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May 21 2012

Men in black v. the internet

So how did that big rally of male Orthodox Jews worried about the evils of the internet work out? Very well it seems, at least as far as numbers go.

But weaning people from the internet? Not so much.

For an event billed as taking aim at the Internet, signs of the digital age seemed to pop up everywhere.

On a No. 7 train headed toward the stadium, several men wearing the clothing of the ultra-Orthodox whipped out smartphones as soon as the subway emerged from the East River tunnel, poking at e-mail in-boxes and checking voice mail messages

Nat Levy, 25, who traveled from Lakewood, N.J., to attend, said he frequently surfed the Web at a cafe, overseen by a local rabbi, that filtered out certain types of online content and monitored which Web sites he visited.

He said he often used the Internet to deal with customers for his company. “You get to do business the same way,” he said. “I have unlimited access, but it’s done in a kosher manner.”

Still, Mr. Kobre confirmed that the event would be broadcast live on the Internet, via a stream available to homes and synagogues in Orthodox communities around the New York area. He said the general public would not be able to gain access, but several unauthorized streams appeared soon after the rally began.

Apparently they weren’t trying to get people to stop using the internet (a hopeless goal) but to use filtering software. “The rally in Citi Field on Sunday was sponsored by a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, that is linked to a software company that sells Internet filtering software to Orthodox Jews” so presumably the software used is certified kosher.

Do you really need to get 40,000 people into a baseball stadium for a whole day to just say that? Why not put it on a website?

4 comments

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  1. 1
    HP

    Seems to me that a savvy software developer could come up with an app that would use GPS and meteorological data to shut down any device at precisely sundown on Friday, and lock out any logins until precisely sundown on Saturday. Call it the Shabbatomizer.

    All the blessings of a religious life, with no need for that pesky self-discipline.

  2. 2
    No Light

    It’s almost a certainty that the real point of the asifa was to send a message to the Politicians who rely on Haredi bloc votes.

    “Stop investigating the child rapes,the tax fraud, the illegal school curricula, and the welfare fraud. In return you get two votes from every man* to keep you in power”

    The man who opened the rally with his tehillim (psalm reading) is an animal. He covered up for Israel Weingarten, slandered his victims, and runs a pidyon shvuyim (a wronged. political prisoner ) fund for him.

    Weingarten is evil, and having his biggest supporter opening the asifa shows exactly what the agenda is, “Turn a blind eye”

    *women don’t have the vote. They have to vote with their husbands, who vote for whoever their rabbi is backing. No exceptions.

  3. 3
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Forgive my ignorance, but could someone point me to the section in the Torah that speaks about the evils of the Internet?
    Or wherever it is that their imaginary Big Brother sky daddy proclaimed that all forms of technological communication between those of the jewish faith must be kosher.

  4. 4
    No Light

    Thoughts from the trenches: http://www.unpious.com/2012/05/overheard-at-the-asifa-protest-quotes-moments-vignettes/

    Oh and about the number of attendees, I’ve mentioned it here already, but attendance was compulsory for men with children in certain schools. When you’re paying up to 30k to send a kid to school, the threat of expelling them. (without a refund, obviously) carries a lot of weight.

    No school = no marriage match for that child, and all the siblings. It’s social death.

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