Orthodox Jewish Organizers Gather to Protest the Internet

With the flood of informative articles, videos and social networking sites available on the internet in recent years, many people have been wary of the consequences of such a technologically saturated culture. Now Orthodox Jewish organizers in the group, Union of the Communities for the Purity of the Camp, have also taken a stance on the perils and pitfalls of the internet.

The New York Post states that about 60,000 Orthodox men attended a gathering held at Citi Field and Arthur Ashe field in New York on Sunday to discuss the dangers of the internet. Speakers at the event cited pornography and gambling as central issues of internet use, but another theme that was central to the event was the idea that social media takes away time for reflection, prayer and responsibility in the community. Sites such as Facebook were also viewed as temptations for fulfilling and replenishing unwanted human desires.

The packed stadiums were filled with men only. Women were able to watch the event on live broadcast in Orthodox neighborhoods. Many of the sermons focused on getting youth to discard Facebook profiles and other social media outlets in an attempt to live a purer life. Male high school students were admitted to the event for free, a sure sign that this part of the population is often the most active on social media outlets.

The event cost around $1.5 million to put together and tickets were even sold online, but Orthodox Jewish leaders are not the only ones arguing that excessive internet use can damage the mind and body. An NPR interview with Clay Johnson, author of the book “The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption” argues that constant clicking and searching on sites such as Google can cause serious mental and emotional damage to individuals.

As the author puts it in his interview on “Weekend Edition”:

What choice gives us, what choice of information gives us, is the ability to misinform ourselves in all kinds of new ways. If you can have a discussion with someone next to you who says, ‘I think X is correct,’ and the other person says, ‘I think Y is correct,’ and then you can turn around to your mutual computers and then build a case for why you’re both wrong then all of a sudden, that synthesis that has really made … democracy great starts going away. We lose our ability to synthesize when we can always prove ourselves right.

Both Clay Johnson and the Orthodox Jewish community are seeing certain patterns emerge in the way young minds are developing in relationship to the world. Admittedly, Johnson is not calling for a purer way of life in the religious sense, but perhaps both groups are looking for a more conscious and careful life where children are not handed iphones at 10 only to become internet junkies. The constant influx of information available to all age groups has clearly made an impact on the way both the Orthodox and secular communities function.

Related Stories:

New Technology More Reliable and Ethical than Animal Experiments

Chernobyl, Fukushima and the Horror of Technology

Using Technology for Healthy and Sustainable Volunteerism

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Huber F.
Huber F.3 years ago

Can't believe these statements from guys who seem so advanced in life.

Jennifer G.
Jennifer G.4 years ago

Lets see, the internet has only been around for a couple of decades and it has gone such a long way towards connecting people; yet religion has been around for centuries and seems to do nothing but destroy and suppress.

Jennifer G.
Jennifer G.4 years ago

Lets see, the internet has only been around for a couple of decades and it has gone such a long way towards connecting people; yet religion has been around for centuries and seems to do nothing but destroy and suppress.

don wreford
don wreford4 years ago

Thank you John D, I will try to put your practical advise to work, what I understand with regard to anti semitic is that it is a definition of hate towards Jews, a definition given by a German writer with a pertinent meaning of hate towards the the race of Jews, a couple of interesting points is semitic, as in the original meaning had a broader meaning, in as much as it related to a wide area of the Middle East, pertaining to Arabs as well, this current use became political as used by German writers in the 18th century, the alarming aspect of brain conditioning, is if one uses fact or historical circumstance as a critique pertaining to say in this case the Jews, we are no longer able to use language in a democratic sense as the meaning now becomes other than what is implied, as being regarded as inflammatory, it is noted my inclusion is not exclusive to the Jews, rather it is a critique on the general situation of the World today, in the last century I estimate approximately 100 million people were killed or died soon after WW2, and as a result of wounds incured, I am not sure how many have died through persecution in this time, I would estimate double that figure, it is noted anti semitism has now become the propaganda and definition reserved for the Jews, interesting enough if one criticizes any other group or culture as such, their is no name for this.
A history on the Versailles Treaty, indicates the terms and conditions were so severe and oppressive towards the German P

Linda McKellar
Past Member 4 years ago

GOODNESS! I agree with John! How primitive are all religions. Misogynistic, controlling and backward! Whoever invented religion was very cunning and knew fear and ostracism are great controllers giving great wealth and power. BTW, you only find pornography on the internet if you search for it so, don't search already. As for the weird dress, silly really and I also liked the comment that the internet is so terrible and yet that's how they sold tickets?????

Berny P.
Berny p.4 years ago

Work for a change....and stop breeding!

John Duqesa
Past Member 4 years ago

Don W

Stick your anti-semitic crap where the sun doesn't shine and crawl back under the rock you slithered out from under.

don wreford
don wreford4 years ago

Trudi, point taken on Newton, certainly a connection with the Jewish culture, apparently not by blood, Hitler was part Jewish, and the WW2 was financed in part by the Jews, the sacrificial pawns of the Jews, by the Jewish Elite, to gain World sympathy for the possession of Palestine, primarily colluded by the British Government and Rothschilds, the British required a group beholden to Britain to maintain power on oil reserves in Arab hands, and the Suez Canal and to keep a power base in the Middle East, and what is in it for the Jews? to obtain real estate and a symbolic connection with the area now called Israel.
Not only did the Jews desire to patent God for the Jews, but as Walsh the author of "The Climax of Civilization" outlines in his book the controlling power is with money, so the Jews had the monopoly on the franchise of the spiritual World and the material World, this idea not only spread in its corruptive legacy and practice by the Jews, but rapidly become the World currency of all Nations, in particular the British, Britain having the correct natural resources for industrialization became a ally of the Jews having a similar ideology of power hunger, and World domination.
As you are no doubt well aware the 1947 massacre of Arabs by Jews, the weapons used as a terrorist act, are supplied by the British.

Maria P.
Maria Pugliese4 years ago

They just don't want their children to think for themselves. Their children might actually start to question a lot of things that they have been taught. The Catholic Church has done the same thing repeatedly and you know how well that turned out.

Paul S.
Paul S.4 years ago

How does the report of a group of people who "..attended a gathering to discuss the dangers of the internet" in the story become "..gathers to protest the internet" in the headline? More catchy and inflammatory, I suspect.