyed by the exposure of their computer habits.
As of 2011, more than 2.2 billion people regularly use the Internet. Torah study has been immeasurably advanced by computers and the Internet. Heaven surely created the Internet for hebrewbooks.org, the website that has more than 51,000 sefarim instantly available, printable and downloadable for free. This means that if you have Internet access, you automatically have access to a Torah library of more than 51,000 sefarim regardless of how much shelf space you have or how small your home is.
Innumerable other websites house seemingly unlimited divrei Torah. Several illustrious chassidishe Rebbes have websites to disseminate their teachings and serve as successful vehicles of outreach.
The positive aspects of the Internet for the observant community can be extolled without end. However, the dark side of the Internet also affects the observant community.
Satmar Internet Usage
The Internet is a reality, literally a necessity, and will not go away. That realization is accepted by all segments of the observant community. But the international Satmar community, led by Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe based in Kiryas Yoel and Williamsburg, has laid down the law on Internet usage for its chassidim.
Satmar is one of the largest and leading chassidishe communities. What happens in Satmar is closely followed by the entire chassidishe world. No Satmar home is permitted to have Internet access. Children from homes with Internet access are not accepted into any Satmar school. Business Internet usage outside of the home must be filtered. Computer kiosks have been established where individuals can conduct private and business Internet usage 24/6 at minimal cost. Of course, the kiosks are filtered and computer screens are fully viewable and monitored at all times by appointed chassidishe managers.
Several pages in the Satmar weekly newspaper were recently devoted broadsides and articles promoting the rally. The Satmar Rebbe, however, did not call on his followers to attend the rally, nor did he prohibit participation.
Speculation focuses on the possibility that the Rebbe, seeking to conform to the conduct of the Divrei Yoel, founder of Satmar, chooses not to attend any event where foreign languages, i.e. English, might be spoken. Further, with yeshivish and Modern Orthodox participation, not everything discussed or formulated would be necessarily acceptable to the hashgacha of the Satmar community.
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Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
There is always a lot of confusion surrounding sensory processing disorder – mainly because there are many different diagnoses that fall under the catch-all phrase sensory processing disorder (SPD). Among them are three specific subcategories:
The doctor had warned us that even if we did everything right and followed the protocol after the follicle was of the right size, there was no guarantee of success. Fertilization still had to occur, and just like couples do not necessarily become pregnant every month, we had no way to know if we were actually expecting for two full weeks.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Jewish Press columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, founder and president of Hineni, the international Torah outreach organization, recently addressed an overflowing audience at the Beth Jacob Congregation of Irvine in southern California. Rebbetzin Jungreis’s address theme, “Making a Good Relationship Magical,” was apropos for the evening’s main mission: raising funds for the Irvine community’s mikveh.
You have probably been planning your marriage since you were about three. Let’s fast-forward to a big milestone– your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. (Don’t worry, you don’t look a day over twenty one!) Now, would you appreciate your husband buying you a dozen roses that some florist recommended?
As I mentioned in my earlier articles about our family trip to Israel, our night flight went pretty smooth, thanks to my children’s willingness to sleep throughout the flight. I, on the other hand, didn’t sleep a wink and I wasn’t feeling too great by the time we landed. But we were finally in Israel, and just being in the beautifully renovated Ben Gurion airport and hearing all the Hebrew around us was exciting enough.
While all the flowers that grace your Shavuos table will surely be a delight to your eye, these will be a delight for your palette as well. Create them at any level, simple or sophisticated; any way you make them they’re sure to be a sensation.
Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we attempt to answer questions sent in by people who fortunately have fake names, so they won’t be embarrassed. I don’t know how they got through school, though.
Speechless wonder is the reaction to the beautiful vision seen though the Arch of the Keshet Cave at the Adamit Park in the Galilee. One of the most amazing natural wonders in Eretz Yisrael, the Me’arat Hakeshet — also known as the Rainbow Cave or Arch Cave — can be found up against the Israel-Lebanon border just a few kilometers from Rosh Hanikra and the sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea. It is situated amid the wild scenery on the cliffs of Nachal Betzet and Nachal Namer, on the Adamit Ridge.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/my-machberes/my-machberes-15/2012/05/03/
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