British Jews Discuss Internet Dangers
More than 4,600 hareidi-religious men met in London on Thursday for an event on the dangers of the Internet, the Jewish Chronicle reports. The event at Leyton Orient’s football stadium was inspired by a similar conference earlier in the year at the New York Mets baseball stadium in America.
The event was men-only. A live internet video was available for women and children in a separate venue.
The conference opened with a massive prayer session, as the men said the Mincha prayer together and recited psalms.
Rabbi Aharon Dovid Dunner led the event. Speakers included Rabbi Avraham Schorr of New York and Rabbi Shmuel Dishon, who organized the Mets stadium event.
Discussion focused on internet addiction, on damage to marriages due to improper internet use and on internet use among children and teenagers. Representatives from a hareidi company proposed various methods of protecting children from inappropriate material online, including storing computers in locked cupboards and using internet monitoring systems.
Earlier in the week 2,500 men met in Manchester for a similar event. Rabbis at the Manchester conference called for a widespread ban on Internet for “entertainment, social or similar non-business use.”
Rabbi Simcha Bamberger warned that people underestimate the threat posed by internet use and declared that Internet use could lead to a “spiritual Holocaust,” the Jewish Telegraph reported.
“The fault lies with the atmosphere in the world which is full of impurities with no boundaries,” he said. “Our senses have become contaminated. We cannot control ourselves.”
Rabbi Shmuel Dishon spoke at the Manchester event as well, and told the audience that the Internet, like nuclear energy, can be used for either good or evil. “We have to pray that we should have the strength to overcome the Internet,” he said.