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A Window into the Chareidi World

16 Elul 5777 - September 7, 2017 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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The Right to Work in a Safe Environment

by Elchonon Hammer

HaRav Shlomo Levenstein is the head of the National Union for Protected Work, whose purpose is to help chareidi workers to work in a sheltered environment while still enabling them to do their jobs. They have regular volunteers and advisors who are experts in the field, and support the workers and advise on ways that they can do their jobs while maintaining a filtered Internet.

HaRav Shlomo Levenstein

Rav Levenstein told us that the professional advisors of the counselling center met over these past two weeks with top officials of the Jerusalem municipality, the Treasury Ministry's computer experts, one of the largest insurance companies and other bodies. Wherever they went, they heard the same complimentary comments from the respective top employees regarding the high professionalism, broad scope of knowledge and advanced expertise [of the chareidi counselors]. This expertise in the area enables them to find a solution in almost every instance. They maintain that the main problem is the readiness and desire to find a workable solution.

There are employers who ask, "What's all the fuss about? Our employees have been with us for years and we haven't heard of any instances of moral problems."

Rav Levenstein says that they may have not heard of such examples but the rabbis dealing with homes which were destroyed do hear, week after week, of families which crumbled all because of the main factor of the open Internet, in most cases, which all began in the workplace. Even if all seems to be fine and regular, the evil impulse has patience and can wait on the sidelines indefinitely for the opportune moment to ensnare a person in a moment of weakness and cause him/her to stumble.

"But there is an additional aspect," affirms the rabbi. "The question arises from the fact that often they define a fall as crossing red lines or a complete breakdown of the family. But in truth, there is a deep and broad damage which is not as apparent from the outside but has severe ramifications upon the individual and really on the entire community. The Internet is full and overflowing with the depraved street culture, and the abysmal emptiness that prevails today in the world at large, not to mention also terrible abuse of Torah scholars and everything involved with kedushoh.

"We invest in our daughters tremendous effort in raising them, both at home and in the schools, to yiras Shomayim, refinement of spirit and character traits, when at the workplace, a mere push of a button exposes the depraved world out there and all our work goes down the drain. The public demand to resolve this issue and promote the implementation of solutions is a very basic and logical thing, since without it, not only are individuals at risk but also the entire fabric of our community."

This battle against Internet seems endless. Is it actually expected to continue on forever?

"Torah leaders stated that the Internet is the strongest weapon of the evil impulse. Satan has been saving this for the final battle of the spirit before the coming of Moshiach. So long as it is fighting this battle with heavy artillery, it will continue to fell its victims and we must not allow ourselves to sit back and relax. We must not delude ourselves into thinking that we have achieved our goal and can let off. This approach resembles that person who for the many years of the spread of Haskoloh, asked the gedolim who tried to breach it, why they were expending so much time and effort in the battle. Eventually the reasons became all too clear."

HaRav Levenstein told us that HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman said at a gathering of businessmen that while much is being done regarding vigil against Internet, still, we cannot suffice with what has already been achieved but must continue incessantly and increasingly. Indeed, only when Moshiach comes and all wickedness will go up in smoke, and the spiritual contamination in the world, globally and virtually, will dissipate — only then will be able to sit back and rest. Whoever takes part through personal endeavor or by helping others to remove or at least stem this pollution, will merit to be written in the memorial book before Hashem.


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