Wednesday, April 11, 2012

To Filter or to Educate? Where to Focus our Energies?


"If on Monday, the anti-Internet convention takes a powerful swipe at the latest technology, by Tuesday the kids (and the young at heart) discover something better and faster". Rabbi Weinberger, The Klal Perspectives Journal

This was a follow up to my previous post Blaming Technology - the latest fad: and was written as an open letter to an event that was to deal with the dangers of the Internet.

We can all agree that the dangers of the internet are real, and it’s nice to see such an effort being made among our Rabanim regarding an issue that is finally being taken seriously. It’s also great that we have finally realized the futility in banning something that was inevitably going to be a part of our lives. Our sages taught us long ago “Ein gozrin gezeirah she'ein hatzibbur yecholim la'amod bo.“ (Halachic deciders should not promulgate an edict if most of the population will not follow the edict). The reason for this principle is simple; the general population will start to lose respect for authority. And while it’s 15 years too late, the past is the past and all we can do is learn from it. But learn from it we must!

The constant focus on internet filters scare me, and heres why.

Filters sound good, but they are not the solution. A filter is only as effective as much as the person using it wants to be filtered. And while it’s a great way to stop pop-ups and inappropriate web-pages, it is irrelevant to the issue we are facing. I will be brief as to why filters don’t work by highlighting some facts people may be unaware of.

  1. TECHNOLOGICALLY- The Internet by design was created not to be filtered. By designing it as a web, no matter how much you try you can’t control the information. Look at the middle east countries where dictators were brought down by social networking. Of course they tried everything in their power to pull the plugs, but the Internet can’t be controlled. The MPAA tried to stop peer-to-peer file sharing and was never successful. The internet was designed in the 1960's using a system called packet switching so that traffic can always reroute itself, which makes censorship almost impossible.
  2. PASSWORD - When I was just 17 and the web was first starting to explode my father was visited by one of the first “filter companies”. They wanted his haskama. During the demonstration my father asked me what I thought. I sat down at the computer and with a few clicks bypassed the filter. My father told them to come back when my child can’t disable the filter. They never came back. I wasn’t a computer genius and you don’t have to be one. Any child can learn to break even the most sophisticated password protection. All you need is for one person to figure it out and within seconds all his friends will too. And for those without friends they can google it. Monitoring software can be disabled just as easily. So can the “chavrusa system”. Don’t be fooled by the companies trying to sell you their products.
  3. WIFI. Free unfiltered wireless internet is available almost anywhere you go. The current goal is to have wifi available free over the entire USA, as it is already in some cities. Any filter you have at home is irrelevant. Almost every new electronic device has wifi capability. And trying to password protect every one of them is an unrealistic goal.
I remember when some US senator came up with the idea to make inappropriate sites have a button that says “Click here if you are over 18”. He should be awarded the Nobel prize for that brilliant idea!

Filtering and monitoring are necessary, and they work well in schools and public places, but if the point of this upcoming convention is about filters, then call it an expo and make it at the Jacob Javits Center. Its time we deal with the new realities of the day and we must therefore look for real solutions.

Fortunately there are solutions but they take more effort than buying a $100 filter. It takes dedication and lots of time. The good news is, there are Rebbeyim and teachers that are willing to do it. We have B”H in our day a young generation of talent that is eager to help, but they need proper direction.

So, while Filters are important and sound great, I give it an F. An F because it will Fail us and an F because it will Fool us into thinking we solved our problems.

The real solutions all start with an E and they have an Excellent track record.
Education, Excitement, Entertainment, Endearment, Exposure, Expression, Embracement and Enjoyment!


Education We need to educate our children by teaching them why our Jewish values are superior to the values they see outside (or now, online). We need to teach them how to handle challenges that come their way and stop making believe it doesn't happen. Life is about making choices and we need to teach our children how to how to choose wisely, whether in real life or on the Internet. When a Rebbi or teacher is unable to acknowledge that his students are using the Internet, he can’t have a discussion about it. When social networking is not allowed, how do you teach online privacy and safety.

Excitement – We need to make our schools more exciting. There are countless organizations that are using technology to make yiddishkeit more engaging and fun; from interactive Jewish learning to smart-boards in the classrooms. With the vast information available on kosher websites, there is so much useful and helpful content for everyone to make use of today.

Entertainment – We need to bring kosher entertainment back to our youth. Concerts, rallies, and overnight trips should be encouraged not banned. Yes, they may learn less now, but in the long run we will have children who love to be Jewish.

Endearment – We need EVERY child feel wanted, both by his family and school. We need to get rid of names like “kids at risk” and “off the derech”. All of us are at risk and we should never judge others as off the derech. Every parent is told never to call their child “bad” because then they will then act bad. Same with these labels, they accomplish nothing. No child wants to go to an “at risk school”. Rabeyim should treat every child as at risk. Schools and parents have to accept every child no matter what level of religiosity they’re at. Never should we make a child feel unwanted because it will cause shame to the rest of the family or because it will give the school a bad reputation.

Exposure In the words of Rav Hirsch, If you keep a child indoors all the time then the first time he goes outdoors he will catch a cold. Instead we must expose them as youngsters so that when they get older and leave the home and face the outside world they will be prepared.

Expression – we must allow our children to express themselves. That means they can ask any questions they have. They should decide the topic of the day and we should listen to what they feel. No student should feel guilty for asking something that’s bothering them. Just as a therapist always asks “tell me how YOU feel about it” we should do the same in the classrooms.

Embracement- we need to embrace technology because that’s our connection to the younger generation. This is the way they communicates and it’s not going to change. When you mock texting, you mock them. When you ban facebook you’re banning them and your distancing yourself from their world. As one teenager told me; “ I’m not addicted to my cellphone or facebook, I’m addicted to my friends,” and who of us isn't?

Enjoyment - Lastly, we need to make sure our children find enjoyment as being Jewish. Better that we have less tests and let the children have more fun, rather then have them think Judaism is boring and undesirable. Because those who don't find enjoyment in being Jewish will either leave the fold or stay Jewish but resentful inside, which may even be worse.

We need to remember the words of Chazal “Chanoch Lena’ar al Pi Darko”. This R' Hirsch says is the golden rule of education of which the Torah requires of us. We have to evaluate each child and see where his/her strengths are and then equip and train them early for that which they will practice when they have outgrown our guidance. Whether it’s the path we envisioned for them or not, we shouldn't focus on changing our kids but working with them. Read the words carefully “teach them according to their future path” not ours!

I once asked my father why they keep banning all Jewish events, and he told me, because it’s the easy way out. Blaming is also easy. Parents blame the schools and the schools blame the parents. We blame our kids friends and we blame our neighbors. Now we found something new to blame, technology, and it cant even defend itself! In a recent book entitled “Off the Derech” Faranak Margolese interviews many teens as to why they went off the Derech. The three main reasons she found was, a lack of positive feelings, unanswered questions about Jewish beliefs and the ability for our children to develop their unique emotional and religious potential. Technology did not even make it on the list. Sure, the internet can be used as a tool for those looking to get away but so can everything. By blaming technology we lose focus, we should aim to fix the source of the problem.

We can keep trying to shelter our kids more and more until we suffocate them or we can choose to teach them how to live as a frum Jew in the new millennium. It takes work and dedication to find real solutions, but if we don’t, we might as well start preparing for the 2nd convention in five years from now, where I'm sure a new updated filter will be announced!

And so I leave with this question, to Filter or to Educate? Where should we Focus our Energies?

Dovid Teitelbaum
*My haskamas are from the 100’s of teens I know looking for real answers and real direction in this very confusing world we live in today; and from the elephant in the room.

250 comments:

  1. Dovid, you write so well and to the point. I hope all the wonderful people that attended this Ichud Hakehillos will read the above. Everything you wrote is so right. You have a very healthy perspective of the youth of today.

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    1. Thanks, its because I am a kid at heart!
      Also i don't believe anyone is going to go. word on the street.

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    2. Reb Dovid, I was a friend and admirer of your father z.l. and totally agree with your response to the internet. I would add that the "machers" who own lucrative ad agencies and newspapers always find solutions which require big dinners, publications and full page ads. Anyone who reads H and YN can see this to be true. Sadly, prominent rabbis have members of their own families who outwardly seem pillars of the orthodox community but secretly have another persona which plays online. The average frum family suffers less from that than the elite, and much of the response of the organizers is in response to that. You can imagine what family life is for people who lead such a double life, an utter disaster.
      It used to be said that the first cigarette was always in a bathroom, the first inappropriate adult behavior in the back of a car, and most plans for wrongdoing involved confirming plans over the phone. But it would be foolish to ban bathrooms, phones and cars.

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  2. Wow! So I'm not insane.... So glad to see there are others. For the sake of all our children, I hope this reaches the right people and does change the system!

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    1. I hope so too. the more people share the message the better chance we have. So please send out to people you know.

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    2. I do agree with what you are expressing because Im frum marrried with kids but young enough to understand the very young adults/teens. My only issue is with the aspect of facebook and the friending. Not from a social aspect, rather what shows on your homepage when someone else likes or comments on a photo or link . Even if you have a non frum relative on fb who thinks nothing of posting pictures of an outing to the beach. The teen can choose but what happens when he /she does open a web page like fb and find pics of others and the like, you know what it takes for a teen to be that strong? I know many modern dat "frum" teens and few would turn it off- what do you think?

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  3. well written. people everywhere should read this. everyone knows the issue but no one has the guts to actually say it! we applaud u for that

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    1. Or im naive to think we can do something about it. ;-)

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  4. Perhaps instead of keeping on saying 'no' the institutions represented by the Rabbanim will start to develop Internet content of their own that will be attractive, such as Torah, information, and entertainment. If they are just going to badmouth it and say that we all need filters, it will be been there, done that. The result will be a huge waste of everyone's money to put on such a dog and pony show, not to mention a demonstration that the Rabbanim are out of touch.

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  5. David I cannot agree more Everything is so true and well written, I wish your word goes out there to the right ppl, but unfortunately I'm afraid this blog won't do much these ppl are going there way regardless of its making sence and even with the past bad experience,
    My point is to teach your kids the right way and all you can do is hoping some other ppl to follow if they get to read this,
    Let's all hope moshiach to be here soon

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    1. Thanks. But at some point they will have to face the truth. I hope sooner than latter.

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  6. Finally one man that writes it as it is... as a tee., we need people who aren't against us and aren't trying to talk away everything from us. Thank you for publishing this!

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  7. Great writer however first all our rabbanim should stop using computers and go back to pen and paper. They have to show the way. Words alone are futile. Kids realize when out comes from the heart or just a good drusha or writing.

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  8. I agree with the blogger. Filters are a way to help someone who wants to minimize stumbling on something that he doesn't want to. It is useless if someone wants to do something unkosher. It is a false sense of security. I f further agree that solutions lay in education etc. it is much more difficult than the easy answer of filters.

    The assifot help raise awareness but are stupid and useless. The answer is getting people to internalize kosher values. Just like voluntarily turning off the electricity to your house is not going to keep someone from being mechalel shabbat. You get people to observe shabbat by convincing them of the value of keeping shabbat.

    Kudos to the blogger.

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  9. I completely agree.
    Its no different than kashrut or other inherently Jewish practices at odds with the rest of the world. You educate your children as best possible. Not Just in the laws, but the appreciation for them and how to deal with outside influences.

    Its what Yaakov Avinu did with Yosef haTzadik, its what Yosef HaTzadik did withy his children and its what we need to do with ours.
    It is no accident that we bless our children "Yesimcha elokim k'Efraim Uk'Menashe..."

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  10. They are calling it a celebration of achdut. The organizers probably have no idea the majority of orthodox jewry will be celebrating and thanking God for the open miracles of the Six Days War on that day.

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  11. Excellent piece. Excellent. You hit the nail on the head!

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  12. Gevaldig wow .also they should make sure every boy is exceptet in a yeshiva

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  13. Reb Dovid,

    if anyone is disagreeing with you is either blind or doesn't even know what blindness is. when blogs began, this is what i was writing about. then MANY others joined and we weren't able to change anything.
    why?

    what ideas of changing the system do u have? who do we change and how many do we need to change before the rest start following?

    how do get everyone to love themselves because Hashem loves us all more than we can fathom? because then only can we start loving others.

    we need more than writing on blogs.
    any ideas?

    keep it up and wishing u great hatzlocho

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  14. "The Chofetz Chaim says, the proliferation of newspapers that contain lashon hara, slander, and divisiveness, exists only when the readership is willing to accept this fare."

    The above is from a previous post of yours. Can you provide the source? Thanks.

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    1. I think i got it from here http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/oppenheimer-1.htm
      . I didnt check the source because I felt it was obvious and you really dont need the CC to tell us that.

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  15. I agree wholeheartedly with the article, very well said. Unfortunately, if this is only online you're preaching to the choir and this needs to be in print. For the online audience it needs to be stressed that the the problems our Rabbis are worried about are real and that they are truly well meaning. We need to work with them, respect them, and empower them to help us remain pure in our service to Hashem and use the resources of the Internet in only positive ways.

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    1. I tried in print and they trashed me. read about it.
      http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/04/view-from-under-bus.html

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  16. I give you an E for Excellent! Powerfully written, very very true. Times have changed, and education has to conform and reform in order to keep our children frum.

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  17. Mr. Or Rabbi Teitelbaum!

    I'm giving you a double "E"

    I AgreE and DisagreE

    I AGREE that the current generation most adjust to the current challenges and I'm not sure in what neighborhood you live in but in many neighborhoods it changed and its changing gradually.

    You're right in the ultra frum community's its not taking place yet! Reason could be because they tent to realize, recognize (or Acknowledge) the problems much latter In the game. Its a huge challenge to restructure the chinuch system!
    Lots of work (Team Work) needs to be done!
    too much to discuss on a comment on a blog!

    I DISAGREE with you!

    I think you just have the facts wrong!
    The Kinus is not to talk about installing filters! (as far as I understand from the leaflets they mailed) the kinus is to be Meoirer the Tzibur about the dangerous of the Internet (and don't tell me its not) everyone should face it and decide by them self how he wants his children and Doiros to deal with it!
    All they want is the Oilem and the Rabbunim to take the situation dead serious!!
    Of course every community is different and they should set their own Rules standards!

    Hagan Harav Solomon is not naive!
    They are writing it very clear they want to work WITH it and not AGAINST it!
    Yes there will be kiosks for The Jnet, The Filternet, Yeshiva Net, Etc. Well its a perfect venue to get some customers why not? But I truly believe they realize the world has changed and all they want is the chushiva Yiden to understand the severity of it and take the appropriate steps to WORK WITH IT NOT AGAINST IT!!

    Thanks,
    Yidel From BP

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    1. First I dont know what you received in the mail, but the pamphlet in my shul in lakewood had just one solution, filters. Everyone agrees the internet is dangerous, that did not seem the point of the asifa to me. Adiraba, if they are looking for answers then i hope they read my letter and take my suggestions. It seems lots of people want a new approach. I never said Hagan Harav Solomon is naive, those are your words!
      Also the words they used is "we cant live with it..." thats different than what you wrote, to work with it. Those are two opposite approaches.

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  18. Dovid, every word is emes, but I don't know if this (blog) on a blog-site is the right place for it to have the Real affect what were looking for, first of all you need the rabunim to help you, also if all (90% for sure) the rabunim have 1 daas torah (to do the Ichud hakhilos) you can't just wipe it off with a blog, you have to show respect for the rabunim on whom klal yisrul are looking up on, and talk with them about it. And let's hope together we will help Klal Yisrol.

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    1. Here is the thing. The papers refuse to print anything. read my other blogs if you dont believe me. They all told me the same thing. i agree with everything you write but I dont want my paper to be banned. Also most rabonim (90% for sure) do their own thing today. They dont listen to what the Ichud says, but they too wont speak up. They are scared to, and I know this for a fact. Everyone is scared that if they disagree or even take another opinion they will loose everything. Look, you even posted anonymously.
      All I wrote on this page is what I think needs to be done. I was careful not to mention names, just ideas that I feel most people agree with. Be my guest and print this out and show it to them, Id love to know what they feel about it.

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  19. I was highly impressed w this blog untill I got to the last part. Why is it that u mock this great effort before u fully know the intent? From wht I understand it to be meorer the tzibir and to face the challenge w the utmost seriousness and integrity. Therefore I can't agree more with yidel from bp.

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    1. i was going to reply to him. They had a brochure in my shul and the entire thing was about how filters is the new answer. Maybe i should post a copy.

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  20. also want to knowApril 16, 2012 at 1:07 AM

    where does the chofetz chaim talk about newspapers?

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    1. I think i got it from here http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/oppenheimer-1.htm
      . I didnt check the source because I felt it was obvious and you really dont need the CC to tell us that.

      Delete
  21. Dovid Writes:
    Our sages taught us long ago “ Ein gozrin gezeirah she'ein hatzibbur yecholim la'amod bo.“ (Halachic deciders should not promulgate an edict if most of the population will not follow the edict). The reason for this principle is simple; the general population will start to lose respect for authority."

    Doesn't the same hold true when you write up an entire blog mocking Rabbonim who finally agree on something positive ?
    Do you really expect your teen to begin respecting & looking up to our authorities after reading all this ?

    Please reply:

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    1. "who finally agree on something positive" Can you explain what that means? What have they finally agrees on thats positive?
      thousands of frum jewish websites have been created over the past 15 years and they have constantly banning the internet. In your opnion every frum website is a mockery to rabbonim. The fact that everyone uses internet today despite the "rabbonim" banning it, is what created the lack of respect for "rabbonim". Not my article. you got it backwards.
      My teens B"H have many Rabbis and Rabbonim to respect and look up to. Not every Rabbi banned the Internet. duh

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    2. BTW in your view you are mocking rabonim by posting on the internet and even worse so a blog. hypocrite.

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  22. Excellent and thought-provoking. But white text on a dark background make for difficult reading.

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  23. Wow, Dovid. Wow.

    Having been zoche to know your father in my youth (knowing him as "UNCLE ELI"), I can honestly say that I believe he is smiling at you right now. I thank you for being as open and honest as you are in this letter, and for telling it like it is.
    Unfortunately, the masses who blindly follow anything that the Rabbonim say are sheep and will not take seriously any words that may be ANY different, no matter how correct they are. These people look to the Rabbonim as the "be-all, end-all" of knowledge and that is certainly NOT the case. While they are giants in Torah, a lot of the gedolim are fed information...or MISinformation...or only one-sided information by their "askanim" who have their own agendas (for anyone who says this isn't true, Google "Big Event Lipa", as an example) and have the Rabbonim to wield the power that they, themselves crave.
    This is NOT a "bash Rabbonim" post, it is simply an admission of truth: the sheeple who follow along with whatever the Rabbonim say, no matter what, are contributing more to the destruction of our Nation than any internet site is. There are many children and teenagers who rebel against the "establishment" because of the lack of accountability and the unwillingness to adhere to the "..al pi darko" tenet.

    Sheesh. Look at me. I could go on and on...but it's your blog, not mine! :-)

    Thanks again, Dovid!

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    1. Thanks anonymous cousin. Yes my father passed away during the Lipa fiasco and I still have some very strong letters he wrote but were never published. I know Lipa personally and I could tell you that he does so much for unfulfilled kids privately. That tried to destroy him but he won in the long term!

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  24. Reb Dovid,

    While I agree with what you are saying in your "Eight Es", it does not mean that filters aren't a good idea. They still make it harder for a kid to access inappropriate content and are therefore a good first step. But you are right, no one should fool themselves into thinking they are the be all and end all.

    Daniel

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    1. Corerct and thats my i wrote "So, while Filters are important...."

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  25. The points are excellent and I can't imagine anyone not in agreement. The question is:

    What are the practical steps to implement the 8 Es? Ideas are nothing without a practical way to implement them.

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    1. Your right, but step one is to acknowledge it. There are many seforim written about this way of education, I just named them with E's. I would start by reading Rav Hirsch, who faced the same issues when the shtetle broke down and the jews were exposed to an Age of Enlightenment. He was a master in education, a rosh yeshiva and credited as saving yidishkeit. Most of our current yeshiva system comes from his philosophy, unfortunately we started veering away in the late 80's. not sure why?

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  26. I agree with most of what your saying, I just have a question on one thing,in terms of exposure, how do you just expose a kid to what is happening, Just let him do whatever he wants? (what did you have in mind by that?) Also one thing that I feel should be pointed out more, is that we MUST star to instill a sense of pride, pride to be Jews, pride for our values and pride for who we are, I think that being proud of who we are may be the only hope for all of us to tackle these spectacular times and to stand up to who we are and what we hold is correct.. Thank you for speaking and saying words that everyone else is just scared to say!
    KOL HAKAVOD!

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    1. I agree, pride is very important but it didnt start with an E ;-).
      Exposure is very delicate and the balance is very hard. I think it goes back to "al pi darko". I wrote about it here.
      http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/03/sheltering-our-children.html

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    2. I am glad that someone forwarded your article to me. I am brokenhearted as I watch a whole generation of potential maskilim emerging from the sheltered farfrumte chinuch of our kids today. What are these parents thinking? Threatening their kids with gehenom if they learn secular subjects is going to work? No limudei chol in yeshivos is the right chinuch? The existing most beautiful generation of Torah in history was produced by parents who learned in Yeshivos that incorporated limudei chol. They had balance in their education. But with boundaries. Your way works. Teach right from wrong and make sure your kids love you. Make them happy and proud. That way they will love what you stand for. Kol Hakavod.

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  27. Good Luck. You'll Need ItApril 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    R. Dovid:

    Thank you for a well-reasoned article. A few points, however.

    1. I use webchaver at home (my wife is the chavera)and am confident that it is being used properly. The application will also alert her when the computer is not in use to see if another computer is being used. It is not failsafe and was never intended to be. But it is an effective geder in my home.

    2. As I recall (I don't have the book in front of me, Ms. Margolese's poll indicates that the single largest cause of off-the-derech yidden is the behavior of frum yidden! This is an issue for which rabbonim need a kinus.

    3. When yeshivas are closing the high school track for the weak boys who aren't yet serious about their learning (two in Flatbush next year) and one high school won't even accept its own elementary school graduates, how do we expect to hold on to our children? If someone presumes that the "best" boys will save us they are sadly mistaken. Time has proven that even the aleph boys in the aleph shiur in the aleph yeshiva can fall victim to society's potholes.

    4. Our educational methods were approved by R. Moshe and R. Yaakov ztl,gedolim who are no longer with us. Since 1986 our hadrocha has been from Bnei Brak via Lakewood. In my opinion, these rabbonim do not identify or understand mainstream Orthodoxy. Outside of the Breuer-kehilla, your opinion is not the chareidi standard. R. Dovid Landesman has several excellent essays that discuss the yeshivish vs. the yekkishe approach.

    5. I have only one disagreement. Facebook is a cancer. Jew or Gentile, young or old, nothing good will come from it. It destroys families, provides private info about too many people. Perhaps create a different social medium. Facebook is a recipe for disaster.

    Hatzlocha!!

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    1. Thanks for your comments, but I disagree with point number 5 completely. I dont want to respond to it because im in the midst of writing about it and will post shortly...

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  28. I agree with Daniel and Rabbi Teitelbaum. Filters are good ideas for anyone but obviously will never stop someone who is determined... What drives me nuts is the fact that all of us do have legitimate issues with our so called askonim. yet most of us never get off the couch to do anything about it. These 'askonim" are doing what they are doing, rabbinim are basing their decisions on the information they are fed. yet us brilliant minds just blog about it.

    Until some of us smarter guys start becoming askonim, don't expect anything to change.

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    1. deep in bnei brakApril 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  29. yeah right, there is no censorship on the internet

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    1. I specifically wrote im going to censor this blog.

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  30. Let's dream for a minute.... Let's dream about schools that don't worry about getting their 8th grade boys into the top yeshivos, intensifying the curriculum and making it very hard on half the class.

    Let's dream about a tzibbur that doesn't look down on each other for 100 different reasons.

    Let's dream of bais yaakov schools where "concerned parents" don't call the principal to snitch on girls who aren't conforming to dress standards in their private time.

    Let's dream of what we all really long for. Happy, inspired, enthusiastic Jewish kids!

    Banning is not the way! Must all of the above only be a dream?

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  31. Well written.

    A few points;

    As you said, exposure is very delicate. It is not pashut at all. See Ohel Yaakov (Dubno Maggid) on the pasuk "Adam Ki Yamus b'Ohel". As I heard from a Rav, we can not feed treifos to our children.

    The fliers you read are probably corporately sponsored - printed by the filter company, so it is not a proof to the intent and plan of the Rabbanim.

    Along the lines of your letter, with a phone for $5 from BestBuy, anyone can connect to the net. We must fix the disease, not the symptoms. We are making more walls but not dealing with the underlying issues. But as mentioned above, you need to have simple and practical solutions to implement your E's.

    Kol Tuv! May you be Marbeh Kavod Shamayim and cause only Kiddush Hashem.

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    1. Exposure is very delicate. Please read my other blog about it. http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/03/sheltering-our-children.html

      Delete
  32. R' Dovid:

    Great piece. I wonder whether as jews in golus an event such as this should be displayed in such a public way, at the home of the Mets. Is there not something unpalatable about that (and could this not have been done in say, Ateres Avrohom or the like)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its another great point. I was looking it up over YomTov and it seems very questionable. Dont have time now to go into it.

      Delete
  33. Good Article.

    ReplyDelete
  34. wow!! FINALLY THE TRUTH BEING WRITTEN. LET'S START SAVING THE FUTURE NOW! and guide our kids to love Torah! love Yidishkiet and love a fellow jew as much as you love yourself

    ReplyDelete
  35. Totally agree. The first E is the best and most prevalant. What exactly do we think "chinuch" is all about?

    ReplyDelete
  36. 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...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or just pay for everyone's internet connection, and filter software.
      BTW does anyone know who is paying the bill? like who specifically?

      Delete
    2. I "heard", B&H photo dropped one million on this event

      Delete
  37. The most salient and informative comment in this "Open Letter" by Dovid Teitelbaum, Director, Camp Sdei Chemed International, was,
    "My haskamas are from the 100’s of teens I know looking for real answers..."
    These are the haskamas that count. Hamayvin Yovin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes they do and if they were up on the Dais and the Rabonim in the crowd I would be there in a jiffy!

      Delete
  38. R' Dovid, you write very wise words. Filters can assist with willpower. If we choose to live a kosher, healthy life, installing a filter will help us uphold that choice. By installing a filter, I send myself a message that I really don't want to go places that will decrease my healthy living. It gives me an additional step at which to consider if I want to make the wrong choice. And it makes the wrong choice less accessible and less urgent. If I am forced to have a filter, it just becomes another annoyance I might do my utmost to bypass.

    ReplyDelete
  39. R' Dovid I like your profile picture.

    ReplyDelete
  40. 2 THINGS ,1: THE FILTER YOU DISABLED WAS INSTALLED ON A COMPUTER , DID YOU KNOW THAT SINCE YOU WERE 17 THERE ARE SOME BETTER OPTIONS ( LIKE THE SERVER FILTERING CONTENT )?
    2: DID YOU EVER HEAR OF AN ISSUR CALLED YICHUD ? ( AND MANY OTHERS LIKE IT .... A GEDER ?!! )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ACTUALLY JUST READ SOME OF YOUR COMMENTS ......... HOW OLD ARE YOU NOW ?

      Delete
    2. Im 36 now, why?
      read my 3 reasons I wrote and i covered new filters.

      Delete
    3. What you wrote in #1 is relevant to the web in itself, its completely irrelevant to establishing controls on ones own computer.

      You didn't answer the question regarding #2. Were you succesful in cracking 2012 filters?

      And whats your point about wifi. Kids who are determined to see what they want will get it one way or another. The point is that us parents have to do all hishdatlus that our kids should not get nichshol by what we bring into our home. And regarding that, if we equip our computers etc with filters that won't allow shmutz, then on that computer, they won't access it via wifi either. So what exactly was your point?

      Delete
  41. The biggest sponsor is the owner of B&H ( $250k for downpayment on Citi Field ) I would say he knows a bit about technology ..... HE seems to think that filters are worth a shot....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with him, but I find that so ironic, why would he want to support these rabonim, when all their speeches at the Agudah Convention were saying how bad technology is. Watch the youtube videos and you will hear them saying that technology is all bad. I was accused for being a godol hater because I wrote technology can also be used for good. Why would an owner of BH want to associate himself with this point of view. According to them he should be responcible for all the problems of todays generation and children going "off the derech" I dont get it. here is my story if you want to read...
      http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/04/view-from-under-bus.html

      Delete
  42. NO one thinks or said that filtering is THE solution ( like you so eloquently lead everyone to believe ) but it definitely HAS to be the normal standard .

    ReplyDelete
  43. I have been dealing with " kids at risk " before you were 17 ( and still today ), and while you WERE right till a few years ago sadly today you are definitely WRONG . I come across many boys and men ( and girls ) that were successful and happy ...... till the INTERNET .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your experiences are very different than mine. I am in contact with hundreds of boys and have never seen the internet make them unsuccessful or unhappy. Can you explain the relationship?

      Delete
    2. What?!?! Are you not familiar with countless cases where the internet has led boys AND girls to the lowest levels of Tumah? Did you not read the letter in the pamphlet from the girl where her internet addiction led to chilul shabbos? Are you that clueless whats going on?!?!

      Delete
    3. Im sorry but I think you are being fed misinformation. Im glad you brought up that letter because I read it and its baloney. Its not the way Girls talk It was written by an adult to seem like a girl wrote it. I have many letters from girls and they dont sound that way at all. A girl wont blame her problems all on an ipad. It was written by someone who wants us to believe that the problems are the ipad!

      Delete
    4. ok so the letter was baloney so what ?! it was a boy not a girl so what ?! are you really not familiar with people going off the derech ( and getting divorced ...... ) who were previously perfectly fine and it all started with the internet ( from this to that to porn ( addiction )..... I mean really WAKE UP ...... YOU are so out of touch!!!!!

      Delete
  44. correct me if I`m wrong . you are from those in klal yisrael that believe that the gedolim of our generation are out of touch ( as those like you always said of the gedolim of their time from r` yochanan ben zakai down to the chafetz chaim ) nothing against your point of view ( as i`m not religious ) just curious .....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are wrong, its complicated for an outsider. But Ill try. Orthodox Jews like myself all believe in the Torah and the Talmud. We also all follow the Shulchon aruch (The law book). RYBZ and CC are very very much respected by orthodox Jews. But throughout jewish history there have always been arguments as to minor details of the laws. The Talmud is full of debates. Today the orthodox jews, which includes modern orthodoxy, chasidim and so many new names like ultra or post chareidi still all follow the basic principles outlined above, they just have very different ways of expressing it, such as the clothing. But because the world changed so much over the past century and changes even faster today all these rabbis have to come up with ways to cope with the new challenges (just like in the non-jewish world). And so like the saying goes, two jews, three opinions. And thats what all this commotion is about. The article above was directed at just one group of orthodoxy which some call yishivish or in Israel chareidi. They have their Rabbis with their opinions who they listen too (until recently, where the internet ban they imposed was unrealistic. They realized it now and are trying to deal with it. My letter was directed at them with my views on the matter. I like many others believe we should focus on educating more then filters. These debates are going on in the non-jewish world too, its just that by us the Rabbis are taken more seriously. I hope I explained it well.

      Delete
    2. "until recently, where the internet ban they imposed was unrealistic."

      Which ban are you referring to?

      They said that to have internet at home, one must have an ishur. They are not changing that.

      Internet was NEVER in itself BANNED. They just said that no child with internet at home will be accepted to schools if the parents don't get an ishur.

      Delete
  45. what does reading your profile help if you totally contradict it in your article ?????!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure what your saying. I can respect and question at the same time.

      Delete
  46. Rabbi Teitelbaum,

    I have been following your opinions on this issue quote closely my position on the subject tends to align closely with yours.
    The Boston Consulting Group recently conduct a study with regards Millenials and their use of the internet. Although the study was not conducted for our community specifically, I think that many people would be surprised by the overall results.

    Millennial Consumers: Engaged, Optimistic, Charitable [STUDY]

    http://tpt.to/a2rbd5n

    ReplyDelete
  47. I commented previously when you posted on this topic - here http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/02/blaming-technology-latest-fad.html (1st one) but I'd like to expand on it:

    You acknowledge that filters are not an absolute solution, and you seem to agree that the real issue is what is driving people (of all ages) to seek out the dangers of the internet. It seems to me that the Kosher alternatives you are pushing do not completely address the cause either. Perhaps they direct people's attraction to "something satisfying", to kosher outlets. That might work to some degree, but if those outlets don't satisfy the urge, they'll be driven to the non-kosher outlets. Think of Jewish music - over the last 10 years there has been an explosion in all genres of Jewish music. Real talent has risen to the occasion. Yet, many many of our teens are pumping non-Jewish music into their ears, and I don't mean Mozart and Bach. There's an urge (to escape?) and it will look anywhere to be satisfied.

    So it would seem reasonable not to temporarily redirect the urge, but to address what's *driving* the urge. Why are people looking to escape into some sort of distraction? Why are they not comfortable in their own skin?

    What I have learned is that when people are in pain they seek out medication. When they're not in pain, they don't even open the medicine cabinet. The truly happy person is one who is Sameach B'Chelko - happy with himself, his life, what he has. People are not happy with themselves and we would be wise to look for solutions that help them (all of us!) be happy, content, at peace. Here's a funny question - does the Torah have anything to say about how we can be happy with ourselves? What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me just add that I acknowledge you did address the cause I highlighted, and not just the symptoms, but I think it's important to put the major focus on the discontent and less on the kosher alternatives.

      Delete
    2. I think we all agree. Thats what i meant by my last E, enjoyment. Teenagers are born to be rebellious, its part of their nature. This is across the bored, nothing jewish about that. The non-jewish music world was always changed by the younger generation that wanted to express themselves. Happiness is a very Jewish Value, but I think breslev takes it a little to far.

      Delete
  48. I agree with much of what you said and really appreciate your bravery at tackling such a controversial issue. I disagree with you on one issue - that filtering can work. Filtering any computer that is used for business or college level work is completely impractical and it will become even more so over time. I have an online company and am working in a startup right now and i can tell you most of my work would be impossible with a filter. Most people who work in any sort of business are as frustrated as i am. The problem is if the filter blocks something even once that it shouldn't it can cost a business a lot of money. This is only practical on private family computers which are not necessary for work related purposes. I think this was a well written article though and keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
  49. "It’s also great that we have finally realized the futility in banning something that was inevitably going to be a part of our lives."

    As I commented above, internet was never banned per se, but they made a takana that parents who need internet at home must obtain an ishur. That is not changing. They will still require an ishur. So what exactly are you hocking here?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all you can google the internet and see copies of all the bans. Second can you tell me what this asifa is for if they arent changing anything? What does this new slogan, cant live with it... mean? please explain, because me like so many are confused.

      Delete
    2. Don't give me cowardly lame responses. Provide me with a link showing they outright banned the internet.

      Whats the asifa for? Go and find out! Have no patience? go discuss it with your Rov.

      Delete
  50. "And while it’s 15 years too late"

    What are talking about. Where you not at the asifa in bais faiga a number of years ago? Already then they addressed the internet issue, and now that they see the countless additional korbonos created by the internet, they're doing further hishtadlus

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly as you say. They addressed it by banning it and thats why nothing changed. Thats was the point of the article to give new ideas.

      Delete
    2. Again with your clueless responses. THEY DID NOT BAN IT.

      They established the ishur system, that the schools will reject children from homes with internet where the parents did not obtain an ishur, but they did NOT place a blanket ban on internet use.

      Delete
  51. "If what I read in the pamphlets is true and our huge solution is filtering..."

    Are you implying that until now filtering wasn't necessary?

    Are you seriously trying to state that the issue the Rabbonim have here, is that till now they didn't require filters, which led to all the internet issues, and from now on the rabonim will require filters?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IDK, You tell me, from the pamphlet I saw it talked all about filtering. What is the point of the asifa?

      Delete
    2. YOU DON'T KNOW??? YOU REALLY HAD A HAVA AMINA THAT UNTIL NOW THE RABBONIM DIDN'T REQUIRE FILTERS???? MY GOD, YOU ARE SOOOO CLUELESS

      One the main conditions in getting an ishur was that you have to get a filter.

      You feel confident slamming the rabbonim for being 15 years late bla bla bla when YOU are completely cluelesss about whats going on.

      You really thought that every last detail was going to be mentioned in the pamphlet?! Whats the point? I'll tell you what "IDK"

      I don't know why a 36 year shnook think he's smarter than gedolim who have been involved in dozens (if not hundreds) of korbonos who fell due to the internet

      Delete
    3. Thanks for calling me a shnook Mr. Anonymous. Its easy to call other people names when you hide your identity.

      First you still never answered me what the point of the Asifa is? But lets just assume you dont know.
      I have been on the internet since day one. I didnt slam the rebonim. I even wrote "we" as in all of us to be polite even though I felt as a child someone should teach me about the new world we were facing. I had questions myself, like all kids but the topic was off limits because "they" compared internet to porn and it was not even mentioned. But me and all my terrible friends went online anyway, we used our 14,400 bps fax/modem and when no one was looking we entered a confusing world we faced for the first time. Things we didnt understand and nobody was there for us. Why, because a letter was sent out to the rabbayim and teachers not to say anything about the internet, not even an email address. This letter was still being sent last year.
      But the main problem I have is that your still convinced these korbonos (bad word by the way) fell because of the Internet. No, if anything they fell because we denied the internet and so we never educated them.
      Every kid wants to see what he is told not to. Its the nature of teens. But we have methods to deal with it as I outlined above in my EEEEEEs.
      You can scream all you want but you cant change the truth!

      Delete
  52. ok so the letter was baloney so what ?! it was a boy not a girl so what ?! are you really not familiar with people going off the derech ( and getting divorced ...... ) who were previously perfectly fine and it all started with the internet ( from this to that to porn ( addiction )..... I mean really WAKE UP ...... YOU are so out of touch!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First i didnt say it was a boy. I said it was some adult making up a fake story why this girl went off, just to blame the ipad. Thats manipulating the public. I have in my hands many letters from teens that speak about why they are so unhappy being jewish and none mention technology, porn or the internet. Its one BIG lie. Why dont you read the book I mentioned where she interviews kids and see what they say!

      Delete
    2. And how exactly do you know its fake?

      Here's how. Because a 36 year old guy got numerous letters from girls with issues, and none of them wrote him any such stories.

      MY GOD!!! your logic is soooo krum, its frightening!!!!

      I personaly know of SEVERAL boys whose ruchniyus are completely shattered due to the internet.

      And why do you trust margolese more that Rabbi Solomon??? Have you ever even attempted to ask him for his side of the story?

      Delete
  53. " i was going to reply to him. They had a brochure in my shul and the entire thing was about how filters is the new answer. Maybe i should post a copy."
    PLEASE do .... I saw the same brochure as you( in the same shul ) and that is not the point , and not THE solution .... I don`t like like screaming at people but seriously you sound like a small child taking one point( of many , awareness chizuk etc...) out of context to pick a fight !!!! ( please don`t make yourself out to be so naive to really think that the whole point of the whole asifa is to give everyone a filter )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please list the other points that were mentioned?

      Delete
  54. even if the gedolim want to make their point on whatever they have to,why waste money on renting out citi field with 40 thousand fans,when there will be a siyum hashas with 8o thousand people speak then!!!!!waste of money doing it at citi field stupidity!!!!pure stupidity!!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. "read my 3 reasons I wrote and i covered new filters."
    No you did not cover new filters and please answer the question about yichud .
    your 3 reasons
    1: created not to be filtered .... IF YOU ( the user )doesn`t want it filtered . I get my internet through Jnet , I CAN NOT get onto you tube etc. In the arab world the users do not want to be filtered .We however I hope do .

    2: PASSWORD - When I was just 17 ...... ok Please come to my house and try bypassing my filtered server in the year 2012 when you are 36 .( all my teenage computer geniuses can`t )

    3: WIFI. Free unfiltered wireless internet is available almost anywhere you go .... I am in the telecom / wireless business so let me tell you it`s not true . and the GOAL of having wifi allover the USA is not going to happen for a long time ( so till then it`s worth enacting " solutions " ) . most people are not going to watch porn in starbucks or their neighbors front porch etc..... so filtering internet at home takes care of a large part of the problem . ( yes not the whole problem )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow you are in the wireless business and you are so uninformed. I have an app on my phone that shows me everyplace I can get free wifi. But I dont need that because i can get wifi free from my neighbors while I sit on the toilet.
      Anyone can break or bypass the filter and if they cant they can google it. I am willing to show it live at the asifa. And you "hope" your teenage computer geniuses cant' , but youll never really know, will you?
      And dont say you trust them because then, why the filter. its a logical trap.
      And here is the link to free wifi. The internet is great to find information so quickly.
      http://wifinetnews.com/archives/2008/01/san_francisco_gets_free_wi-fi_courtesy_of_meraki.html

      Delete
  56. Why haven't you answered why chazal had to establish issur yichud?

    WHAT HAPPENED TO WILLPOWER???

    If Chazal didn't trust you with that frummie kollel lady in the room, would they have trusted you to sit in front of a computer where you can access the 50th sharrei tumah in a matter of a few clicks????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you really want to know the answer to your question so im going to reply. Have you ever wondered why there is no issur yichud with your wife while she is a Nida? The Yereim says, because we do not make decrees on the community that people will not be able to uphold. I rest my case.....
      And for the last time I wrote filters are important! just not the solution.

      Delete
    2. The basic answer to ishto nida is because Pas B'salo, but with others, chazal understood that willpower and EEEEEEEEEE's are not enough and the best route is to avoid the situation completely. Hence, we have an issur yichud. Sechor Sechor Omrim L'nozir. So please spare us from your "willpower" speeches. When it comes to issurei arayos, chazal didn't rely on our willpower and neither should you.

      Delete
  57. stop making the brochure the focal point of the asifa . I repeat " please don`t make yourself out to be so naive to really think that the whole point of the whole asifa is to give everyone a filter "

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So for the last time CAN SOMEONE TELL ME THE POINT OF THE ASIFA?

      Delete
    2. chizuk... awareness for the uninformed ( of the extant of the problem and yes there are a lot of those ) .... and as the skulener rebbe said so that 40,000 yidden can say shema together and daven that this monster we sleep with doesn`t destroy thousands more .... and yes to TRY and make it the basic standard for EVERYONE to have a good filter ( the vast majority of us do not have any sort of filter )

      Delete
    3. They need to come up with better ideas to get a message out. I posted my blog on facebook just once and within 48 hours I received over 50,000 hits! When people like a message they re-post and re-post. And when they dont like a message they ignore it.
      Is the 40,000 thing like some kind of segula or kabalistic thing? Is this the worst problem we yidden face today? My community in Marine Park is doing just fine with the internet. We teach our kids and spend time with them we implement the EEEEEs and B"H I haven't heard any problems from my friends.
      I dont know the rebbes community, but maybe people are looking for ways to get away and the Internet is a great tool. Maybe they should look at the source of the problem. Just saying

      Delete
    4. So if Dovid Teitelbaum hasn't heard of any problems, it means there aren't any.

      Your twisted logic continues to astound me.

      Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence!

      Delete
  58. YICHUD
    actually the main reason is because of " libo gas bah "( remember chupas niddah ) so if you are already in that situation with the porn on the internet......... enough said

    ReplyDelete
  59. "IMPORTANT BUT NOT THE SOLUTION " YOU are the one who decided that THE solution is a filter because of what the "brochure" implied , so get that out of your head . and according to your expert advice to the uninformed why get a filter .... no point ( if your kid could teitch a pasuk chumash he could easily bypass the filter )

    ReplyDelete
  60. "i can get wifi free from my neighbors while I sit on the toilet"

    ok so because of your and many other toilets filters don`t help . got that logic . and no they can`t bypass it because if i can`t i can reasonably assume that 99% of people can`t ( the only way i am able is to hack the server of my provider which i can but do you know anyone else who can ? ) yes I am in the " business "

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I happen to be in IT also. just like software hacks all you need is one person to figure it out and then everyone has it. Its also sometimes not about cracking but thinking outside the box, and kids are very good at that. I really dont want to turn this blog into a hackers guide but anyone can google it for themselves.
      Listen parents are naive about their kids. Every teen parent I speak with tells me their son doesn't have internet access. What should I do tell them im friends with their son on facebook! I'm not a snitch.

      Delete
    2. "Listen parents are naive about their kids..."

      Thanks so much for explaining the need for the citifield asifa

      Delete
  61. You know I agree with you from my previous comments, but I have a question. You've tried publishing your thoughts in the paper and that hasn't worked for you. Have you tried calling up some of the Gedolim behind the Asifa and asking them why there appears to be little focus on the core issue of discontent and fulfillment in our community, and only filters are being stressed? Wouldn't that be the most respectful way to address the issue? Standing from afar, voicing your opinion, and generating critical discussion would appear, from my view, less constructive and lacking in the appropriate approach to Emunas Chachamim.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My letter was, an open letter to them....
      They can take it or leave it. From the response im getting it seems they should try some of my ideas it seems like people want it.

      Delete
    2. I think picking up the phone to speak with them would be the respectful thing to do. I don't know their approach to open letters. I'm sure it's not true of you, but they may interpret open letters as a voice from someone who is not interested in discussion and learning, but just wants to be heard. I don't even know if they'll hear of your open letter from their Askanim. I think asking them directly, whichever one you're most comfortable calling, will prove most beneficial and respectful. Not doing so would put your sincerity in question.

      Delete
    3. OK. Can you give me a phone number? There is no website info.
      Ill report back to let you know how it went.

      Delete
    4. I don't have a number, but you can get R' Mattisyahu Solomon's number just as easily as I can. Some hishtadlus asking the right people should produce the number if you're driven to speak to him.

      Delete
    5. Actually, I read that R' Mattisyahu might be hard to reach because of health issues - he should have a Refuah Shelaimah! Perhaps seek out Rav Ephraim Waxman in Monsey, or Rav Malkiel Kotler in Lakewood. You should be able to find someone high up to speak to, again, if you're driven to speak to someone and get answers.

      Delete
    6. R Matisyahu Salomon (732) 363-8928

      Delete
    7. Thanks Anon. OK R' Dovid - looking forward to your report back.

      Delete
  62. Here's one more point I was discussing with someone last night. I think this was raised by others in the comments, yourself included, but I just want to make it clearer:

    While there are many who have already heard about the dangers of the internet, the teens and families that have been destroyed as a result of unfiltered access, there is a very large portion of the frum community that have not heard about it, or have heard but remain in denial. There's never been an Asifa of this size and it would seem that the goal is to get the word out to practically everyone, once and for all, that unfiltered internet is threatening everything we hold dear. The frum community needs to be shaken to the core, to realize that we're nearing rock-bottom.

    Yes, you and I agree that the core issue is the lack of fulfillment, Simcha, contentment - whatever you want to call it. As a result I truly hope that the contentment issue is stressed at the Asifa, just so I can feel secure knowing that our Gedolim are in touch with my reality (I like to say I have Emunas Chachamim, but I have a long way to go until I feel that way 100%.) At the same time, perhaps that message will fall on deaf ears since it's only a message. It's such a huge issue that there may be no easy solutions that can be offered on one foot. Filters are practical solutions that people can implement.

    Quick Mashal: If there's a treacherous road without guardrails on a mountain and people are consistently driving off the cliff, the first thing to do is build a guardrail. The core problem is that everyone is driving too fast and not paying attention, but set up the guardrail and then work with the drivers.

    Once filters are in place as the norm, maybe then, and only then, can we say the truth: internet and technology are not the problem! Our Ruchniyus is the problem! Technology has been H's Shliach to wake us up to the fact that if we don't find fulfillment in our relationship with H', then we will lose everything. I would really love to hear that message at the Asifa, but if it's not said maybe our Gedolim have assessed the larger community as not being ready to hear it... yet.

    ReplyDelete
  63. There are stories of M'chabrei Seforim who wanted to look something up on the 'net, and accidentally stumbled onto problem sites and things went downhill from there. These are people who had the EEEEs, but also have a Yeitzer Hora, as we all do. If the Asifa just makes it self-evident/obvious/well-known/required/accepted that no one should own an unfiltered computer, that will be a terrific first step. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who don't recognize the need. No, the filters will not stop someone determined to bypass them, but that doesn't mean we should leave the doors unlocked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, I wrote filters are important, but not the solution.

      Delete
  64. http://thepartialview.blogspot.com/2012/03/internet-asifa-does-it-have-to-be-grand.html

    interesting post on the asifa

    ReplyDelete
  65. A little too idealistic for my taste.

    Growing up I had a passion for the arts and creativity. But “it was not for a yeshiva bocher, a yeshiva bocher needs to spend all his time learning” These were not even the words of my parents but the words of outside influences to my parents. I wanted to learn an instrument, take art lessons. I enjoyed being creative, painting, acting but there was no outlet for it in the frum community. My personality was squelched and I had no passion for anything particularly learning and became very depressed. So while my creativity and passion for the arts was never realized… neither was a development in Torah study. I performed poorly throughout elementary and high school but “strangely” once I was out of that environment I exceled in collage, even won several awards. I later developed a tremendous appreciation for ‘yiddishkite’ (Judaism) after learning about it through bal tishuva books and organizations. The biggest failure of unsupplied information which is never shared in yeshivas is to love G-d, they only teach to fear him which creates distance.

    Today there are so many outlets for kids to express themselves in many ways we couldn’t years ago. Skiing, organized sports, play productions are all commonplace now in yeshivas – naturally to keep kids away from the internet and other evils of course- where as they were not allowed when I was growing up. I believe if you crush a child’s innate passions you crush there particular way to learn. A passion for basketball or creating videos for the internet (appropriate ones of course) will give a child an understanding of what it means to be passionate about SOMETHING, they can then be directed to understand why they should be passionate about learning torah, - which is difficult for even most adults to understand.

    It’s nice that you have wonderful ideas on how to change the yeshiva system, implementing them is another story. The “Yeshiva World” runs the yeshivas and does not understand the majority. If you try and make a yeshiva that is more ‘open minded’ it becomes ‘modern orthodox’ and core values can sometimes be lost. A proper balance of protection, exposure and discussion is needed for children to face an uncertain future in the outside world AND inside yeshiva world.

    The answer really lies within. Parents can only do what they feel is best for their children, Rabbeim can only teach what they know but all children eventually grow up and are responsible to discover ‘what is truth’ for themselves, it is the struggle of life. In 10 years the internet will be an issue of the past, just like the “Shtuse Box” (TV) and the Yeshiva World will start worrying about more important things like bugs in food and unfiltered sinks again.

    On a positive note, progress is being made. Blogs and discussion forums, such as this one, on the (“evil”) internet, where open dialog can be shared with thousands of people is a source of great education to all and will evoke positive change and for those grappling with the internet the Asifa at Citi Field will help them… it’s called balance.

    -
    Jewish Brother

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    Replies
    1. Dear Brother,
      I agree with your points. But the Asifa will only help if they take on the real issues. If its another ban, just this time with filters then we have accomplished nothing.

      Delete
  66. Dear Reb Dovid,
    I did not read you write up and I will explain why.
    Horav Solomon Shlita and The Skulener Rebbe Shlita are Gedolim that are reachable. You could have spoken over you concerns with them directly. You chose instead to convey publicly that you do not have emunas chachomim. If we only respect Gedolim when we agree with them, then it is ourselves who we respect. Not the Gedolim! What you did was be Mevaze Gedolim Brabim. You are the Ultimate Letz Echod that Chazal describe. May Hashem give the wisdom to see the error in your ways. May you find a method of teshuva that will help you atone for this chillul shem shomayim berabim.
    A true friend, and former admirer.

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    1. Dear, true friend, and former admirer.
      Im so happy you posted that because I would like everyone to see what you wrote. Here you are, being ANONYMOUS, calling me all kind of names and accusing me of things I never said. I will only respond to you after you post your REAL name. A name that anyone could see and contact like I did.

      Delete
    2. I will be the anonymous #2
      He did not accuse you of saying ANYTHING. Your response to him is childish and makes it look like he is right. Did you try to accomplish your goals with respect first? Do you have a Daas Torah that permitted you to do this? Do you have emuans chachomim when you disagree? Are these not important questions to answer, regardless of who is asking them????????

      Delete
    3. If there are other shitos that wouldn't approach the problem this way, and you know that the Rabbonim arranging the assifa won't consider those shitos, and you've seen that Rabbonim's advice hasn't been working thus far, what's left to do?

      Kids and adults are very disenfranchised and this Assifa will likely make matters worse. Just the announcement has already created much laughter from the kids. If you were in touch with them, you'd know that.

      So DT should go to them and then be told "sorry, you have no say"?

      He is trying to help, not be disrespectful!

      Delete
  67. you are more then welcome to ignore me with the logic that i choose to remain nameless.
    you did not however answer the point. i assume that is because you agree that you should have gone to speak with horav solomon shlita, before doing the irresponsible open letter show.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I called you a shnook and for good reason. When a 36 year old has the Azus to take on Gedolei Yisroel and he is clueless about the issues, then he's a shnook.

    1) You keep on mentioning "the ban which is being replaced with filters". There never was a blanket ban on internet. Only an ishur system which required filters.

    2) You refuse to believe that there are kids off the derech due to internet, when its common knowledge that there are countless such cases. Call the top lakewood mechanchim and find out for yourself.

    3) You use totaly immature krum logic - the letter in the pamphlet from the girl must be fake, since no girl ever wrote you anything like that, must be girls don't write like that.

    4) Gedolai Yisroel who have been involved in numerous cases of fallouts due to the internet after extensive meetings and discusion reach a determination to create an asifa, and people find it important enough that they're willing to give heavy money in sponsorship, but you do nothing more than read a pamphlet and conclude that its all pointless.

    So yes, I still consider you a shnook

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Gedolai Yisroel have missed the mark before. Is it krum to say that?

      At beginning of bayis sheini, chazal tried to asser shemen of a nochri. The tzibbur couldn't handle it. They didn't abide by it. The takana was therefore not chal.

      Were klal yisrael all krum for not abiding? Were the chachomim right in making a gezeira that rov yisroel couldn't keep?

      Please Anonymous, or ... Anonymous, :-), what's your understanding of this? I think it's very relevant to this issue.

      Delete
    2. Ploni Almoni: "I called you a shnook and for good reason. When a 36 year old has the Azus to take on Gedolei Yisroel and he is clueless about the issues, then he's a shnook."

      When did 36 become the new 14?

      Delete
  69. 1) Talk to rabbonim in lakewood about what they feel about having the internet with filters - they are not in favor of it and have railed against it. The filter system is incredibly impractical for 97% of business users out there.
    2)when ever someone says something is "common knowledge" that is a cause for doubt. how in g-ds name do you know that. There are many reasons kids go off the derech and the internet may be a facilitator but it is not the reason - instead of talking to mechanchim talk to psychologist and kids at risk and you will hear a very different story. there was a psychologist in mishpacha magazine who was quoted as saying that lakewood has the largest percentage of kids that go off hmmm.
    4)This is because a certain "gadol" has shown insensitivity towards working people in the past who need the internet and looks down at them as if they are a bunch of schnooks. how is an asifa a way for ideas to be discussed come on you can't be that ignorant have you ever been to yeshiva before?

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    1. Well said. I want to add one more point. When a parent comes to these rabonim complaining about their kid going "off the derech". They will never blame themselves or the yeshiva, so they tell the rabbi, who has never used the internet, that they think its the cellphone or internet. And the rabbi buys into it. Its so much easier for them to blame a device. A device they dont really understand much about.

      Delete
  70. Rabbi Teitelbaum,

    First thank you for printing a very interesting article that presented another well spoken opinion.

    My question after reading you article is:

    Have you attempted to contact the Agudah to see if the Moetzes would support your position? I am just wondering if any of the elder Rabbonim in the U.S.A. have been receptive to your (valid) points.

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    1. I dont know. Its very hard to contact them. They dont have a website or email that I know of. Ichud doesn't either and people are telling me different names of who is really in charge. What I mean is who calls the shots. Besides for that this was an open letter to them so I hope somebody out there would show them these suggestion and use them. This blog has now over 50,000 views. Im sure someone up there can see it.
      But realistically if I did meet with them before I wrote this they wouldn't have even acknowledged me. In not even a Rabbi.

      Delete
    2. Why do you need a website or email? Who cares "who is calling the shots"?

      I think it would be the most effective if you would explain you position, rather than having one of your readers.

      Why don't you call any of the elder Roshei HaYeshivos [many are easily accessible- and they are listed in the phonebook]? I'm sure you will able to get through to at least one of them, if you try...

      Don't you think it will be very helpful for you to be able to present the response of respected Gedolei Torah, when you discuss your ideas with them?

      Delete
    3. OK, Ill be more blunt. I tried speaking to one of them that said my views were against gedolim. I spoke really gently and politely and he was rude and didnt care. he even hung the phone up on me. I have a recording of the conversation. I still believe that he was an exception and the rest are all caring and warm, but I came to realize that a post with some better suggestions than just filtering would be a more effective way to get heard.

      Delete
    4. i have read Your replies and which ones you agree with. it is clear, very clear that you have emunas chachomim in YOURSELF, and consider yourself a godal.

      Delete
    5. Im not sure what you mean. I only responded to the ones that disagreed because I hoped to explain my position. There are thousands of Rabbis that take my position. I dont even call myself a Rabbi so how could you say such a thing?

      Delete
    6. Someone offered the Lakewood Mashgiach's phone # above. Please try calling him or someone else of Gadol stature who is involved. Don't be discouraged by an abrupt Askan, even if he has Semicha. (Getting Semicha doesn't make you a Mentch. If it did I would finish my Semicha in a jiffy!)

      Delete
    7. You say that you only reply when you disagree. this is a lie! look back at all your comments that say " well said" or "i agree". you are playing with the fire that the mishna in pirkei ovos says to be fearful of!

      Delete
    8. Ladies and Gentlemen, read the last 2 Anonymous responses and you will see the nastiness that some of our brethren are using to manipulate the conversation.

      Calling DT a Gadol basher and a lier, and warning him that he will burn from the fire of the chachomim.

      Very shain.

      But I understand.. this is a milchemes mitzvah. Nothing personal...

      Perhaps such kind Askanim should be given remote software to check up on each of us and make sure we're behaving properly. Wouldn't that fix all our problem?

      Mr. Anonymous, I sure hope you aren't a Rov or in Chinuch! You might be part of our problem.

      Delete
  71. Oh - and you're not a nobody. Your father a"h is a household name.

    ReplyDelete
  72. There must be an elder, respected Rav, in the United States who you will be comfortable in calling (without be hung-up on).

    How about Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky or Rav Aron Feldmen (both are view as manhigim, tzadikim, and gedolei torah in America, and are part of the Moetzes)?

    Why don't you call them today, and discuss your ideas?

    Then you could present their very respected opinions.

    A key point is that you could present a level of dialogue, that you DISCUSSED (didn't tell) your ideas with Gadol "a" and Gadol "b"- and "this is what they said."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the side that you really do want to know what is going on, ill let you in. Not only was my letter aproved by rabonim but after I wrote it, I got hundreds of emails and phone calls from great rabbis of the community telling me how much they loved what I wrote and maybe this will make a difference. The fact than none of them can this stuff publicly is a BIG problem and thats what im dealing with now.

      Delete
    2. Please understand that my point was for the benefit of your position. If you have spoken to Gedolei Torah, and they approve of your message- then why not share their names?

      As soon as you are able to present the names of respected manhigim who endorse your ideas, it will refute all the nasty attacks against you (as seen on this site). More importantly, it will strengthen you argument, and many more will take your side.

      I'm sure some of the "hundreds" of Rabbonim would agree to have their name publicized...

      And again, did you speak to Rav Aaron Feldman or Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky? I'm sure they would not "hang-up the phone on you."

      Delete
    3. Your asking a great question, and the answer is so sad. These rabonim are under major pressure from the moral mafia. I do have all their contacts and I am in touch with the all through email. But mentioning names at this point without their permission I wont do. I have all the emails and phone calls recorded but unless I get the ok from them I will never do it. They might feel they have a better chance of improving the terrible divide in klal yisroel (as you can see from the positive reaction by so many comments to my letter, not just hear but on VIN)by remaining under the radar. That is their choose not mine. I come from a family that believes in speaking up, no matter what. I also have nothing to loose, because my teens and parents I deal with agree completely with and so they wont care if im am banned or called an "anti godol". The rabbis you mentioned I havent contacted but I have so many that Im talking to right now and more ane more each day. Also you mentioned two names but how do you know they are behind this. From what I hear the names keep on changing, so unless im sure im speaking to the right person its useless.

      Delete
    4. I mentioned those to Gedolei Torah since they are famous for their tzidkus and yashrus, and have shown countless times that they will state their opinion, even if it is not the "trend." In short, they are known to seek and speak the emes. I have no idea if they are involved with this "asifa." That was not my point, I was simply noting that they are respected Rabbonim who have tens of thousands of talmidim and followers. It would seem to be common since to attempt to discuss the topic with them. If they endorse your view you will have a much easier time persuading others.

      Why don't you at least try to call them today, and write what happens?

      Delete
  73. to curious george,
    how do you want a lie to be poited out nicley?
    Ok Shaiflelh you forgot to tell the truth this time dovidle sweet heart" is that better?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you thought I lied than I get it. But thats not what the askanim are saying. They are saying i am "Against das torah". and that is the biggest lie of all!

      Delete
  74. My point was you are getting nasty and I see it as a siman for what's to come from all this spying on each other, putting up walls, and fixing.

    In the past decade we have witnessed more than the internet boom. We have witnessed the takana and assifa boom. It ain't working but they just make them bigger and bigger.

    I suppose the next assifa will be at MetLife Stadium. It seats over 80,000! Maybe we should lock it in already. We'll pick a topic later!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Reb dovid, if its a lie, why don't you respond to the question of wheather or not you reached out to Horav Felman or Horav Kaminetzky. Both have spoken out on topics like molestation and homosexuality, and do not shy away from the tough topics. Your claim to be machshiv daas torah is suspect at best. You have neglected to answer the direct questions about this, and are hiding behind the defense of, since you are not saying your name, i won't answer answer the question. it does not work for any free thinking people.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ok. First Im starting to hate the word "das torah" because there are so many rabonim out there that have different opinions on the matter. and im not even refering to modern orthodox. Im refering to rabonim in my community of flatbuch. To say that I havent gone to two names that you mention is ridicules. People have given me other names to. Like I said this is a long process of first responding to all the rabonim that called me (all positive BTW). than my own rabayim i personally have connections with. And even they have different opinions as to what my next step is. Im certain by now my letter reached these people and if they think I can help in any way they would contact me, like other roshei yeshiva did. I am very respective of tamidei chachmim, and all jews, unlike the last kanaei rosh yeshiva that hung up the phone on me!

      Delete
    2. What is the pshat? Why are there so many Rabbonim, Roshei Yeshiva, Mechanchim, parents, kids, who understand what you are saying 100% and yet the only one brave enough to put his name to this conversation? I of course, am very clear as to who I am! :-)

      The teirutz is we are intimidated to say what we think and be branded as mechutzafim. But believe me, we aren't! We actually crave direction from our leaders. But we know from direct observation that it seems that haven't seen, that this won't work. We wish they would show us the way.

      Delete
    3. "mechutzaf?" I wish. They call me a "gadol Hater", a person that goes against "Das Torah" and this list of lies gose on....

      Delete
    4. Did you attempt to speak to Rav Aaron Schechter? Any of the Roshei Hayeshivas from the Moetzes??

      Delete
    5. At the end of the day, it seems that you are fighting a loosing battle if no one of note is willing to back you publicly...

      Delete
  76. Well if it's any comfort to you, my only friend is "The Man with The Yellow Hat" :-)

    ReplyDelete
  77. I see you`re having a problem with yichud ......

    "The basic answer to ishto nida is because Pas B'salo, but with others, chazal understood that willpower and EEEEEEEEEE's are not enough and the best route is to avoid the situation completely. Hence, we have an issur yichud. Sechor Sechor Omrim L'nozir. So please spare us from your "willpower" speeches. When it comes to issurei arayos, chazal didn't rely on our willpower and neither should you."

    "YICHUD
    actually the main reason is because of " libo gas bah "( remember chupas niddah ) so if you are already in that situation with the porn on the internet......... enough said " looking forward to reading the response of RABBI teitelbaum .

    ReplyDelete
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    1. DT has actually said again and again that he is not a rabbi.

      Your attempt to degrade DT is actually degrading yourself. Eizehu m'chubad? Hamechabed kol Adam. This is similar to another converse tactic of calling someonewho has smicha, but you don't like his shitos by the title "Mr."

      Both are quite childish and are megalleh that the "groise talmid chochom" who uses such a tactic, is lacking in basic human dignity. If you don't understand that term, perhaps Google it!

      Delete
  78. "just like software hacks all you need is one person to figure it out and then everyone has it."


    ok Mr in the IT business let me know when someone " unfilters " the whole Jnet and posts it online so that we can all have a party !!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. You still dont get it. You dont "unfilter" things, you bypass them. I already offered a challenge to the Asifa to access inappropriate material live at the Masiba, and they can use any filter they want.

      Delete
    2. That could be the entertainment! (Kind of like watching Harry Houdini getting himself out of being all chained and locked up!)

      Delete
  79. Dear Rabbi Teitelbaum

    I greatly admire and respect your strength to come out with an open letter to Klal Yisroel where you express your opinion using your own name. (Unfortunately I and most others don’t have that)

    Reading your letter I was impressed to see how careful you were in keeping the respect and koved Hachachomim while at the same time expressing your viewpoint of the problems that surround all walks of Klal Yisroel.
    I would like to point out two issues:

    1)Going thru the comments that people wrote it is painfully obvious that up until a certain point all comments were written with refined language and respect to kuvod habrios, as our chachumim taught us. Unfortunately at one point the comments are starting to a get a very unjewish face, nasty , defaming, even going as far as calling you an apikorus that doesn’t follow das torah. I would like to ask all these nameless people, if your opinion (shita) is the real emesa derech why don’t you do what our chachumim teach us “Divrie Chachumim bnachas yishmuin- the words of the wise is heard thru a calm voice” people who have the real Mehalech don’t have to use derogatory language, attack or slander others

    Let me tell you how I see it: Today we have several askanim who think they are (or want to be) the flag carriers of klal yisroel, they got wind of the blog after it had already spread far and wide. Wanting to stop this widespread blog they unfortunately resorted to using cheap tactics by defaming the chusheva writer. Rabbi Teitelbaum, Chazak vyamaitz, don’t resort to their lowly standards

    2)But why does it have to be this way? Why can’t we work together?
    With the scope of such a problem, before making any major decisions we should hear the opinion of/ involve at least 1000 people, send out surveys to all mechanchim, rabbonim and even lay people within the broad jewish community, listen to their opinion as well, then decide on the best path.

    As it stands now, there is a group of several askanim with a loud voice (flag carriers) who took a few Rabbanim as their front runners for the ichud, and at every asifa the askanim say their opinion to the rabbanim. (and the rabbanim have no choice other than to agree because otherwise they will be the next on the list to be slandered), thereafter it’s forced onto the klal. As it stands now, it appears that this ichud h’achdus will cause consequences such as, sinas chinum causing strife between parents and their children as well as conflicts between parents and mosdos hatorah.

    My jewish brothers, please wake up now don’t let a few askomim who don’t truly mean our tova dominate our lives. Computers and the internet are here to stay. Let us work together, lets here everyones’ voice, and as Rabbi Teitelbaum writes use all E’s with the filters for the benefit of our children.

    A Jew who wants AM YISROEL CHAI TAMID

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    Replies
    1. Zayir gut gzugt!

      Delete
  80. NEW ASIFA AD. Ok we have an new ad now that tells us some reasons to go. Let me hear from the audience. adhttp://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-asifa-ad-will-you-be-there.html

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    1. It has a list of people on the steering committee but I can't make out their names because the print is very small. Are we to assume these are the key people involved or were these people asked by the Askanim to help?

      Without getting into lahaon hora, do these people have any history in being involved in such Asifos?

      Delete
    2. From what im getting its this one guy "Gotlieb" that is behind the whole thing. But its hard to get information because everyone I speak with that was at the meeting seems to be telling me different things.

      Delete
  81. "Rabbi" Gotlieb needed a job after his school in Lakewood collapsed, so he opened the Ichud.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. So then her are the rest of the people and why is his name not listed on the ad?

      Delete
  82. Teens go off the derech for many reasons; When there is a difficult family situation, when they feel that they are being lied to or patronized, when they have insecurities, just to name a few. The internet may be a SYMPTOM of being off the derech, but a healthy, well-rounded teen who can have an open and honest dialogue with his/her parents will have no reason to go off the derech. If that were the case, then the gedolim would have to ban WINE and ASPIRIN. A teen who is in pain is looking for "trouble", if it's not the internet, then it's drugs, alcohol, bad friends, unhealthy behavior, or criminal activity. You can't ban everything, you have to NURTURE everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  83. For those that asked me to see the hateful and ridicules article of Rabbi Nechemiah Gottlieb, Director of Ichud, the organization behind the Asifa, read this post,and then think about whether you want to be part of an event run under his leadership!
    http://dteitelbaum.blogspot.com/2012/04/rabbi-nechemiah-gottlieb-director-ichud.html

    ReplyDelete
  84. when you say no loshon hora on your blog, do you only mean if its about someone that you agree with?????

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If you know anything about the Halachos of Loshon Hara you would know that an article that was already made public like the FJJ is allowed to be shown. I just reprinted the hateful and ridicules article gotlieb wrote. Its on the FJJ site for anyone to see. Unfortunately his own writings make him look like a complete fool, I cant help that. Also at this point I have enough verified information on the guy that I am willing to consider him an individual that is dangerous to Klal Yisroel and must be hold accountable!

      Delete
  85. Just came across your article. While I am also rather skeptical of the effectiveness of filters and similar such approaches, I don't really see how your suggestions would really address the problem either.

    With regards to most issues (e.g. social media, anti-Torah blogs, etc.), the internet is simply an extension of the usual issues we have always had to deal with regarding non-Jewish influences (through social interactions, books, and, in more recent generations, radio and television), and, in my opinion, the approach you have laid out (while I disagree with some of the details) is basically the correct approach. So, if that were the whole problem, or even the main problem, with the internet, then I would basically agree with you.

    However, the internet has created one problem that is, for all intents and purposes, entirely new. This is the easy and risk-free availability of free pornography. The internet makes it possible for anyone, of any age, to access pornography with virtually no risk of exposure (or even minor embarrassment).

    All the normal safe-guards that, in the "old" days (like the 1980's), would help a person who struggled with this problem are almost entirely useless today. All it takes is a moment's weakness, and a little privacy, and the damage is done. There is no buffer zone, no intermediate steps.

    It would be nice to think that the kind of positive program you have outlined would help with this problem, but the reality is that the urges that cause a person to view pornography are not so easily dealt with. Certainly, over the long term, as a person develops spiritually, the desire to view such material should diminish, but even that requires that the person avoid looking at such material in the first place. It is a near impossibility for a person to bring this desire under control when he is regularly involved in it.

    Unfortunately, I don't know if there is any truly effective solution to this problem. While far from a true solution to the problem, filtering and monitoring software would probably be beneficial for at least some people. Your "solution", however, even if it could be implemented (which is questionable), would not do anything whatsoever to address this issue.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Your bringing up a topic that I wasnt going to talk about but in short here is my take.
      Porn, while bad, doesn't turn people off from yidishkeit. I think of it as another terrible addiction such as smoking. It needs to be dealt with but kids shouldn't feel like they are crazy if they are caught with it. Thats all I would like to say. Im sure there are people way more qualified to deal with this issue.

      Delete
    2. Pornography is obviously a distasteful topic, but there is no question that it is the primary concern motivating the upcoming "internet asifa" that you are supposedly writing about. (The distastefulness of the topic is one of the reasons why other issues tend to get talked about more often.) Yet you have not even attempted to address the actual issue at hand, and instead you have proposed an alternate solution to a different problem!

      The simple reality is that internet pornography is a massive problem affecting our entire society. Even if we ignore the ruchnius issues, the reality is that pornography is deeply harmful, especially when a person is continually exposed to it (as opposed to the "old" days, when you had to buy a magazine which you then had to keep hidden).

      In your response, you imply that the primary harm from pornography is that "kids" are made to "feel like they are crazy" when they are caught looking at it. The reality is far worse than that. Pornography would be harmful even if there was no social or religious shame associated with it.

      Even if it were true that pornography doesn't "turn people off from yiddishkeit" (a claim of which I am deeply skeptical, especially in connection with adolescents), this is not the only metric of value in Judaism. There is no question that looking at pornography is both forbidden in of itself, leads to additional aveiros, and is deeply corrosive of both of one's ruchnius and one's psychological well-being.

      It is rather odd to criticize the efforts of the organizers of the upcoming asifa (and of the numerous rabbonim and gedolim that support it) while ignoring the primary issue they are trying to address.

      It's perfectly valid to criticize the apparent over reliance on filtering as a solution to the problem. People need to be aware that these programs are far from being a cure-all. But proposing alternate "solutions" that simply ignore the problem that the asifa is intended to address is irresponsible.

      Delete
    3. If you thought this Asifa was about porn than your making a big mistake. It was about the fact that these "kanaim" are being exposed one-by-one on the internet. I have a lot of proof but ill give you one to think about.
      A big percentage of my hits are coming from ISP's that are from the very companies they want to show at the expo. What stops me from posting anything inappropriate on my blog (never-mind the fact that Im ruining their business)? Think about it.

      Delete
    4. Thanks teitelbaum, for once and for all admitting that you have an overblown ego which was deflated by a such mentioned kannoi. Hence, your need for revenge on them by gloating about them getting exposed. If you can make such a blatant stupid statement that the main concern here is not about porn, then you are the biggest ignorant fool I've ever met.

      Delete
    5. I'm not following your reply at all. There is no question that the primary concern of all frum people and rabbonim about the internet is pornography. Of course, there are other legitimate concerns as well, most of which are simply extensions of age-old issues of allowing foreign influences into our homes and minds. The internet has certainly had a major influence in this regard, but the only area where the internet has created a fundamental change is in regard to pornography.

      It is certainly possible that some of the organizers of the asifa have ulterior motives as well. Perhaps some of them really think that they can somehow eliminate the internet entirely from the frum world (although the asifa organizers specifically say they have no intent to do so), thereby protecting themselves from criticism. However that is clearly not the primary concern of the overwhelming majority of the rabbonim and other supporters.

      I'm not clear on what your point is with regard to the hits on your blog from the ISPs of companies that "they want to show at the expo." I assume from your comment that these are companies that are owned and staffed primarily by frum Jews. I'm not sure why you would find it surprising that a disproportionate number of your readers come from such companies. This is especially true if you are, as you wrote, "ruining their business." If they do see you as a threat to their company, then obviously they will be reading your blog. Even if they don't (which is far more likely), if you are writing on topics that are closely related to their business, it would be surprising if they didn't regularly read your blog.

      Have a good Shabbos!

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    6. Dovid Teitelbaum, thank you for agreeing with me on this one.
      "Porn, while bad, doesn't turn people off from yidishkeit. I think of it as another terrible addiction such as smoking. It needs to be dealt with but kids shouldn't feel like they are crazy if they are caught with it."
      It is so much easier to blame everything on modern technology and porn, instead of tackling the real problems.

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  86. The alienation of followers from the leaders has created a situation where the leaders' proclamations on current matters are often tuned out. Until the broken relationship is repaired, very little of value can be accomplished. It's not enough to talk AT people.

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    1. What you are saying is SO true. Many Rabonim are silently complaining about this.

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  87. Re:Original article.

    Your solutions are valid but you're missing the point. The longer version...

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    1. Im going to respond on my blog so that you dont delete my reply.
      Notice though how you have to remain anonymous and I dont. In my blog I said filters are important but you seemed to ignore that. Who is to say you arent trying to sell a filter product or ISP to the public that they shouldn't have to purchase. K9 and other filter software has been around since the beginning of the internet and it was always free. A simple ad in the paper to notify the public about that would have been a good idea, dont you think? you claim the internet was never banned (which is a lie) so than how come the Chareidi papers never put in ads to the public to download these filters over all these years. Think about it. The public isnt as stupid as you think, they get whats going on.

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    2. "Notice though how you have to remain anonymous and I dont."

      Notice, that in the long run, Gotlieb will be supported by the gedolim and you will remain the fool.

      "you claim the internet was never banned (which is a lie)"

      No, its YOU who lie.

      Rabbis Salomon, Waxman, Kamenetsky etc etc NEVER outright BANNED internet. If you have proof otherwise, then show it.

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  88. It is nice to think that you can excite the kids so much that they won't abuse the internet but, I am sorry to say, that is not going to work. I am an educator and I have spoken to many excellent educators about these issues. There is nothing new to the war against the yetzer hara. I am sorry if that sounds old fashion but its true. If someone is seduced to do an aveira they will be caught up in it and it takes a lot to get him out. All the excitement and love etc. that we give our talmidim will not stop the internet from ruining lives if the exposure is not supervised. There is a passuk that we are all familiar with - Sur mera vaseh tov. You can have all the E's you want but it will not do the job if the Ra is left untouched.

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When posting please be careful about Loshon Hara