Over one hundred rabbonim from communities throughout Israel
gathered this past Monday to the "Conference of Community
Rabbonim" headed by gedolei Yisroel and led by HaRav Aharon
Leib Shteinman and HaRav Nissim Karelitz to formulate a
operational plan of protection for the chareidi camp against
the devastating threat of technological advances, the
foremost being Internet, iPhone etc., which has ensnared so
many victims and afflicted so many entire families.
The gathering took place in the Hotel Vishnitz auditorium in
Bnei Brak and was opened by the moving address of HaRav
Yaakov Meir Sonnenfeld, rabbi of Rechasim and Rosh Yeshivas
Knesses Chizkiyohu. He cried out in pain, "We find ourselves
in the most difficult times, the trials of the pre-Moshiach
era. The prophet Malachi has described those terrible tests
which will face our people in the latter days. The one which
confronts us now seems to be impossible to fight, having
broken through every wall and barrier."
Maran HaRav Shteinman said, "In the gemora Kiddushin it
tells of Rav Amram Chasida who faced a great test. When the
gemora calls him `Chasida' it means he was a great tzaddik.
When he felt that he was about to fail the test he cried out
loudly, `Fire at Amram's house.' People came to help and he
deliberately caused himself embarrassment so that he would
not sin and he saved himself. The Chofetz Chaim says that
Rav Amram taught us that one should even bring upon himself
embarrassment to save himself from sin.
"Even in our generation we have to realize that even someone
who must have it, whether because of parnossoh or another
reason, he must shout that he has Fire! There is a fire!
Because many people who are in this thing stumble and come
to horrible things, Rachmono litzlan. All the rabbonim must
warn the public to be careful because it is fire. Great
caution must be exercised so that chase vesholom we will not
stumble over horrible things. HaKodosh Boruch Hu should help
that these things will not happen and that we will live to
see the true Geulah Shleimoh speedily in our day. Amen
The decisions arrived at in this meeting of community
rabbonim as follows:
1. Since the use of unfiltered Internet makes it impossible
to avoid many Torah prohibitions, there is no way to permit
the use of Internet which is not blocked and filtered
properly, and there are absolutely no exceptions for any
usage such as for the sake of parnossoh or otherwise.
2. There are some filters which are not halachically
adequate and present stumbling blocks of the Internet
through forbidden sights or content, and one must beware of
3. Work places for women should also be properly blocked and
inspected. This is important.
4. Rabbonim in every area should inspect every educational
institution and ensure that there are no students in whose
homes they do not guard themselves against these dangers.
5. The rabbonim of the various communities are invested with
the responsibility to preserve the atmosphere of kedusha and
stand on guard within their congregations, both in their
homes and work places, through rallies of explanation and
employing the various active methods to ward off the danger
and teach the public what must be done.