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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Arthur Ashe Stadium’

My Machberes

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

The Citi Field Asifa

They came to Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, by car, by bus, by boat and by plane. They came from Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Monsey, Lakewood, Monroe, Montreal, Belgium, and other observant communities. They came in the tens of thousands – an ocean of black hats and conservative attire. A majority were chassidim and a large minority were yeshivish.

They came to hear a reiteration of the downside of the Internet and our obligation to filter and control its contents. Rabbi Menashe Frankel, Lakewood Torah activist, served as chairman.

Speakers included Rabbi Elya Brudny, rosh yeshiva Mir Brooklyn; Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman, rosh yeshiva Maor Yitzchok in Monsey; Rabbi Yechiel Meir Katz, Dzibo Rav of Montreal; Rabbi Leibish Leizer, Pshevorsker Rebbe of Belgium; Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Portugal, Skulener Rebbe; Rabbi Don Segal, mashgiach from Jerusalem; Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, author of Shevet Levi (speaking via hookup from Israel); and Rabbi Matisyahu Salomon, mashgiach of Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood.

Rabbi Wachsman led in reciting Tefillas HaShelah (prayer to raise children properly); Rabbi Segal led the Kabbalas Ohl Malchus Shamayim (the acceptance of Heavenly authority, recited at the close of Yom Kippur); and Rabbi Shmuel Dishon, mashgiach of the Karliner Yeshiva, led tefillas Maariv.

The calls of “Mi laHashem eilai” (“Who is with G-d should join me”) and “Es la’asos laShem” (“now is the time to act for Heaven”) were repeatedly proclaimed by the speakers, When Rabbi Salomon ascended the podium, many in the audience rose and sang. His message was clear: We are commanded by the Torah to have children and we are invested with the obligation to raise them properly. The Internet poses a grave threat to that mission and must be dealt with.

Some of the speakers called for the Internet to be thrown out. Our Torah civilization has existed without it until now, they stressed, and we will continue to live without it. Other speakers, more realistically, called for self-restrictions to be imposed. Controls such as filtering services (many of which are free) are continuously updated.

Other suggested restraints included not using the Internet from erev Shabbos until Monday morning, no cellular phones in shul at any time, no Internet service in homes, and filtering all business usage. Home use of the Internet was completely forbidden by some speakers, while others reluctantly allowed it with filtering.

The crowd at Citi Field was estimated at more than 42,000 and its overflow at nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium at 22,000, for a total of more than 64,000 men in attendance.

Particulars of the event will be discussed and debated in detail in the weeks to come in every beis medrash and home in frum communities. The reverence with which participants came to and left the event was beyond words. The representation of almost every leading chassidishe rebbe in the greater New York area ensured that this would be a singularly important event.

The large police presence and the stadium staff were exceptionally polite and courteous. Threatening clouds caused planes flew low in their approach to nearby La Guardia Airport. With a frequency of one plane every four minutes or so, the thunderous noise lent the event a surreal aura.

At Least 50 Thousand Haredim Assemble to Decry Dangers of the Internet

Monday, May 21st, 2012

More than 50,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men packed Citi Field in Flushing, Queens, on Sunday, for the Asifa, a gathering decrying the dangers of the Internet. Organizers have also rented the nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium for the overflow crowd.

Several key leaders of the Haredi community in the U.S. attended the gathering, including Rabbi Matisyahu Chaim Salomon, the mashgiach ruchani (spiritual superviser) of the Beth Medrash Gavoha Yeshiva in Lakewood, New Jersey, Rabbi Eliezer Zusia, the Skulener Rebbe, Rav Shmuel Dishon, head of Mosdos Yad Yisroel Karlin Stolin, Rabbi Mordechai (Mottele) Hager, the Vizhnitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Zalmen Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Leibish Leizer of Pshevorsk, Rabbi Ephraim Waxman, and Rabbi Leibish Leiser, the Pshevorsker Rebbe.

Critics have called the gathering an anti-Internet rally, but Eytan Kobre, a spokesman for the Ichud Hakehillos LeTohar Hamachane (communities united for the purity of our camp) said the group wants to teach families how to use technology responsibly.

“They’ll make decisions about how much technology they want to allow into their lives and what kind of safeguards they want to apply to that technology,” Kobre told WNYC Radio.

“There is a very significant downside to the Internet,” he added, according to Vos Iz Neias. “It does pose a challenge to us in various aspects of our lives.”

Kobre cited online pornography and gambling as well as the risk of social media undermining “our ability to pray uninterruptedly, to focus and to concentrate.”

Women were not allowed to attend the meeting, but the rally was broadcast live to women who gathered in schools and halls.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/at-least-50-thousand-haredim-assemble-to-decry-dangers-of-the-internet/2012/05/21/

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