On Monday, the Holon Conference for Judaism and Education took place at the Talpiot College of Education. The subject of this year’s conference was ‘The Internet – Dangers or Challenges?’
One of the participants in the conference was Rabbi Yona Goodman, Educator of Orot College, who spoke on the subject of Facebook and how to deal with it from a Jewish point of view.
Rabbi Goodman told INN TV’s Yoni Kempinski that he believes that it is possible to live a Torah-centered life together with Facebook, but that it all depends on the individual person.
“It depends on our awareness,” he said. “It depends on our capability. It depends on our willingness to look at the challenge head to head or eye to eye and to learn what it’s all about because our kids are living there and we don’t even know what’s going on.”
Rabbi Goodman compared the gap between parents and children when it comes to Facebook to the gap between immigrants and natives. He said that in the case of Facebook, the parents are the immigrants and the children are the natives, which means that like every new immigrant, parents have to go to an ulpan that will teach them what Facebook exactly is. “Our kids are not hanging out now only in the streets. The streets are in the computer, in Facebook.”
According to Rabbi Goodman, the best way to deal with this gap is to ensure that there is trust between parents and children. Mutual trust, he explained, allows parents to set limits for their children as to how long they can be on Facebook each day. The same trust will ensure that the children are being honest with their parents as to what they are doing on Facebook and who their friends are.
“I really believe that the same Hashem who has allowed all this modern technology to be created is giving us the strength and the capability and the wisdom to cope with it in a smart way,” he said. “If you feel scared you’re on the right track because that means you’re aware, that means you’re careful. It means you’re dealing but it also means that you are allowing. And balancing between all of that is Jewish parenthood today.”