A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, December 11, 2009

Haredi Rabbis Condemn Haredi Websites

An Internet story for the eve of Hanukkah: Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox Jewish) rabbis in Israel are condeming Haredi web forums that are apparently growing in popularity, according to this article in Ha'aretz. Quoted from the article:

"We have long been aware of the danger of the Internet; all those who enter it will not return," the letter says. "Many Jewish souls have already fallen into its snare. And private use of the Internet has already been prohibited with a severe prohibition in every house. But recently, the 'Haredi' Internet sites have gone overboard. They bring all kinds of news and gossip and slander against the Haredi public to the outside world and disseminate forbidden slander and gossip, lies and terrible impurity about abominations to thousands and tens of thousands."

The letter's warning not to look at, cooperate with or advertise on the sites - all of which have been predicting nice profits next year - could in theory deal them a blow. But businessmen involved in the sites told Haaretz that the letter was "worth zilch," because most Haredi surfers pay limited heed to the rabbis.
While I should try to find the original just to learn how you say "worth zilch" in Hebrew as opposed to Yiddish, and while I should perhaps worry about that "those who enter [the Internet] will not return," given this blog, I admit to a little Gentile puzzlement about the asserted fact that "most Haredi surfers pay limited heed to the rabbis." I thought that listening to the rabbis went with being haredi, but then, I'm an outsider.

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