Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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17 Adar I 5760 - February 23, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Gedolei HaTorah in America Join Gedolei HaTorah of Eretz Yisroel's Internet Warning

by Betzalel Kahn

In the wake of the directives issued by Israel's maranan verabonon, the gedolei Yisroel regarding the serious prohibition of misusing the Internet, which as they said, "constitutes a terrible danger for kedushas Yisroel and the continuation of the generations," the gedolei HaTorah in the United States have joined their call, publishing a warning to American chareidi communities about the great danger of connection to this destructive device.

The roshei yeshiva of Beis Medrash Govoha--Lakewood, which includes more than 3000 families, attached the call of the gedolei hador of Eretz Yisroel to their own. Their letter, written in English, was signed by HaRav Malkiel Kotler, HaRav Tzvi Shustal, HaRav Yisroel Tzvi Neuman, HaRav Yeruchom Olshin and HaRav Matisyahu Chaim Solomon, the roshei yeshiva and mashgiach of Lakewood.

In the letter, they explain the immensity of the danger. Among other things, they say: "We join the gedolei Yisroel of Eretz Yisroel who forbade keeping the Internet in one's home and wrote that its danger is a thousand times worse than that of television. On the Internet, one can see the worst indecencies, Rachmono litzlan. With a mere switch of a button, pictures from the depths of the abyss: horrid pritzus to which Chazal's statement, `There is no safeguard against arayos' applies."

In their letter, the Lakewood roshei yeshiva expand on the great danger of the Internet, especially when used by people who are not on a high spiritual level, and on the danger of its lures for those who expose themselves to this destructive device. By its nature, they explain, it cultivates man's power of curiosity, which lacks limits and restraint.

At the end of their letter, the Lakewood roshei yeshiva warn against misleading advertisements by the Kosher-Net company in the United States, presenting itself as a kosher Internet. In their letter, they say, "We must know that according to the experts, the innovation called Kosher- Net and all other ideas purporting to safeguard us against the Internet in general, is only a small hatzoloh which cannot offer sufficient protection against the grave danger."

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