The pained outcry of gedolei Yisroel about the terrible threat of technological devices in workplaces was brought in a special chizuk gathering which took place this past Friday in the Concord Hall in Bnei Brak. It was attended by the elder venerable leaders of the Torah community and headed by HaRav Shteinman, HaRav Kanievsky, HaRav Edelstein and HaRav Zilberstein. The letters of HaRav Nissim Karelitz, the Admor of Sanz and a message of guidance from the Belzer Rebbe were read aloud by HaRav Yehoshua Fink.
The cry of "Who is unto Hashem - rally to me" was answered by the attendance of the heads of offices in institutions of Torah and education, tzedaka and chessed organizations, alongside a large attendance of businessmen to brainstorm ways to increase awareness and the absolute duty of installing halachically suitable blockage to maintain the use of Internet in said workplaces adhering fully to the Halacha.
The meeting was held in the office of the Ve'Idas HaRabbonim, the Rabbinical Committee for the Fortification of the Walls of Yiddishkeit, which maintains a professional guidance center for the ways to satisfactorily block computer use according to Halacha. The participants were given sets with explanatory material and professional solutions provided to offices contacted the guidance nerve center of the Ve'Idas, according to the emphatic guidance of gedolei Yisroel.
HaRav Shteinman addressed the gathering as follows:
"We are talking about an issue which has caused the downfall of many and the danger is still very real even though so much is being done to ward it off. Nonetheless, this requires further reinforcement.
"May the Ribono Shel Olam help that Klal Yisroel be saved from all of these stumbling blocks threatening Yiddishkeit and the Jewish People, and may we merit seeing the true Redemption, speedily and in our days, Amen, Selah."
Letter from HaRav Chaim Kanievsky:
"Use of the Internet which is not halachically monitored causes the Shechina to depart, as is written in [Cheilek 103b] that the cover is not large enough to stretch [katzar hamatza meihistare'a] and Siyata deShmaya is not possible in matters of parnossa or in any other area. Whoever removes the unmonitored tainted device will surely merit Siyata deShmaya in every way, as is written in Bava Basra 60, `And he saw Yisroel dwelling...' and said: 'These are worthy that the Shechinah rest upon them'."
Letter from HaRav Nissim Karelitz:
"To all those gathered to reinforce [themselves] against the ills of technology: I come hereby to strengthen your vital activities, both in the home and in the workplace, both for men and for women.
"Everyone is duty bound to do everything they can to prevent these dangers.
"May it be His will that you succeed in all your efforts."
Speech of HaRav Gershon Edelstein:
"There is a halacha in the laws of Shabbos (Orach Chaim 306) stating that if there is a threat to religion, especially in the case of minors who may go astray, it is permissible to violate Shabbos with melochos deOraisa to save them lest they come to shunting off the yoke of Torah and mitzvos.
"This also applies to the Internet which leads to such removal of the Heavenly yoke and to apostasy. It encompasses the three Cardinal sins, as we already know, and leads to a headlong downfall which is a matter of spiritual life-and-death, and surely pikuach nefesh overrides Shabbos, similarly to saving souls from shmad, where it is not only permitted but obligatory to desecrate the Shabbos in order to save souls and ward off the removal of the Torah yoke. This is how severe it is!
"It is a great obligation incumbent upon every single person to do whatever he can in order to prevent and to rescue others from this. May Hashem help us all to assist and do whatever is in our power to uphold this mitzvah of saving souls from spiritual perdition."
Decisions of the Meeting
1. As determined by gedolei Yisroel, using unfiltered Internet is a serious prohibition. There are no heteirim for this, including parnossoh.
2. Offices that must use the Internet must install a filter that forecloses any possibility of reaching forbidden places.
3. One should be wary of various filters that are not effective and there remain with them stumbling blocks and prohibitions.
4. All those responsible for organizations and institutions and businesses must ensure that any offices under their responsibility are properly filtered. They should consult with the Ve'Idas HaRabbonim the Rabbinical Committee for the Fortification of the Walls of Yiddishkeit, to ensure proper filtering.
5. The responsibility is upon the rabbonim of Torah institutions, educational institutions and others to ensure that everything is done kehalachah. Also all heads of institutions must ensure that access to computers is only for those who need them and no one else.
6. Ve'Idas HaRabbonim the Rabbinical Committee for the Fortification of the Walls of Yiddishkeit in cooperation with the rabbonim of the communities will work to ensure proper filtering.
And one who comes to purify will be assisted.