Daily Israel Report

Hareidim Rally Against 'Unfiltered Internet'

The harm of technology has been a growing controversial topic for Hareidim as thousands joined in a conference against unfiltered internet.
By Kochava Rozenbaum
First Publish: 9/13/2013, 2:05 PM

(Illustration) Computer in Yeshiva
(Illustration) Computer in Yeshiva
Flash 90

"The battle against the harmful internet is for the future generations," say the thousands of Hareidim who attended a conference this week in Modi'in Illit about the potential threat of technology and unfiltered internet. 

The opening speech was presented by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Ulman, the head of Modi'in Illit's Beit Din (religious court). 

Rabbi Ulman asserted that the internet goes against what G-d had created and since the time of creation, there never existed such a challenge against the hazards of the internet. 

"On the other hand, G-d, may his name be blessed, brought down a pure spirit from above enabling us to overcome this difficult experience," the Rabbi said.

"And now, within 48 hours before the great and mighty Day of Judgment... we need to remove the stumbling block from our homes," Rabbi Ulman advised. 

There has been a history of controversy in the Modi'in Illit community regarding internet use, when in 2010, Rabbi Moshe Karp of Modi’in Ilit launched a campaign against Hareidi websites. The campaign led to the closure of major sites, such as "Hareidim," and the resignation of key figures from others. 

Since then, leaders of communities have aligned with the notion that internet is harmful for the ulta-orthodox community. 

Rabbi Yitzhak Ben-Shoshan, the leader of the Spanish community on the northern hill of Modi'in Illit, made piercing remarks about "the duty imposed on each one of us to watch our children and everyone in our household" in the event that one should fall upon bad content on the internet. 

"The wonders of technology are the root of all kinds of bad afflictions," said Ben-Shoshan and added, "The war against the bad influences is hostage in rescuing the generations to come."

At the conclusion of the conference, the Rosh Yeshiva (Head) of Vizhnitz (a Hasidic dynasty), Rabbi Menachem Ernster, read out loud a letter from the late Rebbe of Vizhnitz which states, "All those who take upon himself to guard his soul and the souls of his descendants, shall merit to be righteous on the Day of Judgment."