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Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally For a More Kosher Internet

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the hold-the-spam dept.

The Internet 430

Hugh Pickens writes "Michael Grynbaum writes that 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men filed through the gates of Citi Field to discuss the dangers of the Internet. For the attendees, many of whom said they came at the instructions of their rabbis, it was a chance to hear about a moral topic considered gravely important in the Hasidic community: the potential problems that can stem from access to pornography and other explicit content on the uncensored, often incendiary Web. Schlomo Cohen, 24, said he came to Citi Field because the rally was a good way to remind his community to keep temptation at bay. 'Desires are out there,' said Cohen. 'We have to learn how to control ourselves.' The rally was sponsored by a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, that is linked to a software company that sells Internet filtering software to Orthodox Jews. Those in attendance were handed fliers that advertised services like a 'kosher GPS App' for iPhone and Android phones, which helps users locate synagogues and kosher restaurants. 'No one here is a Luddite who denies the manifold benefits that technology has brought to mankind as a whole,' says Eytan Kobre, spokesman for the event. 'But at a certain point, a mature, thinking individual stops and says, "I've got to make a cost-benefit analysis [of] what ways it is enriching my life, [and] in what ways it is undermining it."'"

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...Or you could just not go to porn sites (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063673)

I've been on the internet since the early 90's and I don't ever recall even once being forced to go to a porn site (though I have been tricked into watching Rick Astley a couple of times). Unless you get some kind of phishing virus, no one is going to *force* anything on you. And if you're so weak that you can't control yourself, you may want to avoid the internet altogether. Anyway, if you really want the porn, I'm pretty sure you'll just find a way to bypass the filtering software this guy is hawking. If all that's standing between you being devout and becoming a porn-crazed sinner is some software, maybe it's time for you to reevaluate your faith.

Just keep in mind that the second you start talking about fucking with MY internet or MY ability to access porn (or anything else), then we're going to have a problem. And that goes whether it's a bible you're thumping, or a Koran, or the Talmud, etc. It's not our job to protect you from yourself, Sparky.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (4, Interesting)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063717)

Yup. Just like it must be hard to walk past a good BBQ joint and smell those ribs and shoulders smokin'... don't wanna see it? Don't search for it or click on the link.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063909)

No porn, no pork, many of them wearing those black hats on hot summers days. No wonder the juice are always starting wars.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (5, Informative)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063753)

Sounds like they're trying to help people figure out how to USE the internet to their benefit, not how to censor it. Did you read a completely different article?

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063787)

Ahem...

"You Must Be New Here!" (tm)

(also, cue jokes about that and low UIDs)

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064081)

There's really no magic involved.

Just don't go looking for trouble.

The Internet is rather effective in that respect.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064117)

This is Slashdot, we're lucky if people read the summary. In this case most seem to have just read the title. Kosher Internet is a great example, we know those Jews have been trying to outlaw non-Kosher food for ages rather than just putting a little logo on food they deem to be pure and letting everyone else make their own choices.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063785)

It isn't just about porn. Kosher internet requires a ban on female participation in public life. From TFA: "The organizers had allowed only men to buy tickets, in keeping with ultra-Orthodox tradition of separating the sexes". This "tradition" is almost as savage as the Taliban's treatment of women. This state of affairs saddens me very much.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063979)

That is the most inaccurate and ill-informed thing I've read today (although it is early here). I don't agree with the practice, but how do you equate "men and women on different sides of the room" with "will beat or slice off parts of women's bodies if they try to read or drive"? Remember that the people discussed in the article are an extreme subset of Judaism- the vast majority of Jews have zero problems with female participation in public life.
Also note that they're not saying websites they don't like shouldn't exist, they're just sharing info on how to avoid them.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064103)

but how do you equate "men and women on different sides of the room" with "will beat or slice off parts of women's bodies if they try to read or drive"?

It's just a question of degree, not of kind.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064303)

It's just a question of degree, not of kind.

I guess apples and oranges are just interchangeable fruit to you too. Whales and mangoes are pretty similar, if you only look at it as 'a question of degree'.
Thank you for so boldly flaunting your ignorance.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064133)

I don't agree with the practice, but how do you equate "men and women on different sides of the room" with "will beat or slice off parts of women's bodies if they try to read or drive"? Remember that the people discussed in the article are an extreme subset of Judaism- the vast majority of Jews have zero problems with female participation in public life.

So a broad generalization which only holds true for a small percentage of the Jewish population is not kosher, but making sweeping generalizations about Muslims is? Gotcha.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064233)

So a broad generalization which only holds true for a small percentage of the Jewish population is not kosher, but making sweeping generalizations about Muslims is? Gotcha.

Did you stop reading right before he mentioned the Taliban? The only broad generalization to be made here is about people incapable of fully reading or understanding what they're commenting on.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064295)

Perhaps the percentage of Muslims thinking this way is considerably larger? Starting with the whole of Saudi Arabia and large portions of Iranian population...

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064061)

This "tradition" is almost as savage as the Taliban's treatment of women. This state of affairs saddens me very much.

"Almost" is not appropriate here. Orthodox Jews don't rape nine-year olds, kidnap girls of other religions, stone rape victims to death for adultery, etc. A backward prachice? Yes. Savage like Islam? No.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Torvac (691504) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064173)

same shit different color. ban religion - internet is safe.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063795)

Breaking news: atheist who doesn't understand religious people continues to not understand religious people.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063821)

Breaking news: atheist who doesn't understand religious people continues to not understand religious people.

Right, this whole page is a troll-fest. Wait until the Anti-Zionists start pouring in.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064033)

Right, this whole page is a troll-fest. Wait until the Anti-Zionists start pouring in.

They'll be here as soon as their wives and daughters are sufficiently beaten.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (3, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063945)

No, I understand them just fine. I just don't AGREE with them.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064023)

I've been on the internet since the early 90's and I don't ever recall even once being forced to go to a porn site (though I have been tricked into watching Rick Astley a couple of times). Unless you get some kind of phishing virus, no one is going to *force* anything on you. And if you're so weak that you can't control yourself, you may want to avoid the internet altogether. Anyway, if you really want the porn, I'm pretty sure you'll just find a way to bypass the filtering software this guy is hawking. If all that's standing between you being devout and becoming a porn-crazed sinner is some software, maybe it's time for you to reevaluate your faith.

Everything in that statement shows how little you understand religious people. Here's their perspective -->

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You're way the fuck down here.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064031)

With what part?

Your rant warns them to keep their hands off your internet, but they aren't at all proposing to do that in the first place. From the summary, for fuck's sake:

'Desires are out there,' said Cohen. 'We have to learn how to control ourselves.'

You don't agree that they should be able to control themselves? Or voluntarily attend a meeting discussing how to do that? Nowhere do they propose filtering your line, just their own and presumably the one used by other members of their household some of the time.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064075)

You don't agree that they should be able to control themselves?

But if they control themselves they might think that they are better than us.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064129)

> You don't agree that they should be able to control themselves

I wonder why they can't already.

If they can't, I wonder what they intend to do about it.

Fundies are notorious for limiting other people's choices because they find them disagreeable. You make it sound like we don't already have plenty of experience with people of this mindset.

H*LL we have an entire political party infected with them.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064037)

No, I understand them just fine. I just don't AGREE with them.

Unless you parents are ultra-orthodox, I am going to guess that none of the 40000 people at this conference actually care about whether or not you agree with them. They want to live their lives according to their rules and traditions, and this conference is about deciding how to deal with the Internet in that context -- how to keep traditions alive and relevant, and how to keep the community together, now that society has been fundamentally altered by the Internet. Here is an example of something they are probably concerned about: there is a rule prohibiting gossip, yet on social networking websites gossip is both common and sometimes more severe/malicious than it is offline.

You know what they are not concerned about? Whether or not you are gossiping on a social networking site. Just like they do not care if you go out and eat some pork. You are not part of their community, so as far as they are concerned the rules are not even relevant to you. There is some irony here: you are probably in agreement with them about their rules and your own life.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064165)

> I am going to guess that none of the 40000 people at this conference actually care about whether or not you agree with them.

Ask any Israeli how well this works out where such people actually have some ability to impact public policy. Basically this is a case of "if they could, they would". They can't because they are a very tiny minority. This is the only reason not to be seriously concerned.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064301)

  1. We are not in Israel
  2. This is not a conference about public policy, it is about policies within their community.
  3. As I already said, Jews do not generally impose their religious rules on non-Jews, and the ultra-orthodox are not an exception. The reason the Haredi are so militant about their rules in Israel is that they are surrounded by other Jews in Israel, and most of those Jews are not orthodox. Unfortunately, aside from the fact that they are basically demanding that all Jews practice their particular brand of orthodoxy, they also tend to forget that there are large numbers of Muslims in Israel who are also affected by the Israeli government's decisions (perhaps because they have swallowed the "this land is our land" mantra hook, line, and and sinker).

    Of course, Israel's domestic politics are irrelevant to America's domestic politics, so there is really no point in getting into an in-depth discussion of the issue. Israeli politics are only relevant to America's foreign policy; we could discuss that issue ad infinitum, but as far as this story is concerned that is equally irrelevant.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064221)

Ah, cultural relativism. And cultural relativism applied to a group within a nation that's already determined it's the 'American Way' or no way. Melting pot and all.

Funny, it seems to be a rallying cry against governments deemed oppressive when they determine the best way to deal with the 'Internet in their context' is censorship. Yes, yes, religion and government are separate, except where religion wields enough power to influence government - which is pretty much everywhere.

So perhaps we in the west need to stop 'gossiping' about how others deal with the internet in their context?

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063871)

A point I'd like to make- what is the percentage of infected machines out there? It's pretty high and I have seen porn through no fault of my own on an infected machine, and you can get infected (or possibly access a porn site directly) just by typing one letter wrong in a URL. That's kind of a new situation; the odds of stumbling into a cheerleader shower party are a lot higher than when you had to peek into the back room at the video rental store or behind the counter at Quickie Mart. I don't think we need a sanitized Internet but the way things are set up now, where everything is "just another site" can be problematic.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063873)

I've also been on the Internet since the early 90s, and I have been forced to a few places that would set off religious filters. One particularly nasty example was when giving a presentation with website references, I was asked a question about one of those references... so I went to the website (a reasonably-respected newspaper), and was greeted by a full-screen ad for Victoria's Secret, projected onto an 8-foot-tall screen behind me.

Then, of course, there's the times I wished others had a filter. I volunteer at a church, and from my seat in the choir loft, I've seen churchgoers watch porn on tablets in the back row, during the service.

There are some good places for filters.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064139)

=

Then, of course, there's the times I wished others had a filter. I volunteer at a church, and from my seat in the choir loft, I've seen churchgoers watch porn on tablets in the back row, during the service.

Maybe this guy was in attendance:
http://www.zug.com/pranks/viagra/index4.html [zug.com]

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064261)

The fact that you think Victoria's Secret is somehow a 'nasty example' proves that you need to lay off the bible and play with your cock a bit more.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063893)

Not forced, but one time I did stumble upon a porn site when I typed the name of a non-porn site in wrong. The entire event was made worse by 1) it being at a new job and 2) this happening after sites learned to use annoying pop-ups when the window was closed, but before anti-popup software went mainstream.

Of course, if I wanted to prevent something like this from happening to my kids, the solution would not be to force the entire Internet to conform to my beliefs. Instead, it would be a combination of filtering software to prevent me or my kids from going to said websites and educating my kids on what they should do if they stumbled upon such a site.

It is not just about pornography (5, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063901)

What you need to understand about the ultra-orthodox is that all their rules and restrictions serve a single purpose: to keep the community together and maintain their traditions, no matter where they are or what sort of attitude the people around them have. One of the issues they are discussing at the conference is the effect that social networking websites have on the community; there are concerns that people will become more disconnected from each other, that they might gossip more, etc., which could create strife within the community itself. Sure, there is the matter of "purity" and abstaining from masturbation or pornography, but pornography is a pretty small issue within that community which has been addressed before -- as you say, "do not go to pornography sites," and additionally that if you accidentally go to one, you should close it and say a prayer (they are religious, after all).

Just keep in mind that the second you start talking about fucking with MY internet

Jews do not generally go around telling non-Jews what to do with their personal lives. If you take a look at the Talmud, there are sections that deal with how Jews should live when they are surrounded by non-Jews; the Talmud was written at a time when non-Jews were pagans whose rituals would be disgusting by modern standards, but the Talmud only commands Jews to stay away from pagan temples and to be careful about letting pagans become to "familiar" with a Jew's animals, and some regulations about wines and eating utensils that might be used by pagans. Note that the Talmud does not command Jews to stop pagans from practicing their religions or to judge them for their rituals. As long as you are not bringing your laptop full of pornography into an ultra-orthodox community, they really do not care what you are doing or what sort of information is on your computer network.

Re:It is not just about pornography (5, Insightful)

Shoten (260439) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064013)

Betterunixthanunix is spot-on. The topic is entirely misleading; this is not a summit where people are discussing changing the Internet. They are discussing the ramifications of some of its content and usage. This is one of the really cool things about Judaism, actually...they debate current issues in a really logical manner, and despite the optics of a bunch of ultra-orthodox walking around in traditional garb, they are actually very forward-thinking. Take the religious trappings out of it for a second. Imagine instead that it was a congregation of tens of thousands of people from the tech sector engaging in the debate instead. How would you feel about it then? That's very much like what this is...only without the inevitable commercial conflicts of interest that would arise from such a secular gathering.

Re:It is not just about pornography (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064203)

I remember seeing news about those guys with funny hats and curls blocking traffic because they think noone should be driving on a saturday, and being abusive to the point of violence towards school children passing by because they happen to be girls

Re:It is not just about pornography (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064307)

Talmud was written at a time when non-Jews were pagans whose rituals would be disgusting by modern standards...

As opposed to mutilating the end of an infant boy's penis, then giving him a "ritual blowjob"?

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/fighting_words/2005/08/cut_it_off.html [slate.com]

What about satan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064041)

It's obvious to all believers that humans are weak and cannot help themselves. In addition all enlightened know that satan is only waiting for the opportunity to pounce and swoop you away into the dark abyss of sin, eternal condemnation and instant gratification.

From Wikipedia:

Satan (Hebrew: ha-Satan), "the opposer",[1] is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible.[2] In Christianity the title became a personal name, and "Satan" changed from an accuser appointed by God to test men's faith to the chief of the rebellious fallen angels ("the devil" in Christianity, "Shaitan" in Arabic, the term used by Arab Christians and Muslims).[3] In Islam, a shayn is any evil creature, whether human, animal or spirit. With the definite article, the Shayn is Iblis, the Devil.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064055)

This isn't insightful. How does this stuff get rated insightful? The post had zero relevance to the article. Insightful wtf? Anyways, the gathering wasn't about how one is *forced* to watch porn. It is about how one should be wary to avoid that temptation. You're an idiot, crazyjj. Since your kid is not forced to touch hot objects, according to your worldview, you shouldn't instruct them not to touch hot things? No one forces you to do drugs, should we not have D.A.R.E. ? No one forces us to have sex, should we not have sex ed ? See, your logic breaks down really, really quick. That's because it's not logical.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064109)

This is not what they are saying. It is right there in the summery. We have to learn to control ourselves. We must look at where we benefit from the situation, and where we do not. It is like drugs. A limited use of drugs can be beneficial, but using drugs as a coping mechanism, for instance taking sleeping pills instead of treating the underlying problem, quickly becomes problematic. A sane rational person does not say 'Just Say No to Drugs' because almost no one lives without the aid of drugs. But we must learn to control ourselves.

Also note that there is almost no way to be on the Net and not accidentally see some level of offensive content, like some politician saying how lazy the poor are, or some rich guy trying to say that a christian who brought the Word to thousands and served his country in the marines is evil, or some talking head saying how wonderful it is to kill other people. We have to be mature about this offensive content, but we also have to make sure that such content is not thrust upon those who do not wish to see it. Sure, we have to make such porn available to the freaks who want it, but their right to such content does not trump my right to not want to see it.

So there are costs, but also benefits. A benefit is finding a place to feed your family healthy food. No one can say that is a bad thing. Sure, we can say why not go to McDonalds, but are we not supposed to have a choice? If there is a better place to eat, should we not be encouraging tools to find such places? Likewise, no one is going to say a parent does not have the right to install filtering software on family computers. We may not agree with it, but then that is why we live in a free country. So we can make choices that other's disagree with.

Fundamentally, the whole writeup, and many of the responses, seem to indicative of an issue that I see often. For some reason some people need their values validated by the widespread adoption of those values. When we hear about a kosher app, if our personal faith is not strong enough we question if that App somehow effects our belief. Of course it does not. One's faith has noting to do with what other's believe. But when we see people get so defensive over such a thing, it makes me question what those people actually have faith in.

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (-1, Flamebait)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064201)

No shit, I am so sick of this crap. You don't like porn? Don't visit porn sites. You don't like pork? Don't fucking eat pork... Taske your censorship and jam it where the sun doesn't shine....

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064209)

Well - I wonder why they are so aginst porn..
When they ALMOST EVERY friday night stands i line, to 'enter' russian whorehouses thouout the socalled "Hollyland"..
I myself wittness that many times, livving in Israel from 1995 to 2000.
Just one example: Ben Yahuda Street in Tel Aviv had in the 90' at lest one whorehuse per block...!

Re:...Or you could just not go to porn sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064297)

Maybe a tech work-around: like mormon (bubble) pron? [blogspot.com]

cost benefit analysis? (-1, Troll)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063721)

how fucking cliche can you get??
cost benefit analysis: pictures of tits are really, really cheap.

but nice to know that orthodox jews are getting suckered out of money the same as fundie christians and muslims. MLM at it's finest.

The internet isn't their problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063743)

It's pretty ridiculous that they're holding this rally about the dangers of the internet while simultaneously harboring child predators and ostracizing members of the community who report them to police.

Re:The internet isn't their problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063783)

It's pretty ridiculous that they're holding this rally about the dangers of the internet while simultaneously harboring child predators and ostracizing members of the community who report them to police.

These are Jews, not Catholics. Get your hate in order.

Re:The internet isn't their problem (1)

Alranor (472986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063853)

Nope, the Orthodox jewish community does it as well.

Re:The internet isn't their problem (1)

davydagger (2566757) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063975)

in brooklyn its same diffrence.

anyone from NYC from last generation knows this.

Given that christianity came frome judaism its conceviable the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Re:The internet isn't their problem (3, Insightful)

deanklear (2529024) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064005)

Silence and self-rule: Brooklyn's Orthodox child abuse cover-up [guardian.co.uk]

This happens to most -- if not all -- closed off religious communities. When people are above the law, and they fear no prosecution because their followers will protect them even when they are caught red handed, they will abuse their positions of authority and victimize the weak. It's human nature.

That's why the civilized world aims to use third parties to administer the law equally, regardless of who the perpetrator is. It's an idea hated by religious people, because it often exposes their leaders as the flawed and sometimes evil human beings that they are. Once reality becomes your enemy, you're doomed to a life of obedience to the power structure that lets you live in a fantasy world, which can lead perfectly normal people to protect monsters. In their minds it's not possible for their rabbi or pastor or priest to be evil, because acceptance of that fact is too damaging to their worldview.

Re:The internet isn't their problem (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063915)

Absolutely! How dare these people act differently from those other people, when they're all different from this person!

Re:The internet isn't their problem (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064051)

That worked for the Catholic Church.

Prospective Mods: "It's not a Troll when it's true."

No wonder they hate the Internet (5, Informative)

Alranor (472986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063747)

Re:No wonder they hate the Internet (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063807)

Not anymore it doesn't!

(the link is a 404)

Re:No wonder they hate the Internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063877)

FUCKING SICK jews. SEND THEM BACK TO THE DEAD SEA SO THAT THE MUSLIMS THERE CAN ABUSE THEM BACK.

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like pussy. Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like ham. Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like slashdot. Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like weed.

Who said they hate the Internet? (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064187)

Yup, the ultra-orthodox really hate the Internet:

http://www.chabad.org/ [chabad.org]

This conference is about deciding what sort of rules should be applied to the Internet within the ultra-orthodox community, not banning the Internet all together. As for the issue of child molestation, yes, it is a problem within the community; and guess what? There are Jews standing outside of the conference protesting its purpose and demanding that the issue of child molestation be addressed first. So much for hating the Internet.

You know what the worst thing you can do is? Point fingers at the ultra-orthodox and scream about child molestation, since that is exactly what they are afraid of happening if people speak about it outside of their community -- you are basically validating what they are saying to themselves when they keep it a secret. How about we take the rational approach and just bring child molesters to court, where they can be tried and sentenced like anyone else, without shouting about how they are Jewish?

Listen to Schlomo (from TFA) (4, Insightful)

Brannoncyll (894648) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063749)

'Desires are out there,' said Cohen. 'We have to learn how to control ourselves.'

Exactly. Just learn to control yourselves and stay away from porn sites. Treat them like you do pork. Or guys porking girls. Whatever, there's pork there.

Re:Listen to Schlomo (from TFA) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063885)

I agree. It isn't really controlling yourself if someone else does the controlling.

Re:Listen to Schlomo (from TFA) (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063903)

Whatever, there's pork there.

And there's a douche of a parent. Anti-Semitic jokes are lame.

Re:Listen to Schlomo (from TFA) (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063933)

It's not anti-semitic really. Muslims don't do pork either. Maybe it's anti-anti-pork.

Re:Listen to Schlomo (from TFA) (3, Informative)

alphatel (1450715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064099)

It's not anti-semitic really. Muslims don't do pork either. Maybe it's anti-anti-pork.

Anti-Salmonellaism is revolting. All of you White Meat Supremists with your $/lb flags and ham slogans and bacon guns...
MMmm.... bacon.

Re:Listen to Schlomo (from TFA) (5, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063971)

While I was dating my wife (but still living with my parents), my parents belonged to an Orthodox temple. My wife (then-girlfriend) came over for a visit and my mother had to drop something off at the rabbi's house. When he heard that we were alone together, he got very worried and told my mother to go back home immediately.

This, plus other sermons the rabbi delivered, make me think that the ultra-orthodox live in fear that they are so weak-willed that they will give into desire/sin/whatever once the tiniest of opportunities present themselves. Thus, they make rules to prevent people from coming anywhere close to temptation. And then make rules to keep people from coming close to the rule which protects against temptation (lest they break that original rule). And then make rules to protect the rules which protect the rules which protect against temptation. Add in an adherence to tradition, even if the original source of temptation is gone, and this explains much of why they seem to have so many rules which don't make sense.

(Disclaimer: I'm actually pretty religious, but I decide which religious rules make sense for me to follow and ignore the ones that I think make no sense whatsoever.)

Good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063751)

Whoop-dee-doo. As long as they aren't pushing censorship on other people, everything's peachy.

It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063777)

Shlomo Cohen, 24, of Toronto, said he used the Internet for shopping, business and staying in touch with friends -- “Everyone needs e-mail,” he said.

You might say it's a powerful tool that isn't inherently good or evil, it can just magnify the abilities and desires of the user?

Basically: "New technology befuddles and stymies religious folks who wonder why their deity(s) of choice didn't write out rules for said technologies X millennia ago (at least for deities that are said to be omniscient)."

As a former Catholic, I'm sort of glad that "thou shalt not play Diablo III for 12 hours on Sunday while occasionally watching free pornography" is no longer applied to me. Hard to shake the guilt that I'm enjoying so much while others deliberately stunt themselves though ...

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063847)

Yup, those who choose not to play Diablo III for 12 hours on Sunday while occasionally watching free pornography are deliberately stunting themselves.
I wonder if years from now they'll be able to measure all the harmful effects on people who abstained from all these beneficial activities you have chosen.

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063861)

Why feel guilty about other people making themselves miserable? You can't save them from themselves, or stop them from being demon-ridden idiots.

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063963)

As a former Catholic, I'm sort of glad that "thou shalt not play Diablo III for 12 hours on Sunday while occasionally watching free pornography" is no longer applied to me. Hard to shake the guilt that I'm enjoying so much while others deliberately stunt themselves though ...

That's something I like about my church... Not only can I play games for 12 hours on Sunday, but one of our ministers will join in!

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063987)

Those who *can* play Diablo 3 for 12 hours on a Sunday must have access to those super secret "working" servers....

*ducks*

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064021)

Hey - Good Christians wait for Torchlight 2.

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064113)

Having been around Orthodox Jews a lot (my parents belonged to an Orthodox temple), I can say that a lot of Orthodox live in fear of mankind's desires. They think that the most pious rabbi, were he to walk into a room with a naked woman, would succumb to desire in an instant. (I prefer to believe the best of people and that people are, in general, powerful enough to resist their temptations.)

Re:It's Almost Like a Powerful Double-Edged Sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064275)

You might say it's a powerful tool that isn't inherently good or evil, it can just magnify the abilities and desires of the user?

Rather like religion, in other words.

What is undermining it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063803)

"I've got to make a cost-benefit analysis [of] what ways it is enriching my life, [and] in what ways it is undermining it."'

Religion is undermining his life.

Re:What is undermining it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063929)

Never mind that religious observance is basically a proxy for financial success in just about every western society... Let's keep on bashing those Jesus/Moses/Muhammad lovers!

TV, facebook, shopping (2, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063833)

'Desires are out there,' said Cohen. 'We have to learn how to control ourselves.'

Why worry about internet pr0n when facebook, tv, shopping, and fattening foods are the exact same class of problem and more severe? Uncontrollable desires wasting lives, etc? I would have to look at a heck of a lot of pr0n to make up for watching TV for hours when I was a kid.

It seems to be a poorly prioritized concern. Once everyone is off FB, throws out their TV, skinny from a paleo/low carb diet, zeroed credit card and loan balances then it might be time to fret that someone out there might be having a good time and they've gotta stop it somehow.

These guys should think of the children! (2)

bazorg (911295) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063837)

These guys should prove they think of the children by sponsoring the OpenDNS project or something similar. Then their members could set up their PCs to have restricted access to the stuf they find likely to offend without having to go through all the porn in the world befor emaking a decision.

Either you can control yourself, or you can't (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063839)

If you are saying that you need filtering or censoring software, then you are saying you can't trust yourself to follow your beliefs. If you really do believe in what you are being taught, then it should be incredibly simple for you to avoid tempting content on the internet. "We have to control ourselves" one guy says. If you need these programs, then you obviously aren't controlling yourself. Your religious beliefs are your responsibility. If you can't handle it or control yourself, then maybe you need to look at why you can't.

Re:Either you can control yourself, or you can't (4, Informative)

Morty (32057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064273)

If you are saying that you need filtering or censoring software, then you are saying you can't trust yourself to follow your beliefs.

Judaism has a concept of a "geder", a "fence" around a law to prevent oneself from getting close to violating it. For example, one is supposed to avoid being in a room alone with a woman one is not married to or related to, to prevent temptation. The geder isn't there to stop someone determined to violate the law, it's there to prevent a situation from casually escalating.

I suspect that these folks are viewing filtering software as a geder.

I'm torn (2)

HackHackBoom (198866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063841)

New technology and innovation always presents a threat for major religions because intellectual freedom obtained outside of their control has always represented a threat.

I say that as a practicing Jew and completely understanding the hypocrisy of the statement. I've always had time reconciling the two sides of my mind when it comes to this.

Re:I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064179)

Yeah, I know. With Christian leaders giving social media advice like "There's plenty of opportunity for good use and bad use, but with the right mindset and attitude toward these tools, you're much more likely to stick to the good uses." it certainly does seem like they're threatened by it (http://www.hispanicbusiness.com/news/newsbyid.asp?idx=282462).

And when you read about church leaders saying things like "“Biblical community requires feet and faces, not only retweets and fan pages,” cautioned McConnell. “But clearly social networking is a helpful tool to build and maintain community.” it's clear they don't have clue where social media fits into their faith. (http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-churches-increasingly-fans-of-facebook-social-media-48591/)

And lines like " Insofar as the Internet serves as a supplement to my Christian faith and not as an insufficient substitute, I still see its value." and "Ask God how you might take Christ’s love into your neighborhood and city. And simply be with the Holy Spirit in the real world. Maybe the online dates will give way to a Kingdom marriage, a whole life lived with and for Jesus Christ." tells us that these people are definitely threatened by the internet. (http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/deeper-walk/blog/29190-jesus-is-not-an-online-boyfriend)

Get a clue, will you?

Re:I'm torn (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064291)

There's nothing to be torn about.

Your superstition guarantees you paradise if you obey, so nothing you to other than religious obedience matters. Your physical life is nothing at all compared to eternity so you have no reason the cherish it.

You don't need intellectual freedom or indeed anything outside religion, so stop wanting that.

Religionists are either Fundamentalists or hypocrites for whom religion is just a comforting social club. Which are you?

They pretty much have the answer already. (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063859)

'Desires are out there,' said Cohen. 'We have to learn how to control ourselves.'

Then do it. Learn to control yourself and leave the internet alone.
The internet does not need to be made "more kosher" for you.

Support in Wolowitz-style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063891)

I will celebrate and embrace their efforts by eating a Cheeseburger with bacon and fried shrimps served on a sheet from a porn magazine featuring a shaved one.

Just more proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063925)

... of the immaturity of mankind as a whole in the 21st century.

Stay away from the eBacon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063943)

You may get a popup stating that there is some available bacon right in your local neighborhood, but will it turn out to be just an ugly fat chick.

You have been warned.

I think its time the internet does the inverse (0)

davydagger (2566757) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063949)

I think its tim the internet has a serious conversation about ultra-orthodox jews.

They are nothing more than a mid 17th century cult that survived.

They treat their women like shit.

They refuse to buy "non-kosher" soap, which is really expensive so they bathe irregularlly

They are really nasty and disrespectful to outsiders. They've been known to attack outsiders depending on locale.

They use legal tricks to avoid paying taxes, like making all of their houses, "places of worship", which defund local services.

They've been known to settle scores with eachother with violence.

In Brooklyn there was a major scam where the Rabbis were telling people NOT to go to the cops with child molestation cases. The Rabbi bought out the district attorney. http://www.topix.net/city/brooklyn-ny/2012/05/da-denies-hes-soft-on-pedophiles-in-orthodox-jewish-brooklyn [topix.net]

They are not diffrent than the crazies of any other reliegon and its time the outside world recognize them as such, and its time the mainstream jewish community stops coddling this cult. At very least they need to stop telling the outside world especially the internet how fucked up we are. They are far worse than any of us.

I don't think the mainstream does (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064211)

I don't think the mainstream Jewish community does "coddle" the ultra-Orthodox, and everything you write applies to lots of other groups. The problem seems to be that in Israel there are enough of them to affect politics, and politicians have to support them. (And they should not be all tarred with the same brush...there are anti-Zionist ultra-Orthodox, for instance. They are not a monolithic belief community.) The worrying thing about, specifically, the Hassidim is their treatment of women, and it could perhaps be that the truth is that male chauvinist pigs are drawn to or remain in the Hassidim and the Taliban, whereas more rational men escape, leaving a more and more irreducible core of extremists. (The Amish, by contrast, are much more egalitarian and some people might think their ideas about the separation of work from private life and avoiding over-dependence on technology are actually pretty advanced. Perhaps that's why they seem to be flourishing.) The UK had a similar problem when the Major Government of the 1990s was dependent on the support of Northern Irish Unionists, a similar collection of people you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley.

So I disagree with you. I don't think this is anything to do with Judaism, which in general terms has been a pretty benign religion whose core beliefs have given a huge push to literacy, science, and social progress, and everything to do with testosterone-addled knuckle-draggers who tend to form extremist groups. The desire for "purity" ( to prevent the members from finding out that other people don't agree with them) is common among them, so this development isn't surprising.

Good luck with that, gentlemen. (1)

water-and-sewer (612923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063953)

Remember back in the mid-1980s when we were all concerned with sexual lyrics in rock music? We sure fixed that one, eh? Remember when that show "The A-Team" was considered too violent for TV and we all marched to end the violence? How'd that one turn out?

Remember when we launched the "War on Drugs," and now as a result you can't get drugs anywhere at all and all the dealers and producers are out of work?

Good luck with the latest challenge. I'm sure it will be a huge success.

Re:Good luck with that, gentlemen. (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064045)

The difference between your examples and this: today so many people are on board for censoring the internet that it would be hard for this NOT to work!

I hope that sounded sarcastic, it's supposed to.

It isn't just porn (5, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063959)

It isn't just porn. The charedi(ultra-orthodox) are having serious troubles with people leaving the fold due to simply learning about things on the internet, like evolution and the age of the Earth. Many of them don't become outright atheists or agnostics but instead transition to being some form of Modern Orthodox, or Yeshivish. But for most of the ultra-Orthodox population that's about as close to as bad as completely abandoning the religion. In some respects it is worse, because when they stay some form of Orthodox, it is a lot harder to get friends and families to shun a person who leaves, which means the person now becomes an influx of new ideas into the community. It also doesn't help the charedim, that there are organizations like Footsteps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footsteps_(organization) [wikipedia.org] specifically geared to getting people to leave the fold.

Incidentally, it seems that people commenting on this article are slightly confused about terminology. Chassidic or hassidic is not a synonym for ultra-orthodox. The Chassidim are a specific movement founded around 1800 that have specific belief sets and communal organizations where each sect centers around a Rabbinic dynastic that leads that sect. Chassidim are essentially a subset of ultra-orthodox. The more general term for ultra-orthodox as whole is "charedi" (or in the plural "charedim"), although in some contexts that term is used to mean ultra-orthodox who aren't chassidic.

Dear orthodox *WHATEVER*s... (0)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063965)

'We have to learn how to control ourselves.' The rally was sponsored by a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, that is linked to a software company that sells Internet filtering software to Orthodox Jews

...Aaaaaand, the irony meter explodes with a massive "whooosh!"

Hey, guys - Leave my porn alone and go choke on a bacon cheeseburger, 'kay? The internet? Not yours!

Re:Dear orthodox *WHATEVER*s... (1, Troll)

slapyslapslap (995769) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064263)

Did you not even read what you quoted? They are selling filtering software to Orthodox Jews. Not you, even though I'm sure they would sell it to you if you wanted it. You don't want it? Fine. Don't buy it. Got watch porn and masturbate your life away.

separate kitchens, separate networks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063977)

Actually they should do like their Kitchens. Have a separate "kosher kitchen. Separate Kosher-Net. They can maintain it and both parties will be happy.

great, now i can expect (1)

nimbius (983462) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063995)

some sort of markup language designed to enable my mother to harass me about the seder and keeping kosher my packets for the sabbath. I'll have to reformat regularly a portion of my disk after passover as it will be riddled with gallons of leftover streits and manischewitz wines.

new versions of the 3.x kernel can also be expected to deprecate /dev/random in favor of four additional devices
/dev/nun
/dev/gimel
/dev/hei
/dev/shin

Religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064025)

If anyone or anything has something to fear from the unprecedented freedom of information sharing that the Internet represents, it is religion and the religious. I've got ten bucks that says their filtering software, which turns the Internet into a "kosher" environment, also blocks dissenting points of view by denying access to known religious blogs.

They'd better not discover Reddit (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064049)

All the lame bacon memes will send them into conniptions.

Morality? (0)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064085)

Religion is belief,and as such nothing more than the opinion of the believer, and we all know what they say about opinions. You cannot legislate, dictate or control the moral compass of mankind. They can sit around and talk about it all day, but they will never get any further than where they started. As the previous poster mentioned however, I do find it rather ironic that the convention was sponsored by a software company, clearly in an attempt to promote their product. I guess money is a bigger motivator than morality.

DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40064091)

is that so hard to create a jewdns.org, and configure your religion members dns?

Follow the money (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064177)

"The rally in Citi Field on Sunday was sponsored by a rabbinical group, Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane, that is linked to a software company that sells Internet filtering software to Orthodox Jews. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-hold-rally-on-internet-at-citi-field.html?_r=1 [nytimes.com]

How conVEEENient.

Since its not mentioned (1, Interesting)

account0 (2644429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40064251)

My rabbi spoke with me about this last week. The internet is really affecting the religious communities- it's causing a large number of families are getting torn apart. And it's not just porn, men aren't supposed to look at woman or even smell one's perfume. It's a really bad thing if an attractive woman in an ad is popping up on their screen.

And to all these knee-jerkers, there is no desire to censor or change "your" internet. This is a community of people looking for a way to accept an amazing product into their lives without threatening it. They are well within their rights to have this conference as it is really a serious topic for them...People have different ways of life than you

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