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Monday, January 17, 2005

Which Came First, The Chicken or the Egg?

Did it begin with the personal problem or with the Internet?
The horror stories we occasionally hear, and which invariably find their way to Rabbonim* are truly horrifying. But are we to assume these people were brutally abducted from the slopes of Mount Sinai and thrust into shoul tachtis by the internet? Or would these individuals have otherwise sought 'satisfaction' at the news stand, at work, or by driving a couple of miles away?

After telling an experienced mechanech I know one horror story, he responded quickly: "You're not going to tell me this person didn't have a problem beforehand!"

Every advance has its downside, the technical revolution being no exception. But can a community which successfully teaches its members not to talk to members of the opposite gender not teach them not to Instant Message them?
If we are scrupulous in shmiras ha-anayim, does viewing via medium a window pane or electronic screen make a difference? And for those with strong emotional voids, will the absence of a computer prove a cure?
I submit that we must cure our problems at their root - not point a finger at technical advances.

*Do the stories of those getting chizuk or not declining as a result of the net also find their way to our rabbonim?
How about those with more time for Torah or for their household duties? Maybe those reading this should consider whether we can do something about this, and at least even out the flow of information to leadership.
This footnote subject to be continued in a future post . . .


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point !

I guess it's sometimes easier to blame a machine and a technology than humans.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's like shooting the messenger.

7:07 AM  

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orthodox jews and the internet.