They told me Reb Nachman would get me out of gehenom no matter how much internet I use.
The Na Nachs one upped Chabad and actually showed up at CitiField. I looked high and low and all I found was one Chabad dude who looked kind of lost, and to be honest shouldn’t really qualify since he had a colored shirt, no gartel, and his hat wasn’t even smashed the right way.
But the Na Nachs did us proud and distributed lots of pamphlets about what to do if you already went on the Terrible Internet, and found those unspeakable geferliche sites, and … … … are now looking for a painless tikkun for your neshama so you can be happy and be Breslov again.
That was the extent of it. Two Na Nachs doing the Breslov thing in the parking lot.
Inside, there were some forty thousand assorted: chassidim, ex-chassidim, tuna bagels, heimishe balei batim, Lakewood kollel guys, Lakewood coffee room hockers, Lakewood guys that work, a five towns guy that works and wears a blue shirt but still has his black hat and brought it to the Asifa. Hatzolah, Chaveirim, Misaskim, other askanim, Shomrim, heck, the only guys missing were the chassidish firefighters from Monroe.
There were even seventy three Yiddish speaking, overweight secret service members, earpieces included. Along with their trademark white polo shirts, sunglasses, shiny woolen pants with tons of keys, bluetooths(besides the earpieces), and ugly black sneakers.
The diversity even stretched so far to include those poor chofetz chaim dudes in Section 523 – yes you guys that sat all the way on top, (I told you folks you’ll get favorable mention). Man, did I feel bad for them, they sat there in their shabbos best, suits & ties, with their hats bent down, and valiantly listened to hours of speeches of which they didn’t understand a word.
Oh, don’t get me started on the live Yiddish-English translation ticker, the guy either didn’t know Yiddish, English, or was using the artscroll gemara as reference. Or all three.
I mean, there were stuff going on up there about … “our savior”, the “Dark Negative Forces”, Moses and King David declaring Rabbinical edicts, the “Lies of Judaism” -(at that point I actually started to feel bad for the guy), “Husks of Impurity”, and who knows what else.
They even had these random good old chassidishe maaisehs on that ticker during mincha shmoneh esrei, for whomever finished davening in like twenty seconds. Or for the guys who don’t daven anymore since they don’t believe in it because of the Internet but showed up anyway because it’s mad cool to see 83 Rebbes in a baseball stadium sneaking peeks at the Kiss Cam.
Hell, I always wanted to see greasy guys with brisker payos scratching their sefira stubble on the big screen ( epic moment, I’m kicking myself for missing that pic).
Or watch the ushers faces as they listen to R’ Don Segal’s Bnei Brak horror stories about starving yungeleit who start working part time on the internet and stay childless.
The puzzled look of utter befuddlement on that guys face was priceless.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to hear Rabbi Wachsman thunder about our children turning into “click vegetables” (!!) clicking online endlessly in this web of conflagration. He also decided to give a crash course in Jewish philosophy a ‘la Artscroll style to all of our unaffiliated Jewish brethren undoubtedly watching across the Nation (he said that, not me). He started out with a self-styled pledge of allegiance, about loving, cherishing, and respecting this great country, and that frum Jews are very humble, and don’t need their events broadcasted in the populist media. He did a sort of condensed Kuzari Argument, and proclaimed that we gave the western world its morals. There was also something about elitism, and the dysfunctional broken souls of all of American society, and all of the worlds empires rising up against us, but he lost me somewhere in the highfalutin flowery proclamations.
I did hear him say, though, that even though my generation of 20-35 year olds might be too far gone in the 49nth shaar of tumah enmeshed in the web of the internet … HaKadosh Baruch Hu still misses us.
Oh well, sometimes I miss him too.
There must be something about his style, there was all this revivalist rally type cheering going on. That, plus the God missing me thingy, really gave me the feeling that if I’d only just let the gedolim into my heart…
The Skulener Rebbe started getting me spooked with some hardcore mysticism about a war with the Dark Side, the Klippos (“husks”, in case that helps) that are causing all this cancer and all other misfortunes. (I’m assuming he meant molestation and unemployment).
This Dark Energy and general bad Karma transforms us into beasts and animals when we succumb to the same instincts as the four legged creatures by surfing the web.
Somewhere along the way he must have lost the Litvish Roshei Yeshiva, who were looking pretty nonplussed at all the Dark Side talk.
I kept getting distracted by the contrast of the Skulener Rebbe near the “Grab a Bud” and SubWay Foot longs, not to mention this sixty something Satmar dude from Williamsburg who kept telling me perverted jokes and asking if I hook up with “Nekeivois”(females).
Then R’ Matisyahu started his “?? ??????? ??????” that seems to make it to every speech of his, and about how protecting our children is the core of our continuity, which sounded suspiciously like what they were saying at that rally outside for the off the derech people who felt left out.
All of this was getting me really nervous about my addiction to bais yaakov porn sites so I started checking out what the 7,359 tweeters covering the Asifa had to say. Apparently we had hit speeds of over a tweet a second from all the people with triple filtered smartphones that need twitter because they’re in Shomrim, or for Kiruv.
Although, Kiruv shouldn’t be a heter, as the Zhibo’er Dayan from Montreal told us, that we’re worse off today than in the days of the Chasam Sofer when the frum tzibur had to split from all the other non-heimishe kehillos because of Reform, Zionism, and Feminism (he forgot that one). Then at least we knew who the resha’im were, but nowadays someone who sits front of “An Internet” becomes completely assur behana’ah, and therefore we need to have separate communities again.
I kept getting asked by ushers, policemen, reporters, and other people from the outside world that we were warned not to speak to because we might not properly give over the message of the Asifa and might chas vesholom cause a chillul hashem. (I now see what they meant) They all couldn’t seem to comprehend that only men were allowed to chareidi revival gatherings. The only ones who seemed to “get it” were the cavemen protesting outside at the flagrant use of such technologies such as video hookups, cell phones and the wheel, which are k’neged the Mesorah passed down to us from Adam Harishon. They were just there show their approval and were curious where we hide our women during such events.
However, some of the cavegirls were pretty hot in their cave outfits, so they were escorted by the police to stand near those annoying protesters who don’t stop talking about kids being molested, as if those crazy stories really ever happen. And like we should believe some not frum bums & dropouts that ehrliche Rabbeim and Mechanchim do such mishugene things. Everyone needs some excuse why they went off the derech.
There also seemed to be a lot of chassidish kids staring at the pickets trying to figure out what sexual means. Talk about corrupting kids.
I did manage to interview some chosuve Mechanchim as they were leaving the Asifa (that went way into overtime, ending at midnight). Although they didn’t seem to have any idea what exactly was accomplished about this Internet thing, they felt that it was a gevaldige chizuk to see so much achdus among all the different streams of Klal Yisroel, and seeing and hearing the great giants of the generation from all groups come together, it will help people finally realize that according to all the Gedolim the Internet is mamash assur, even at work, and even with a filter.
But if you’re anyway going to have it, according to some Rabbonim it could be used at work, with two filters.
Find out more on 4torah.com