40,000 haredim attend anti-Internet rally in NY

Rally at Mets' stadium advises ultra-orthodox community on dangers of Internet; segregated women watch live via Internet stream.

May 21, 2012 10:16
1 minute read.
Haredi men gather [file]

Sea of haredi men 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar)


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More than 40,000 haredi (ultra-orthodox) men attended a rally at the New York Mets' stadium on Sunday on the dangers of the Internet.

Unable to enter the stadium due to strict laws regulating the separation of sexes, around 15,000 female haredim watched the rally live in various location around New York - via a live Internet stream.

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The rally, organized by a rabbinical group called Ichud Hakehillos Letohar Hamachane (Union of Communities for the Purity of the Camp,) offered the haredim advice as to how best to use modern technology in a religiously-responsibly manner.

Eytan Kobre, who runs a weekly Jewish magazine in Brooklyn, said that social media tools like Facebook and Twitter can lead people away from prayer. "I know that Facebook ruins marriages," the New York Daily News quoted Kobre as saying.

Kobre also said that the rally was not a call to ban Internet, but rather to filter it. “With one click, all of a sudden, you lose control and are whisked away to a world you never intended to see, and it overtakes your life,” he said. “As a community, we are asking, is it worth it?”

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