Ultra-Orthodox Jews v. the internet


Ultra-Orthodox Jews have organized a big rally in New York city this coming Sunday, featuring leading rabbis as speakers, to warn about the dangers of the internet and as part of their ongoing war “Against the Scourge of Technology”. Publicity for the event says:

It is well known that in recent times through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt. And since this touches almost everyone, we must assemble together to protect and be protected, and we hope that through this gathering in search of ideas we will be helped from Heaven to save the many, and may it be that we will be successful in encouraging the public not to stumble over this obstacle, and the Lord will guide us in a truthful path. And note that sometimes the suspension of Torah is the very way in which it must be kept.

I am not sure what this business about the ‘suspension of the Torah’ is about. No doubt having such a rally is breaking one or more of the seemingly infinite number of prohibitions that Judaism decrees.

This event is not a surprise since religious people tend to view the free flow of information, especially about sex, with alarm. Also not surprising is that women are not allowed to attend. But not to worry! The Wall Street Journal reports that “A live video-feed will be streamed to six locations around the metropolitan area for women to watch.” So that’s ok, no discrimination at all here, so women should stop whining about being excluded. If they insist on going, they can try the strategy shown in The Life of Brian when women were excluded from other fun religious events like the stoning of blasphemers.

What is surprising is that the event to be held in a 42,000-seat stadium is supposedly sold out. The reason may not be due entirely to wild enthusiasm. Reports suggest that male students in some Jewish schools were being pressured to buy tickets for themselves and their fathers.

The antipathy towards the internet seems pretty strong. Apparently some Jewish schools require the signing of contracts forbidding children from having internet access in their homes.

Nice going, Ultra-Orthodox Jews! Like the Catholic Church, you seem to be going out of your way to reject modernity and alienate women and young people. That is undoubtedly an excellent strategy to grow your community in the 21st century.

Comments

  1. Sunny says

    “A live video-feed will be streamed to six locations around the metropolitan area for women to watch.”


    I am assuming that the stream will not be available over the Internet.

  2. Sunny says

    Blame the Internet! After all: “It is well known that in recent times through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt.”

  3. bubba707 says

    Yeah, they want the internet restricted to cut the number of channels that let people know they’re total scumbags that prefer child molestors and rapists to rule of law.

  4. Chach says

    For the record The headlines read ” We cant live without it and we cant live with it” the Rabbi’s are not banning the internet rather the gathering is meant to provide solutions on how to use the internet appropriately, such as the use of filters etc..

  5. says

    Young people love their internet with with a passion and sense of self-entitlement that is sometimes awesome to behold. They can puff and whine all they want, all they will do is make themselves less able to deal with it when they need to do anything that requires the internet, or anything that is more efficient with it.

    The downside is that they might be more willing to go the torch and pitchfork route when they lose the culture war…

  6. says

    If I were in New York, I’d show up with a sign that says, “Oh look, A woman dared to show up! The horror!” hehehe but I tend to be offensive when it’s about sexism.

  7. wyocowboy says

    These people are no different than the wrong wingnuts (also known as the “right” wing nuts)….info is bad…ignorance is praised!

  8. Doug Little says

    Yeah, I can see how family problems arise when the kids start asking the hard questions about their parents religion.

  9. anat says

    ‘suspension of Torah’ means taking time off from the study of Torah (the text itself, its interpretation, laws derived from it etc) for non-religious activities.

  10. No Light says

    Oh stop the apologism.

    This asifa is for one thing only, to highlight the case that the rabbonim are making, that anything read online is pure “lashon hara” and lies.

    Rabbi caught raping children? Lies!

    Extortion of homeless beggars at 770? Lies!

    Shomrim beating black youths? Lies!

    Widespread welfare fraud? Lies!

    They are terrified because light is being thrown onto the filthy blackness of their world. The light is exposing dirty secrets, and showing the trapped a way out.

    Even the enormous birthrate can’t stem the flow that the internet has wrought.

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