How much more will we take?
How much more can we take?
This past week, we saw how the internet can be used for unmitigated zilzul chachomim.
At this point, it doesn’t matter what “side” you were on or whose derech you followed. Each person should have followed the directives of his rabbi, rov, rebbi or rosh yeshiva. But no one had a right to mock, disparage, belittle, or scorn other Jews – no matter which group they associate with – and especially Torah leaders.
Dare I say that it is those who have no person they will listen to, no moral compass, no accountability, no sense of right or wrong, no rebbi, who betray all of us by employing slander, mockery and downright childishness to promote what they think is right, doing so completely on their own, without any rabbinic support or even simple, sane guidance. They make up their own “hashkafa,” and then mow down everyone who they think feels otherwise.
They do it no different than they would in a camp color war. For them, it is indeed like color war.
They think they are standing up for something. In truth, they stand for nothing.
I once met a rov who had a congregant who had been doing and saying things publicly that were hurting his shul‘s image and doing damage to that specific community. When I respectfully asked the rov about it, he put his hand on his eyes and said, “Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve tried again and again. I have no control over [that person].”
Unfortunately, those who embarrassed frum Yidden this past week, and maybe even do so on a regular basis, are under the control of no one. They won’t listen to gedolim, rabbonim, roshei yeshiva, or even their family and friends. They won’t listen to sincere Yidden who email and plead with them to be sensitive, to be smart, and to think of the big picture and what Hashem truly wants. In fact, the more people ask them to exert self control, the more emboldened they seem to get and the more outrageous their conduct becomes.
It is up to regular people, erliche Yidden who want the Name of Hashem to be protected and want the dignity of our nation to be maintained, to stand together and say that we will not have this anymore, making our feelings felt to those who patronize or otherwise aid and abet those who work unilaterally, using the internet to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it, all in the name of “news,” caring not a bit about the damage they cause to us Yidden individually and as a community.
No internet news website, at this point, is perfect. But before you read a site, conduct the following quick test: Would you be comfortable allowing your child to read the various posts and portions and chat segments, etc. of the site? If you had to think that long to come up with an answer, then I think you already have your answer.
Thank you for reading.
[P.S. I refer not to those who rightly battle individuals or organizations who seek to redefine Orthodoxy, ordain women, inflict damage to yeshivos, or seek to help those who wish to regulate mitzvos such as bris milah. I speak about an entirely different issue, which is likely obvious to the informed reader. I don’t think further elaboration is necessary.]