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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Statistics Department

(Tongue in Cheek)

In order to make a scientific unbiased analysis of the effect of the Internet, we are reaching out to the community of scholarly academics for the following statistics.

When the following listed advances in civilization occurred, what was the pre and post advance effect on marital stability, mitzva observance and halachic adherence pre and post marriage? (with and without comment)

1. Invention of the wheel
2. Invention of the saddle (no need to hitch up to hitch up)
3. Development of reliable postal service (yes, Gedolim did use this for sending halachic tshuvos. In today's atmosphere, however, we choose we focus exclusively on negative outcomes. The Gedolim used advances for good)

4. Invention of printing
5. Invention of the telegraph
6. Invention of the telephone
7. Invention of the photograph (How on earth do we permit distribution and trading of Gedolim pictures using a technology which has caused such moral damage?)
8. Development of mass print media (we have addressed this with some success)
9. Development of public transportation allowing anonymity in travel.
10. Invention of the auto
11. Invention of the airplane
12. Development of prescription medicine, particularly pre-emptive (followed by on-line ordering anonymously)

13. Fax machine
14. Internet

Let us scientifically investigate which of the above (or which others not listed, such as 'street corners') were used with the most negative effect on Yiddishkeit, then simply prohibit them in ascending order!

Mi L'Hashem Alei!


Blogger TheProf said...

Good question Circle. fact is, nothing is developed or invented in our world that doesnt have a direct impact on the jewish world and on torah directed living. and we are supposed to learn from everything that happens and use any advances in doing avodas hashem. true torah directed life does not espouse the amish outlook on technology but rather uses technological developments to advance torah learning and yiddishkeit. the fax machine is used extensively to disseminate torah throughout the world and across time zones. witness the faxing of torah thoughts minutes after an israeli chasidish rebbe or rosh yeshiva has given a speech. torah is eternal and the eternal torah has within it the power to accept technological advances of any kind. all we need is the correct parameters set up by rabbonim, rather than a pure ban for banning sake. it does not take much thought to ban. rashi says on the concept of kocho d'hetero odif, that assuring does not require any knowledge of torah. but finding a heter requires an extensive knowledge of alla spects of the question. our gedolim should use their resources into finding the parameters and establishing rules rather than an outright ban. such banning only results in an ultimate rejection of anything any godol says since the average lay person will think, well, they assur everything anyway, without thinking it through.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ask me, the real reason that the various askonim in Israel are against the Internet can be found on Chadrei Charedim, where there is tons of criticism of our leadership (ie, the askonim, not the real rabonim). They are afraid that, if everyone is able to express his views without fear, people will start to question the whole "daas Torah" system and recognize it for what it really is -- a bunch of power-players who control the information that is getting to the various rebbes and especially rosh yeshivas. I will point out that the rebbes who are able to evaluate things without intermediaries (Boyan, Stolin,Biala, to name a few who are capable both linguistically and practically) keep quiet about all of this kanaus and give their own directives.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Circle in Square said...

"Mah yofeh dovor beito!"
I was already preparing a post on this point.
'Yasher Koach'

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re photos of gedolim - many gedolim in the past were opposed to them - especially Chassidishe Rebbes.

The sea change about this among Chassidim over the years is quite interesting.

In the old days even many regular Chassidim - not Rebbes - tried to not have their photos taken.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Leapa said...

Interesting point of change.
Why there and not here?

8:48 AM  

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orthodox jews and the internet.