Monday, January 16, 2006

Lip-Shits All Over Himself

The Yated's editorial, in part.

During the past year the New York City’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Frieden, has engaged in an effort to undermine a sacred component of Mitzvas Milah. He and his department recently stepped up their activities in this regard and issued directives and advisories aimed at planting fear in the hearts and minds of parents who are about to bring their child into the holiest covenant in Judaism.

The threat is not only against metzitzah b’peh. It is a slanderous and offensive diktat that undermines not only a specific element of Bris Milah, but assaults the entire concept of Bris Milah itself.

He claims to be “educating.” What he is actually doing is far more sinister.
Frieden clearly has overstepped his bounds. He was asked to back down from his assault on the privacy and sanctity of religious choice. But he does not relent. Last week he openly mocked a group of distinguished Rabbonim whom he called to an urgent meeting, by suggesting that they relinquish their religious authority to the Catholic Church.

An insult of this sort from a government official is reminiscent of the slurs once aimed at the Jewish community by foreign anti-Semitic governments of the past.
Indeed the lights of the nairos have glowed, but their flame must continue to illuminate the darkness. We pride ourselves on the amazing accomplishments Jews have reached throughout political and socio-economic levels. But the fact that shomrei Shabbos senators, mayors, doctors and lawyers abound in this country is not enough to guarantee that our freedom to practice our religion with all its sacred minhagim and particulars, will be upheld.

When the attack appears to equate our practices with those of tribal cults that are unsanitary and dangerous, a spear is being hurled at the heart and soul of a nation that is no stranger to hostile campaigns of this nature.

At stake is nothing less than the right to religious freedom, a lynchpin of the Constitution that we should never take for granted.

We must insist on the liberty to continue the practice of our tradition with every nuance and detail of the beautiful customs that are an integral part of the written law. It is our mesorah. It is our heritage. And our heritage is as sacred as our Torah.(You are an ignorant liar, perverter of our Torah, and an unbelievable asshole- I just thought I'd stick that in-UOJ)

Everyone concerned with these imperatives must let his voice be heard. Because when the dictates of bureaucracy begin to govern our spirituality, then our religious integrity has been compromised and walls of our tower have been breached. “ Ufortzu chomos Migdalai.” It is not long before the oil is defiled and the menorah hauled away.

Perhaps a commissioner will next mandate the use of electric menorahs because of his “concern” for our safety.

We get so comfortable here that we forget at times the message of the agalos; we lose sight of our mission and our goal. We forget that we are on a dangerous and treacherous path in golus, one that requires constant vigilance.
We need reminders so that our spirits can be lifted and we can return home. Let the image of the flames of the Chanukah menorah burn brightly in our memory so that we remember that at the end of the day, victory belongs not to those who boast of numbers, status or militarily might, but to those who battle for what is right and true.

Just as in the times of the Yevonim whose determination to uproot us from the Torah was miraculously defeated, so too, in our times, modern-day warriors who fight for the inviolate purity of Torah will be rewarded from Above with the consecration of the Beis Hamikdosh, speedily and in our day.


Jewish pornography at it's worst
UOJ

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

how much of this is real? did the yated really run this editorial?

Boog said...

Yes, it did. Check for yourself.

Also check out the story that appeared last week in one of the Lakewood secular papers that had non-Jewish parents and some area gov't officials criticize the fact that they felt that orthodox jewish parents were getting a disproportionate amount of Special Education Services.

Any connection to MBP?

Elul 53 said...

What astonishes me about the editorial is that there is not one word devoted to the idea that the practice of an metzitzah ba peh has the potential to transfer herpes to an infant's open wound. Not one word about this central issue of the debate. You would think from the editorial that the New York City Health Dept. is attacking the institution of the Bris, which is clearly not the case. This type of "thinking", if you can call it that, is what drove me away from the right wing nut fundamentalist nut jobs that seem to be so influential in Jewish circles these days.

Y.Y. said...

the ywvanim and misyavnim will never prevail

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Elul 53,

That is what is so crazy about the Right today. It's all one big lie, everyone is a friggin ant-semite and out to get them. If their alter zeide farted during kiddish, all of a sudden that becomes part of our mesorah.
That's why I never go to Boro Park for Shabbos.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

In our lifetime, Tendler's claim will prove that the weenie sucking has damaged children's brain functions in many cases.

boog said...

elul;

I am no longer astonished at anything that goes on in black-hat circles. No doubt the preponderance of Special Needs chldren may indeed be coming from Lipshutz MBP crowd. So what do they care?

Speaking of "Black Hats", you need to read Lipshits Editorial this past week on the religious supremacy and true Judaism of those that wear the "Black Hat". They and only they are the true Judaic standard bearers. With the cavalier wave of his Borsalino, Lipshits does away with all those true Emes Yidden who just so happen not to wear a Black hat. It is to vomit and just blatantly indicates how low this segment of Judaism has sunk.

Lipshits, you stink from the head.
May a pigeon drop a poo-poo on your Borsalino!

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Lipshits runs all his editorials by Shmuel Kaminetzky, another guy talking out of both sides of his mouth.
We have a new "who is a Jew" controversy.
Mamzerim.

Elul 53 said...

OK, this I gotta see. An editorial that equates true Judaism with wearing a black hat. You gotta be kidding! Post it here, so I can have a good laugh. What have we Jewish people become? How can we go from a Rav Shimson Rafael Hirsch to this in just a few generations? Woe is us!

boog said...

If they had an internet presence (Oy Vey! Dee Shaigatz!)I would cut and paste.

I just have better things to do with my time (like making a living) than copying verbatim.

If anyone has a way to do this, fine. Otherwise you can pick up a copy (somehow) and read this gevaldige Torah for yourself.

Anonymous said...

This guy has no life-at least he has a borsalino!!!


Excerpts from Yated Neeman Editorial, JAN 13
(by R' Pinchos Lipschutz) (Page 3)
(Please note: This was rewritten as accurately as possible from the original.)

The size of our lapels may change, even the style of our eyeglasses, but there are certain defining articles that link us to an ideology. That ideology includes a commitment to a generation that dedicated their lives to the concept of yeshiva education and the adherence to the directives of gedolei Yisroel. One of these signature articles of clothing, if not the most distinguishable one, has been the fedora-style hat. The black hat. It is what marks a ben Torah, and distinguishes him from all other segmentsof Jewish society. From the time President John F. Kennedy shucked his fedora at his 1960 inauguration ceremony and replaced it with the new lookof freedom, the black hat assumed a heightened significance in society at large. It is the declaration that we still cling to the old generation; we still embrace the old values that we were taught and are not embarrassed to be called 'old-fashioned black hatters.' Indeed, we are proud to be known that way. Wherever we go, we wear our hats. They identify us as members of the Torah community. Others may vilify and deride us. But our hats remain a badge of pride and many of us don’t remove them even when we go places where the hat -and we, ourselves- are notespecially welcome…………
………A man pleads guilty in a high profile case and wears a black hat to court and a Jewish tabloid, known for its hostility to the Torah community, discusses the all-important question: What kind of black hat did he wear?
The editors put that question to Orthodoxy \'expert\' Queens College Professor Samuel Heilman. He informed the paper that the hat would “be more typical for so-called yeshivishe Jews. It would be the kind of hat you might see in Lakewood, New Jersey.”And thus Lakewood and all black hatters are tarred with the same brush as the man who pled guilty last week to a variety of crimes. Professor Heilman was quite busy last week expounding on Orthodoxy’s ways. The Asbury Park Press dialed him up for some more trenchant analyses of Orthodox-related matters, this time focusing on the new \'ultra-Orthodox\'mayor of Lakewood, Meir Lichtenstein. Heilman first defended the tendency of Orthodox Jews to vote as an ethnicgroup in areas where their numbers constitute the majority. “They\'re notacting different in any way than other ethnic groups," he said. "They vote to fulfill (their specific) needs. The only way to change that is through the democratic process."Thank you, Professor Heilman, for your able defense. Unfortunately, he then implied that Mr. Lichtenstein was selected as mayor simply because he was \'one of theirs,\' without regard for his education, political skills and the ability to unify a city.\'I don\'t think it would be any different if you had a neighborhood where theneighborhood was overwhelmingly African-American,\' Heilman said. "You wouldn\'t be surprised to see the mayor becomes a black mayor."Is it not possible that Meir Lichtenstein has displayed enough talent over his tenure as a committeeman that he was awarded the job on merit? Was Senator Lieberman elected because most people in Connecticut are Modern Orthodox Jews? How about Michael Wilde, a member of Hatzolah, who is another orthodox Mayor in the town of Englewood, New Jersey. Orthodoxy seems to be a thorn in the side of certain people who would like...........
...........seizes any opportunity to cast aspersions on the Torah community. The paper was happy to report on a new initiative launched by Yeshiva University, the Center for Jewish Future, whose purpose, according to The Jewish Week, is “to stem a rightward shift” on the part of Orthodoxy. “Investing 6.5 million dollars in…an effort to reclaim its centrist baseamid Orthodoxy\'s continued move to the right, Yeshiva University has opened the Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) - …as a means of inspiring a more\'open, tolerant\' brand of Orthodoxy.”Why the need to sink millions into such a vaguely defined venture? According to Heilman, Yeshiva University is so afraid of being overshadowed by “chareidi-like” elements that they have to show the world (to the tune of six-and-a-half million dollars) that they are against the “rightward shift.” In other words, they are not fanatics or ultra-Orthodox like people in theyeshiva world; they are “modern,” “open,” “tolerant.”………………………….…………………………….We wear our black hats to indicate that we are members of the tribe of Shevet Levi. We display passion in all we do. ……………..Is everyonewho wears a black hat perfect? Of course not. Is someone without a black hata lesser Jew? Of course not. But the hat is worn to signify anidentification with the path of passionate brotherhood that Yaakov avinu asked Shimon and Levi to spread throughout Am Yisroel. The next time someone asks you why you wear that hat, you can tell him it is part of the uniform of Shevet Levi. And with that response, endeavor to be amore noble bearer of that royal tradition. Know that you are being watched; you are being held to a different standard."

Elul 53 said...

I can't believe someone actually wrote that and believed it made sense. How pathetic. It's come to this. As my grandfather used to tell me, "Any bum with ten dollars can buy a hat and put it on his head." How pathetic. It's a chassidische mentality that has taken over. simple minded, tribal, knee jerk, unreflective, antagonistic toward the world...primitive indeed.

boog said...

YO, Lipshits:

You're full of s--t!

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Yep, the black hat, dark suit, ring around the collar white shirt,
all signs of a religious Jew. F*** you ,you perverts.

boog said...

What unbelievable bullshit. Shevet Levi wore black hats?

"We wear our black hats to indicate that we are members of the tribe of Shevet Levi...The next time someone asks you why you wear that hat, you can tell him it is part of the uniform of Shevet Levi."

Lipshits, you sickola, take your black hat and stick it where the sun don't shine...you need help.

Anonymous said...

Bravo to YU for combating this madness.

Anonymous said...

I think lipshits had mbp done on him at his bris. explains a lot.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

This is how "mesorah" begins.
In a few short years it will be ossur gamur to leave the house without the black hat.
MBP started the same way, zeidy and his rebbe/mohel did not know how to stop the bleeding, so they sucked the pipick until the bleeding subsided.
This has as much to do with Judaism as eating herring at shalosh seudos.

boog said...

Did you say "Mesorah" UO?

Remember that Old Abbott & Costello shtick with 'Niagra Falls'?

"Step by Step, slowly I turn..."

Same thing here. It inevitably will turn into 'mesorah' and Artscroll will no doubt capitali$$e by bringing out an English 'Sefer' that will conclusively show that Moshe Rabbeinu wore a Black Hat.

Lippy, maybe you have a Chinese Auction to go to?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,
The war against the Yiden continues...segregate the Jews into groups....this is a real Jew versus the not so realllllll Jews. Yes, they are Jews, but we can't marry them...
They are the Yiden's biggest enemies. Sonei Yisroelim ..all of them.

boog said...

Agree.

Marry them?? Vos? Gevalt! They are B'geder of Amirah L'Akum.

These are the same tyreh Agudah Yidden
that snubbed R' Moshe's psak to save Ethiopian Jewry.

shmuel said...

Pinny has a blog where he posts all of his drivel. The black hat article can be seen here. http://rabbipinchoslipschutz.blogspot.com/2006/01/why-do-you-wear-that-hat.html

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, Immanuel Jacobovitz describes another time when disease, in this case syphilis was transmitted by metzitzah and MBP was banned for that reason...

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Rabbi Lord Jacobovitz was held in contempt by the Charedim. He knew how to read & write English.

Boog said...

Steerah with jacobowitz...he wore a black (top)hat.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,

Your point on R' Moshe's psak on Ethiopian Jewry is well taken.

Sherer & Co. ruled that either R' Moshe lost it and therefore didn't pay any attention to him, or he was influenced by his shaigetz son in-law Moshe Tendler.

Incidentally, someone very close to me was at a pivotal meeting where Sherer alluded to R' Moshe not quite grasping the nuances of this issue.

Sherer got it, R' Moshe did not. Get it?

Boog said...

I get it and it's painful.

Anonymous said...

How come in the army, all soldiers dress alike?

Because that creates unity. And it identifies them from the enemies/outsiders.

Black hats are part of the uniform of the yeshiva guy (from their perspective - not neccesarily from yours)and it identifies them from others. The torah does say we are the chosen nation. We were created B'tzelem elokim (if you guys know what that means). And if we are to be a unified nation, then it can be understood that we share a dress code to. No less inferior than the US Army etc.

And guys, I am a liberal yeshivish
guy who is open to hear other opinions, but cursing jews is really low. You can disagree with lipshitz and anyone else, but god will avenge those who curse his children.

Boog said...

anon;

You just don't get, do you. Wear whatever the hell you want, no problem. But I have a major problem with a dufus like lipshits when he says the following:

"We wear our black hats to indicate that we are members of the tribe of Shevet Levi...The next time someone asks you why you wear that hat, you can tell him it is part of the uniform of Shevet Levi."

What lipshits is saying in so many words is that those who wear the Black Hat are at a higher level, the Chosen of Am Yisroel, Torah and Kahuna, The High Priests, those anointed to disseminate the Torah and it's precepts. Everyone else is at a lower level.

Pardon my french, but black hat supremacy is out and out bullshit and denigrates multitudes of emesser yidden who do not not happen to wear the Black Hat. Is their blood any less red?

Jack Abramov wears a black hat, so does Gershon Tannenbaum, so does Mordy Tendler, so does Yudi Kolko and Lipa Margulies and you can find scores of black hatters up at Otisville learning daf yomi and insisting on triple glatt super hechsherim. So what's up with that, Jack?

Painting with a broad brush can get a bit messy.

Anonymous said...

The avenging angel in the black hat.

Moron, you are not liberal, you are a lemming. The black hat is meaningless, end of story.

When your Rosh Yeshiva offers his cynical assessment of some other flavor or branch of Judaism, do you believe god will avenge his unsavory comments? Why not? Despite his attempt to propagate power and control via the dissemination of "Das Torah" lunacy, he is human; and very fallible.

Boog said...

lipshits;

Kenst mir kishen oif beider seiten.

Anonymous said...

Boog,

To be honest, I also found lipshutz's quote about shevet levi a bit funny.
But I don't think his intention was to knock the non-black hatters, but rather to inspire those who wear them. It sometimes takes courage when your mingling among non-jews and you look from a different planet. And lipshitz attempt to give some chizuk.

To Anon who wrote,

"When your Rosh Yeshiva offers his cynical assessment of some other flavor or branch of Judaism, do you believe god will avenge his unsavory comments? "

Like I said, anyone is allowing to express opinions. And even at times to be cynical.

But

"YO, Lipshits:

You're full of s--t!"

or

"Yep, the black hat, dark suit, ring around the collar white shirt,
all signs of a religious Jew. F*** you ,you perverts."

?????????????????????????

Anonymous said...

You miss the point. Instead of practicing and teaching our traditions, including humility and decency which are very crucial components of our hashkafa, your Rosh Yeshivas are cynically preaching a self serving and perverse brand of Taliban religion that has no place in our society.

Sadly, this is what the black hat has come to represent.

Boog said...

lipshits, sense of humour? an oxymoron.

Speaking of the Shevatim and Black Hats;
I think it would be much more appropriate to ascribe the awe-inspiring mailos of the Black Hat to Shevet Zevulun...without the kemach of Zevulun there is no Lakewood.

Anonymous said...

alas, zevulun wears coveralls, not a black hat.

Anonymous said...

"You miss the point. Instead of practicing and teaching our traditions, including humility and decency which are very crucial components of our hashkafa, your Rosh Yeshivas are cynically preaching a self serving and perverse brand of Taliban religion that has no place in our society."

Moses Mendelsohn sang the same song as you. And there isn't any trace of judaisim left in his followers.

The Jewish way is restrictive to begin with. Only Kosher. Shabbos. Praying 3 times a day. Separation of boys and girls.

Is all that Taliban also?

My proof is - look at Mir in Israel. BMG lakewood etc.. Growing by the leaps and bounds. why?

Are they all fools blinded by a couple of Roshei yeshivos?

I don't think so.

There is room in judaisim for the "chacham". and the "tom". and the "ain yodeah lish'ol".

Oh, and for the "roshah" too.

Boog said...

Lots of 'uncle toms' and aino yodeah lishols at BMG in Lakewood, except when it comes to dre'ing for section 8, WIC, and other handouts. Then it's Eiynayim Pikchim.

How many sets of books do the kotler boys have? 17? 3 card monte, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Are the mexicans in lakewood any more deserving of section 8 etc.. than the kollel guys?

PORN HATER said...

Uoj-curse out pinny all you want-but you have a filthy, dirty, pornographic mind-you live to find shmootz-YOU PROBABLY SURF THE WEB ALL DAY GOING FROM ONE PORN SITE TO THE NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!1

DISGUSTED AT UOJ said...

UOJ IS OBVIOUSLY A YESHIVA BOCHUR WHO WAS THROWN OUT YESHIVA AND IS STILL SUFFERING FROM THAT. YOU PROBABLY WERE MOLESTED WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG AND THATS WHY YOU USE THE TERM PIPIK AND WEINY OR VIYATZMACH ALOT!

Boog said...

the mexicanos in lakewood don't need Section 8. They're $quatting for their rich Black Hat pimp$.

Boog said...

hey porn-hater; what's that bulge under your shirt? Play....????

Boog said...

hey disgusted;

what should he call it? A shmuck?

gross said...

...My proof is - look at Mir in Israel. BMG lakewood etc.. Growing by the leaps and bounds. why?

Are they all fools blinded by a couple of Roshei yeshivos?

I don't think so...


You call that proof? Look at the Mormon Church which has grown by "leaps and bounds" and now numbers approximately 12 million. They "drank the Kool-Aid" too (pardon me for the cliche) - so what? Numbers mean nothing and on the contrary, a sudden adaptation of a rigorous, unecessary lifestyle, is often cause for alarm.

Porn Hater:

I ordinarily wouldn't acknowledge such a "sophisticated" comment, but I am left wondering at the meaning behind your moniker. Keep your struggles to yourself pal and stay off the net.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog, Gross, and all tierer chaverim,

I write a post from a rav in Minnesota, nobody gives a hoot, but go after some shmuck who boils Judaism down to a uniform, everybody( except the board members) cries foul.

Lakewood, BMG and the likes are growing because their parents don't have tv's or computers so what else is there to do after night seder? That's the secret guys....keep them making babies to keep those welfare machines greased with new kids who have nothing better to do after night seder?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Disgusted,

Pipik, weenie and yatzmach are actually a word game I use to give clues of who I am.

Jumble the letters in the right order, and you found out my name.

Searchingsince83 said...

so my questions are falling on deaf ears by Rabbi Lipshitz? that's a shame I thought maybe a good intellectual dialogue could have occurred. Obviously not. Anyone go to the site http://rabbipinchoslipschutz.blogspot.com/2006/01/why-do-you-wear-that-hat.html

Any thoughts about my reply to his "article" I would appreciate feedback. I mean constructive critism. any other good examples contrary to the current penguin trend?

gross said...

I am interested in knowing more about his rabbinical title. Where has PL received smicha?

shmuel said...

Unortho, what is your email address? I cant remember which thread you posted it in.

Anonymous said...

Here you go friends, the mother of all bans....


masoret.hevre.co.il/hydepark/topic.asp?topic_id=1766848

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Shmuel,
a_unorthodoxjew@yahoo.com

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Searching,

The last thing I want to do in my life is to go to Pinny's website.
I read his crap on Shabbos for entertainment/oneg Shabbos after the cholent in a room you can't make a brocha. I must admit lately, he's pissing me off big time.

Anonymous said...

Ain't got nothing better to read in the bathroom? shame on you

boog said...

UO;

When you read this rag on Shabbos in that place where you can't make the brochos, do you wear your Black Hat?

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Boog,
That's the ONLY place I wear it.

Anonymous said...

re. Lakewood Internet ban

http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2006/01/17/internet-and-rabbinic-bans/

Anonymous said...

The Internet and Rabbinic Bans
Filed by Marvin Schick @ 12:21 pm
Unlike other of our handiwork that may have ethical implications – medical advances and design of clothing come to mind – technological innovations inherently are ethically neutral. Much of what we now take for granted is little more than tiny chips that have the capacity to contain an astounding amount of information or to perform complicated tasks in no more than the blink of an eye. How technology is used is another matter.

As a rule, technology that is utilized for visual purposes poses a greater challenge to religious sensibilities than technology that is aural. The ready explanation is that what the eye sees has a significantly greater impact on behavior and attitudes than what is merely heard. This is akin to the familiar Talmudic principle, lo t’hei shmiah gedolah mi-re’ah. Hearing is less reliable than seeing.

This may explain why certain innovations that may be problematic from a religious Jewish standpoint do not evoke strong negative reactions. The cell phone, which is now indispensable to most of us is also a frequent instrumentality for improper midos, as when it interrupts tefila. It is addictive and results in the enormous waste of time or bitul and (along with conventional telephones), it is a great catalyst for lashon hara. However, rabbinical hackles were raised only when cell phones became Internet accessible.

Because they are visual, movies and televisions are regarded as off limits by rabbinical authorities. Apart from their addictive capacity, it is easy to get along without watching any movies or television. They are diversions and nothing more. We can also get by without reading the daily newspaper and while we may know less as a consequence, what we are missing is nearly always tangential to what we must know and do.

The computer and Internet are different. Of course, they can be dispensed with, yet the universe of people who do not rely on the Internet is shrinking rapidly as the younger generation which is computer literate replaces the older generation whose literacy in this regard is often limited. This is evident even in Orthodox circles, as it is everywhere else. The Internet is indispensable to most people in business and for lawyers and other professionals. Teachers rely on it, as do students. It is a key source for needed medical information, a money and time saver for shoppers and it is vital for air travel. Before long, the Internet may be the primary means of making telephone calls. Each day, bright people are figuring out how to expand its vital uses.

Too many have also figured out how to put the Internet to less than admirable uses. There is a gray zone occupied by many bloggers and a certain genre of entrepreneurs, and there is a far darker zone comprised of those who convey totally offensive material that is at once repulsive and yet also exciting to young people and many adults. There has been an explosion of such material and it has been abetted by a culture of permissiveness and the inability to constrain the Internet within national boundaries.

What is evident is that we face a serious problem. Younger people, especially teenagers, are vulnerable, as are many adults. We are faced with a destructive phenomenon that can enter the core of people’s lives and alter their behavior. For religious Jews, the danger posed by the Internet may be greater still and while this may seem incongruous in view of the standards within Orthodox life, the explanation is that because we adhere to a moral code that proscribes immodesty, the intrusion into one’s life of such material can be jarring and transformative, impelling those who are influenced to abandon entirely the values and standards that they were taught.

The easy part is to condemn that which is hostile to our way of life. The far more difficult issue is to determine what to do about a technological conveyer of what is highly improper when that same technology is utilized to help us do what is beneficial in our lives. It’s pat to say that we should ban the whole kit and caboodle, starting with the ordinary computer. The strategy of throwing out the baby with the bathwater cannot be effective in a business and societal environment that mandates access to the information and tasks available via the Internet.

We can hope that one day courts and society will come to their senses and cease putting a constitutional stamp of approval on material that is far more harmful to far many more people than dozens of items on the Food and Drug Administration’s forbidden list. There is little prospect that this will happen soon, even with world-wide opprobrium and criminal charges directed at the purveyors and viewers of child pornography. We have yet to sufficiently recognize how harmful pornography is to the children who serve as viewers.

Our options are therefore limited. Technology to restrict what can be accessed has been developed. While apparently it is not totally effective, improvements are being made, and together with parental determination to establish firm rules regarding where computers are placed and how and when they can be used by children, we should be able to attain a comfort level regarding the availability of inappropriate material.

This is not good enough for yeshivas and Beth Jacobs in Lakewood. They have decreed that the Internet is entirely forbidden and parents who transgress this decree will suffer the expulsion of their children from the schools. This isn’t the first time that such a policy has been adopted; as with its predecessors, with all due respect to the Rabbis and educators who are its architects, this is not the way to go.

The new policy allows – because it must – exceptions for parents who can show just cause for Internet access in their homes and who will install the proper controls. This inevitably means that there will be loopholes exploited by some parents, while other parents may well pursue the path of deception, which is the usual outcome when something that is useful is banned. At the end of the day, the parents and their children who will be most affected will be those who are most truthful.

This protest against what I regard as a wrongful policy should not be misread as a justification of wrongful behavior. The Internet is not going away. More and more people in our community will utilize it because it is increasingly required to get done what people need to get done. We must not target children because we have problems with the Internet and we must avoid the halachically and ethically dubious notion that we can so easily expel students from our schools. Not long ago, our schools focused on the mission of bringing children closer to Torah and mitzvos. It is painful that those who set policies for the yeshiva world are finding justifications for keeping children out of our schools. We are moving away from the great goal of kiruv rechokim to the ignoble principle of richuk kerovim. The children who we throw out or reject are out of sight and out of mind and we blissfully continue on our self-congratulatory path, proclaiming that we are people of chesed and goodness. This is the most disheartening development that I have experienced in half a century of involvement in Torah education.

What the Lakewood schools have done needs to be challenged, lest what is toxic spreads. We must not be fearful. Last May I protested in this space against the refusal of certain Lakewood schools to admit applicants whose fathers commit the unpardonable sin of working. This wrongful attitude came to a crisis point at the start of this school year when a significant number of female students had no school that would accept them. Fortunately, Israeli Torah leaders mandated that Lakewood’s Beth Jacobs could not open until all of the applicants were placed. Is it possible that the Internet policy is meant to circumvent this ruling by finding a “legitimate” way of excluding students?

Instead of following the well-trodden path of issuing bans, our rabbis and educators should deal with the obviously troubling consequences of Internet access by teaching and emphasizing how restraint and prudence can reduce and perhaps eliminate the potential harm to children. Inadvertently, the employment of harsh measures conveys a lack of faith in the ability of our schools and community, as well as our parents, to properly guide our children.

I hope that those who have authored the expulsion policy will reflect on their handiwork and will pull back. The process of reflection might begin with a clause in the frequently cited Mishnah in Sanhedrin that speaks of the merit of saving a single Jewish life. The next statement, which is rarely quoted, teaches that he who destroys a single Jewish life is as if he has destroyed the entire world.

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22 Comments »
Bravo. Yet, you underestimate the insularity of the Lakewood powers that be. They believe that their beliefs are G-d given and that they are the only true purveyors of Torah values. Mention the pragmatic behavior of their founder, and the conversation ends.

The Internet is treif. End of story. Yet, the BMG office uses the Internet continuously and their operation would cease without it.

Is there a disconnect? I daresay there is and the damage this continued heavy-handed thoughtless behavior is inflicting upon their children is beginning to show in the increasing number of Lakewood teenagers struggling with their place in society. Drop out rates are up, drug use is increasing and alcoholism is no longer shocking.

Unfortunately their leaders are anything but.

pro ban said...

All sentences in “quotations” are quoted from Marvin Shick..

– “This is akin to the familiar Talmudic principle, lo t’hei shmiah gedolah mi-re’ah.”

Did you forget the Talmudic principle – Ha’ayin Roeh, Ha’lev chomed…... Yes, lust is generated by what the eyes see. V’lo sosuru achrei eineichem.

– “The Internet is indispensable to most people in business and for lawyers and other professionals.”

Correct. A ban was never issued on not having internet in business.

– “Teachers rely on it, as do students.”

Which teachers and students are you referring to? Teachers and students in Lakewood??? The ban after all was issued for Lakewood schools. Name me a Lakewood Rebbe or Morah that teaches Chumash, Parshah etc.. with the internet as their resource.

– “It is a key source for needed medical information,”

Ever heard of Echo Medical Referals (718-859-9800)? I’d trust them a 100 times more than “askthedoctor.com”

– “a money and time saver for shoppers and it is vital for air travel.”

vital??? Did you forget how to use a phone? Ever heard of a Travel Agent???

Lets be clear. The issuers of the ban didn’t proclaim “Internet is Assur”. They said internet has no place in a Jewish home.

In the average Jewish home, how often do people fly? Once a year? Twice a year? Does the average Jewish home need “medical information” – Daily? Weekly? (I have 6 kids at home. Is it two or three a year that I may have needed medical information?)

Can someone please explain why the internet is “vital” for a Jewish home???????????
(And please don’t write that you need it for parnosah. For that you can get an Ishur.)

A time saver?

How many hours does the average internet user end up wasting time surfing? (or blogging) c’mon. who are you fooling.

Let me be honest. I use the internet in my office (I wouldn’t allow a computer in my home) for shopping and air travel… so far, the hours spent trying to save $10 was a total waste of time. (and money. After all, time is money).

We all know that it cost to be a Jew. Isn’t non kosher food a lot cheaper? So is non modest clothing. I pay almost $9,000 a year for real estate taxes on my house of which 55% goes to the school budget. And I pay $1000 a month tuition. It most definitely cost to be a Jew.
So if the Gedolim say not to have internet in a Jewish home, and thereby I can’t save money by shopping online, then its just part of being a Jew. (Just like we spend $ 15 a pound on matzos etc…)
And true that the Torah is chas al mamon shel yisroel, but not at the risk of a danger that with one click, a yiddeshe neshoma can be totally destroyed. Don’t deny it. Its happened.

– “Before long, the Internet may be the primary means of making telephone calls.”

That day has not arrived yet. The Gedolim have to do what’s right for today.

– “Inadvertently, the employment of harsh measures conveys a lack of faith in the ability of our schools and community, as well as our parents, to properly guide our children.”

At what point did they issue the ban?

After the NUMEROUS STORIES THAT YIDDESHE NESHOMALECH WERE EXPOSED TO THE DIRTIEST FILTH.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE “”“”“ABILITY”“”“” OF THOSE PARENTS TO GUIDE THEIR CHILDREN???????????????????

In who should the Gedolim have faith? In curious not so innocent teenagers walking around with laptops and wireless cards????

What will the gedolim answer in shamayim when asked – What did you do to stop the danger? Oh, we had “faith” in the schools and parents?????????

If you can justify to the Va’ad having internet in your home, then you get an ishur and its allowed (with proper safeguards). And if you can’t justify it, I wouldn’t want my child to be in the same class as your child.

I make it a priority to come home every day at 6:00pm (my lunch break) to spend some time with my kids and help them with homework. I buy them toys and nosh etc.. when they deserve it.

I would like to know in what way will my kids will be deprived that I don’t have in my house internet/computer/TV/video.

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

The fact is that the same percentage of kids that go "off the derech" has NOT INCREASED with the onset of the internet or TV.

The same parents that don't pay attention to their individual kids' needs without the internet, potentially have the same chance of losing their kids with the internet.

It's another blame game you guys are playing. Blame the TV, the internet, the Goyim....damn it look at yourselves and your behavior...you are no friggin role models; your kids see through you and wind up hating everything you stand for.

In short the internet is a red herring, the problems are you and your values and your Chinese auctions...oops, got caught Malkiel with your pants down.
Assholes.....

gross said...

"Pro Ban:"

Who appointed the so-called Gedolim to police Lakewood? Anyone who purposely refuses to have the internet in their home because of the "danger" is a shoitah, plain & simple. Go live in your bubble and continue to shelter your children. Funny how the biggest rebels in the community are the ones who were raised sans television and for the most part, in an environment cut off from the "snare of the outside world."

It's these idiots, with no outlet to anything contemporary, who are the sickest individuals, that run around with their black hats, white shirts, tzitzis flying, and masturbating ten times a day possessing the most warped perception of women, money and many other fundamental aspects of life. Anyone who has been in Yeshivah know these bochurim I speak of.

A shrinking technological gap is inevitable; You are doing a disservice to yourself and your children by turning your back on the wonders the internet offers.

Don't say you haven't been warned when you are left holding a leash with nothing on the other end. You need to open your eyes and get out of Brooklyn (or Lakewood) once in a while. Maybe then you'll realize that the "Gedolim" actually do not hold up the world (!) and you'll begin to think for yourself run your own life.

wtf said...

Pro ban,

you boil my blood.Is that what judiasm is all about.Spending more money on judiasm is what makes you a better jew? "Just like we spend $ 15 a pound on matzos etc" The reason it costs is b/c some fat ass decided to charge $15 a pound to line his pockets!The reason it costs is b/c every aspect of judiasm has been hijacked by people trying to turn a profit on some poor unsuspecting good jew that is simply misinformed(by our so called rabbonim) and thinks being a good jew is about buying matzo for $15 a pound or buying a freakin lemon for $100 or having the biggest shaloch manos in town........
Come on we all have to get back to basics here,forget banning the internet or whatever nonsense the"rabbis" dream up.....People have to relearn what it means to be a good jew
ITS TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!

gross said...

WTF:

Valid points. Matzoh is $15/lb because every profiteering rabbi needs gelt for his little stamp he puts on the box. He then spreads the word that only his Matzoh is good enough. First class shmucks...

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

I have been eating machine made matzos for years now, I buy the cheapest esrog I can find, and never spent more than $50 for a mezuza.

pro ban said...

Gross,

-The Gedolim who are policing lakewood are granchildren of the founder of lakewood and the mashgiach who they hired. R' Aaron ZT"L built lakewood. Aren't his successers entitled to make policies to their yeshiva/community as they see fit?

-Yes. True there are some bochrim as you described hanging around BMG. But they are an absolute minority. No yeshiva system can be absolutely perfect. Especially when you have over 4,000 talmidim.

-I would like you to more clearly specify what disservice I'm doing to my children by not having internet in my home.

-You're right. The Gedolim don't hold up the world. The world stands on Torah, Avodah, and Gemilus Chasadim. But throughout the generations, the Gedolim were able to identify the trends that interupt Torah and Avodah and by steering us away from those trends, they were succesful at keeping the world standing.

wtf

You may be right to some extent that people are making money on us.

But even if we could buy matzos at cost price, or machine matzos, or $50 mezuzos, it still costs to be a jew.
You haven't at all answered my question - why is internet vital in a jewish home?

gross said...

-The Gedolim who are policing lakewood are granchildren of the founder of lakewood and the mashgiach who they hired. R' Aaron ZT"L built lakewood. Aren't his successers entitled to make policies to their yeshiva/community as they see fit?

No! This is what is inherently wrong with Lakewood: It is not a meritocratic system and is therefore crooked by default. “Successors” aren’t “entitled” to run anything, let alone micro-manage (in complete hypocrisy) the lives of others.

-Yes. True there are some bochrim as you described hanging around BMG. But they are an absolute minority. No yeshiva system can be absolutely perfect. Especially when you have over 4,000 talmidim.

It’s not just Lakewood, my friend. It is all over the Yeshiva world and is a result of an empty, unchallenged, life that is run by the “mind-control police.”

-I would like you to more clearly specify what disservice I'm doing to my children by not having internet in my home.

The fact that you compared Echo with online medical research capabilities, and a travel agent / telephone reservation number with booking travel online, shows that you are at the deficient end of the digital divide and are truly not aware of how the Internet has had and will CERTAINLY continue to have, a profound effect on things like information, learning, communication, travel and life in general. This has nothing to do with whether or not it has a place in a "Jewish Home." How is the "Jewishness" of the home relevant?

pro ban said...

Gross,

If not the Roshei Yeshiva and Mashgiach, who then shall control the yeshiva/community? the CEO?????

OK. In other yeshivos also. But the point is that the Torah says V'lo sosur m'kol asher yoirucha. If we choose not to recognize Rabbinic authority and to trust our own intellectual mind, that isn't the torah's way. I firmly believe that if R' Moshe Feinstein, R'Aaron Kotler and all other great gedolim of that time ZT"L would have today issued the internet ban, I don't believe we would see so much opposition. So what it boils down to is our level of respect for the Gedolim of today who issued the ban.
This is something which every person has to decide his own decision. Do I want the hashkofa in my home to be, that Emunas Chachomim is a priority even though we don’t have yesteryear’s gedolim? (El Ha'cohen asher yeeyeh bayamin haheim - Rashi - Ein l’cha ela kohen she’byamecha), or will I follow my intellectual mind (no sarcasm here) and do what "I" think is right.

And I fully well know the benefits of online booking vs phone bookings etc and the huge amount of resources available. My point was - if these are all "convenience"? or are these vital. Meaning, that if the gedolim (of the stature that you respect)would issue the ban, would our lives indeed be deprived? (not having convenience's doesn't necessarily mean that one is deprived)

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Pro Ban,

When you refer to emunas chachamim, you can't use it as a blanket statement of todays rabbonim.
R' Moshe & R'Aron were chachomim, todays clowns are exactly that.

Would R' Aron have permitted the mass genaiva that's taking place by his aineklach from the government?

Would R' Aron have set up 14 corporate entities all interlocking and "lending" money to each other and then write them off as losses, because the loan was not repaid?

Buddy, you don't have a clue!

gross said...

R' Moshe would never have the Internet. The "authority" that many of today's "leaders" have, is ill-gotten and pretty much worthless.

I agree with you on one point. The Internet is not a necessity (and probably won't be so for a while) for someone who doesn't leave 08701.

gross said...

Correction: R' Moshe would never have assured the Internet...

Un-Orthodox Jew said...

Pro,
Hey take your kids and lock them up in a closet and let them out after 20 years, let's see what happens to them when they go out in the world.

gross said...

I once spent a Shabbos in Detroit for a family simcha. My hosts were part of the Yeshivish community. If I tell you they sheltered theitr children it would be an understatement. They didn't even allow their children to be present when adults were talking (and the conversation was far from inappropriate, by any measure).

When I asked them where the Yeshivish community gets their news from, they responded: "The Yated."