Tens of thousands on Sunday attended a mass rally in New York City in what they described as a war on technology threatening Jewish sanctity.
Haredi leaders raised $1.5m to pay for the event, which was held at Citi Field, the Mets’ baseball stadium in Queens.
“This will be a mass rally never before seen in the history of Orthodox Jewry in the US,” one of the organizers told Hebrew-language Jewish Daily News ahead of the rally. “It will be a gathering of unity of all the Jews living in the US.
"A gathering to disseminate information, and a prayer rally for the success of Klal Israel’s war on the technology which threatens the sanctity of the homes of Israel,” the organizer added.
A statement published in Haredi Orthodox newspapers promoting the event, and ads promoting the rally, were also posted in American hareidi newspapers.
“It is well known that in recent times that through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt,” the statement said.
“And since this touches almost everyone, we must assemble together to protect and be protected, and we hope that through this gathering in search of ideas we will be helped from Heaven to save the many, and may it be that we will be successful in encouraging the public not to stumble over this obstacle, and the Lord will guide us in a truthful path.”
During the event, orators sharply criticized what they described as "the ravages of advanced technology," and were joined by Rabbi Shmuel Wosner of Zichron Meir in Bnei Brak, who deliverd a fiery speech against the Internet.
Police deployed additional officers to prevent disturbances and to assure the security of attendees.