Some ten thousand women at locations around the country took part in a chizuk and tefilloh gathering to mark the Shloshim since the passing of Rebbetzin Bas Sheva Esther Kanievsky o"h and ten years since the passing of HaRav Shach ztvk"l. The event was held at Heichalei Malchut in Bnei Brak and transmitted by satellite to 20 different locations in Eretz Yisroel.
The first speaker was HaRav Shlomo Kanievsky, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tiferes Tzion and Yeshivas Kiryas Melech, who spoke of the ahavas Torah that coursed through her veins and the Rebbetzin's extraordinary efforts to live simply and frugally. "Undoubtedly the Rebbetzin o"h asks of all of us to strive and sacrifice, even just a little, for the sake of Torah and mitzvas," he said.
Much of the event focused on ways to strengthen the Jewish home. HaRav Menachem Stein spoke about the harm various technological developments wreak in Torah-true homes. "We must make every effort," he said, "to closely guard against these terrible destructive forces that threaten the sanctity of the Jewish home, such as Internet and high-tech devices, including cell phones, which have claimed many victims."
He noted that gedolei Yisroel have warned time and again against the damage wrought by Internet and computer videos, in many cases due to a lack of awareness on the part of the users. Had they fully adhered to the instructions of gedolei Yisroel, the leaders of the Jewish people, they could have saved themselves, their souls and their family members from these afflictions.
He read aloud a letter addressed to the gathering that HaRav Chaim Kanievsky shlita dictated to his son, HaRav Yitzchok Shaul.
HaRav Stein then drew attention to the printed material distributed to the participants and prepared by Rabbinical Committee for Communications Affairs, which included details on the proper use of various forms of media and technological devices without being exposed to the serious problems that underlie them. It stressed that no allowances can be made — even those who need to make use of Internet or high-tech devices under the guidance of their rabbonim — to use Internet freely without proper filtering. In addition, bnei Torah who have a computer they use to write chiddushei Torah must completely block any wireless connection and Internet access. He also related how HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel ztvk"l spoke out on this painful issue, particularly towards the end of his lifetime.
HaRav Stein then touched on other media forms that undermine the Jewish home, namely "the weekly publications that insidiously discourage readers from complying with daas Torah as enunciated by gedolei Yisroel; weeklies that have the gall to call themselves `chareidi' and are filled with distortions and encourage avreichim to enter the workforce, and in the articles they publish about gedolei Torah they try to inject their venom into kosher Jewish homes. People from outside of our camp cannot be allowed to write about daas Torah and chinuch. We have to denounce this and keep it from our midst.
"The same applies to the various news phone lines, which trivialize the status of bnei Torah and their spiritual level. These news lines are full of emptiness and gossip, and one who gets addicted to them is hindered from growing into a ben Torah and a talmid chochom. These news lines must be blocked by Kav Venaki. Those who do not heed the directives of gedolei Yisroel and uphold these boundaries are not worthy of being included in the camp of yirei Hashem, and we must be the Chashmonaim of this generation and fight against these grave developments.
"We must examine the lofty character of the Rebbetzin o"h and learn from her actions and ways, her extraordinary modesty and the light of her face, and be strengthened by her ways, which were an ideal and example to all of us," added HaRav Stein.
The event left a powerful impression on the participants and the Rabbinical Committee for Communications Affairs reported numerous inquiries as a result. To obtain printed material and information for additional gatherings, call 02-539-1858.