We previously saw how Orthodox Jews in New York prevailed upon the government to get rid of bike lanes in their neighborhoods to protect them from the sight of women on bikes. Now almost 40,000 men gathered in Citi Field to call for an end to the Internet as a danger to their faith. Women of course were not allowed to attend because that would also be an affront. They were allowed to watch . . . you guessed it . . . on the Internet.
The seven hour event cost $1.5 million and featured prominent Jewish leaders who railed against the Internet as corrupting the faithful by exposing them to outside ideas and influences. One participant is quoted as denouncing “unadulterated freedom” as a threat to religion.
One Rabbi warned that the “internet is a fire that burns a person’s body and soul.” Much like their counterparts in Iran, the religious leaders warned that having Internet access without approved filters and limiting software is immoral and violation of faith. Information going to them and their families must remain closely controlled and approved by their religious leaders.
Moreover, any family breaking these rules are to be “shunned” as corrupted.
The effort to keep roughly one million Orthodox Jews in self-imposed isolation is no easy task in a pluralistic and modern society. Yet, “unadulterated freedom” has been known to lead to . . . freedom.