Monday, July 7, 2014

Chaver Project in Beit Shemesh: Chareidi initiative to control Internet use

 I spoke last week with a principal of a Chareidi school in Beit Shemesh and he said this project will be used to exclude the children of people who don't allow rabbinic supervision of their Internet usage.

JPost    A project was recently launched by hard-line sectors of the haredi community in Beit Shemesh to discourage the use of the Internet and the devices that enable easy access to it.

The idea behind the initiative, called “Haver,” is to encourage members of the haredi public to sign a declaration in front of their community or synagogue rabbi that they either have no access to the Internet at all, or that they have only rabbinically approved devices, with content filters, which they need for work purposes.

Anyone signing this declaration will be awarded a membership certificate which, in the language of the publicity material, “testifies that he counts himself among those who fear the word of God.” [...]

The Haver initiative has only just been rolled out and a big membership drive was launched on Thursday, with many hundreds of people signing up.

Concerns have been voiced, however, about the second stage of the Haver project. After the initial sign-up period, lists of those who have signed up will be posted at synagogues in the haredi neighborhoods of the city, which organizers say will be “to glorify the names of the members.”

It is feared that membership in the Haver program could be used as a de facto way to determine someone’s haredi identity and that those who do not sign up will be excluded from communal benefits such as access to community charities, schools and other institutions.[...]


  1. Of course, charedim who work, are not respected anyway.

    Next week, they will assess every family a communal fee, otherwise known as protection money.

  2. Of course, charedim who work, are not respected anyway.

    How do you see this from this article? Does this claim have any relevance to this topic?

    Here is a quote from the article: or that they have only rabbinically approved devices, with content filters, which they need for work purposes.

    Those who need the internet for work purposes, will still sign the deceleration.

  3. If it is a campaign aimed at kedusha and Ta'hara levels I can see the
    point , but if it to help kids and people become closer to Hashem and not to
    feel alienated from the Torah and learning they are missing the point - Dr Srotzkin says the following

    the specific issue we are dealing with at the moment is why children rebel
    against their parents' way of life. To the best of my knowledge, the rate of
    children rebelling against their parents' Torah standards among families with
    increased exposure to the media is no higher than in families that strictly
    insulate their homes from outside influences. It is true that youngsters who
    rebel often become heavily involved in "on the edge,"
    "cultural" activities. However, this is the effect of rebelliousness
    rather than the cause. It is very doubtful that exposure to the media, in
    itself, can make it worthwhile for children to abandon their parent's way of
    life. The price they pay in feelings of guilt, rejection and failure, to say
    nothing of the loss of approval of parents, would prevent such a step. Rather,
    it is only after a buildup of feelings of hurt, resentment, anger, rejection
    and alienation from family and community that they feel that they have nothing
    to lose by dropping out. As a prominent mashgiach recently stated,
    "it isn't accurate to call them 'dropouts,' rather, they should be called

    External controls are not going to deal with problems caused by poverty
    , tensions in the family , unemployment and kids not finding a place in the
    Beis Hamedrash.

    Our tongues are far more dangerous tools than the internet and I see no
    campaigns to curb the dangers and encourage more appropriate use of our

    You can control what people buy and own , but not how they speak and
    think. And in any case people always learn to play and cheat the system or move
    out of the community

  4. Let me tell you something based on my experience as a tutor.

    Some kids whose heads are filled with random thoughts on news, sports, politics, business, stock market, tv shows, movies, online games and in general anything that does not have some relevance to Torah or making a living -- these kids can be a challenge to teach. Correction: it can be a challenge even to have a coherent conversation with them, because the whole concept of a rational discussion is somewhat alien to them.

    I find it hard to fault people who don't want their kids even remotely associated with the Internet.

  5. Some children who come from large families, where the parents do not have much time to invest, and who just learn to reproduce texts, but not to express their own thought are also challenged in this regard. They have a very limited vocabulary, and they do not know how to construct a coherent line of thought.

    I agree that excessive TV or movie or videogame exposure is not good, but not everything they learn in cheder is that conducive to stringent thought and precise language skills either...

  6. It's a very wild accusation. Rabbi Eidensohn wrote that he spoke with a school principal who is in support of this project as a tool to keep certain standards among his students. Extortion and other types of stupidities are not the reason behind this campaign. Wild fantasies about extortion, do not begin to make sense. How about going to watch a Disney movie? You can use that as an outlet for wild imaginations.

  7. ite not the reason, but experience shows it leads to extortion. Example: vaad hatzniyut case. Get "reform". Bet din reform (i'm not talking about get issues, which rarely go to batei din nowadays.) Children at risk cases (too complicated to discuss here.)

  8. "A principal of a Chareidi school in Beit Shemesh ... said this
    project will be used to exclude the children of people who don't allow
    rabbinic supervision of their Internet usage"

    Are we talking about a Haredi version of NSA where you have to agree to have your use behavior inspected by others?

    It is a safe bet that the Daas Torah blog will be on the forbidden list, along with many others.

    This is Orwell in Haredi levush, if I understand correctly.

  9. You have to agree to use an approved filter, they work by blocking most sites.


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