Majority of religious Jews say Net not a danger

18.8% of women said the net had a positive influence on their religiosity.

religious zionists 298.8 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
religious zionists 298.8
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Surfing the net had no impact on the religiosity of 69.5 percent of those surveyed by Kippa, a religious Zionist Internet site. However, 22.2% of men surveyed said the net had a negative spiritual influence, while 18.8% of women said the net had a positive influence on their religiosity. A total of 16.5% said the Net hurt their religiosity and 14% said the Net improved it. The survey was published two weeks ahead of a special conference entitled, "The First Conference on Judaism, Society and Internet", sponsored by Lipshitz College and Kippa on the effects of Internet on modern religious society. Some of the issues to be discussed include the spiritual dangers of Internet for youth and the family, use of the Internet to find a spouse, and a survey of the various Internet sites now available to the religious. Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, who fields halachic questions on the Internet sites Kippa and Moriya, said he recommends refraining from surfing the net unless it is absolutely necessary for work. Some of the questions directed to Eliyahu include a religious young woman who asked how to cope with her father, a "righteous man" who "stumbled" with pornographic sites three months after they hooked up to the Net, or a young father of two who has tried fasting, prayer, and immersions in a mikve but has failed to overcome his evil inclination to open pornographic sites. In response, Eliyahu composed a special prayer to be recited before surfing the net: "Father in heaven. Let it be your wish that I avoid sites that have prohibited sexual content and that I not open these sites accidentally or intentionally. "Give me the strength to overcome my inclination to waste time and to refrain from correspondence with prohibited women (men) or with a person who uses foul language and that I not gaze at women (men) on the net." The survey, which polled 1,000 respondents, found that 87.9% use uncensored Internet while just 9.6% chose censored Internet for the entire family and just 2.5% for the children alone. Some 26.3% said they used the Internet for fun and friends, 25.2% for e-mail, 22% for work and 6.63% said they used the net for learning Torah. Some 87.23% said they surfed the net daily and 58.63% said they surfed from home.