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The Asifa is Done: I Was Fooled

Let’s make this short and sweet.

The askanim I spoke with assured me that the Asifa would not ban the Internet. I explained that there is plenty of reason for skepticism regarding the opinion of the great rabbis when it comes to Internet. After all, every single public statement on the Internet was that the Internet must be banned. Then they tried to coerce the schools to disallow any child who had Internet in the home to attend any of the yeshivas and Beis Yaakovs. So I said, forgive me for being skeptical.

I was led down a path of fantasy and imagination. I was told that the rabbis won’t be banning the Internet at this event. After all, the slogan was “We can’t live with it, we can’t live without it”! There are going to be vendors teaching people about Internet filters at the event! So I believed in this myth. I believed that the new approach was going to be different. I believed they were going to advocate responsible Internet use. I believed that the standards would be subjective. I bought a bridge.

Three out of context quotes are all you need to know about the event.

R’ Wachsman said that since all of Klal Yisrael is gathering together for an event, notwithstanding the fact that only a small sliver of the Jewish population was present at the Asifa, whatever edicts were initiated at the event would be binding on all Jews and if someone was not present at the Asifa, they were bound as well. Anyone who would not listen to the edicts was to be considered a defector and would lose their portion in the next world.

R’ Wosner said that the Internet is only permissible at one’s place of business and with a filter. It was not to be used in the home with or without a filter under any circumstances. Further, no school should accept any student who had Internet access, even with a filter, in their home.

R’ Segal said that people think they need it for work, but it’s really just the evil inclination convincing them that they need it because they really don’t need it and they should not have it at all.

Sure, there were plenty of inspirational moments. R’ Wachsman tried to walk back from these more extreme statements. He also made some intelligent remarks about the harms of too much Internet usage (and some erroneous ones as well). R’ Matisyahu Salamon avoided objective rulings in his brief talk. But the damage was done.

The askanim were fooled, or foolish. And so was I.

I apologize for my [tepid] support of the event. It did not make the Internet somewhat kosher for those who want to listen to the rabbis. Nothing positive about the Internet was discussed. Websites with Torah and the ability to communicate with friends and family was ignored. In short, this event set the clock back to zero. I was wrong. Things are more bleak than I presumed.

The current status:

If someone wishes to listen to the “Gedolim” who spoke on the issue, they are forced to leave the Internet behind, for all purposes other than what is absolutely necessary for work. That means no buying things on Amazon, no using the incredible resources of hebrewbooks.org, no emailing family members, no divrei Torah via email or website. Nothing. Over.

The majority of people will take some nice lessons and inspiration from the event but will ignore the edicts and risk losing their portion in the world to come if R’ Wachsman is to be trusted on these matters.

The smart people will continue to educate their children with wisdom and prudence. They didn’t need any Asifa to begin with.

We can mourn or celebrate the end of rabbinic proclamations on the Internet as there is no one who will take them seriously anymore.

The one glimmer of hope is that people will stop relying on rabbis and edicts to make all their decisions and do their thinking for them. It would be great if people started to realize that they need to take responsibility for themselves and their children. They can’t expect to get bailed out of all cognition by rabbis thinking on their behalf. It just doesn’t work. But more importantly, I don’t believe it is what God wants from us.


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  • Ezzie Goldish

    For what it’s worth, many of the people who attended were also duped. My Chassidish co-workers were expecting an educational, positive event. It was not. One texted me as he was leaving, and I noted that I thought it was a busha; he replied no, but it was a waste of time. (He left in middle, perhaps wasn’t there for some of the later comments.)

    • Yanky

      Knives are dangerous as well yet we don’t ban them. Adults
      are careful when using them and we teach our children the dangers of
      knives.  This gathering should have been
      more inspirational in terms of bringing us closer to Hashem and would have been
      a perfect start to Shavuos (giving of the Torah).

    • Paulstallinthehall

      Lander College went and was inspired, just thought i should mention it to you because ya’h know……

  • David Sedley

    How can rulings and speeches in Yiddish possibly be binding on all of American Jewry – most of whom don’t speak Yiddish at all?
    (Aside from the stupidity of the whole event and the clear abuse of ‘Gedolim’ by the askanim)

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      You are mistaken. The rabbis abused the askanim this time.

      • Eric

         Or the rabbis and askanim got together to abuse you.

        • Monsey

           I think some of the Askanim were said to profit from the “new status” of filtered access at home now being Mutar, that Jmet and Yeshivanet were going to get many new subscribers.
          Supposedly, the “Askanim” were either sponsored or connected to these (and other) “Kosher Technology” companies, who stood to benefit from the new “We can’t live without it” approach.
          Since the Rabbis forced them to cancel the expo, and then continued the “no internet at home, even filtered” stance, the Askanim lost out on their chance to cash in.

          • Yeedle

            which is not true. TAG (Gottleib’s organization) installs k9 for people).

  • Anonymous

    Well this should draw a clear line between the two groups. If YOU swore allegiance to these “gedoylim” then disconnect NoW! Throw out the home computers and show us how co mmitted you are. You are “bound” by this “edict” now

  • Jocobtoly

    I was i big supporter for the asifa in my community, I got disappointed in the middle of harav wosner’s derusha when he said that at home it’s always user it killed the whole thing.

  • Skj

    Chaval that when Moshiach is announced over the web, they won’t be able to hear it…

    • Anonymous

      @365f3340d0bb1b2944fd8ee77f266957:disqus Chaval that when Moshiach is announced over the web, they won’t be able to hear it… 

      It might not matter … because they’ll probably be a different religion by then.

      • Worf

        Dude, they already are a different religion.

        • Anonymous

          @d10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930:disqus Dude, they already are a different religion. 

          Maybe I’m a fool, but I still harbor some hope that they return to Judaism someday.

  • Matt

    I’m an am-haaretz. I don’t know what askanim are or the significance/affiliation of each Rabbi.

    • Passing Through

      I envy you

    • Matt

      No seriously. Can someone please explain it to me?

  • geoff kl

    nothing was said tonite that hasnt been said thousands of times before

    not only a waste of time, but of money

    and i was under the impression that the “vendors” were in fact just one vendor 

  • Sad

    Whatever happend to local standards instead of all power edicts issued by “Gedolim” that no one will follow.  This is a sad moment in our development as a people.  Also these same Rabbis who have banned the Interenet have also banned plenty of other great things like Zionism and higher learning, so why should they be trusted by anyone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yehuda-Jacobs/100000561424879 Yehuda Jacobs

    Re: Rabbi Wachsman’s  statements, and I do not have the transcription but how I understood it, there were no edicts other than a recognition of the fact that we cannot resign to the internet taking over our lives and not thinking and considering it’s usage. The “yotzai min haklal” aspect was to this point, the “klal” represented the daas torah view that while we may need to use the internet in whatever capacity we cannot go into a lull of complacency and accept that the internet, unfiltered and unadulterated (pun intended) will rule supreme, influencing our children. 

    The view point, or hashkafa that internet needs to be filtered should not be looked at as chumrah, minhag, takana, it is assur, not from this generation, not from “daas torah” from the torah itself. LO SASSURA ACHARAI LEVAVCHEM VACHARAI AINAICHEM, the gemara discusses a scenario of taking a shortcut along the river bank where women are doing laundry and therefor not entirely tznius and how that is ISSUR. Unfiltered internet in any capacity is assur. BUT that was not the point, that was not the focus. The focus was a jolt of life to the fight against what is taking over our communities against very little resistance. 

    I am sure everyone has their own take home message, the message of how inconsiderate it was at how late they ended, the message that what a chutzpah to not have more english speakers etc… I dare you to consider the shining positives. hundreds of thousands (live hookups in locations such as LA etc..) of frum yidden came to hear the words of our gedolim even if their only reason is because we were told we need to!, Hundreds of thousands of yidden acknowledging the issue and getting hissarrirus, and I need no survey taking but the amazing spontaneous reactions to Rabbi Wachsman’s fiery speach was awesome, and while it sounds comical that we gave him a “standing ovation” but that is the reaction at the time that only seemed possible a recognition of the emmes an acceptance of the mussar, the desire to keep our children safe, the will to not be miyaesh “eh whats the point it is literally everywhere” but to accept that there is a greater force that decides the way of the world THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MEN IN UNISION BEING MEKABEL OHL MALCHUS SHAMAYIM OF WHICH WE HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE ELIYAHU BEHAR HAKARMEL!!
    When Mashiach does come, Yesterday, the asifa, will be talked about and noted as a significant spiritual event that turned the tides, and the zechusim emanating  from the achdus of the klal in possibly our greatest battle against the yetzer harah will have untold effects in hastening the arrival of the geulah. 

    As the event progressed late into the night, and the thoughts of how am i going to get up for work started creaping in my mind this thought alone of what an amazing zechus, of the millions of our members of klal yisroel, I have the zchus to be at this event that may ultimately bring an end to all suffering was more than enough to keep me looking at the positives than what everyone will point out as what they disliked. 

    I would love to find some transcripts of the critics of the organizers of the event at har hakarmel, or matan torah.. there will always be the cynic but can you see the magnitude, do you understand the ramifications of such a gathering for mussar and tshuvah and kabals hashaim. We should all be zoche to see the positives and try to listen and do our best to practice in the ways prescribed by our gedolim

    • Anonymous1

       Your post was very thoughtfully written, and I can appreciate what you are saying. Unfortunately, you are sorely mistaken. Sorely. The gemara’s scenario doesn’t apply to the internet. Let’s make a better analogy: what should the person do if the “laundromat” (the place where the women are washing the clothing) IS his place of business? What then? What if the “laundromat” has his clothing and he needs it? What if using and walking past this “laundromat” is absolutely, 100% necessary for his own life? Is it “assur” then? I think not.

      There was no “TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MEN IN UNISION BEING MEKABEL OHL MALCHUS SHAMAYIM OF WHICH WE HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE ELIYAHU BEHAR HAKARMEL” in this. None whatsoever. And the analogy is a bad one. First of all, there is no “good” in worshiping Ba’al, as the Jews were doing at the time, which Eliyahu debunked. There is PLENTY of “good” on the internet. Plenty. Second of all, there were men AND women PRESENT at Har Hakarmel, whereas today’s ultra-Orthodox shun and belittle women. “There were live hookups”, you may say? I scoff at that. Those live hookups were made only after there was a backlash that women would not be welcome (as if women are not threatened by the internet). The tickets to the asifa were apportioned to areas and groups who were already sympathetic to these idiotic messages: they had the audience who would react as you do.

      R’ Wachsman’s rhetoric is pathetic and evil. “Lose the portion in the world to come”?? Where in the HELL does he come off saying that? It’s one thing to the Mishna or Gemara to talk like that, but there not one single, solitary Rabbi alive today who touches the shadows of the toes of the greatness of the Chazal to be able to make a statement like that. I’ll make another statement: ANYONE WHO COVERS UP SEXUAL ABUSE OR TELLS PEOPLE NOT TO GO TO THE AUTHORITIES WILL LOSE THEIR PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME! Or, how about: ANYONE WHO KEEPS JEWISH CHILDREN OUT OF A FRUM SCHOOL FOR ANY REASON (including having the internet at home) WILL LOSE THEIR PORTION IN THE WORLD TO COME!! Please. The “firey speech” was Taliban-induced rhetoric that only serves to make normal-thinking people ignore the rabbonim even more.

      Again, mattan Torah and Har Hakarmel did not exclude women from being there. There were no “live hookups” for women: they were PRESENT. “Klal Yisrael” does NOT refer to men ONLY. In addition, the internet is NOT the “#1″ problem facing Yiddishkeit today. Are there dangers on the ‘net? Sure. Should we educate our children about them? Absolutely. But there are greater issues. And to ignore them completely, while attempting to throw our People back into the Stone-Age (metaphorically) is not just wrong. It’s stupid. And it brings down the “chashivus” of the gedolim more by their own words than by anything said on the internet.

      P.S. – I don’t expect a reply…after all, your internet access should be gone by now, unless you want to lose your Olam Habah.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yehuda-Jacobs/100000561424879 Yehuda Jacobs

        I am happy to reply, and not as anonymous either ;-)

        I will try to address your points in order:
        1) re-read how I applied the scenario, I was referring to unfiltered internet.
        2) I think the Har Hakarmel comparison is pretty accurate, not in specifics but in concept, in a massive gathering of sincere yidden opening their eyes and being mekabel ohl malchus shamayim, raging a battle against a yetzer harah dominating our generation, irrespective of women, and the live hookups i was referring to were satellite sites to communities not able to attend. And in terms of controlling the clientele at the event, I do not know the details, nor do you, but honestly if that is the case I have no issue, the people that came were those who wanted to be there to hear from gedolim, not the peanut gallery booing or poo pooing at the gedolei yisroel, and while I DO NOT think that people who have questions should be silenced but at such an event I find it appropriate, think about it, most all political events have heavy party-centric attendance, democrats show up to democrats events.
        3) In terms of R’ Wachsman say what you will he is quoting chazal, the klal and daas torah does not ban the internet but someone who rages against daas torah and their decrying of the evils and the necessity to take appropriate precautions, yes that is yotzai min haklal and that has been taken care of by chazal not rabbi wachsman. I do agree and this is a valid point that the event was not as it was originally marketed for, and that was an educational forum to help people understand how to better handle the internet, I do not know why they veered from that but they did not call me for my opinion and the details of the constraints and why the last second switch-a-roo. in my personal opinion would be great to have such an expo in say the Javits Ctr. AND while the gedolim must keep in mind how they will be perceived it is more incumbent on us to have emunas chachamim and understanding that in all truth, in the end of the day, they are the ones with the daas torah, and unless you think that the torah is outdated or hashem miscalculated and that in fact in 2012 the gedolim will lose it and the torah is a bad vehicle to do his will then the gedolim are really our only true guidance. 
        4)  If the gedolim assess the current state of matters in this generation and this is what they see as the greatest threat, then who are you to argue? see previous point, the torah and daas torah was designated as our leadership throughout the doros and for eternity 

        I am sure you will have an immediate response, probably most of the same points, I urge you, think about it, think about the foundation of yiddishkeit, maybe it is outdated maybe its all wrong maybe the torah is wrong chalila… go back to the roots to what has helped us survive the 2000 year galus 

        • lakewood

          You seem like a sincere fellow. Forget about the ‘gedolim’. Forget about whoever’s picture is in the frum papers. Find yourself  a real talmid chacham, someone distinguished by tremendous breadth and depth in learning (all of shas and poskim plus medrashim etc.), and someone with outstanding yashrus and tzidkus. That is someone worthwhile listening to, someone who has a chance of revealing daas torah. But do the research because just being on a dais or being a rosh yeshiva is not a qualification.
          If you can’t find someone like I described, don’t just be mevatel your daas to what everyone says the gedolim say, you can’t rely on everyone else to do your research for you into who is a gadol. Far better rely to on your own sechel!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yehuda-Jacobs/100000561424879 Yehuda Jacobs

            I agree and disagree it is very hard to justify going against the recognized gedolei yisroel, and recognized by the vast majority of yeshivos and lomdei torah

          • Anonymous

            Yehdua, what if my gedolei yisroel dont recognize these gedolio israel? who says we are bound by their words any way? do you understand that we are bound ONLY by the beit din hagadol?

          • rokemronnie

             Yehuda,

            It is very hard to justify going against the recognized dons,
            recognized by the vast majority of the five families.

          • Chardala

            Remember, the meraglim were the gedolei yisroel.  Gedolei yisroel burned the Rambam’s Mishneh Torah. And gedolei yisroel advised Jews NOT to leave Europe until it was too late…

        • http://www.walkingthegreyline.blogspot.com/ Shades of Grey

          I’m not sure how well versed you are in Tanach or the Har Carmel story, but I still don’t think the Har Carmel comparison is appropriate at all. 

          Eliyahu was critiquing Bnei Yisrael for being wishy washy about serving BOTH HaShem and the ba’al – he told them they need to pick one – honestly pick one or the other – as horrifying as it sounds, he made picking ba’al a legit option. Lumping HaShem together with false deities was worse than at least being consistent in only worshiping avodah zara. 

          This only makes sense within the context the Asifa and its agenda if all of klal Yisrael said together that they totally reject in the internet, and will only serve HaShem, instead of trying to be ovdei HaShem with the internet. As R’ Fink and others have mentioned, it’s plainly seen that the internet has many good aspects – I would not equate the internet with the ba’al as an absolute, unnecessary, and harmful evil.

          So with an understanding of the flawed pretense of the asifa, the Har Carmel story is not parallel whatsoever.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=558392907 Tzvi Zucker

          One by one:
          Har HaCarmel was NOT a gathering of yidden in search of inspiration from the gedoylim, nor were they sincere. I think Eliyahu’s statement to the masses was “dont sleep in two beds” or something to that effect…? 
          Though i do believe that your analogy is a great one, though for precisely the opposite reason you intended it to be. You see, Har HaCarmel didnt work. The next day, Izevel tells Eliyahuh she is going to kill him, and that his miracles are for naught. And Eliyahu knew she was right – thats why he tells haShem he’s quitting the job and the Klal Yisrael are hopeless. So yeah, a good analogy if there was one. :)

          Secondly, what makes someone a gadoyl? You say it is Klal Yisroyel’s inate ability to appoint those who have the daas toyrah. Yet you also say that these people do not need to answer to you, because of emunas chachomim. So its kind of a tautology, isnt it? They rule because you say they are worthy to rule, but you cannot question them because you need emunas chachomim. Is it coming from Klal Yisroyel or from the gedoylim?

          I dont know why you think that the foundation of klal yisrael is emunas chachamim. Who were the chachamim?? I know of nevviim, melachim, shoftim…chachamim were kind of a stopgap measure for when all of that failed. I know – youre going to tell me “chacham adif me’navi”, but…thats because the chacham is one who is able to use his chochma to ascertain the Will of haShem (like Osniel ben Kenaz). NOT someone who already posseses the daas toyrah and doesnt use chochmah at all!

          And lastly, and most importantly, we have a concept of a Zaken Mamrei for a reason. Big people can assess things wrongly. And we ALL can argue.

        • bdbd

          yehuda what i dont get is how in the world you are on the net now, typing what you are. it is clear from what was said in the asifa that this is assur, even with a filter. the only heter with a filter was for business use. period. thus, you just lost your cheleck in olam haba. 

      • Yehuda Benami

         well said and you covered EVERYTHING! YASHAR KO’ACH TO YOU!

    • Xgbjg21

      I hate to break it to you however, most of the Jewish communities around the country held a meeting of their Rabbis prior to the event. The topic was to discuss the validity and point to the upcoming event. Each town had their questions and concerns however most towns and cities DID NOT attend! You see, most of the people who did attend we’re from New York and it only proved one thing, that the well know fact remains the same…..Human Beings are intelligent but people as a mass are ignorant and gullible! Nothing new for New York, especially since most of NY believes the world revolves around them!

      You want some mussar, here you go, you will not find truth and happiness in life until you find the truth deep inside your own self and make peace within one’s self! You will continue to go nowhere for as long as you keep living life pretending to be something else and hiding from yourself within your own lies…….God Speed and good luck!
      You think the Internet is the problem!? Wrong…..it’s just like drugs, it can heal you or if improperly used, kill you! The problem is yours so own up and accept your own damn responsibilities in life and stop trying to blame Your problems on someone or something else!

      • spongeblog

        I find truth and happiness online :)

    • geoff kl

      saw the same large gathering across the globe at the last siyum hashas…which is coming up in 2 months and will be a kidduh hashem…unlike last nites waste of time

    • rokemronnie

       “zechusim”?

      Zechuyot. If you can’t even get Hebrew words accurately, why should I listen to the rest of what you say?

    • zach

       For a moment when I read your missive I thought I was still on the frumsatire blog.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gil.reich Gil Reich

      It’s estimated that over 50,000 Jewish men, women and children attend the Birkat Kohanim at the Kotel every Pessach and Sukkot, and that over 100,000 gather at Hakhel. Granted, as a die-hard Mets fan living near Jerusalem I (sadly) understand the appeal of Citi Field.  But yesh omrim that gathering at the Kotel to fulfill Biblical commandments to accept Ohl Malchut Shamayim, as a nation in its home while facing Har Habayit at the spot most sanctified by G-d and Jewish history is even greater. The very idea that the Rabbis can issue an edict that binds the Jewish people from Citi Field, a place that (unlike its predecessor, Shea Stadium) has given Jews nothing but pain, is preposterous. And on Yom Yerushalyim no less. Gedolim?! Is there any question that these people, who separate themselves from the Nation of Israel and the values of the Torah, are the very people who would have been stoning and cursing King David many years ago?

      • Anonymous

        And there are plenty of big gatherings, for example:

        * The #j14 gatherings last summer were pretty big, certainly more than 50,000.
        * The Tel Aviv gay pride parade is a gathering that is pretty large.
        * The Israel Day parade each year gets a few hundred thousand people.

        Lots of examples of large gatherings of Jewish men, women, and children!

    • Joseph Nerenberg

       Yehuda: Can you share with us whatever you’re smoking there?

  • Guest

    I’m sorry, but banning the internet is just not practical in today’s society.  For instance, without the internet, where would you go to download internet porn?

  • Eli

    I found your site by “Googling” disappointed with Asifa. I too was fooled. I expected an educational forum as to how to educate our youth about Internet use and instead I got the same tired proclamations of Internet being gates of hell and I’m going straight to it due to my iPhone. I feel like I wasted 7 hours of my life! No information regarding filters, technology, routers, opendns, etc. just the same old thing. No Internet at all, decreed from on high by all “Rabbis”.
    I note painfully that my Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Kaminetsky did not support this event and did not attend. Like a real fool I ignored this and attended, hoping this was going to be something new.

  • Anonymous
  • http://twitter.com/drnelk drnelk

    The absence of Chabad from the (ironically myopic #thinkaboutit) Asifa is consistent with the movement’s embracing the modern world for the purpose of strengthening Yidishkeit. Leaving aside the eiruv Rav (eiruv Rebbe?), they demonstrate that even so-called “ultra-“Orthodoxy can be consistent with living in the world.

  • Simchangoldstein

    Did you not see the writing on the wall? I am not sure why you thought it would have turned out to be anything than what it was, Zionism bashing included. The emperor has no clothes and has not for a long time, this was simply the “daas torah is no longer relevant” event. A coming out of sorts.  

    • http://www.walkingthegreyline.blogspot.com/ Shades of Grey

      I like your “emperor has no clothes and has not for a long time” metaphor. It is remarkably and deliciously apt (in a literary fashion) in its encapsulation of where we are nowadays with many of the proclamations made by gedolim.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/AY-Lawrence/773504198 AY Lawrence

      Touche. Besides “tziyoinis”, R’ Salomon managed to roll in birth control and the repeal of the Tal Law together with the internet hyperbole.

      • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

        What did he say about birth control?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/AY-Lawrence/773504198 AY Lawrence

          It wasn’t directly – he talked about why this asifa was convened – in large part for children – then went on for a bit about how children who learn torah and are yir’ei shamayim are why we have them; the more you have, the better this is, etc. I was listening at work with 3/4 an ear but it sure seemed to me that family planning was lurking somewhere between the lines. The Tal Law was referenced outright – at the end of his speech he led a mass recital of… something, not sure what it was but he said that all should pray that they not take our children out of the walls of batei medrash into the army.

          • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

            Thank you for the follow up. I appreciate it.

  • none

    told you so

  • choir

    What the asifa became did not seem to be the original intention. My speculation is that the stadium was booked rashly and then 2 weeks ago they were completely disorganized and hadnt sold any tickets.  The decision was made to tack hard to the right to get the support of chasidim who comprised 85% of attendees, with the remaining group from Lakewood.

    In my opinion a lost opportunity and one I hope was not intended, but only due to the disorganization of the planning.

  • Anonymous

    The only good thing anyone can say about this is that “so many showed up”, overflow crowd at stadium, hookups all across the country and world, etc…. blah blah blah. If that’s the case, and the measurement of success is how many showed up, then the Super Bowl is the holiest thing to ever grace this world. Bah!

  • Eli

    unfortunately this article you wrote is a chillul hashem saying that “The one glimmer of hope is that people will stop relying on rabbis and edicts to make all their decisions and do their thinking for them” that comment ignores the concept of daas torah, i really hope there aren’t a lot of jewish people that value your opinion which is very misguided

    • rokemronnie

       The concept of “daas Torah” as promoted by today’s Chareidi leaders is a modern innovation and is not based on a Jewish mesorah.

    • http://twitter.com/biotwist Jonah block

      I think the whole event was a chillul hashem if you are that worried about looking bad in the eyes of the rest of society

  • Moshe7889

    Eli Fink-you are such a shoteh for creating a forum and post whose sole purpose is to be cynical against chasuve rabbanim and gedolim.

    Stop creating aveiros and more aveiros and do teshuva.

    If only Rabbi Tendler, ztl, were alive to give you the verbal licking that you deserve.

    • rokemronnie

       Verbal licking? As opposed to the verbal slobbering you do over your self-appointed “gedolim”?

    • http://twitter.com/biotwist Jonah block

       and you are doing the same exact thing. you started off all positive and then got negative, why don’t you do some teshuva instead

  • Ben

    Maybe I should think about buying stocks in Juno like in the old days when we used to only use it for email. Ill make a killing!

  • Feuer46@aol.com

    and the fact that they had a  strong supporter of a convicted child molester recite tehillim proves that not only was it a waste but it was sickening!!

  • Themonseyguy

    From Wachsman’s comment I can assume that god has died and he is now in charge of the next world. And @Moshe7889 and @Yehuda jacobs, are these the same “Chashuva rabbanim” who convinced europe that 
    Shabbetai Tzvi was moshiach in the 17th century?

  • ahg

    So I meandered over to a site I a rarely read (Vos Is Neais) to see what they had to say and at that point all they had were a bunch of pictures of mostly chasidish men filling the stadium with a very uniform appearance of black and white garb with the big screens showing a rabbi speaking as they sat mesmerized .  Looking at the pictures, the first thought that came to mind was Apple’s “1984” commercial.   I looked up the script; it’s uncanny:

    “Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information
    Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all
    history, a garden of pure ideology – where each worker may bloom, secure
    from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of
    Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We
    are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall
    talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own
    confusion. We shall prevail!”

    Someone needs to translate the above into “frumspeak” and do a parody video. 

  • Moshe7889

    I don’t get it.

    Eli Fink and all rabbanom and gedolim bashers here, you are all frum right?

    You keep halacha, right?

    But you don’t keep the halachos of lashon hara?

    Or dan lekaf zechus?

    Or kavod chachamim?

    Come one Eli, do you really think what you are doing here is mutar?

    How does your great father deal with the fact that his son has a blog which specializes in lashon hara against talmidei chachamim?

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Lashon hara? 75,000 people heard these rabbis make these statements and it’s lashon hara to express disappointment? Is that really the best you got?

      • Moshe7889

        you demonstrate your tremendous am arutzus

        learn Sefer Chofetz Chaim again,   

        oh you prob. never learned it at all

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          That is Motzi Shem Ra! Congratulations.

          • James

            Eli, your assumption is very false.

            There is no din that because someone does or says something in public that it is mutar to speak lashon hara about him, esp. a talmid chacham.

            You are an am ha’aretz.

            You are a  baal gaavah.

            You are stubborn.

            You are a fool.

            • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

              The Internet is assur. Please leave.

          • Anonymous

            Like you told me, stay strong and ignore  these trolls. All they know is hate. Notice how none of them are capable of starting a successful blog. There is a reason for that. The one blog out of Lakewood yeshiva, doesn’t allow comments. Their ideology is crumbling and instead of arguing facts they just attack.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Dan l’kaf zechus? What’s the safek here? And why is it NOT l’zechus to quote them? Oh? You think they did not really assur the internet? They did. Either listen and get off or join the rest of the frum world who is ignoring them. You can’t have it both ways.

      • Moshe7889

        more am arutzus

        kaf zechus goes on intent and sincerity not merely facts   all seforim say this

        Eli, you are so messed up

        • Anonymous1

           I will be “dan l’kaf zechus”. Ready? Here goes:
          The “gedolim” spoke sincerely.

          There it is.

          Now, the REST of the story: The gedolim are so far removed from reality, it’s sickening. Sure, they know Torah, but do they live in the “real world”? Nope. They live in a world surrounded by sycophants and “askanim” who filter out all the information that the gedolim see, and present only the information that fits their agendas. The gedolim in this case are no more than puppets. Sure, they know a TON more Torah than I will ever know. But I know more about the internet than they will ever know. Because I USE the internet on a daily basis. They don’t. They only know what these “ass-kanim” tell them.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Kavod chachamim? They stand by their shita. They can thank me for spreading their holy message to more people.

      • Moshe7889

        Such a cynical loser you are

        You continue your aveiros and lack of kavod chachamim

        • http://YeahThatsKosher.com Dani Klein

          I dont understand how calling someone a “cynical loser” is at all in-line with Torah values, even if you disagree with him. 

          • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

            Usually these guys call me a “looser”. This is an improvement.

    • bdbd

      moshe, you are a hypocrite cause according to the gedolim, you are not allowed to be on this site and you just lost your cheleck in olam haba for it.

  • Joel

    With
    a broken heart and tears in my eyes I’m writing my last email regarding this
    last night event

     

    I
    will give you my comments of the 4 points

     

    1)Big Olem unbelievable
    nice and big crowed no words,

     

    2)Good speeches? Only 1 good speech that’s Rabbi Waxman, However I
    will give you my comments, Let’s think a moment how would Rabbi Pinkus speak?
    How would Rabbi tauber speak? How come no speech about the
    beauty of Judaism? How come no speech about the beauty of raising kids and
    family? How come no speech about the beauty of תורה ומצות? How come no speech about the beauty of הקב”ה?
    How come no speech about the beauty of שבת ויו”ט? Wasn’t the speeches on the negative side?
    I will agree he was powerfull but no major השקפה  or רעיון no
    major דבר תורה

     

    3)Resolution how will handle in future, The התערורת  to
    work on the issue was there, People have some קבלת, How come no applications was given out to
    lock it up now? How come no בעל דרשן locked it
    down? In a few days we are eating cheese cake, In a few days a big Olem is in
    country, In 3 weeks we grill, In 4 weeks we all eat out,

     

    4)Teflas shlu? When every mother or father say this תפלהthey cry, I was hoping it should be like המלך  in ראש השנה or like נעילה, Shouldn’t it be like תהילים  by רשב”י?

     

     

    Lets now think a moment what success
    means? The nicest wedding in Ateres Fige hall cannot be called success in Aters
    Avrum, The best president campaign speech cannot be called success at his State of the Union,

     

    Now
    when you have used all powerful רבנים, צדיקים, גדולים,
    ראשי ישבות, מגיד שיעורים & עסקנים,
    You have used all money, You have used all marketing tools, You go home and you
    still need to debate how? What? When? Etc. this is called a great success for a
    nice אסיפה

    in a hall in BP
     

    I’m
    opening up my eyes and looking up to hashem and say look what nice kids you
    have, over 40.000 of your kids came out to say we want to be good, however we
    have no מנהיגים, רבנים, צדיקים, גדולים it’s about
    time you should be our מנהיג אמן

     

     

     

     

     

  • bochur94

    As someone who was somewhat involved,  I can tell you that there was supposed to be a 100 page booklet handed out with detailed information about filters and options for ‘safe’ internet use. Apparently, they were not handed out because they included davening and would have been ‘shemos’ and people were worried they would get thrown out.

    • Joel

      one page with application is shemos

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      That’s not why they weren’t distributed. As you should clearly see at this point.

      • bochur94

        I don’t know. The people running the event were very for them and spent a lot of money on getting them printed.

        I was very disappointed with the speeches, but I think if the booklets could have been handed out, it would have mitigated the extremism to a great extent.

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          Right. The organizers were on the right track. They got sandbagged. I feel bad for them.

          • Passing Through

            The booklet itself isn’t really ideal, though, is it?  About 20 useful pages of service recommendation/review, but the rest of it?  The child of a Kupat Ha’Ir brochure and a Purely Voice advertisement.

            What is it in this society that feels the only way to talk to or convince people of anything is to treat them like children?

          • http://YeahThatsKosher.com Dani Klein

            Why not publish it online? Seriously though. Best place to reach Jewish Internet users is, shockingly, the web. 

          • Noam

             No not the right track, the warning track. If you’re going to use a Baseball stadium you have to brush up the right terminology.

    • bdbd

      bochur, doesnt make sense, they gave out tefilas hashla and kaddish which should also fall under shaimos category.

    • Nice

      I have a copy of that handout but haters will be haters and I don’t think it would’ve made any difference. I am of those people I guess from a different religion as some refer to it over here that wholeheartedly believes in daas Torah. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but I have since listened to the speeches (the English ones) and I was truly inspired however I did find it misleading that there was no “how to deal with it” there was only “get rid of it” 

      Well, either way this will be know as history sooner or later and life goes on so what’s the use in this continuous arguing? 

    • Dude_25

      I heard it was held by security at Citi Field as each was wrapped in plastic & they “smelled” something wrong with it. It has apparently been released, and they are awaiting a solution to get these booklets to the attendees.

  • Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer

    It is time for a new Hirschian movement. The way RSRH dealt with emancipation is the way we must deal with the internet.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      I’m in.

    • curious george

       Please elaborate!

      • Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer

        One response I received to my comment was:

         At some point early on in the speeches I turned to the
        person sitting next to me and said exactly that. We need to bring back
        TIDE. They keep talking about building walls. Sure, RSRH writes that
        Avraham Avinu went between the cities and called out in the name of
        Hasem over there, separate from society at first, but he also points out
        (Beraishis 20:1) that vayagar b’Grar – it is necessary to know about
        this world in order to know how to deal with it.Well
        we ended up getting into a debate and the person started telling me
        that RSRH’s derech creates am aratzim and people who go off the derech
        but the kollel derech produces frum lomdei
        Torah. I won’t get into my response and his response etc. but the
        debate turned in to quite a fight. Then…. when they had Rav Wosner
        call in a psak from Bnei Brak, I foolishly asked him why was it
        necessary to call E”Y for a psak. Are there no poskimin America. He told
        me I am a very messed up person  – and that was the end of our
        conversation.Wow!I
        couldn’t sleep when I got home. I kept thinking about this, over and
        over. I told my wife that even though I’ve been talking about writing my
        sefer summarizing RSRH’s concepts for years and haven’t found the time,
        I can no longer put it off. I don’t know how long this will take, but
        the work begins now.

        Another was:

        The internet is a tool that can be used for tremendous good or evil.
        We have to reinvigorate the Judaism that we teach with passion, G-d
        and Dveikus to Him and teach our kids how to stand up to nisayon while
        at the same time protect themselves.. Chilul Hashem and kiddush
        Hashem is also tied into this, as is the status of the chareidim in
        Eretz Yisroel.

        We should talk

    • Etonmizrachi

      SRH that takes real sechel which they dont have —-they mean sooooooooqwell but they aint with it b./c of a cloistered inviorenment The see  English   as a step towards immoralaty and so Science .They mean it soo well but are not equipped to handle this .R Matt Solomon and he knows he was hijacked.The Agudah would never have handeled it this way.NEVER cause they are with it ..The Rav from Canada talking soooo long what a boor ,The one with a mouthpiece what a Rachmonis with no end ,Was there a Technichal person there to inform us about the Blackberry, Iphone Ipod smart  phonews .Whwere was he with some real hands on tachlis .Nebach How bad R Solomon must feel. I think  he knows he got hijacked.  One great giant was missing there to set the Torah world streight RAV SHIMON SCHWAB ztzal THIS IS WHOSE MISSING  a HEIGHLY ADVANCED  TORAH  MIND WHO WOULD INCOURAGE  NOT DISCOURAGE THE KLAL YISROEL 

      • Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer

        OK, let’s do it.

      • lakewood

        R.Salomon was not hijacked at all. He came up with this asifa idea together with Nechemya Gottlieb. They booked citifield without consulting the rosh yeshivas in america and then expected their help to fill the stadium. The rosh yeshivas by and large did not like the idea of the asifa nor that they were bypassed and that R.Salomon went directly to R.Chaim Kanievsky in Israel, for what they feel is an american issue best dealt with by those who know this kehila. Since they never got strongly behind it ticket sales were very slow so R.Salomon panicked and went to the chasidim to increase their numbers in order to fill the stadium. As we know that meant loosing the women, the expo, the english and in the end even the message itself!

    • Noam

       Exactly a new Ausstrit. All those who still accept Daas Torah,
      “לא תסור מן הדבר אשר יגידו לך ימין ושמאל”- “ואפילו יאמרו לך על ימין שהוא
      שמאל ועל שמאל שהוא ימין שמע להם” (מדרש שיר השירים רבה א, ב). (excellent write here  http://www.makshivim.org.il/ask_show.asp?id=214833)
      And those who don’t, like the Tzidokim of old. (excellent write here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sadducees)

      • curious george

        Noam, RSRH’s Ausstrit was about not being under the same political and religious block as the Reformers. Being lumped together with them was putting a stranglehold on creating schools that were frum and would have limited the scope of the curriculum.

        But my guess is you knew that and were just being coy.

        Not funny.

        TIDE means Torah guiding us in and making use of  the current world we live in. RSRH writes that the ghetto walls were imposed upon us by the outside world – not a l’chatchilla at all. When they came down it provided us with the opportunity to bring Yiddishkeit back to what it always was.

        Noam, Read more Hirsch. It’s very relevant to our generation.

  • Thanbo

    >Websites with Torah … was ignored

    Well, of course.  Who sets up the big websites with Torah?  Mostly the modernishe (YUTorah.org, Bar-Ilan) and the Chabad (hebrewbooks.org).  We’re already posltreif, why should our Internet work even be on the radar?

  • Tzippy Snippet

    “since all of Klal Yisrael is gathering together for an event”

    hahahahahaha… oh dear. Are they really that deluded? (And also, clearly that means women are not included in whatever decisions were made since they were not present and thus are not part of Klal Yisrael. Of course, then they’re not Jewish either, so I suppose none of the children are… let’s not go down that line of thinking, right?)

    • Noam

       Actually Klal Yisroel is the males, Bais Yakov are the females.
      כה תאמר לבית יעקב ותגיד לבני ישראל shmos 19:3 ;)

  • Dr. E

    Rabbi Fink:

    I am not quite sure what basis you would have for your optimism.  The only thinsg that were organized (with the assistance of the Internet) were the tickets, security, and concessions.  No one knew exactly who was speaking ahead of time, much less what they would say, whether it would be a unified message, and what that message might be.  There is no one alive today, including the Askanim who could get 10 Chareidi speakers to speak with a common (and/or reasonable) voice.  Sorry Rabbi, but I saw it coming.

    I hope that the Agudah does not invite R.E. Wachman to the Siyum HaShas in the hopes that such a celebration will be in keeping with the what should be a positive tone.  While it was nice of him to reach out at the Asifa to “outsiders” (without hats and who [gasp] wear blue shirts and offer the Kool Aid, I don’t think I can bear hearing how such a gathering is another nail in the coffin of the Nazis Ym’sh.  Then again, he seems to be the best they’ve got on their A-list.

  • Shlomo

    Interesting that at the same time as billing the event as “for the entire spectrum of klal Yisroal,” the majority of speeches were delivered in a language that many of those present– both in the stadium and at the satellite locations — do not understand.

    I wonder what that says about common courtesy and basic respect for those who are not part of the “in-crowd.”

    One cannot help but wonder as to what criteria were used as to whom should speak and what they should say.

    One cannot help but wonder as to the extent to which the speakers were selected based on who needed to be given kavod as opposed to who had something to say that would be of value and inspire and motivate the range of “Klal Yisroel” that was  being urged to attend.

    Very depressing.

    • curious george

       I was thinking the exact same thing while we were all listening to the Skulener Rebbe. He was inaudible, and his metargem was too. Looking at the faces on the dais while he was speaking, they were all having a hard time.

  • Concerned

    I will the the
    first to agree that this event fell far short of its goals (whatever they are) and the message that
    came out of it is perhaps confusing and ineffective, but what you write at the end “the one glimmer of hope is that
    people will stop relying on rabbis and edicts to make all their decisions and
    do their thinking for them”, is not a statement you want to be making. I am sure that despite your apparent and unfortunate gayva, you are nonetheless concerned about both your olam hazeh and your olam haba and that of those you care about. Making such a statement does not display that you have any such concern. ה’ יאיר עיניך 

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      So you want R Segal and R Wosner to do the thinking for you? Get off the Internet.

      • Concerned

        That’s not what I said…. 
        ה’ יאיר עיניך 

        • Joseph Nerenberg

          Rabbi Fink: Maybe just ignore shmoes like James. I believe you’re doing the right thing by pointing out absurdities in the system. Doing so will end up saving lives and souls IMHO.

      • Anonymous

        R’ @efink:disqus  Get off the Internet.

        The psak was quite clear. As of right now, Internet from home and for non-business purposes (like commenting on blogs) is ASSUR. Therefore anyone who respects these gedolim and their psakim ought not be here. Those who are still here does not respect the psak of the gedolim. Very simple.

        • Passing Through

          I was really blown away by the number of post-Asifa tweets raving about how it was such a wonderful inspiring event . . . ummmmm, REALLY?  Is there NO self-awareness of the hypocrisy in continuing to tweet?

          Or is there simply a general assumption that “the gedolim have paskened for everyone–but I’m a special case”?

          • curious george

             or perhaps they all held “ais laasos la’Hashem, heifeiru Torasecha”

      • Noam

         Ooooh, Rav Segal is very scary, did you see the Jedi mind control thing he was doing? This ‘think-for-yourself-dont-let-the rabbi-tell-me-what-to-do’ thing is a bit silly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/AY-Lawrence/773504198 AY Lawrence

    My favorite quote was from one of the shiurim not exact, but close-
    “There are those that say the gedolim don’t understand the internet, and they may be right. (pause for effect) BUT THEY UNDERSTAND LIFE etcetcetcetcetc!!!!!! ”

    LOL, then why do you deign to rule on that which you don’t understand by top-down diktat?

    • Noam

       No no no, what he said was that they understand the spouses and parents who knock on his door after the fact.

  • HadEnoughOfGolus

    Where was the “ichud” of the kehillos?
    If I separate the choshuva presence that graced us on the dais, I really am pained to admit (really, because this speaks to my dream of true achdus in klal yisroel) this was a total disaster. The yetzer horah won. He allowed politics and egos to dictate the agenda. It was a complete chasidisher event. Complete false advertising.  For those of us who don’t speak yiddish, we gained nothing. Frankly, I wonder for those that do speak yiddish, whether they also gained. Of course there should have been yiddish speakers, but they should not have dominated, it should have been at least 50/50. I”m really sad. Really. I gave my nation more credit and I am disappointed. I feel terrible saying this. Rabbi Wachsman was truly amazing, he inspired. I appreciate the presence of gedolim, but we are mostly common plain simple people, that need to be spoken to on our level. Of course the gedolim should speak, but because they are on such a high level, kept it to a minimum, with divrei brocha, and then allowed those that can connect with the public to speak, such as rabbi wachsman. There should have been more practical presentations. We all know the internet has problems, we’re sitting there, we’re past that discussion, now please help us. Don’t repeat what we already know. Clearly, R’ Matisyahu was trying to save it at the end, by speaking in english to all the “mevakshei Hashem”. He understood….
    But then I tell myself, that maybe this internet, with the easy ability to speak one’s mind, has turned me into a critic, when I should simply accept what happened with the belief that greater people than I will ever begin to be, were there, some knew the program, agreed to it, and I have to shut up. I am a follower, and have no right to question. I”m really torn about this. Not only did this asifa not inspire me, it actually bought me down. I know of the countless children that will now hear of the criticism, which will undermine our gedolim, and further water down klal yisoroel. I”m sad.
    They had 40,000 people in one ‘room’, they squandered the opportunity.
    I really wanted to be proud of our nation. This was going to be our “Olympics”. I guess I’ll have to wait for that feeling at the siyum hashas. It can’t come soon enough…

    • Passing Through


      Rabbi Wachsman was truly amazing, he inspired.”

      Sigh.  I don’t get it.  Is it me?  Am I the problem?

      I thought he ranted, raved, cried crocodile tears, and foamed at the mouth.  His hyper-emotional presentation destroyed for me any possibility that there may have been good in his words.Did he say some true facts?  Sure.  Did he obscure them in hyperbole and vitriol?  Big time.

      • HadEnoughOfGolus

        With all due respect, all great speakers (and I’ll even use
        non-jews as examples, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Tony Robbins, etc) speak
        with passion that often comes through strong and loud. When a football coach is
        the locker room with his players, does he speak softly? That is how you
        energize a crowd and make your point. I know R’ Wachsman, and that wasn’t
        crocodile tears, he’s the real thing. He’s ehrlich and cares for every Jew
        (besides for his tremendous encyclopedic knowledge of kol hatorah) Sometimes we
        need to hear things spoken in a stern voice, no one is above reproach.

        • curious george

          HadEnoughOfGolus,I am often very moved by hearing R’ Wachsman speak and I acknowledge his breadth of knowledge. But with all due respect, I am feeling swindled by R’ Wachsman citing Rabbeinu Yona and declaring that this event is one that has Rivivos Yisroel and edicts that obligate all of klal yisroel.

          The group that attended were probably 85% chassidish, the psak was imported from E”Y via phone call. People were told in advance “Internet, can’t live with it, can’t live without it” but when they got there they were told by Rav DOn Segal that they need to live without it because of the horror story he knew about.

          No American posek available? Rav Wosner’s psak is now binding on all of klal yisroel or else we lose our chelek in Olam Haba’a??? What about all the groups that weren’t represented there? If they use internet without these guidelines what happens to their Olam Haba’a??? YU, Passaic, Philly, etc….

          I feel like I’ve just been abused by the leaders.

          • HadEnoughOfGolus

            Curious George: I agree with you. I guess what i meant to say was R’ Wachsman was the most ‘tolerable’ of the group, and that he was able to connect with me, whereas the others did nothing. R’ Wachsman clearly had to follow his orders fron on high. After all said and done, its sad.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=509509604 Shlomo Pill

            Key word: “REPRESENTED.”

            There is a reason why the heyday of effective takkanos and meaningful communal regulation coincided with the the period of the great autonomous kehilos of medieval and early modern Europe.  Read the voluminous shailos u’teshuvos of the period (I have done so, having researched and written half a dozen papers on various aspects of the issue).  The Rosh, Rashba, Ritva, Rivash, Maharam M’Rothenburg, Rif, Chavos Yair, Nodeh B’yehudah, Bais Yosef, Rambam, and many, many others actually understood governance.  They understood that communities must be goverened by political processes, and that if they expect citizens to obey the law (even the halacha as declared by the poskim of the period), those citizens must feel as though they have a hand and a stake in making the law – whether by actually deliberating, formulating and voting on takkanos hakahal, or by voting on who the marah d’asrah will be, or voting on members of the local beis din, and clearly delineating the authority of each through constitutional documents, and most importantly, by understanding their limits and choosing their battles.  

            These “gedolim” would do well to open a middle school civics text book, and study a bit of jurisprudence, political and constitutional theory, and other social sciences.  Indeed, they need look no further than the real-life rulings of our own Rishonim to gain some understanding about how to govern.  

            Until they do so, I guess, they will continue to be mevazeh themselves, those they purport to lead, and the Torah its self.  Our Torah and out great poskim of yesteryear who understood how deal deal with the realities of life do in fact offer direction in these meta-issues.  Its a sad, sad, shame that these men are not open-minded or broad enough to appreciate or internalize these lessons.  

            Asoide from the chillul Hashem(which I suppose is debatable, depending on how one defines the term), these repetitious circuses (Slifkin, Making of a Gadol, Lipa, the Wedding Takkanos, every Agudah Convention, and now the Asifa) probably result in a bizuy beis din – a continual degradation of the honor and effectiveness of the whole community by the failure of its self-proclaimed leaders to lead.

          • Noam

             Actually the majority were Yeshivish. Including those on the dais.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/AY-Lawrence/773504198 AY Lawrence

          I don’t disagree AT ALL. But I wanted to say, guys, you are barking (loudly and passionately) up the wrong tree. The internet, if it can be distilled to something so discrete, is not “evil incarnate and the worst thing to come down the pipe since GOLUS MITZRAIM!!” For some it is. For others its, well, kinda. For yet others, it’s , welll, kinda sorta. For others, it’s not at all, etc. I think you see where I’m going here.
          Strangely enough, R’ Aron Teitelbaum of KJ (one of the present Satma rebbes) was onto something, albeit from a vastly different perspective. Commenting on the asifa (the organizers of which he supported) he said: “It is impossible to speak to every person in the same way. There are people who are already filtering their internet and other who need to be told that they should not have a computer in their house at all.” 

        • Passing Through

          Passion doesn’t necessarily require volume, but even where it’s used . . . there are limits.  At more than one point he seemed hysterical.

          Sorry.  I’ve heard passionate and convincing speech.  Generally content trumps form.  Except when there’s no content of which to speak.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/AY-Lawrence/773504198 AY Lawrence

        So did I. I got, I have to say, truly awesome rhetoric out of his speech, but almost nothing of substance.

    • geoff kl

      why is it that when i heard rav moshe speak (after translated from the yiddish or hebrew) that i understood what he said?

      last night there was a lot of fire and brimstone and not a single solution

  • Bat Yisroel

    It’s a pleasure to read an honest critique of this event, which signaled one of the biggest embarrassments to the NY Jewish community in decades. It’s a joke to think that these ‘gedolim’ speak with such voices of purposeful blindness and self-importance. Binding to the whole of Am Yisroel? They barely acknowledge most of Am Yisroel and then dare to speak for what Hashem will apportion other people in the next world. Last I checked speaking for Hashem was a bigger sin.

  • Stacy23

    its not worth writing all your garbage! its a big responsibility on your shoulders. your a little kid that thinks he knows everything. its so sad how you embarrass your family….

  • Shlomo

    It is interesting to note the disparity between the amount of thought, hard work, effort and coordination that went into the practical and physical aspects of this event versus the apparent utter lack of 
    thought, hard work, effort and coordination amongst those responsible for the spiritual aspects.

  • Renalevene

    Wow! No pulling up Bircas HaMazon on my SmartPhone from Tefillos.com, eh? Ridiculous.

  • James

    So, Eli woke up this AM and said, “Hashem, I’m going to serve You today and come close to you by. . .

    spreading lashon hara and negativity about great rabbis.”

    Yeah, Hashem loves that.

    You are such a tzadik, Eli.

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      I wrote it before I went to sleep last night. And believe it or not, I am trying my best to be oved Hashem. I think this is part of it.

      • James

        How in the world could this be part of your avodas Hashem?

        Aveiros? Big ones?

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          To quote a commenter on this blog:
          ה’ יאיר עיניך

          • Linda

            Rabbi Fink- Perhaps these extreme edicts were specifically targeting their specific communities (chassidush….). It’s a way for them to reinforce a simple lifestyle of old. They are not speaking on behalf of all Gedolim and it is self understood that these edicts it cant be applied across the board. 
            I think there is room for all of us to respect each other!

            • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

              There was no such nuance at the Asifa.

          • James

            As I thought.

            You have no defense for yourself.

            You are really a sad story.

            A yeshiva guy who can use his potential for good, instead you use it for ra.

            • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

              Again. This is good.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry but ANYONE who says that a person will lose their place in the world to come has lost ALL credibility. ALL of it. How can a mere human be so sure? Last time I checked, we are judged by the Omnipotent One, not some extremist who thinks he’s important because he has 100,000 followers. What’s the difference then between him and John Smith (other than the “Daas Torah” aspect)?

    • Anonymous

       I once was told that I had no olam haba (or equivalent) because I did not believe in “JC.”  I didn’t believe that one, either.

  • Anonymous

    People who are isolated from the larger Jewish community need the Internet to learn or even be *connected*. This is just flat-out wrong.

  • MyNameisScane

    Excuse my ignorance, but I’ve never gotten those lines about losing your portion in the world to come. Shouldn’t it depend on what you’ve done? Let’s say a fellow saved thousands of lives, gave tons of charity, etc. but then in a fit of rage he once killed someone. Sure, it taints the waters, but I wouldn’t say it makes all his good deeds null and void. Hard to imagine how using the internet would.

  • http://twitter.com/theburack theburack

    Achdus doesn’t mean we are the same.  Reuven, Shimo, Levi….Chassidim, Yeshivish, MO.  What works for them doesn’t necessarily work for us.  It’s time for our leaders to lead us.  Halacha is l’chatchila, but according to our traditions and preferences.  This is still an important issue that needs to be dealt with.  Who is the current day R’ Hirsch?  

    • curious george

       Exactly!

  • Tehillah Hessler

    Excellent article – I especially like your last paragraph, I shared it on Facebook. I think you should start with that paragraph and write an entire book about people taking responsibility for their own relationship with Hash-m instead of leaving their olam haba in the hands of fallible rabbis who are, after all, only human.  Here’s another very good article on the same topic
    http://muqata.blogspot.com/2012/05/jerusalem-vs-asifa.html

  • Realweiss

    Feel the same

  • geoff kl

    why was last nite a joke? forget the tickets offered on ebay or the livestream

    immediately after the event, videos were being uploaded….TO YOUTUBE

    there were no gedolim present last night. yiddin listen to gedolim.

    there were a bunch of elderly men who are very learned, but who are totally out of touch with their klal

    let us pray for mashiach to come soon

  • James

    This is you, Eli:

    “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  Yeshaya 5:20

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      No no. That’s you.

      • James

        You are sick  Eli.  sad   so sad

        Answer this please:

        How would Rav Tendler respond if he saw what you did here?

        I rest my case.

        • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

          I guarantee Rabbi Tendler would have never been maskim to any of the things said last night.

          • James

            That may or may not be true, but would he be maskim to you writing about it and being the forum for lashon hara?

            Come on, Eli, be honest.

            You can have questions, you can have a discussion with a good growing friend and hammer an issue out but to write about it for the world to see? Massive negativity and lashon hara vs. Gedolim? In public?

            Get with the program, Eli.,  you’re too angry and stubborn to think straight.

            This is devarim peshutim to any good halachic Jew.

    • Anonymous

      @7ac9790893665885467ce02d89d3fac5:disqus You’re crazy. And crazy is acceptable, you can’t help it. But now you’re also offensive, and that we don’t have to abide.

    • rokemronnie

       ““Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” Yirmiyahu, who warned about those who appear Godly but are not.

  • zukebutt

    It’s very possible that the Rabbonim were fooled as is usually the case. The askanim perhaps never told them that it was supposed to be informational so they just said what they thought they were coming to say. In order to be a success, people needed to be lied to to have a reason to show up. If everyone would have heard that “it is a chiyuv on Klal Yisroel to come listen to a Halacha L’maaseh shiur about psak on Internet usage, nobody would have shown up (besides for the people that came because they were bored who would have come even if the Rabbonim didn’t decree it). I just hope that the fallout from this disappointment isn’t as great as it should be. The people have had enough of manipulative halachos, asifos, kol korehs, etc… May Moshiach come QUICKLY.

  • Chez Gitz

    James,

     This is your Rov – please report to me immediately for your insubordination. We must discuss consequences…..

  • Shraga

    Maybe it’s time you realized that this “leaders” are not your leaders. They don’t speak your language nor do they understand your culture. At the Asifa they spoke Yiddish instead of English, the language that the general public speaks. They banned internet, something that everyone uses and will continue to use no matter what they say.
    They are not your leaders because you won’t follow them. They are disconnected from the community.

    Maybe it’s time to look for leaders who don’t believe that Zionist is a bad word, and don’t believe that progress is destroying our children. Maybe it’s time to find leaders who aren’t willing to give up all of the 20-30 year olds.

    Let’s find real leaders that we can truly follow.

  • http://Harediandproud.wordpress.com/ Harediandproud
  • love this post

    R’ Fink – i hope and pray that young Rabbonim like you are our future! I feel safer knowing that my children have someone like you out there….

  • Nonyerbiz

    Why is a Jewish article using a tarot card in their picture… its forbidden in Judaism… just sayin’

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Lol. It’s an illustration for the fool. Ksil lo yavin es zos…

      • ksil

        love that

  • Guest

    I’m confused, I just listened to a recording of Rabbi Wachsman, where did he say everyone was bound by these “edicts” and that people would lose their place in the next world?

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      In the introduction. He was MC and a speaker. He said it in his role as MC at the beginning of the Asifa.

  • Gone

    I feel like the people in kiruv have so much more awareness of what Judaism is really about. What the ideals are, what the issues are and how we can be Jewish in today’s society. People in kiruv have needed to really explore these issues, we have needed to think for ourselves, understand our world. If everyone worked in kiruv, people would have a better understanding   of themselves and Judaism. It should be a requirement. 

  • Younger Light

    The Shema Heard Round the World

  • Younger Light
  • avi
  • Efryim

    Sholom u,brocho R Fink….well done….articulate…accurate….acceptable….may you continue to educate and inspire those around you with the timeless teachings of Torah….R Manis Friedman made similar cogent remarks….now that’s an Asia to be part of….most sincere best wishes, efryim shore

  • Stevecjewish

    I’m not surprised at all.  The same rabbis that forbid the internet forbid owning a TV, going to the movies, attending public sporting events, etc.  They say they’re afraid of exposure to vices such as pornography and gambling.  But what they’re actually fearful of is that if more and more members of the haredi community are exposed to aspects of modern life, which are at odds with their own way of life (such as pop culture, music/movies/fashion others are enjoying), they may become increasingly uncomfortable with their own customs and then seek to drop out of the haredi community.  So, ultimately, the internet is a threat to the entire establishment! 

  • Jst_in_kase

    I am so sad…

    This way I feel

     

    All the news…

    Hate, fear, anger and rage

    Staining every page

     

    Pain and sadness

    Are the voices of this madness

     

    So much deception and duplicity

    Love and peace, it seems would muddy the simplicity

     

    Is everyone out for the kill?

    Will nothing less will fit the bill

     

    Oh! Where to go

    To escape realities blow

     

    Up, Down and all around,

    Tragedy and crisis abound

     

    The pain, for all the slain.

    The tragedies, so great,

    Is there no escape

    From all this hate?

     

    Under its weight

    The good stand by in silenced state

    While animosity

    Perpetuates terrible acts of horror and savagery

     

    To what gain?

    Is it some feeling we hope to attain?

    Power and might?

    Is that the outcome of all this fright?

    No! Its cowardice and despicable

    But isn’t that what fear is – predictable

     

    Wrong and right…

    Are they but the fancy of the beholders might?

     

    If all the ends are of this perception

    What is life but a deception?

     

    How can we escape this stain?

    All this fear and pain

     

    Under a cloak of a righteousness guise

    Is a ferocious hate you disguise

     

    But I know that while you wear this might

    It’s all from fright

     

    Truth you decry

    Truth you proclaim

    And, no, of course, not for fame

     

    I am in a bind

    For in my mind,

    You must be wrong

    So that my right and might be strong

     

    And if so,

    Where will this go?

    And to what sight

    Can we see an end to this blight?

     

    Are we so naive

    To conceive and believe

    That this onslaught I can escape

    And not be crushed in its wake?

     

    When will we come to cognize

    On this path, truth, peace and love is not what we will
    realize

    Do I dare to dream?

    To hope or believe

    That life is more than what it seems?

     

    I want to be free

    I want to be free

    But, how can I be?

     

    Of this I am left to consider

    To wonder and ponder

    What if

    It’s everyone else

    That I see

    Inside of me

    So much fear and dis-ease

     

    With eyes full of confusion you beam

    Thinking, ‘what do you mean??’

    Then it clicks, “OH!”

    No, No! we scream

    It can’t be me!

    How can this be?

    Yet, if we were to stop and inspect

    Investigate and reflect

    And understand that I can only comprehend

    Using the senses I have in hand

    Then it can only be

    That which in others I feel, hear and see

    Their problems

    Their faults

    Their clothing

    Their religion

    Their faces

    Is all misconstrue

    For what I see in thee

    Is just a mirror of me

    Can we conceive?

    That all of this that makes me cry

    Is really what’s inside

    And not outside of I
     

  • topshot

    and no one caught the fact that the asifa was available live . . . on the internet! lol
     

  • post-chareidi

    imagine if the expenses used to create an asifa for $50,000, and the profits generated from  such an event, could have been used to support our schools. what a waste, but no surprises that it was a waste of time

  • Noam

    Best part were the people holding signs about the internet not molesting them. I think TAG hired them to keep the guys on line  busy.

  • Daniel B

    I forwarded your article to my brother and he had a response:

    “The fact is that, for people like me (and I’m assuming that there are a few), the asifa was a success.  I felt encouraged to use the internet only when necessary (“business” or otherwise), and not for leisure.
    Some people forget that when halacha is involved, one cannot argue: “But the world is so far away from that!”  Halacha is to be followed regardless.  The only question is: What is the halacha?

    The answer is:  The gemara says that one who must get somewhere and has two ways to get there, one with pritzus and one without, and he goes the way with pritzus, EVEN IF HE DOESN’T LOOK, has done an aveira.

    Therefore, when internet usage is THE ONLY PATH to get to what you NEED, it is mutar, and do you best not to see pritzus.  But, when usage is not NECESSARY, but is just for leisure, EVEN ONE WHO SEES NO PRITZUS has done an aveira (assuming that he has put himself in a position in which pritzus could have been seen).

    That is the halacha.  It doesn’t matter how far away most of us are from that.  We have to meet the Torah where it is, not the other way around.

    The BIG question is: What qualifies as “necessary?”  Saving money.  Convenience.  Secular knowledge.  Torah knowledge (when non-internet avenues exist).  That requires a shaylah.

    That question was not discussed simply because it does not have a one-size-fits-all answer.  Every Jew must have a rebbe with whom to discuss the shaylah of what is necessray for HIM.  The asifa was for general chizuk, which it gave.

    As for the Israeli rabbanim who were more extreme, it is known that Isareli rabbanim are always more extreme.  One who cannot live with their ideals should consult with his American daas Torah provider.  (I don’t hold myself to Isareli standards.)    

    And as for R’ Efraim Wachsman, he was AMAZING!  The person who was picking on him was clearly looking for a bone to pick in as many places as possible.  And before we can criticize R’ Wachsman for his halachic ruling that the asifa’s takanos would be binding on every Jew, we need to research the halacha and figure out whether or not he is correct.  People who don’t learn Torah tend to be very narrow minded and limit their view of reality to that which is comfortable for them.  Those who do learn Torah, on the other hand, are always open minded; their only question is:  What does the Torah say?  You want to convince me that you are right and I am wrong?  Fine.  Prove it from the Torah.  Had this critic cited a halachic ruling that contradicted R’ Wachsman, I would be more inclined to give his criticism some thought.  Until then, in my mind, he’s just like a child who throws a tantrum for not getting what he wants.”

    • Shlomo

      I’m glad you found Rav Wachsman’s speeches inspiring.
      He’s a fiery speaker.However, as to his standing as a posek, let alone a posek for Klal Yisroel, no need to cite sources to dispute his authority to impose the asifa’s rulings upon Klal Yisroel. Just watch what happens next year in yeshivas across the country (actually, across the world).See how seriously THEY take Rav Wachsman’s declaration.See whether they bar each and every student with internet access in their home, even with a filter.According to the takana, they must.According to Rav Wachsman, that takana was binding on all schools.Let’s see if the schools — each and every school in the entire world — take Rav Wachsman’s authority to make halachic determinations as seriously you do.If so, the asifa might have solved the tuition crisis, given that Rov children in the frum world will be forced out of all yeshivos and have no choice but to enroll in public school.Tuition Crisis solved!

      • Shlomo

        REPOSTED — In Better Format.
        I’m glad you found Rav Wachsman’s speeches inspiring.
        He’s a fiery speaker.However, as to his standing as a posek, let alone a posek for Klal Yisroel, no need to cite sources to dispute his authority to impose the asifa’s rulings upon Klal Yisroel. Just watch what happens next year in yeshivas across the country (actually, across the world).See how seriously THEY take Rav Wachsman’s declaration.See whether they bar each and every student with internet access in their home, even with a filter.According to the takana, they must.According to Rav Wachsman, that takana was binding on all schools.Let’s see if the schools — each and every school in the entire world — take Rav Wachsman’s authority to make halachic determinations as seriously you do.If so, the asifa might have solved the tuition crisis, given that Rov children in the frum world will be forced out of all yeshivos and their parents will have no choice but to enroll in public school.Tuition Crisis solved! 

    • kishkeyum

      Since when is Effie Wachsman a poseik, let alone one we need to pay any attention to? Answer: Since never.

  • Tully Weiss

    Very well written. Thank you Rabbi Fink.
    Tully Weiss

  • kishkeyum

    I find it amusing that anyone imagined for a moment that this would result in anything other than another attempt to enforce a total ban. They have already put one into effect in BMG yesterday. Not that I think it will be obeyed, but they are trying.

  • Confused

    Due to a family Simcha Mr. Bashevkin was not able to write
    this week

     

    Please welcome  guest
    poet Joseph  Aish-oleh

     

    They came in droves

    From far and near

    They were not sure

    What they would hear

     

    The message,

    Some say

    Was not clear

    Some with hope

    And some with fear

     

    They came from far

    They came from wide

    40,000

    Packed inside

     

    Did they succeed?

    I know they tried

    To say what they felt

    Deep inside

     

    Emotions most

    They tried to hide

    And some they laughed

    While others cried

     

    I go back home

    Although quite tired

    Half the night

    In traffic mired

    Yet I arrived

    All pumped!

    Inspired

     

    I won’t look on the web

    Or log

    On to any shtus or
    blog

     

    I will set my filtration high

    Nothing assur

    Will get by

    I promise that I’ll never read

    Any email I don’t need

     

    I won’t care if Obama

    Was born in USA

    Or if another gadol

    Has just now passed away

     

    I will not look at matzav

    I care not who is sick!

    You want to tell me something

    You better call not click!

     

    I’ll look not at the Nais

    Or at Yeshiva World

    I will not let the wrath get me

    Those curses they unfurled

     

    I do not care if Iran

    Will drop the Atom Bomb

    I will not send a picture

    Even to my Mom!

     

    I’ll throw out all the messages

    I won’t respond at all

    You want to tell me something

    Come to my home or call!

     

    Oh! Yes I was Mekabel

    I’m starting just today

    I’ll just look at my clients mail

    For after all, they pay!

     

    But now I sit

    In agony

    I now feel like a fool

    An email just came from

    My son’s Mesivta
    School!

    Rosh Ha Yeshiva wrote me

    Responding to my call

    He does not leave a number

    “Please email back!” That’s all!

     

    I ponder this

    And wonder and then

    What do I see?

    Another email

    That just came

    Straight from BMG!

     

    It’s graphic

    And its pretty

    Oh!  What a lovely
    sight!

    Click to sponsor learning

    On Holy Shavuos night!

     

    The emails is quite fancy

    I thought it pretty slick

    Imagine! Sponsor Torah!

    “Just make a simple click!”

     

     

    Alas, I just was nichshal!

    My body racked with rage!

    I just was oiver my neder

    At BMG’s web page!

     

    A standard set

    For you and me

    Should it not hold

    For the marquee?

     

    Am I allowed to ask

    These things?

     

    Can I express the feeling

    Or will I just become a piece

    Of glued on pashkeveilin?

     

     

    Can I ask anyone

    Who sat

    Upon that dais high?

    Did ever through a web site

    An airline ticket buy?

     

    And some of those

    Who sat on high

    Do any of them own?

    A blackberry, an Android?

    Even an iphone!

     

    Again, I’m sure

    It’s filtered

    But I heard that’s assur too…

    Is that standard for those men?

    Or just for me and you?

     

    And shuckling in harmony

    To all that they did say

    But I heard that many sitting there

    Send e-mails every day!

     

    I don’t mean to be

    Chutzpadik

    I ask you please don’t lose it!

    But, how could you go

    Assur it

    When those Rabbanim use it?

     

    Of course they do not

    Click themselves

    A shamas does the work

    I do not

    Have that luxury

    For I’m a simple jerk

     

    I do not have a gabbai

    To check technical details

    Or medical directories

    Not simple, silly sales

     

    I ask you all

    What do I do?

    A simple yearning

    Trying Jew?

     

    Who wakes at five to learn a blatt

    And goes to sleep at twelve

    Who struggles for parnassah

    And in shtus will not delve

     

    Yet he knows not

    Just how to cope

    His mortgage overdue

    And If he can not transfer cash

    Foreclosure will ensue!

     

    I tried to make a ticket

    I must get to LA

    I call American and wait…

    And sit there half the day!

     

    He just received a notice

    The IRS says pay!

    He has to send them cash, right now?

    They want it now! Today!

     

    Should i  do it in
    the  business!

    Sneak behind the boss

    And check out your deductible

    It’s his work and his loss?

     

    His air conditioner just broke

    The filter needs replacing

    Its been two weeks

    He can’t get through

    His wife gives him a lacing!

    He says I’m calling them up now

    What he hears is debasing

     

    “Wait time is just an hour

    But you can click on Sears

    I will not use the internet

    He yells!

    But no one really cares!

     

    And then they say

    If you don’t click

    We can’t help you at

    Unless you drive down over here

    And come down to the mall

     

    He tells his wife I’m leaving

    I’m driving to the mall!

    I’ll get that part we need

    I’ll fix it after all

    He gets into the car that nigh

    And enters to the mall

    What does he see

    A bunch of bums

    With, Drugs and alcohol?

     

    My kid is wheezing

    He is sick

    One day, Overnight

    Just click!

     

    A medicine it does arrive

    A formula keeps him alive

    But lo it comes from

    Arkansas

    Should I click

    And break your law?

     

    I could give scenarios

    I know of hundreds more

    This is the curse of galus

    A fog

    And nothing’s klohr

     

    A group of women

    Who share pain

    Of  children deemed
    autistic

    A Pittsburgh
    man who has a boy

    With Fibrosis called Cystic

     

    May I get an article

    To deal with Melanoma

    Or finding the world’s expert

    For someone in a coma?

    I don’t mean to disparage

    Or nullify those views

    I have so many questions

    Not answered by a shmuz

     

    Of course we need the chizuk

    But I’m old not a teen

    I understand

    How bad it is

    It’s not a magazine

     

    And every word of mussar

    About the greatest test

    Is worthy of a stadium

    Packed 10 times at best!

     

    We have some brilliant minds out there

    And I have some ideas

    Like learning mussar

    Every day

    Something that no one hears!

     

    But who am I do offer

    A simple, working poet

    Who dares to ask these questions

    Who is he to know it?

     

    But I am not the only one

    Who had questions that night

    And even though each word we heard

    We all agreed was right

    Each word that night

    Was holy

    Each word, I know is true

    But tell me practicality

    What is one to do?

     

     

  • Joeph_Aisholeh

     By  Joseph  Aish-oleh

     

    They came in droves

    From far and near

    They were not sure

    What they would hear

     

    The message,

    Some say

    Was not clear

    Some with hope

    And some with fear

     

    They came from far

    They came from wide

    40,000

    Packed inside

     

    Did they succeed?

    I know they tried

    To say what they felt

    Deep inside

     

    Emotions most

    They tried to hide

    And some they laughed

    While others cried

     

    I go back home

    Although quite tired

    Half the night

    In traffic mired

    Yet I arrived

    All pumped!

    Inspired

     

    I won’t look on the web

    Or log

    On to any shtus or
    blog

     

    I will set my filtration high

    Nothing assur

    Will get by

    I promise that I’ll never read

    Any email I don’t need

     

    I won’t care if Obama

    Was born in USA

    Or if another gadol

    Has just now passed away

     

    I will not look at matzav

    I care not who is sick!

    You want to tell me something

    You better call not click!

     

    I’ll look not at the Nais

    Or at Yeshiva World

    I will not let the wrath get me

    Those curses they unfurled

     

    I do not care if Iran

    Will drop the Atom Bomb

    I will not send a picture

    Even to my Mom!

     

    I’ll throw out all the messages

    I won’t respond at all

    You want to tell me something

    Come to my home or call!

     

    Oh! Yes I was Mekabel

    I’m starting just today

    I’ll just look at my clients mail

    For after all, they pay!

     

    But now I sit

    In agony

    I now feel like a fool

    An email just came from

    My son’s Mesivta
    School!

    Rosh Ha Yeshiva wrote me

    Responding to my call

    He does not leave a number

    “Please email back!” That’s all!

     

    I ponder this

    And wonder and then

    What do I see?

    Another email

    That just came

    Straight from BMG!

     

    It’s graphic

    And its pretty

    Oh!  What a lovely
    sight!

    Click to sponsor learning

    On Holy Shavuos night!

     

    The emails is quite fancy

    I thought it pretty slick

    Imagine! Sponsor Torah!

    “Just make a simple click!”

     

     

    Alas, I just was nichshal!

    My body racked with rage!

    I just was oiver my neder

    At BMG’s web page!

     

    A standard set

    For you and me

    Should it not hold

    For the marquee?

     

    Am I allowed to ask

    These things?

     

    Can I express the feeling

    Or will I just become a piece

    Of glued on pashkeveilin?

     

     

    Can I ask anyone

    Who sat

    Upon that dais high?

    Did ever through a web site

    An airline ticket buy?

     

    And some of those

    Who sat on high

    Do any of them own?

    A blackberry, an Android?

    Even an iphone!

     

    Again, I’m sure

    It’s filtered

    But I heard that’s assur too…

    Is that standard for those men?

    Or just for me and you?

     

    And shuckling in harmony

    To all that they did say

    But I heard that many sitting there

    Send e-mails every day!

     

    I don’t mean to be

    Chutzpadik

    I ask you please don’t lose it!

    But, how could you go

    Assur it

    When those Rabbanim use it?

     

    Of course they do not

    Click themselves

    A shamas does the work

    I do not

    Have that luxury

    For I’m a simple jerk

     

    I do not have a gabbai

    To check technical details

    Or medical directories

    Not simple, silly sales

     

    I ask you all

    What do I do?

    A simple yearning

    Trying Jew?

     

    Who wakes at five to learn a blatt

    And goes to sleep at twelve

    Who struggles for parnassah

    And in shtus will not delve

     

    Yet he knows not

    Just how to cope

    His mortgage overdue

    And If he can not transfer cash

    Foreclosure will ensue!

     

    I tried to make a ticket

    I must get to LA

    I call American and wait…

    And sit there half the day!

     

    He just received a notice

    The IRS says pay!

    He has to send them cash, right now?

    They want it now! Today!

     

    Should i  do it in
    the  business!

    Sneak behind the boss

    And check out your deductible

    It’s his work and his loss?

     

    His air conditioner just broke

    The filter needs replacing

    Its been two weeks

    He can’t get through

    His wife gives him a lacing!

    He says I’m calling them up now

    What he hears is debasing

     

    “Wait time is just an hour

    But you can click on Sears

    I will not use the internet

    He yells!

    But no one really cares!

     

    And then they say

    If you don’t click

    We can’t help you at

    Unless you drive down over here

    And come down to the mall

     

    He tells his wife I’m leaving

    I’m driving to the mall!

    I’ll get that part we need

    I’ll fix it after all

    He gets into the car that nigh

    And enters to the mall

    What does he see

    A bunch of bums

    With, Drugs and alcohol?

     

    My kid is wheezing

    He is sick

    One day, Overnight

    Just click!

     

    A medicine it does arrive

    A formula keeps him alive

    But lo it comes from

    Arkansas

    Should I click

    And break your law?

     

    I could give scenarios

    I know of hundreds more

    This is the curse of galus

    A fog

    And nothing’s klohr

     

    A group of women

    Who share pain

    Of  children deemed
    autistic

    A Pittsburgh
    man who has a boy

    With Fibrosis called Cystic

     

    May I get an article

    To deal with Melanoma

    Or finding the world’s expert

    For someone in a coma?

    I don’t mean to disparage

    Or nullify those views

    I have so many questions

    Not answered by a shmuz

     

    Of course we need the chizuk

    But I’m old not a teen

    I understand

    How bad it is

    It’s not a magazine

     

    And every word of mussar

    About the greatest test

    Is worthy of a stadium

    Packed 10 times at best!

     

    We have some brilliant minds out there

    And I have some ideas

    Like learning mussar

    Every day

    Something that no one hears!

     

    But who am I do offer

    A simple, working poet

    Who dares to ask these questions

    Who is he to know it?

     

    But I am not the only one

    Who had questions that night

    And even though each word we heard

    We all agreed was right

    Each word that night

    Was holy

    Each word, I know is true

    But tell me practicality

    What is one to do?

     

     

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CNUNVRBULHZ2EAS64ZGYEQYXAY Charnie

    Your sentiments seem to very much in the majority.  Both of my sons who attended came home shaking their heads.  Classic case of false advertising.  For one thing, the Chassidim clearly monopolized this event, since they knew they could put fannies in the seats.  Had any of the Litvish Rosh Yeshivas spoken, it might have been a different spin.  Plus it would have been in English.  My sons’ Rosh Yeshiva was on the dais, he told the boys that he was quite confused about what transpired.

    I agree, take that $1.5M+ and use it to help our yeshivas.  When all those Rebbes get their own Chassidim to filter their own devices, maybe I would have some respect.  But their own “courts” were sitting there texting, video posting etc., making a total mockery out of the entire event.

  • http://rivkamalka.com/ Rivka Malka

    I just stumbled on this site and my mind is racing. Why do you hvae to be so negative. You have such power with your words. can you please do something constrcutive instead of DEstructive with them? Without going to the Asif a(obviously ) and without even reading much about it, I know that its something that I would feel uncomfortable supporting. While it was a very good idea, we live in complex times, there’s no one answer that can be shouted from the rooftops. But what’s the point of spitting venom? all you leave is nastiness in your wake. You want followers? Lead! Lead by example and by suggestions. I read the Dear Chaya article and it was the same thing – just negativity.
    Reality is in perception. What reality are you in and what reality are you encouraging people to be in?

    • Anonymous

      I think he’s in the reality where declaring the people will lose their olam haba because they use the internet is an extremely damaging statement. According to that speaker, I may as well just dump this whole Judaism thing at the door because I’m responding to your comment and all my other mitzvos mean nothing. Do you understand what a problem that is in so many ways?

  • spongeblog

    Growing up, we had the wig ban, the chicken ban, the water ban and the fruits and vegetable bans. Of hear God, did I forget the fish ban? The age of bans is over because people simply won’t listen anymore. These are crazy times. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was a gadol but he worked with the people. Today, it’s Oy vavoy

  • http://www.facebook.com/bluetichound Steven Jones

    what’s an asifa?

    • http://finkorswim.com E. Fink

      Hebrew for gathering.