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Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally For a More Kosher Internet 430

Posted by samzenpus
from the hold-the-spam dept.
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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Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally For a More Kosher Internet

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:38AM (#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.

    • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:42AM (#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.

      • by poetmatt (793785) on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:18AM (#40064959) Journal

        As someone who was raised jewish, I am just dumbfounded at how people who are serious about religion manage to play the "moral card" and generally idiotic about the fact that religion is in conflict with rights, because people want and expect more rights than religion tends to allow.

        Not everyone lives in that little "religion-box" of thinking where doing what makes you happy = bad. In fact, most of us don't. That goes for any religion.

        “No one here is a Luddite who denies the manifold benefits that technology has brought to mankind as a whole,” said Eytan Kobre, spokesman for the event.

        Actually - yes, every single person that attended this rally is a luddite to me.

    • by jdgeorge (18767) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:45AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        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

      • by Chrisq (894406) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:10AM (#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.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:30AM (#40064319)

          "Orthodox Jews don't rape nine-year olds" - just read this article to see how wrong you are:

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/29/brooklyn-orthodox-jews-child-abuse-cover-up-feature/ [guardian.co.uk]

        • by Ardeaem (625311) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:32AM (#40064353)

          A backward prachice? Yes. Savage like Islam? No.

          Islam never raped, kidnapped, or stoned anyone. A small number of people, who practice a particular version of Islam, have done those things and justified it using their particular doctrinal interpretation. The same is true of Christianity and Judaism. To blame some fictional, abstract, monolithic "Islam," which doesn't have existence independent from how people interpret it, for the actions of individuals is a logical fallacy.

          • by Imbrondir (2367812) on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:01AM (#40064753)

            Every bigger religion has had bad apples, that's true. What's unique about Islam is that their leader Muhammed himself raped, enslaved, kidnapped, murdered and at least ordered people to stone in his name. This is pretty well documented in Hadith, an important source of Islamic knowledge for every interpretation of Islam as far as I know.

            • This is pretty well documented in Hadith, an important source of Islamic knowledge for every interpretation of Islam as far as I know.

              Not true. Different Islamic groups follow different sets of Hadith, and don't attribute the same importance to all of them either. There's no agreement on which ones should be followed, or even trusted at all, much less how they should be interpreted. In Christian terms, they're Deuterocanonical or Apocrypha.

              Add to that there's the whole school of Quranism, which complet

            • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday May 21, 2012 @12:52PM (#40066265) Journal

              Read the Old Testament sometime. If you're going to judge the roots of Islam harshly, ponder the fate of the Amalekites sometime.

          • Which is why religion, in general, is basically impossible for me to come to terms with. While there are good things, there are SO many things in every religion that incite hatred and fear that I refuse to accept it. Look - the basic tenet of every religion is "Do unto others what you would have done unto you". The Golden Rule. I have yet to find a situation that it doesn't apply. Everything else is window dressing and embellishment by scared old men jealous of their power being taken away. There is no need for "GOD" to be a good person.

        • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:33AM (#40064369)

          Orthodox Jews don't rape nine-year olds

          Well, some of them do, and if the the act is reported to authorities, the victims and those reporting the crime are shunned [nytimes.com], since the authorities are not kosher and the group must hold together.

        • Welcome to Gaza (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Don't let your 9 year old girl stray too close to the border fence or the guards will shoot at her for target practice. Don't protest the knocking down of homes because they'll run you over with a bulldozer. Don't try to bring aid to Gaza because they'll send troops into international waters and kill 8. Don't send UN monitors to a border that they're invading because they'll bomb it killing everyone inside the monitoring post. Don't even get me started on the UN School bombing where they killed all those c

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      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 volunt

    • 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 fi

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:56AM (#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.

      • by Shoten (260439) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:04AM (#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.

      • 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]

      • by nomadic (141991)
        "the Talmud was written at a time when non-Jews were pagans whose rituals would be disgusting by modern standards"

        Uh...huh? You have got to be kidding me. All non-Jews were pagans with disgusting rituals? ALL of them? That's the silliest thing I've ever seen on slashdot.
    • by fermion (181285) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:14AM (#40064109) Homepage Journal
      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.

    • Maybe the Ultra-Orthodox Jews can team up with the Iranians in building their own internet [slashdot.org].

    • 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).

      If a Rickroll is the worst you've seen, consider yourself very lucky not to have been tricked into seeing Goatse [goatse.info] or Tubgirl [tubgirl.ca] (both NSFW).

  • by Alranor (472986) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:44AM (#40063747)
    • Not anymore it doesn't!

      (the link is a 404)

    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:21AM (#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?
      • by Alranor (472986) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:35AM (#40064391)

        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.

        If they weren't actively trying to cover it up then people would be pointing at the particular people responsible for the child abuse and screaming at them. As it is, in exactly the same way as the Catholic church has, their community are trying desperately to cover it all up, shield the perpetrators from any sort of punishment and allow them to carry on doing it

        Damned right we should be screaming at people who do that, because they're enabling the molestors.

  • by Brannoncyll (894648) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:44AM (#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.

    • by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:02AM (#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.)

  • 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 ...

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      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!

    • by jo_ham (604554)

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

      *ducks*

    • 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.)

      • I have spent plenty of time around the orthodox too, and I got a somewhat different impression: they are more concerned about keeping up appearances. The most pious rabbi in a room with naked women would be expected to shield his eyes to reassure himself and everyone around him that he is pious. The worst thing he could do is to close the door to that room, even if all he did was sit there while the women were dancing around him, because then people outside the room might wonder what he is actually doing
  • by vlm (69642) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:51AM (#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.

  • by bazorg (911295) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:51AM (#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.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday May 21, 2012 @09:52AM (#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.
    • by Morty (32057) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:27AM (#40064273) Journal

      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.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      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.

      Did you stop to think that maybe using filtering software is one means of controlling yourself? Just, you know, before hand instead of during (also prevents accidental exposure which could strongly increase the temptation). The principle is the same as alcoholics avoiding bars: avoiding places with temptation is an important component of self control. Probably the most important part, actually, because it exhibits a high degree of forethought and self-knowledge.

  • 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.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      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?

  • '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.

    • by Morty (32057)

      Then do it. Learn to control yourself and leave the internet alone.

      The internet does not need to be made "more kosher" for you.

      They didn't ask for the Internet to be made "more kosher." They said that they need better self-control, and to install filtering software on their own PCs and devices. RTFA. Hell, RTFS.

      There are plenty of problems with that community. But one thing they mostly don't do: try to change the world to match their expectations for themselves. They believe that the laws for Jews are supposed to be more strict than the laws for the general population. So you mostly won't find them voting to impose their laws

  • 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.

    • by Loughla (2531696)

      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 (Score:5, Informative)

    by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:00AM (#40063959) Homepage

    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.

    • by Quila (201335) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:32AM (#40064361)

      I'm not Jewish, but the author having been a conservative rabbi tells me they're probably fairly accurate portrayals. Take Asher Lev, for the religion to cause such strife and try to snuff out a young man's natural talent, you have to wonder if the religion is a net benefit to society. I know the story is fiction, but it is supposedly set within a realistic portrayal of a Hasidic community. On the other hand, you probably have this conflict within the conservative branch of any religion. This brings me to the quesiton, is religion in general a net benefit?

      But I figure in the end, at least they're not bombing anybody. They're welcome to do what they want in their communities as long as they're not violating anybody's civil rights or demanding we change to accommodate their beliefs. Same for conservative Muslims here.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      Good.

      Gently help any superstitionist you know get access to things which may help them question their superstition. Anything you can do to help erode religious belief and especially orthodoxy is good for the human race.

    • I think you've stated the facts very clearly. It's perhaps also worth pointing out that the hassidim are an Eastern European sect (their clothes, for instance, are those of upper-middle-class Poles of the period of their foundation). A lot of extreme sects confuse a core religion with their own local behaviour. The Taliban, for instance, seem to have adopted the more backward practices of some Arab nomadic tribes; exactly the people who Mohammed was trying to convert away from their tribal religions. It is
  • 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

  • All the lame bacon memes will send them into conniptions.

  • "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.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:48AM (#40064611)
    Don't look at the shit which offends you. If necessary don't use the internet at all. I myself manage to go my entire time on the internet without viewing stuff which does not interest me by the simple expedient of not searching for it. If by chance I find myself at looking at something does not interest me, I browse somewhere else which does.
  • by lexsird (1208192) on Monday May 21, 2012 @10:58AM (#40064709)

    I think we are safe from Muslim terrorists for a while at least. 40,000 Jews in one place and not even a bomb threat?

    I have to wonder what we would be saying if it was 40,000 Muslims meeting there for the same topic? Flip through the variations of religions and apply that mental exercise of "what if?" Rastafarians make for an amusing mental image, as do several others. When I ponder which group would be the scariest in regards to tampering with our Internet freedoms, it boils down to Muslims and "Fundy Christians" with the later winning by a nose.

    Religious perspectives of the Internet, they all vary, but frankly I like to remain suspicious of all of them. People inherently seem to get big wild ideas about the Internet, politicians and religious people especially and these groups tend to intermingle at a disgusting rate.

  • Simple solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:02AM (#40064763) Homepage

    Sometimes the whole "Kosher" process kinda irks me in the sense that many of the most commonly consumed foods have been "made Kosher" with special branding and tiny little symbols on the labels which seem innocent and harmless enough, but those markings COST MONEY. The cost, of course, results in higher prices for things which do not affect the majority of people.

    So let's take a page from the "Halal" playbook and let them buy their stuff from Kosher stores instead of effectively taxing everything we eat. Seems reasonable -- you need something different, go ahead... get your something different, but don't make the rest of us pay for it.

    That said, what does it have to do with the original topic?

    PLENTY!

    I don't want some minority interest stepping in with things that will ultimately change and harm the internet. If they want something "sanitized" great! There's an app for that! It's called a VPN. You just connect to a regular public internet connection and then from there, log into a VPN which routes all traffic through a "Kosher-net." Now you're cleansed without affecting the rest of the planet.

    When small groups force their changes on the world, it invariably harms the world in some way.

    • Re:Simple solution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:23AM (#40065037)

      Manufacturers wouldn't go through the trouble of getting marked Kosher if it wasn't a net win for them; in fact, if you believe in the central idea of capitalism, having those little symbols lowers the price (by increasing sales and profits) because if it cut into their profits they wouldn't bother doing it.

  • by PPH (736903) on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:11AM (#40064877)

    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.

    So this is like one of those AV popups: "Your computer may be infected. Click here to download our software."

  • Refreshing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Monday May 21, 2012 @11:55AM (#40065503) Journal

    It's pretty bloody refreshing that you have a group that has a set of social values, that are getting together to logically discuss a way that they and their families can access the useful but wild'n'wooly Internet in a way that fits with their precepts, doctrines, and social values.... ...and doesn't make even a whisper about controlling OTHER PEOPLES' access.

    That's absolutely wonderful.
    I sincerely wish more people in this country would follow their lead and build their lives comfortably along their own beliefs but leave the REST of us ALONE.

    You don't want porn? Fine. Don't watch porn. Build your ironclad access controls high and mighty to keep that out - just don't step up and say that the REST OF US can't watch porn either. Then you've crossed a line.

    Really, this holds true outside of religious issues too. Want to help the homeless? Fine, pay more taxes, volunteer your time, whatever - just quit insisting on taking more of my paycheck to pay for your moral compunction.

    • by khipu (2511498)

      It's pretty bloody refreshing that you have a group that has a set of social values, that are getting together to logically discuss a way that they and their families can access the useful but wild'n'wooly Internet in a way that fits with their precepts, doctrines, and social values.... ...and doesn't make even a whisper about controlling OTHER PEOPLES' access.

      That's only because they are a small minority in the US. In Israel, the ultra-orthodox have political power, and they use it in the way all ultra-or

  • by sproketboy (608031) on Monday May 21, 2012 @03:40PM (#40068457)

    They should be focused on their bronze age science fiction book instead like all good religious idiots.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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