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Thousands of Charedim will gather at Citi Field to discuss the dangers of the internet

If the gedolim had only known that their attempts at taming the beast known as the internet would have been futile, I’m sure they may have gone about it a different way. For years they tried to ban, filter and try as hard as they can to exert their control over their flocks to no avail. Those documents that many yeshivos demanded parents sign claiming they had no internet, were signed and then disregarded. Unlike television, the internet could be hidden and the gedolim couldn’t do a damned thing about it. So like any beaten man does, they’ve decided to hold a big extravaganza at Citi Field to inform people about the dangers of the internet. I imagine they had a similar event when they realized the mesorah of horse and buggies like they used in the shtetl was going to be replaced by cars. Why anyone needs to spend a whole boatload of money on a conference at a baseball stadium about the dangers of the internet is beyond me, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with two things. Porn and the transparency that now exists in the frum community with regards to different beliefs, sex abuse, agunot, fraud and a slew of other things which frum people don’t want anyone else knowing about and frequently shout chillul Hashem at whoever happens to be announcing these things to the world.

So on May 20th thousands of frummies will gather at Citi Field to discuss the dangers of the internet. I like it, only because it’s completely absurd. I just wonder what more could be said, are these Rabbis going to discuss anything new. We all know that people are using their cell phones on shabbos, using their phones to watch TV and Porn and using the internet to look at things which go against the message of the gedolim (be a silent sheep and shut your mind to anything that may open it) What good can come out of a public meeting of a bunch of people discussing dangers which everyone know exist. If anything they should use this event to highlight the greater good of the internet.

The second I hear ASIFA, I always think ban, of course there’s nothing to ban and the more they ban, the more people will ignore the bans and undermine the little remaining power of the gedolim. I can’t imagine someone would organize this huge event to merely talk about porn, texting on shabbos and facebook. I imagine that the internet threatens the power structure of charedim and that all the recent attention that the secular media has given to Charedim has got people thinking of ways to fight back.

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  • A. Nuran

    Will they be live-blogging it?

    • Anonymous

      🙂

  • Mo

    We want Moshiach NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  • A. Nuran

    Seriously, a lot of the structure and lifestyle are based on removal of choice, restricted access to information and ideas, opaqueness to the outside world and mistrust of outsiders. The last century and a half has been characterized by easier travel and vastly more efficient communication. Access to information and differing viewpoints is much, much easier than ever before.

    In reaction there has been a further drawing inwards and a steady ratcheting of behavioral and ideological constraints among the Orthodox. The reasons are clear and logical. The evolving lifestyle is not compatible with the possibility of alternate viewpoints let alone intellectual freedom and experimentation. It simply isn’t.

    The newspaper, the telephone, radio, the train and plane were bad enough. You can restrict the choice of papers and choose to talk on the phone only to like-minded people. Travel can be made more difficult. But mass communications were corrosive. And the enormous world of information available over the last 20 years is positively toxic to an insular, authoritarian way of life.

    It’s not just naughty pictures on smartphones. Freedom of thought and access to unauthorized information are an existential threat. The “gedolim” are right to fear them.

    Even totalitarian nations with the power of life and death and control of the entire infrastructure have their hands full trying to suppress the new technologies. The rabbis can’t shoot their congregations and don’t own the phone lines. Their tools are mostly limited to community pressure, moral persuasion and the threat of sanctions – “Toe the line or your daughter will only be able to marry a 70 year old drunken leper with anger management issues” – sanctions which stop working as more of the community adopts the forbidden tools.

    I expect their efforts will come to much the same end as King Canute ordering the tide to stand still.

    • oy

      Another option would be for the Rabbis to create clones of Nuran. Teach their congregants to disparage anything they are ignorant of.

      • Seriously??

        Nuran clones are a great idea! I often wonder if Nuran actually believes what he writes, or is really a frum yid with a really wcked sense of the absurd. What a perfect caricature!

      • A. Nuran

        And here we see one of the most pathetic faces or Orthodoxy. The Great Ones you worship like Gods say exactly the same thing. Take a close look. Nothing I’ve said here is out of line with their rulings except for the very last sentence.

        But because you have been trained to hate and fear even the possibility of freedom and independent thought you reject the same truth when it comes from outside. It is a real shame, and I hope you recover before it’s too late.

  • Michael K

    I’d like to know how much it costs to rent CitiField, and then I’d like to see of list of things that money could’ve been better spent on.

    • Sarah

      Yes.

    • Anonymous

      OMG SOOOOOO FRIGIN TRUE!!!!!

    • Balabusta

      exactly what i and most likely thousands of other people wondering the same ? why does this” asifa” even for those who claim that its important have to be held in CitiField with such pomp and fanfare. ? Why couldnt this be done quietly in a shul? A very large yeshiva building could easily have been a place to hold this meeting…Citi Field ? Why?

    • A. Nuran

      The figure I saw tossed around was $150,000. You could by real Science textbooks for 50,000 ignorant BY and yeshiva kids for that.

    • A. Nuran

      The figure I saw tossed around was $150,000. You could by real Science textbooks for 5,000 ignorant BY and yeshiva kids for that.

  • Dan

    Hmm. What a cynical view.

    Actually, it looks like the whole point of the gathering is to discuss the point that banning it has not worked, and that they need to adapt and decide how to deal with it now that it is here in our homes to stay. Sounds good to me; I don’t know why you’d go berserk over that.

    Now, if you happen to like prnography, that is nice. (You can even post your own if you want). But I can certainly see how people might think it is a bad idea to give yourself and your kids unlimited access to it inside your house. And worth talking about how to prevent it. I don’t know why you’d go berserk over that.

    Frankly, I don’t think there is a lot to make fun of here. I think this is “asifa” is pretty much on target, and unlikely to ban anything. Probably, they will advocate filters and maybe a buddy system like covenant eyes.

    If they end up announcing that everyone must throw their computer out the window, then you can make fun. And I’ll be right there with you.

    • Michael K

      How will 50,000 charedim discuss, adapt and decide anything? That’s what’s funny here.

      • Dan

        I’m guessing it will be in the form of a presentation, not an open discussion.

        And I’m guessing they think it will be more effective than another kol korei.

        My lakewood cousin says this was a bit controversial. There are plenty of families who don’t have internet in the house at all, and for whom this will be a hechsher of sorts to bring it in. And we all know the filters don’t always work.

        • Michael K

          Maybe what they need to do is what Iran allegedly tried to do… create a private, “clean” intranet….

          http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/iran-says-reports-intranet-were-hoax

        • DS

          Dan,
          You are right in that this gathering might mean a shift in the attitude towards the internet from being totally to assur, to something we need to accept and deal with seriously. However, in the current economy, is it really necessary to have it at Citi Field? Are that many people even going to come? Can’t they have it at some wedding hall in Brooklyn?

          DS

          • Dan

            I guess it depends on how many people are going to come. And I suppose we’ll find that out, won’t we.

      • Should be working

        +1 Michael K. Even the idea of 50,000 charedim at a stadium, for any purpose, is funny.

    • A. Nuran

      You ignore the real threat, of course.

      It isn’t the “P-word” that’s a problem. You can just put that down to human weakness and redouble your guilt and rituals, come back to the fold and strengthen your ties. Lather. Rinse. Repeat forever. You’ll be harsher on anyone who steps out of line and back every chumra with the vigor of Baptist preacher with a taste for pre-teen girls.

      That’s acceptable, useful abomination. It turns people into hypocrites , the best sort of enforcers.

      The really dangerous stuff is freedom. Freedom to think. Freedom to develop an identity outside of an insular groupthink community. Freedom to choose and imagine. As long as imagination and core values are under the thumbs of the Great Ones the sheep can be easily led. Once they learn there are other possibilities and there is life outside the pen they will yearn for it.

      The Internet provides a view outside the pen. It even gives the sheep an opportunity to make a life for themselves. It exposes them to unauthorized thoughts and dreams and opens up possibilities.

      “The Empire’s got something worse than whips all right. It’s got obedience. Whips in the soul. They obey anyone who tells them what to do. Freedom just means being told what to do by someone different.”

      The true danger in the free flow if information and communication is that it removes the whip. That’s why all totalitarian systems from Charedism to Communism clamp down on unauthorized communication as quickly and brutally as possible.

      • Dan

        Well, the way I see it, I’m the most knowledgeable poster on this site, and also the most ideologically frum.

        So it seems that knowledge actually correlates with being ideologically frum.

      • oy

        An untrue and rather bland diatribe.

  • ya putz

    Have place will.at one point another be texting.or online checking email ect the internet is here and.i aint buying ur jnet crap screw that i loooove porn to much lol !!!!!!im fucking1 crazy yeeeeeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhhhh

  • Mark

    Interseting blog post about why this will not be successful:
    http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/04/open-letter-to-ichud-hakehillos.html?m=

    From a comment on that blog:
    The $150,000+ being spent on this event could:

    – Feed 3,000 Families for a Shabbos
    – Give 50 of the top m’chanchim a $3,000 bonus for their hard work and enthusiasm
    – Pay for 30 kids to go to sleep away camp and get a true Torah experience
    – Pay for 7,500 kids to go to a baseball game and experience some “Kosher’ fun

    Priorities…

    • Alter Cocker

      exactly, that’s my problem with it. if they want to hold a stupid event, fine, but why are they renting out a BRAND NEW BASEBALL STADIUM which charges a fortune for a mere few hours????

      • Dan

        I don’t believe that is your problem with it. Do you really believe yourself?

        Your real problem is that you think it is a silly event. Since you think it is silly, of course you think it is a waste of money.

        I think skydiving is silly, so I think that is a waste of money. If you add up all the skydiving that is done, it could provide food for a 10000 orphans.

        But I understand that it is not silly to the people who like skydiving. Because I respect their individuality to make choices for themselves about what is silly.

        You should respect that.

        • No, they’re wasting funds which could be much better used.

    • oy

      What do you spend your money on?

  • Anonymous
  • Avrumy

    How will they spread the news? Email?

  • NaCl

    The worst part of this is that if ch”v someone decides that 50,000 jews gathered together makes a good target, BOOM! there goes that brand new stadium :'(

    • Balabusta

      You don’t have to point this out to the world “der gantzer velt darf nisht vissen vos intz tracht men” V’hmaven Yovin

  • moshe

    wow,
    for a guy who accuses charedim of constantly
    being judgemental of those less frum…….
    u a hypocrite

  • Hit it

    The organizer of this dumb event is gottlieb from Lakewood. Why he decided to do this, is beyond me. Besides, no one is gonna pay money for this. Maybe if the mets have an afternoon game, then it will be packed with Jews.

    • A. Nuran

      Wait. He expects people to spend money to sit around on a Sunday and listen to people tell them what to do? Who wouldn’t stay home and just ask his or her rabbi at shul?

    • interested

      Where did you hear that its gottlieb, just curious?

      • Alter Cocker

        I found something that says he’s one of the main askanim.

        http://www.lakewoodlocal.com/2012/03/29/over-50-shul-representatives-attend-asifa/

      • Alter Cocker

        lakewoodloca dot com/2012/03/29/over-50-shul-representatives-attend-asifa/

        calls him one of the main askanim

        • lakewood kollel

          Its Gottlieb and he has been looking for something to do since he got kicked out of his old job at Bais HaTorah. He was hanging out at Torah Mesorah for a while but this is more exciting.

          Plus the real agenda is good PR for his old friend on 5th street who has been rather sick recently and could do with a good Kovod boost.

          A case of good for you and good for me (but not so good for the people who donated $2.5 to $3.0 million dollars for this scheme, nor for the 1000’s of people who will be pressured to go)

          • lakewood kollel

            i mean 6th st of course

        • Lakewooder

          Gottlieb was the original person who started all this hock. He then got all these rabbi s to join his cause. Honestly, a thirteen year old knows more about the Internet and Facebook than all these rabbi s put together.

  • eh

    will they sell hotdogs and beer?

  • Alter Cocker

    Sometimes satire just writes itself.

    And I also was wondering about hot dogs.

  • anon

    It’ll be interesting that the venue of choice will have signs to log on to mets.com

  • Shmoke

    Not sure what your grudge is Heshy. This conference is not about banning anything, it’s about how to manage this latest challenge. And it’s not all about Jews, all segments of society are watching their children turn into zombies, age instantly and stray from decency.

    And what’s your beef with ‘gedolim’? It’s like you’re paranoid Rav Elyashiv is trying to take over your life.

  • Anonymous

    Stop hack the program!!!

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