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Monday, November 13, 2006

Dear Rabbi Zwiebel

Dear Rabbi Zwiebel,

It is my understanding that you will be speaking on the subject of blogs at the upcoming Agudah convention.

I have high hopes for you in this endeavor.

Permit me to relate a fable:

I know of talmid of Mesivta Torah Vodaath of a bit more than 30 years ago who decided to go to law school, to the sorrow of his own Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Gedalia Schorr, zt'l, who felt this talmid was Rosh Yeshiva material. He went to college and continued to law school although Daas Torah then and now did not smile upon college in general, and for him specifically.

And after some time in the private sector, our mythical hero went to work for a national Jewish organization and dedicated himself to forwarding Daas Torah and providing many benefits for Klal Yisroel.

The moral - there can be several, but one I would submit is the klal of im lo neviim haim, b'nai neviim haim. This individual did something which seemed to contravene Daas Torah, but in the end forwarded Daas Torah.

Klal Yisroel has already spoken out on the internet, and appears to be in the process of speaking out on blogs. And the verdict seems to be to permit them.

Our job is to ensure klal yisroel's safety. Our challenge is how to do this.

Please review the letters to your co-speakers which precede this one, and help us light a candle in the darkness.


A blogger and internet user who still wants to be a yiras shomayim, as do most of my fellows.

File: ,


Blogger TheProf said...

I would like to preface my comments by saying that this blog is the only one i read because I know the author and I respect his opinions, although often not in complete agreement. That said I would like to state unequivocally that the proliferation of seemingly frum authored blogs in general has become a serious problem for Klal Yisroel. A problem that in my opinion has more dire consequences for Klal Yisroel in general than the actual effects of the Internet. The average frum person, male or female, young or older, has enough of a foundation in Yiddishkeit to stay away from those areas of the internet which can be harmful to one's purity of thought. Blogs are not readily apparent as to their insiduous nature and seemingly look like rightful venting of a person's issues with the community or whatever. These blogs are nothing more than "kosher chazer fees" in that a person may even rationalize a heter to read them or to even post them. Blogs in general can so undermine the intellectual capacity of a reader, thinking that the loshon horah, rechilus, and general hatred for all things holy, actually have a basis in truth. Yes, I agree that we probably can't assur blogs because there are definitely good points to this communication vehicle. But by putting this issue forward in a national venue such as the Agudah convention, by constantly emphasizing the undermining nature of blogs within our community, we may be able to at least prevent many vulnerable individuals from being seriously hurt on a spiritual level. And when a blog such as Frumnet questions the need for such an open discussion, it places the whole effort in danger. Careful what you say Mr. Leapa and how you say it. You may have more influence than you realize.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with THEPROF1 on his statement tha most people have the Yiddishkeit foundation to stay away from the areas on tne internet that can give one the impurity of thought. We all know that any site you enter, has advertisements and pictures that are best not seen at all, and once viewed, even for that assumed split second, has harmful effects - BE HONEST about that. That is the "ovar v'shono naaseh lo k'heter" syndrome.
SO we are told that we should not use/have the internet - and deep down, we know that the Gedolim are right - but we won't /can't listen.
As far as blogs go - they are not needed for parnassa (which is the common excuse we have for using the internet), so whats the heter and whats the need for them? On that THEPROF! is correct - its an amazing vehicle for Gedolim bashing and loshon hora.
Keep away from them
Right on Rabbi Zweibel.

12:30 PM  
Blogger No Blind Faith said...

It is clear to see that even after the Agudah assered the use of Internet there is a need for them to speak about "bloggers" why is that? Obviously having assered the internet didn't work and assering the blogging will not work, so what is the Agudah doing wrong and how should they go about influencing the "olam"?

Your letter to Rabbi Zweibel is right on target and here are a couple of other facts that you could possibly address with him.

The owners of the blogs per se do have control over what is posted. They can review and delete comments that are inappropriate or will have a negative effect on the readers.

Blogger can remain anonymous either by choosing that button or by choosing an identity that doesn't reflect who they really are. Many people need information and/or help in their daily lives. Whether it is with their marriage, children or even with practicing religion fully and completely but are embarrasssed or ashamed to ask in person.

There is a lot of information to be gleened instantly similarly to the chat rooms of old. There are many people who are in specialty fields such as coaches or social work, or those in kiruv or special ed that either read, contribute or host a blog that can offer assistance to those in need.

Blogs are not necessarily arenas for Loshon Horah, venomous attacks on Torah nor on K'lal Yisroel. Many blogs conduct themselves in the utmost kidush hashem. Just because they are on the internet does not make them treif. People from all over the world, whether they are in E"Y, South Africa or Australia can avail themselves of the same help and information that their friends and relatives can right here in the USA.

The Agudah's opinion of the internet is widely known and yes people can go into areas where they shouldn't. But people go into areas in the city and in the country where they shouldn't as well. And men buy magazines that they shouldn't and they have been doing that for 100 years. So should we lock everyone in their own homes and put leashes on everyone?

Please, Hashem gave everyone yetzer horah and yetzer tov. We must keep reminding the Olam that we are Yiddin and we know better than choosing evil over good. We must always make a Kidush Hashem and remember that Hashem is always watching us and knows what we think and what we do. It doesn't matter if that means internet, or TV, or radio, newspaper, magazine, conversation, business transactions, or whatever.

A Jew must conduct himself/herself properly at all times because we are Jews period end of the story.

1:12 PM  
Blogger TheProf said...

Thank you very much No Blind Faith. I think you said it all quite well. Yes we can go into various sites which at first glance may look ok and then have an improper image pop-up. We can walk in the street and glance at a city bus and get the same thing. Assering internet and blogging won't get us anywhere. Educating the community and organizing asifos that constantly hammer home the concept of "be careful" where you go is the main answer to the problem. And internet and blogging are huge problems for Klal Yisroel today, among all segments of the frum community.

4:15 PM  

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