In light of the terrible breaches and the concepts alien to the Jewish spirit which are aired on news websites professing to be chareidi, and in the wake of the efforts of some of them to change the character of the chareidi public and its educational system, a delegation of communal activists, mechanchim and heads of sacred organizations gathered in the home of HaRav Sariel Rosenberg, Badatz Raavad of Bnei Brak and Rav of the Ramat David neighborhood in Bnei Brak.
HaRav Rosenberg raised the need to inform the public that "those selfsame websites assuming to be chareidi are forbidden to any and every Jew since they encompass aspects of the three cardinal sins."
He added, "Those things are seven fold more severe with regard to bnei Torah because even if all of their ads were altogether `kosher', the very fact of being attracted to them and the slander which they disseminate sever a person from his involvement in Torah study and effaces every vestige of the essence of a ben Torah, and certainly negates every form of self comportment which is proper to a Torah-true Jew."
Two weeks ago, a letter of the leading halachic authorities was published in which they wrote that "all of our past and present Torah leaders have aroused the public to the havoc caused by the self-styled chareidi news websites spouting loshon hora, rechilus and decadent views. And indeed, those who are G-d-fearing have distanced themselves from those websites and their corrupting influence.
"To our chagrin, they continue ceaselessly to persevere in their dissolute ways and have even stooped further to introduce the street-culture in a terrible manner. They publicize immoral ideas which cool off and weaken every holy matter and demolish the walls of Yiddishkeit, thus constituting a real threat to the preservation of the character of Torah-true Jewry which loyal to Hashem's ways, for this and the future generation.
"Therefore, it is vital to distance oneself from them as much as possible, and those who require Internet for their livelihood should make sure that they are properly screened from access to those damaging websites."
This public cry was signed by HaRav Yitzchok Zilberstein, HaRav Yisroel Gans, HaRav Sariel Rosenberg, HaRav Yehuda Silman, HaRav Shlomo Zalman Ullman and HaRav Meir Kessler.
Among the incisive words expressed by HaRav Shlomo Levenstein, one of the leaders of "Mishmeres Hakodesh v'Hachinuch" of the Bnei Brak botei din, he said, "The message of our rabbonim has come in the wake of the many proofs laid before them that those websites cause a dangerous downslide on a slippery slope through messages involving many prohibitions from the Torah which cause the public to stumble in many forbidden and terrible ways.
"Of late, one of these notorious websites has publicized various educational courses which inject foreign worldviews regarding the approach of pure Torah education, for men and women, by encouraging academic advancement in forbidden institutions which introduce concepts from decadent cultures which constitute dangerous breaches in the accepted conventions in our chareidi public. These are liable to cause great damage to the sanctity of Jewish homes."