JONATHAN ROSENBLUM is a fine and articulate Haredi columnist for the Jerusalem Post. In one of his most recent articles, Rosenblum writes about the Haredi rabbinic decision to “declare war” on the Internet. “Declare war” you say? Ah, them’s fightin’ words!
On the surface, the Haredi Guardyoureyes looks like an organization that has some positive potential. After going to the website, the webmasters state its purpose in unambiguous terms:
Welcome to GuardYourEyes, a vibrant network and fellowship of religious Jews of all affiliations, struggling to purify themselves and break free from inappropriate behaviors stemming from Lust addiction. With the advance of technology and the ease of availability and privacy that the internet provides, it has become a daily struggle for many religious Jews to remain erlich (morally and ethically upright) even in their own homes. Jewish Leaders, Rabbis and Experts worldwide, are beginning to speak out about this serious problem more and more. Our network is comprised of a website: www.guardureyes.com, a dynamic blog-site at …
Rosenblum supports the goals of the organization and thinks that this type of self-policing is a good thing for members of the Haredi community. Many Americans in this country are also concerned about the problems and challenges posed by the Internet for their families–especially considering that the average adolescent spends more time on the Internet than watching traditional television.
In addition, Rosenblum also complains about the “various chat rooms, or erotica Web sites, or instant communications devices that make it easy to establish illicit relationships.” I know many Christian believing families in this country who would concur.
So, what’s so bad about this type of organization? Actually, the Guardureyes.com does not bother me in the least. I think the issues of pornography addiction are a serious problem for the repressed world of the ultra-Orthodox, which has yet to teach its people how to relate to women as people and not as sex objects. For whatever the reason, the yeshiva world has done a poor job in instilling proper impulse control in their students–as evidenced by their students frequenting the erotic websites. In this respect, religious adolescents will behave like adolescents do in the secular world. This particular website at least tries to help its followers get a better grip on their behavior. The fact that Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski, M.D is a part of this organization, speaks very well of its goals. Rav Twerski is one outstanding Haredi.
Kudos deservedly go to Guardyoureyes. Continue reading “Haredi Rabbis “declare war” on the Internet (Part 1)”