Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Rav Wosner: Clarification of internet prohibition

BCHOL כמחחצית השעה לפני כניסת חג השבועות בארה"ב וחמשה ימים לאחר הכנס נגד 'פגעי הטכנולגיה' - נתלתה ברחבי ניו-יורק מודעה בחתימת ידו של הגר"ש וואזנר, בה הוא חוזר בו מדברים שאמר בכנס, בשידור חי מביתו בבני-ברק.

כזכור בעת הכנס, הופיע הגר"ש וואזנר בעל ה'שבט הלוי' ושידר דברים בשידור-חי לבאי הכנס. הגר"ש וואזנר התבטא כי הינו מעניק שורת הלכות שרק אם יאומצו יהיה הכנס ראוי לשמו.

בין היתר אמר הרב וואזנר, כי אסור להכניס מחשב הביתה, גם לצורכי עבודה, כי אין להיכנס לבית שיש בו אינטרנט לא מסונן. הוא הדגיש כי דבריו הינן מעיקר ההלכה והוסיף כי על מוסדות הלימוד לסלק משורותיהן ילד החשוף בביתו לאינטרנט.

בשל לחץ כבד של עסקנים ושל אחד מאדמו"רי ארה"ב, אשר התנגד לסילוק ילדים ממוסדות החינוך, חזר בו הגר"ש מפסקיו ופרסם מודעה עם פסקי הלכה מתונים יחסית.

במודעה החדשה אין איסור גמור על שימוש בבית במחשב לצורכי עבודה, ואת סילוק הילדים ממוסדות החינוך מחליפה חובה להצבת סייגים וגדרים.

25 comments :

  1. This is not a surprise. Who only knows what information the man was fed in order to get him to issue his statement?

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  2. Is this some sort of gag? No one will believe news reports claiming something everyone heard him contradict directly and live from his own mouth.

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  3. Recipients and PublicityMay 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

    It is quite amazing that a man like Pesach Krohn who has written so much and thanks to the freedoms of a Western society gets to talk and publish freely without any censorship, should now call for "censorship" and blocking of comments on sites like YWN and VIN, and not just that but on a YouTube video put out by the "asifa" people, he calls for a "cherem" to be placed on "anonymous" bloggers who criticize and question rabbis and rabbinic authority, a very dangerous point of view, especially since many of the rabbis, such as Leib Tropper and Yehuda Kolko were revealed to be great dangers to society, and it was only due to pressure from the Jewish and Torah blogosphere that they were forced to resign.

    A couple of days after the video was put in YouTube it was removed as "private" but FM has preserved an audio of it for the record, anticipating that it would happen:

    "[CLICK ON:] Video: Excommunicate Bloggers Who Question Rabbis, Haredi Rabbi Says

    Rabbi Paysach Krohn CitiField 5-20-2012

    While in the audience of last Sunday's massive haredi anti-Internet gathering in CitiField stadium, Rabbi Paysach Krohn, the English-speaking haredi world's leading maggid (moralizing public speaker; preacher) called for excommunicating bloggers who anonymously criticize rabbis ("Da'as Torah"), and says that rabbis should ban all blog comments and force bloggers and news websites to close down their comments sections."

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  4. I don't understand, if that's what the Rav holds, why should he change his mind because of pressure?

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  5. I'm not sure but was their any allegations ever made about R Krohn on the internet which would make him a Negia B'daver?

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    1. Recipients and PublicityMay 30, 2012 at 7:01 PM

      While rabbi Pesach Krohn himself has never been accused of molestation per se, but yes to cover-ups, his brother in law rabbi Ephraim Bryks has long had to face serious problems in this regard, and that's where the real problems start with this family. There have been ample reports in the media and blogs that track this, and it's very serious, so one really must wonder what Rabbi Krohn's motives are when he shouts that he wants news blog comments sections shut down and putting bloggers into cherem (presumably even if they focus on problems with his brother in law) so that's where the controversy is here:

      See these reports as an example:

      *The Jewish Week (06/29/2010): "Ephraim Bryks: Accused Pedophile To Resign From Queens Rabbinical Board: Rabbi Ephraim Bryks: Leaves Vaad under a cloud. In agreement with Vaad, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks to leave in October; officials decline to state reasons..."

      *Winnipeg Jewish Review (January 5, 2011): "THE STORY THAT CONTINUES TO HAUNT OUR COMMUNITY: RABBI BRYKS TO BE SUBJECT MATTER OF EPISODE OF NEW DOCUMENTARY SERIES FOR VISION T.V...The case of Rabbi Ephraim Bryks who has been dogged by allegations of sexual abuse against children, but never charged with a crime will be the subject matter of part of an episode in a documentary series..."

      *Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out (November 13, 2007): "Call To Action: Rabbi Paysach Krohn and Alleged Sex Offender, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks: CALL TO ACTION:
      Contact Rabbi Paysach Krohn and demand that he stop promoting alleged child molester, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks. Remind him if another child is harmed that he could be held liable in a civil suit. Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Certified Mohel
      E-mail: pkrohn@brisquest.com Toll Free: 866-846-6900 NY: 718-846-6900 Rabbi Paysach Krohn, Rabbi Lipa Brenner and Alleged Sex Offender Rabbi Ephraim Bryks: The following article was written by Rabbi Paysach Krohn, and is about convicted sex offender, Rabbi (Lewis) Lipa Brenner. While reading the article remember that Rabbi Paysach Krohn is married to Rabbi Ephraim Bryks's sister. Rabbi Ephraim Bryks's wife is Rabbi Lipa Brenner's daughter.

      It's a known fact that Rabbi Paysach Krohn has a long history of protecting those who allegedly, perpetrate crimes against children. An example of this is the fact that to this day he still helps his brother-in-law, Rabbi Ephraim Bryks get speaking engagements.

      In the book "Around The Magid's Table", Rabbi Paysach Krohn portrays Rabbi Brenner as a righteous man even though he was being accused as being a child molester at the time. When Artscroll learned that Rabbi Brenner was barred from Yeshiva Torah Vodaas because of his sex crimes, they removed the story from later editions of the book. Back in the 1990's rumors circulated that Krohn new about the allegations when he published his book, yet decided to ignore them.

      The original charges against Rabbi Brenner included, 14 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Brenner agreed to plead guilty to one count of sodomy in the third degree, a Class E felony, in exchange for a sentence of five years' probation.

      Prosecutors said Brenner had sexual contact with a youth he met in the bathroom of the synagogue they both attended. The molestation's allegedly took place over a three-year period that ended in 1995 when the victim was 15 years old."

      Now who should be put in cherem and who should be banned from talking to the Jewish public?

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  6. As much as I completely agree with the piskei dinim regarding the filtering of all internet and even the banning of it from our homes, I was dismayed at the original psak that mandated the throwing of children into the streets just because their homes had computers with internet. I do not, for a second, minimize the risks and dangers of unfiltered internet. But the dangers of the internet are a sofek, albeit with high chances that inappropriate material will be exposed to ourselves and our children. Throwing a child away from yeshivos and schools is 100% guaranteed spiritual murder, not a sofek at all. And I consider such acts ossur as a direct violation of "Lo Tirtzach" at the level of d'oraisa. I am personally glad that this aspect of the original psak was withdrawn. We have too many excuses for discarding innocent children. This is not different from other forms of abuse, and when done with "legitimacy" is blasphemous. Such children need to be approached with a different hand, one that guides and is mekarev, and similar attitudes need to be used with the parents. The hatchet is not a way to force compliance. I hardly believe I am alone in this thought.

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  7. http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2008/08/bris-again.html

    http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2011/06/paysach-krohn-professional-of-botched.html

    http://yudelstake.blogspot.com/2010/10/dont-let-krohn-do-bris-see-krohn-videos.html

    Of course the menuval wants the internet banned, its bad for his businesses.

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  8. The "am aratzutyz" on this site is mind boggling.
    1. Rabbi Krohn is speaking about people who blog against "Daas Torah" accepted 'Gedolay Hador' - not this site - not guys who call themselves 'Rabbi'. Kolko, Tropper and all those other guys are not exactly who Rabbi Krohn had in mind. Neither did mean Bryks - related or not.
    2. In Israel, especially in the Chassic and Ultra Orthodox circles, the threat to expel or not accept a student is a deterrent. In all other circles it is "murder in the first degree". So Rav Wosner shlit'a is making a point.
    Do what it takes to make sure one does not have the internet at home under any circumstances. If that is feasible (g'zairah she'ye'cholin laamod bo) in America is a good question - time will tell - but his point is very clear.

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  9. Recipients and PublicityMay 30, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    "clarity said...

    The "am aratzutyz" on this site is mind boggling."

    RaP: Speak for yourself, quit funfering to cover-up the truth that hurts you!

    "1. Rabbi Krohn is speaking about people who blog against "Daas Torah" accepted 'Gedolay Hador' - not this site - not guys who call themselves 'Rabbi'. Kolko, Tropper and all those other guys are not exactly who Rabbi Krohn had in mind. Neither did mean Bryks - related or not."

    RaP: But the problem is that guys like Kolko and Tropper or Kranczer or Mandrowitz and Bryks had/have the Gedolim like Rav Scheinberg Z"L or Rav Aron Schechter or the Gerrer Rebbes 100% behind them, so that it was impossible to criticize guys like Tropper and Kolko etc without someone saying that "if the gedolim are not speaking out, how dare a blogger say anything?" Therefore, the bloggers have a bigger achrayis (obligation) to speak out because they can talk the truth, post all the problems that are already going on in courts, batei din and in news media and that helps to push out the trouble-makers like Tropper, Kolko, Kranczer, Hersh, Mondrowitz and many others. There is no "heter" to cover up rishus, no gadol on Earth can say it's ok to sodomize, rape and seduce people and not cry out for help and seek justice for the victims.

    "2. In Israel, especially in the Chassic and Ultra Orthodox circles, the threat to expel or not accept a student is a deterrent."

    RaP: And VERY stupid and evil to expel students en masse! It makes frum Jews look like gangsters. It's also a mockery of all the attempts to mekarev non-religious Jews. Then these kids go off the derech and you wonder why? Shame on you!

    "In all other circles it is "murder in the first degree". So Rav Wosner shlit'a is making a point."

    RaP: Question: Maybe Rav Wosner should keep to paskening shailos of bassar vechalav? bercause he seems so out of his depth when he "paskens" on dinei nefashos mamash that have to do with issues of the challenges of modernity to frum life.

    "Do what it takes to make sure one does not have the internet at home under any circumstances."

    RaP: This should be secheldik. No one is forcing anyone to have the Internet, just like no one forces frum people to have TVs, radios, newspapers, magazines or go to college, speak English and dress modern. They know and do it already so what is the point of making new gezeiras? It makes life bitter and alienates people who are weak and need chizuk, and not threats as if from terrorists (kanoyim and frumaks). It is the opposite of ahavas Yisroel!!!!

    "If that is feasible (g'zairah she'ye'cholin laamod bo) in America is a good question - time will tell -

    RaP: Nothing will help because America is a free and open democracy that is opposed to censorship of any kind UNLESS you live in a cult some place, then the cult dictates, but look for people to rebel from that in the open and free society (that also allows Jews to be as frum as they want!)

    "but his point is very clear."

    RaP: Actually, no one knows what his exact point is now. Maybe he should just stay out of this and keep on learning and give shiurim. His rhetoric is just inflaming the situation when he says that frum kids should be thrown out of yeshivas when it has taken decades to bring so many kids into yeshivas IN SPITE of all the allurements of America. Where should they go? To the Catholic schools? To the public schools? To the streets? Think of better solutions befitting rachmanin bnei rachmanim and not something from George Orwell's 1984 (if you know what that is, if not, look it up) Stop defending the indefensible please. Something is wrong with the CHINUCH, it's NOT about the Internet that is just a brainless golem that does what it's ordered to do!

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  10. How exactly does one put an anonymous person in cherem???

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  11. This is a complete embarrassment. At first I thought that those manipulating Rav Wosner and using him to promote their agenda were to blame for the subsequent embarrassment but now I realize that the blame lies solely on Rav Wosner. He had no business issuing a psak (and we all now that is what he intended and said) for a country and a community about which he knows absolutely nothing. He is completely ignorant of the American Jewish community, its realities, or its problems.

    Hopefully, he will have learned his lesson and next time someone from America asks him for his Daas Torah, he will refrain from answering and, instead, direct the questioner to rabbanim in America.

    The same holds true for all the other Rabbanim in Israel. A real Gadol and posek has to know HOW to pasken as well as WHEN to pasken.

    I recall when Rav Ovadia Yosef came to America a few fanatics tried to get him to issue a public psak forbidding sheitels which, of course, is his actual position. His response was to defer to the rabbanim in America. I think that example should be followed by more Israeli Rabbanim.

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  12. What sheer stupidity and arrogance. You simply don't like the psak halacha so you choose to disregard it. If you had a yetzer hora to drive to shul on Shabbos, you'd have disregarded any psak not to and said you are simply following the JTS psak that you can drive to shul om Shabbos. People like you never tell people outside the U. S. not to follow Rav Moshe since he lived in America. Piskei Halacha have never been country based and great poskim have paskened across borders throughout Jewish history.

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    1. Rav Moshe Feinstein writes in a number of places that he didn't want to pasken on the issue because it was an Israel problem and should be dealt with by local poskim who are more familiar with local conditions. Rav Sternbuch has told me a number of times that he tries avoiding get involved in American issues because the American poskim are more likely to know what is best for America.

      Rav Hutner told one of his students who went to learn in Ponovitch and was criticized for going to visit Hebron and Kever Rachel - that Rav Schach did not fully understand the American mentality and needs.

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    2. Dan you are really clueless to actual data!
      For instance there are difference in halacha in the use of electricity in Eretz Yisroel, the psak of RSZA and the CI or the Yerushalayim verus the Bnei Brak shita.. Also strands of difference in shmitta observance bt Yerushalayim & Bnei Brak. There are halachic psak for different venues by various rabbonim.

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  13. Dan,

    I appreciate your Torahdik point of view. However, you should know that the Chasam Sofer was asked to pasken a shaala for Moravia while he lived in Bohemia which were really not far from each other. He suggested that they use their own poskim.

    Poskim of Israel, cvodom bmkomo munach, have different attitudes about many issues. For them, it is asur for someone to play ball. This could obviously never work in America. They are capable of paskening for America but the right context has to be presented to them.

    It should be noted that in Gateshead Rabbi Zimmerman established the following rules;
    1. If you don’t need it regularly don’t have one at home [ for occasional use kehilla has for public use in community center ]
    2. If you need it then – children in school [ under 16] may not access it
    3. Bochurim have to follow rules of their yeshiva
    4. Adults must have either filter or monitoring system in place
    5. These are rules for kehilla members – kollelim & mosdos may have other restrictions for their members

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  14. Rav Wosner is a gadol. His psakim on kashrus, Shabbos, etc need to be studied and taken into consideration. His klal Yisroel however is bnei brak and the like. Advice on psakim for matters of society don't apply to Melbourne.
    Heck, every moreh horooh here apart from the Hungarian separatist charedim use the Internet. Furthermore every member of the beis din here does as well. Are we all trayf?

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    1. Right, if you dont like a particular psak din, eschew it with an excuse of your choice.

      Welcome to Conservative "Judaism".

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    2. Recipients and PublicityMay 31, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      "Dan said...Right, if you dont like a particular psak din, eschew it with an excuse of your choice.

      Welcome to Conservative "Judaism"."

      RaP: Dan don't be obnoxious. Forget "Conservative Judaism" you just show you cannot argue because it is false and absurd to claim that everyone "must" follow "your way or the highway" of your favorite posek of the hour, and if not, then they are guilty of following "Conservative Judaism" which is not just poor logic but also sounds like a fanatic who has just lost an argument and all he knows to respond is that his opponents are "heretics" and "infidels" (and the next step is to call for a "fatwa" to burn them at the stake or some such grisly death.)

      Get this: From the time of Hillel and Shamai there is no "one" way to follow or "see" or pasken Halacha. See the Mishna and Gemora, the Tannaim and Amoraimdo not agree with each other and they do not accuse other Tannaim and Amoraim of being "heretics" if they disagree. The Shulchan Oruch and Poskim and Halacha can be observed in different ways as long as one can agree to the principles involved.

      For the last 2000 years there is not "one" single authority that "everyone" must follow in the Torah world.

      Today there are Sefardim and Ashkenazim, Misnagdim and Chasidim, and yes Modern Orthodox and Charedim, Religious Zionists and Neturei Karta, and guess what, they all have valid Halachic points of view, even though many from one group do not like it. That's just the way it is and no one has the right, according to the Torah, to throw away other Torah-observant Jews based on ideology alone.

      Oh and by the way, if you, like many others in the Torah world, are trying to do kiruv and reach out to secular Jews then try not to insult them by throwing mud at their beliefs, instead use your sechel and show derech eretz and menschlichkeit, because even if they are 100% wrong you will NEVER mekarev them by bringing them closer to Yiddishkeit or make them respect Torah if all you can do is just insult them gratuitously.

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  15. Internet, technology, secular studies, workplace, language spoken, integration into society are all connected at the base. From the time of Rabbi Akiva and Shimon Bar Yochi there have been the "activists" and the "seperatists".
    Simply explained the activists played a role in society and particpated in ascepts of life of their host countries (aka Jews living in Iraq, Middle Countries in early 20th century & Germany kehillas, American Jewry) verus the seperatists who isolated themselves within their particular kehilla with zero connection to the outer host society. In short: Authentic Litvish families (not modern day - Chassidish lite groups)verus Chassidish kehillos. Halachos,hashkafas and even Poskim & Rabbonim differ within these two entities.

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  16. Recipients and PublicityMay 31, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    This discussion of where ANY posek lives and therefore what his core mentality is all about is important.

    In this regard it is important to note that Rav Matisyahu Salamon (presently the Lakewood mashiach) is from England and has an English/Yekkish mentality that seems best suited for Gateshead yeshiva where he was previously mashgiach with its unique super-frum mentality and atmosphere that is VERY un-American. Even the frummest Lakewood types where Rav Salamon works are NOT anything like the frum types to be found in Gateshead where the imposition of the greatest chumras is taken as a matter of course and not questioned. Unlike the Litvish yeshivisha velt of Lakewood that is very much American in mentality.

    Likewise when Dayan Dunner from England tried to import the "ban on sheitlach" from outside of America, while citing some gedolim in Israel, it was alien to the American yeshivisha mindset. Rav Dunner was basically trying to push out wearing of sheitels, or come closer to the Satmar derech of wearing "shpitzlach" (basically a hat or bonnet with a tiny amount of sheitel hair protruding) with wild claims about wearing of hair from Indians who worship avoda zora, a scare tactic that almost worked and cost many millions to those in the sheitel business.

    What we are dealing with is KANAIM who wish to impose an ideology of kanaus in the guise of "stricter" observance.

    While that may have an appeal for some it cannot and should not become a way to impose one stricter standard on all of Klal Yisroel that is bound to fail. Like forcing everyone to drink chalav yisroel, force married women to shave their heads, force all men to wear long beards and peyos, force everyone to wear black clothing, stop anyone from going to college or having any secular education at all, and the list goes on and on, as people drop by the wayside as they get tired of all the meshugasim and hypocrisy and focus on the wrong things.

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  17. I don't know about you but if I was suffering from a certain illness I would not go getting advice from a person who is clueless with my illness let alone his age of 90: rav vosner is without question an tremendous adom chashuv and posek but he is not familiar first hand with the internet. And he is also very ill and old. If rav wosner was suffering from a certain machlah would he go get advice from a 90 year old doctor who is cluless about his particular machlah? I know he wouldn't and so does everyone. So why is it that we all fee its ok to go to him about the internet and 2 days later he retracts his psak. This whole thing is a major boosha and totally laghable. The igud simply made a major fool out of rav vosner

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  18. lakewood residentJune 5, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Rabbi Krohn is referring to Rabbi Yehuda Shains blog called "yudels rest of the story" where Rabbi Shain attacks Rabbi Krohn as a Mohel

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