In Support of the Internet Asifa

  • 0

This is not a retraction.

I still think there are many reasons one could oppose the Asifa. I still think women should be able to attend too.

[By the way, I was told by one of the organizers that there is a simple reason women are not attending. The reason is that a large contingent of Jews made it clear that they would only endorse and promote the event if the Asifa was for men only. But up until a few days ago, it was intended to be for men and women. I mention this because some people took severe offense to my suggestion that the Asifa be open to men and women. Clearly, the organizers wanted it to be for men and women, so it’s a bit much to say I am being mevazeh the Gedolim when I question why it is for men only.]

But, during the course of my conversation with one of the higher ups at the Ichud HaKehilos I learned a lot and I have something important to say about the Asifa.

There is a huge of community of people who I believe should attend the Asifa. The Asifa is playing an important role and despite the various flaws in vision and execution, it should be attended by a specific (large) category of orthodox Jews.

For starters, the Asifa’s position is that the Internet should not be banned. Their position is that the Internet is a reality of our modern world. We have it. Let’s learn how to use it. This is a major step forward.

For 15 years orthodox Jews have been told that the Internet is assur. The notable exception was for business purposes. The most permissive position of the Gedolim has been that Internet use is permissible “when necessary.”

Some people adhered to this rule. Many did not. Most orthodox Jews that use the Internet are using it for business and pleasure. That means they use the Internet to read the news, learn about the world, follow sports, share photos and videos (of vorts, upsherins and cute babies) with friends and family, read blogs (not just the ones that are “bad”), and socialize (with people with whom it is permissible to socialize).

These people are Internet savvy. They know the risks, they know how to avoid the risks, and they are generally responsible about how they and their children use the Internet.

There are a lot of people who listened to the advice of the Gedolim. They only use the Internet when necessary. They have Internet in their homes for business purposes. They have no idea what else is on the Internet and that their children can find everything that the parents are trying to protect them from with three or four clicks of a mouse. They don’t know that their children are going on the Internet on their mobile devices. They don’t know how to monitor their children’s use of the Internet, they don’t know how to protect their children or even themselves.

I am told that these people exist. And I believe it.

These people need to get to the Asifa. They need to learn about the dangers and the protections immediately. Sure, they could learn everything that the Asifa will teach them, you know, on the Internet. Or they could attend any of the local Internet safety programs that are well attended by non-orthodox Jews. But these people need to hear about these dangers and products from a source they trust. They need to hear it from rabbis or askanim who speak their language and carry the weight of the Gedolim behind their advice. Personally, I think this is unnecessary, but I believe that there is a huge audience for this kind of advice. Is it 40,000 people strong? I don’t know. But that’s a question of execution, not policy.

So if you are in the group of people, or you know others in that groups of people, go the Asifa or tell your friends to go to the Asifa. They need to be there.

The Asifa will educate and the Ichud HaKehilos will assist anyone who needs help in implementing the solutions you want to use. If you need help choosing or setting up a filter, you can call them for free tech support. If you don’t understand how a device works, the Ichud will help you too. I think it’s great. Frum tech support. It will be free and at your service. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a great idea.

A few final words. I do not agree that the Internet should only be used when necessary. I think it should be embraced as a modern tool for growth, relationships, Torah study, socializing, and acquisition of wisdom and knowledge. It seems that the Asifa is continuing down the road of “use it only when necessary.” I hope they come around to the more liberal view because I think we should think more positively, and harness the incredible power of the Internet for good.

I also think that framing the Asifa as a solution to the problems in our communities is flawed. It is its own problem and has its own solutions. The Asifa will not prevent people from leaving the fold, nor will it save marriages that are doomed, nor will it ensure that everyone davens with proper kavvanah, nor will it destroy skepticism. I sincerely hope that people are sophisticated enough to understand that those problems run much deeper than the Internet. Our chinuch needs improvement. The Internet is not the broader problem here. It is chinuch. Destruction via the Internet is a symptom of a problem, not the actual problem. Treating symptoms may make us feel better but it does not solve anything.

Finally, the term “dangers of the Internet” means a lot of things to a lot of people. It seems that the Asifa is in fact most concerned with access to pornography. In our very lengthy conversation, the word “blog” was never mentioned in connection with the Asifa. I was pleased to learn this and I hope that this holds true.

However, there are other issues associated with the Internet. Like many permissible activities, it can be addictive. Awareness should be raised regarding this as well. Jut because something can be addictive does not mean it should be completely shunned. I also think that many people do consider blogs and “kefira” sites to be a major “danger of the Internet.” Obviously, these dangers are community specific and no general rules should be made. Lastly, some people consider social media an inherent “danger of the Internet.” This is a fallacy. Learn how to use the tools properly and it can be a wonderful and positive use of the Internet. Use them improperly and they can indeed be very dangerous for one’s physical and spiritual well-being.


My advice: If you have the Internet in your home (and I think you should), do not allow any non-adults to access the Internet without protections. The best way to do this is to create a new user account for non-adults that has limited access to the Internet for the account user. The proper protection can be ensured by only granting access to specific websites. That means that the account user can only access pre-approved sites. Don’t rely on a filter. Give them access to specific, pre-approved sites. No filter is foolproof. If you let them on social media sites, monitor their friends and interactions. Obviously, make sure you don’t let them onto the adult user account on the computer. Protect it with the best password in the history of passwords. Finally, don’t give your child or teen any devices that have Internet access. If you want to protect yourself from accessing specific sites there is no solution other than self control.

  • Guest

    Ouch. That is the most blatant retraction “non-retraction” I have ever read. I guess you are not “not retracting” what you wrote about Rabbi Salamon being the only Rabbi openly supporting the Asifah?

  • I have to say, whatever the need, I rubs me wrong that education and solutions about use of the internet are to be taken from an organization who planning, marketing, advertising, and conceiving of this event more than anything demonstrate how unfamiliar, inept, and out of touch these people are with dealing with the wider world.

    You would think that even the most high and holy roller, if familiar with the realities of the modern world, would engage with adequate marketing, advertising, and PR professionals to shape their message and actually let people know what this asifa is really about and what it hopes to accomplish.  They clearly did not do that, which leads me to believe they have little savvy or familiarity with the world.

    I still don’t understand why this is being done the way it is.   If the goal is to teach the right wing yeshivish world that has had no exposure to the internet how to use it properly going forward, why does this need to be done at Citi Field at massive expense?  Can’t the Ichud hold large (or small) gatherings in Lakewood, Monsey, Boro Park, ect?  The forum and medium here seems to be just another opportunity for “gedolim” to issue proclamations from a dais.  But not even to issue, proclamations, mind you; to give long-winded fiery droshas about the need for caution and proper care in using the internet, without a comprehensive list of practical guidelines.

    They Ichud originally advertised the asifa as an opportunity for solution-building, a forum for developing solutions for each kehillah, for each segment of Jewish society consistent with the realities of their lives.  Certainly a gathering of 40,000 “laymen” with several hundred Aggudah rabbonim sitting in center field, and a dozen or so “gedolim” speaking from a podium isn’t conducive to such solutions.  If the Ichud want’s to legislate proper use of the internet through the historical style of rabbinic takkanot (in the style of Rabbenu Gershom, or the synods of regional rabbonim that took place throughout Medieval and early modern Europe), then they should have merely published agreed on guidelines after the Newark gathering last summer.  If they want to develop community-specific takkanot with participation of the “common people,” then they might have tried to organize local gatherings where people would sit, debate, and ultimately reach a consensus about the issue, with the guidance of their local rabbonim.  The Citi Field asifa is conducive to neither approach.

    I fear, unfortunately, that the very well intended, but astoundingly ill-conceived event will prove nothing more than an Agudah convention writ large.  Rabbis will bang on podiums speaking of fire and brimstone and the integrity of the Torah-true Jewish people that hangs in the balance, and nothing will change because real change or direction has not been proposed.  There will be much talk about what should be done, and no decision about what they will do.

    All this for a massive price tag, when hundreds and thousands of our people are out of work (those that want work, at least), can barely put food on the table, pay for school tuition, mortgages, and rent.  

    To me, the whole thing gives new meaning to the image of a sad clown.

    • You make great points Shlomo. These are such obvious things that it begs us to question the intentions of the organizers. 

      • Thank you.  

        By the way, I understand from you blog and comments in various places, that you are researching R. Hirsch’s views on a variety of topics.  I (modestly) consider myself a bit of an expert in R. Hirsch’s thought – in both bekiyus and iyun, if you will.  Feel free to friend me on facebook (if you have), or email me (you can get my email from Rabbi Fink), if you are looking for sources or ideas.  I’m always happy to work through R. Hirsh with others.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, Im an avid fan of R’ Hirsch. Within the past week I have been contacted by many people like you and im going to try and connect everyone together. The plan is to build a platform of chinuch based on his ideas. 

          • Guest

            Reb Dovid, what do you think of this new news? Seems that you have alot of posts to take down if all the listed Rabbonim (non-chassidish) are supporting the asifa directly….

            • Anonymous

              Im not sure which post you are referring to because I am pretty sure I never said which Gedolim are for and which aren’t. I do know that one of the names on the list told me he is not for the asifa, so in
              my opinion something really weird is going on.

          • Guest

            You wrote that the only non-hassidic Rabbi in public support of the asifa is Rabbi Salamon. However, Rabbi Schechter, Rabbi Feldman, Rabbi Feinstein, Rabbi Kamenetsky, Rabbi Levine, Rabbi Wachtfogel, Rabbi Kotler, Rabbi Harris, Rabbi Perlow, Rabbi Raful, Rabbi Miller’s names are all listed on the public letter in support of the asifah…

          • Guest

            Are you saying that you think the publicized letter is a forgery??

            • Anonymous

              I’m saying that I know for a fact one or more of those names is not endorsing this asifa at citifield

          • Guest

            The question is what now?

            יש לנו להתבונן בחומר העוון של המורה הלכה בפני רבו. אמנם יש כאן פגיעה ברב, אך מה טעם ענוש הוא בעונש חמור של מיתה? ולא עוד אלא משמע מעובדא זו שאין ראוי לרב למחול על כך, שהרי ידע ר’ אליעזר שתלמיד זה הורה הלכה, וסופו ליענש בעונש מיתה, ומדוע לא מחל לו? ועוד קשה שהרי אמרו ‘כל שחבירו נענש על ידו – אין מכניסין אותו במחחיצתו של הקב”ה” (שבת קמט, ב), אם כן מן הראוי שימחל לו, כדי שלא יהיה בכל ‘מי שחבירו נענש על ידו’?! ונראה שעונשו של המורה הלכה בפני רבו חמור, משום שאין זה משום כבוד הרב בלבד, אלא שהוא מבטל את מעלת ה”זקנים”, שיש לכלל ישראל, וכמו שאמר ר’ עקיבא נמשלו ישראל לעוף. מה העוף הזה אינו פורח בלא כנפים, כך ישראל אין יכולים לעשות דבר חוץ מזקניהם. (ויקרא רבה (וילנא) פרשה יא, ח). שרק כשישראל נשמעים לזקנים, נחשב שיש להם זקנים. אבל כשכל אחד מורה הלכה לעצמו – בטל כח השפעת הרב, וע”י כך מאבדים כלל ישראל את זקניהם, ויבואו לידי “ירהבו הנער בזקן והנקלה בנכבד”, ואז אין, ח”ו, לישראל קיום. לכן אין לרב למחול למי שהורה הלכה בפניו, כיוון שאין העונש משום כבודו, אלא משום קיום ישראל.
            (שיחות מוסר, תשל”ב פרשת שמיני מאמר סא’ עמ’ רס)

      • Guest

        If your claim is that the names of the elder gedolim are forged, please verify and present that information. If not, at this point I don’t see how you could argue that you know better than just about every elder gadol of america…do you disagree? (obviously this is directed at R’ Dovid not R’Fink who has stated clearly in the past that he is not bothered by arguing with elder gedolim or even rishonim for that matter)

        • Anonymous

          Its not my business to present that information and I didnt say it was forged I said they never agreed to it. Did you just say every elder Gadol in America? Now its your turn to present that information!!!

          • Guest

            So you are saying that there are Gedolim who signed on to a letter that they don’t agree with?

          • Guest

            Okay Rabbi Fink, you said “it happens all the time.”

            Now list five examples…okay you can’t? How about three?

            • I heard that R’ Chaim Epstein and R’ Shmuel Kamenetsky are listed as signatories. I also heard that they never signed it.
              I heard from a charedi rov today that he does not know a single rov or baal habos who thinks this asifa is a good idea. That includes the people who supposedly signed it.
              Some rabbonim even hold it is mutar to forge a signature for a “good purpose”. See:
              My rebbe told me that he has seen his name signed on things he never even heard of. So there you go.

    • BS

       Well said. If, as Eliyahu argues, this is about educating the uneducated, then the asifa is a poor way to do it. Education should be at the grass roots level, in each community and school (which has in fact been going on for years in the Litvish yeshivas). A “mass” gathering to teach the uninformed about what the web is all about is terribly foolish idea.

      • I agree.

      • From my comments to R. Fink’s Facebook share:

        “So develop a handbook and guidelines, and pay some of the many, many frum computer technicians out there to run local classes to teach charedim how to use the internet effectively and safely; they could even teach them about various beneficial sites and uses while showing them how to avoid the dangerous/bad ones. Hmmmmm, teach people in an actual educational setting and give many people some parnassa while your at it, at far less cost, with far less meaningless fanfare, and far more effectively, and for men and women, too! What an idea. ”


        “Sorry, R. Fink, this will be the rare occasion where I have to strongly disagree with you take (though I understand your position, and think its a reasonable one). Needing to do something is no excuse for doing something stupid, wasteful, and ineffective that merely perpetuates many of the ill that have led to the chareidi internet issue in the first place – the notion that a dais of gedolim can declare to the rest of us without any indication that they understand that which they are regulating. They did this once and banned the internet, and it failed; instead of correcting the process, they are just changing the position, with no reason to believe that the new position is any more in touch with reality or more nuanced and effective than the old discredited view.” 

    • Saba5771

      Well said. Amen.
      Thank you

  • Anonymous

    By the way, I was told by one of the organizers that there is a simple reason women are not attending. The reason is that a large contingent of Jews made it clear that they would only endorse and promote the event if the Asifa was for men only.

    Is “that contingent” endorsing and promoting the siyum hashas?

    • Leah

      The siyum hashas has a mechitzah that will only be lowered for mincha and maariv. At the last siyum hashas the mechitzah at Nassau Coliseum got stuck on the way back up after mincha and the women couldn’t see the rest of the ceremony.

  • Bgoldy

    Yasher koach for being modeh al haemes and realizing how very wrong you were with your first post. You should really remove it but at least you did a partial teshuva.

    This is a lesson that not every thought should be printed and certainly not blogged.

    Everyone likes to criticize and ‘be the smart, anti-establishment hero.’

    But being a cynic, for cynicism’s sake,  is wrong, esp. at the expense of Kavod for Gedolim. If Gedolim publicly support something it is simply anti-Torah to go against them publicly, as in a blog. 

    Questions are fine if done purposefully and respectfully.

    You did not do that at all in your first post.

    • Monsey

      This really underscores the fallacy of “The Gedolim” endorsing “The
      Asifa” and everything that goes with it.
       “The Gedolim” have no idea what will actually be said at the Asifa, since the
      program wasn’t even put together yet!
      At most, the Gedolim endorsed
      the goal, and the concept, but it can NOT be said they endorse the
      speeches they did not hear, ideas they have not had been explained to
      them, or the fact that it would be men only, since at the time of their
      “endorsement” it was NOT men only!

      Rabbi Fink never put down their goal. He put down HOW it was being done. And, now that we find out that the Gedolim, including all the ones that YOU support, gave their Hascama when it was supposed to be men AND women. In other words, THEY AGREE WITH RABBI FINK!!

  • Bgoldy

    As far as the Asifa itself.

    If Jews have an idea, any idea, which can only help Klal Yisrael, why be against it?

    Will anyone get hurt by having this asifa?

    For those who claim it costs too much money, well, some gvirim  are sponsoring obviously and let them and their Rabbanim they ask decide how to spend their money. It’s not your business to say it would be better spent on a diff. charitable cause.

    The ads in the papers talk about it being a tefila gathering to daven for all the broken people and families that the internet has caused and can cause. Why would anyone be against that?

    Again, who does it hurt?

    It’s a asifa and kenisia l’shem Shamayim. Chazal say great things about that.

    Is the asifa a end-all solution?

    Of course not.

    Does Dovid Teitelbaum’s column have an amazing amount of good points?


    But why be against this asifa?

    I just don’t get it unless someone is looking for an excuse to be anti-Gedolim and anti-establishment. 

    All the crtics seem to have bones to pick and are looking for a fight against Gedolim and the Charedi world.

    And those are not good reasons to be against this sincere asifa.

    • Monsey

       I agree with you on alot of points.
      One of the things that do get people upset is when you present something as “The solution that EVERYBODY needs to hear, and it will solve ALL THE PROBLEMS, all they have to do is come together”.

      As Rabbi Fink said in his original articles on the issue:
      Is there a problem?
      Is this the solution?
      Chinuch is.

      As I said in his article, something Rabbi Teitelbaum said, something I feel strongly about is that above all, our children need to find happiness in their lives.

      If they spend their lives looking, ALL THE FILTERS IN THE WORLD won’t help them.

      As Rabbi Fink said in this article, Chinuch is the underlying problem.

      The point is, that they are addressing a symptom, not the problem. And the Asifa is all focusing on a symptom. It is presented as the ultimate solution, but it isn’t.

      What we need is not a filter for out children or men.

      What we need to do is make them happy and fulfilled in their own life, so filters will be unnecessary, because they will not be searching.

    • There are plenty of reasons to oppose the thing.

      Money and chillul Hashem are at the top of the list.

      It’s far from perfect and it’s unfair for you to say that the organizers are all sincere and the critics are all insincere.

      • NIRC BOY, ESQ.

         This asifa is the biggest kiddush hashem possible. Your hashkafos are stinky…..very smelly and rotten. Ewwwww!!!! Explain why it is a chilul hashem. You think Hashem would be happy or sad that yidden are getting together to fight the deepest of tumah???

        • Chillul Hashem #1:

          Chillul Hashem #2: internet-rally-for-all-jews-except-duh-women

          Chillul Hashem #3:

          • Guest

            Why are you publicizing the chillul Hashem YOU helped create? Did you even read the article THEY ARE QUOTING FROM YOUR ARTICLE. I assume your not really so far removed from reality, that you don’t realize the obvious fact that everyone who is reading the article you posted is thinking “thanks fink for giving frre material for those who want to write negative pieces against the rabbonim.”

          • Guest



          • Honestly, I don’t understand your point.

            What did the organizers think would happen when they aggressively marketed an event that was ostensibly for “achdus” and rented out the third largest venue on New York City and they excluded women? Did they think no one would notice? Was it a wise and prudent decision? How does the chillul Hashem that was created get turned on to me?! I didn’t make those decisions.

          • Guest

            Amazing how not one negative article was published when the event has been publicized for months UNTIL you wrote your negative inflamatory article and headline. Of course any honest person would realize your responsibility. But that seems to be outside your ability.

          • Are you incapable of processing facts?

            The Asifa was MEANT TO BE FOR MEN AND WOMEN. It was decided just before the ads were made that it was for men only.

          • And publicized for months? Really? It was announced a few weeks ago.

          • And, the Huffington Post published a very negative article about the Asifa before I said anything.

  • Monsey

    Interesting. So, at the time all those Gedolim signed the letter, it was intended to be for men and women. I guess it is the organizers themselves who are going against The Gedolim.

  • Rand

    There’s a lot to take issue with in this article but I’m specifically going to address the “My Advice” bit at the bottom and share my own experience and advice.
    My main piece of advice is simple: Do not create arms races. This goes for almost any context: Arms races are as a rule tremendously expensive for each side, and each side winds up roughly in the position at which it began. This is especially pertinant in the case of the internet. Regrettably, in the Haredi world the internet has been demonized for a long time as a Land of Ta’avos, something that it is assur to have yichud with, in short, porn, porn and more porn. Fortunately, though, children start out young – and if they know what the internet is, it will never suddenly become porn-land for them.
    My parents raised six children in a household that had pretty free access to internet. To my knowledge, none of us were corrupted by it. When I was young it was still dial-up AOL with a specific AOL browser that couldn’t get you anywhere, but by late elementary school it was pretty freely accessible. And what did I use it for? Reading reviews of Nintendo 64 games. Reading the day’s Dilbert (and maybe another comic or two) online. Later there was a period (early high school) where I used it to see how my hockey teams were doing in a draft I got convinced to join (Mario Lemieux and Marcus Naslund were amazing, but not amazing enough to prevent me from doing terribly). I played games online and I used the online CIA world factbook (and later Wikipedia) to look things up for school projects online. The internet had very specific uses for me. There was no impetus to use it for something different, and I didn’t.
    As far as I know there were very few misuses of the internet. I did download a few Super Nintendo ROMS to my computer, and my brother may have briefly used Morpheus or Grokster to download music (though I don’t think he listened to much music). But in general, good kids will be good kids, and I deleted the ROMS when I realized that they really weren’t okay. 
    But if I did want to use it badly, you know what my parents should have done? They should have occasionally checked my browsing history, and looked at which sites I was visiting. If parents don’t appear worried about their children’s behavior it generally won’t come into their minds act badly, or if they do they won’t be know to be secretive about it. And it can never hurt to keep the computer in a fairly public place, just so kids can’t switch on “private browsing” to visit sites they shouldn’t. (Again this need not appear confrontational. Having your computer in the same room as your television makes sense, though I recognize that this can be problematic, if your social circumstances require you to hide both.) On the other hand, if its an open war to maintain control of the internet – well, kids will be far more dedicated to winning that war, and that is dangerous.
    Are most parent afraid to let their children go to a convenience store to buy a candy bar? Because almost every convenience store has pornographic magazines somewhere. But I never went to convenience stores to seek out their copies of Playboy, and I’d be surprised to hear that this possibility is keeping parents awake at night.

    • NIRC BOY, ESQ.

       Let’s wait for the asifa itself……whomever makes it to the dais is in support. Fink…..we will see your true colors then.

    • Rand:

      The people to whom this advice is directed are people who would view pornography as almost yehareg v’al ya’avor. To them, if a youth (or adult) sees inappropriate material online, the entire Internet is not worthwhile. I gave my advice to those who want the Internet but want to guarantee no porn will be viewed by their children on their home computers.

    • Rand-
      To some, the availability to read video game reviews on the Internet is bad enough, almost on par with pornography. I think that R’ Elya Brudny’s speech at the last Agudah Convention belies what is left unsaid by the Ichud but certainly on their minds – www access integrates people in a ‘global village’, and that, to some, is intensely dangerous in and of itself.

  • Anonymous

    You wrote:

    According to you those who ignored the Gedolim are Internet savvy and need not attend the asifa,  whereas those who followed their advice need to attend the asifa.  Also, the Gedolim have apparently now come to realize that banning the Internet is not the way to go.

    Are we to deduce from this that those who followed the advice of the Gedolim would have been better off not listening to them?


  • Moshe Gelberman

    about your advice:
    you clearly dont know how easy it is to access sites that are blocked by computer .
    heres the simplest way: get a portable browser on a usb flaqsh drive. get on a computer with  any internet access. open up a proxy (such as and u hav access to whatever u want. i think this gets around having ur history immediately sent to a rabbi or friend (although they will kno ur going on a proxy, they may not kno which sites specifically) and yeah.
    so i think no matter what u do there will always be nerds who are smarter than lakewood rabbonim/technicians. 
    which is y i think the  The Dovid Teitelbaum Educational approach will be more effective.
    but it would also be nice if they got some legit hackers at the asifa, just to show how breakable most filter systems are.

    • You clearly don’t understand how to make a limited account on a computer.

      • Anonymous

        Any kid can boot an OS from the USB key and have full access with zero history. And if you use UBUNTU, it’s free!

        • They can be blocked too.

          • Anonymous

            Yes they can .. and almost never are on consumer machines.

            On corporate machines, IT departments routinely block booting from USB key … because they don’t want employees accessing things without any record of their access.

            • Consumers can do the same thing if they choose.

          • Anonymous

            Consumers can do the same thing if they choose.

            Of course they can, my point is that they don’t. And as much as I hate to say it, the computers at schools and in many public places (library) don’t either in many cases.

          • John Lucsoft

            The point is, if you insist on fighting a battle of brains with your kids, you stand an awfully good chance of losing. Once you start the fight, the kids will often see it as a challenge they need to overcome. And there’s a good chance they’ll succeed. For every barrier there is a workaround. And if the workaround doesn’t exist yet, the great brain-trust of young geeks will invent it.

            • That is precisely why the rabbis banned the Internet. They are coming around to the idea that education and monitoring is wiser.

          • Anonymous

            I did offer them a challenge to break through any filter at the Asifa. People can place bets and stuff. They will sell out all the seats in days. They haven’t yet responded yet…

        • John Lucsoft

          True. I’d recommend Puppy Linux, though, if you’re trying to run off a flash drive. You can set it up with persistent state and all, and the drive needn’t be all that large.

          Point is, trying to fight with your kids is, more often than not, going to end in you losing. Unless you’re a super-geek, expect your kids to be better at this than you are. Decide what it is that you consider wrong, and try to teach your kids to appreciate that. If you can’t do that, you might want to rethink what it is you consider wrong.

          I still don’t quite understand what the dangers of the internet are. Porn? Kefira? Neither of those things strike me as all that bad. Obviously, children should be taught basic safety tips, like not meeting strangers in person, etc. After that, what’s so bad?

          • The assumption is that porn is the worst thing that a person can see and it will affect the viewer in a very negative way for their rest of their life.

  • BS

    I am intrigued by your post. It is difficult to tell whether it is sincere or tongue in cheek. If this asifa is truly aimed at those who are unfamiliar with the internet, it is being poorly marketed. The advertisements and relentless newspaper articles are not aimed at the uninformed, nor are they portrayed as having the aim of explaining the workings of the web. Rather, they claim that the purpose of the asifa will be to offer a “unified approach” to dealing with the challenges of the internet.

    I am all for educating the masses about the internet. But if you think that this gathering is about that, you’re way off. 

    • It is sincere.

      I have been assured that the gathering is simply to help people protect their families from porn. Do I think it needs to be at Citifield? No. Excluding women? No.

      But if these people will only learn in this convoluted manner, so be it! 

      • John Lucsoft

        But if these people will only learn in this convoluted manner, so be it!  

        Come on. This is absurd, and you know it. I’m going to assume that the people behind this thing are not stupid people. If they were interested in educated non-technical people about how to use the internet in a safe manner and how to protect against the “bad” things on the internet, they wouldn’t be doing it this way. 

        The reason they’re doing this is because their goal is not education, and you know it. Their goal is to make a powerful statement, one of fire and brimstone.

        And as you said in your post, it misses the mark. They’re addressing the symptom, not the problem.

  • Leah

    This reminds me of when my father filled out the Internet Policy paper for my younger siblings’ school. In the line that read “I have internet in my home but I do not let my children use it.” he crossed out the word “not” and added the words “with supervision” to the end.


    Just scrolling through the comments, I find it quite ironic with the nature of the topic, seeing some of the animosity and hostility emerging from the readers. 
    We can never advance as a nation with all the disputes among us. 
    Between the internet and the nations out there in the world trying to destroy us, do we really have the time and resources to fight among ourselves?
    Be grateful that a few individuals are funding this is event and putting a big effort into making it work. So far it’s the only plan we’ve got. So stop whining and fussing about minor details and get on board. 
    Unless someone out there has a better solution….

    • Mike

      Couldn’t agree more.
      At least one person here has the right mind

    • Aron2375

      I’m on board.
      I just wish my wife and daughters could come with me.
      I find it silly they don’t allow women.

  • Bgoldy

    Eliyahu, your haskafos are so messed up. You caused any chilul Hashem if there is any. You brought up the issue of no women publicly and went against the Gedolim. I see from all your comments you really did not do teshuva so I was wrong with what I thought about you this morning.
    How can you write this against the Gedolim? “t’s far from perfect and it’s unfair for you to say that the organizers are all sincere and the critics are all insincere.”
    Critics have no reason to criticize any asifa that is l”shem Shamayim and can only help. Thus, critics=insincere.
    I wish Rabbi Tendler, ztl, were alive so he could yell at you and set you straight.
    All I can say about how messed up you are right now is a big nebach.

  • G*3

    > These people need to get to the Asifa. They need to learn about the dangers and the protections immediately.
    They don’t need an asifa. They need an instruction manual that they can refer to when they’re online. How many pamphlets could be printed for 1.5 million dollars?

    • Until they see rabbis with beards bleating about it, they will not pay attention.

      • Anonymous

        And even then, it’s nor assured that they will pay attention (re: Internet ban for 10+ years, etc).

        • We are speaking about the people who did listen! That was the point of the post!

          • Anonymous

            I should have chosen a different example of “not listening” … maybe like simcha takanos, or not marrying for money takanos, etc..

  • YoungerLight

    My two cents (with some overlap from this latest post): 

  • ksil

    “And, the Huffington Post published a very negative article about the Asifa before I said anything.”so, a chillul hashem only occurs when someone views something jews do negatively, even though the jews are doing the right thing, with rabbinic guidance and haskamos?  I dont get this logic….

    • I agree with you. CH has nothing to do with how we are perceived by non-Jews, it has to do with how we act. I was only making my point in arguendo.

    • Bgoldy

      I’ll throw in that the Huffington article which Eliyahu dug deep to get to try and defend his dumb point of chilul Hashem applied here wasn’t even negative unless you say that they view us as old-fashioned in trying to deal with the very real internet problems.  The article reported the facts and it did NOT discuss the men only issue   .Only the guy trying to get the respect of the anti-Gedolim did that.  Eliyahu Fink.

      Nebach, Eliyahu.

      Rabbi Tendler’s ‘Don’t waste your life’ mantra you mentioned and loved so much?

      You are def. doing that here with this entire issue you and only you created.

      • Dug deep? Everyone of Facebook knew about it.

        • Bgoldy

          You dug deep to try and prove the supposed chilul Hashem which there wasn’t at Huffington.

           The asifa will be a Kiddush Hashem and a gathering for tefila. No reason for anyone to be against it.BTW, unlike you, I don’t do the waste of time called facebook. Email is plenty enough for me.I almost never do the comments discussion thing either but did here to try and help you and your ruchniyus but in the end I failed in that due to your stubborness.

  • Stevec613

    From my perspective I don’t want to associate myself with those that utilize their made up frumkeit to push separation of the sexes even when there are strong reasons not to do so.  Additionally, unlike the siyum hashas, this event seems to be right of center only – yeshivish and chasidish – however it seems to be excluding any OU or YU participation.  Those are my 2 reasons for ignoring the event.

    • All men are invited. They would love the YU crowd to come, but I see no reason for them to attend.

      • Stevec613

         my point is that they did not bother to get signatures from what I consider main stream torah orthodoxy. 

  • Yoely

    Non-sense! if they want to educate the lay people they should send a booklet and accompanying DVD in the mail (MUCH CHEAPER) to explain what internet is and how one can protect themselves and the family from the bad part of it. They can also create a Internet Gemach to help people out with advise and filter installation.
    This whole stadium thing and the thousands of dollars that is being wasted is just a scheme of political and marketing propaganda and is of zero value to solutions and helping individuals.Why does the word “Call of Gedolim” make me want to vomit? I’ll tell you becuase its usually used ONLY in negative events to FIGHT something, can we stop fighting always something else and start serving Hashem????! Its not the “Gedolim” who are leading the public, its the “Ketanim” who are misleading the gedolim and the public, our society will go down in the gutter if the  “Gedolim” continue to be led by those “Ketanim”, its time for Torah to rule, not people of calculations and and honor grabbers.

  • Anonymous

    It’s incredible how similar Citifield looks to Breugel’s 1563 picture of the Tower of Babel.

    Bad venue for Asifa?

  • M.

    “Lastly, some people consider social media an inherent “danger of the Internet.” This is a fallacy. Learn how to use the tools properly and it can be a wonderful and positive use of the Internet.”

    I used to use Facebook like once a month until I saw that filthy images displayed in the ads are unavoidable and even people on the friend list can post disgusting images on your “wall” or what-have-you… in any case it popped up on my screen. What are you going to do, use FB w/o images turned on? Please. I’ve deleted my account. As should we all.

  • Anonymous

    Well, this is refreshing.  Well done!