Is the Internet kosher?
Now, the hot dogs served at Citi Field can be judged kosher or treif.
The Internet cannot. It is a medium for communications and hence cannot be kosher or treif. Some rabbis are making a mass rally about the Internet the center of attention for their communities.
We wonder if the rabbis know that every month we give away 25,000 tractates of the Talmud on our web site www.halakhah.com.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the "Orthodox Internet Rally Divides a Community".
Previously the WSJ reported, "A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews have rented out Citi Field for a meeting later this month intended to draw thousands of men to discuss the dangers of the Internet and formulate a communitywide response. The event, set for May 20, has been publicized internationally within the Orthodox Jewish press and tapped into a world-wide debate over how to reconcile modern life with the Internet's perceived moral dangers."
In our Talmudic view, this event is a giant mistake. Nothing of value can be accomplished through a rally in a stadium to remedy a perceived threat to morality. And clearly the Internet is not the problem. If the ease of accessing pornography via the Internet is at issue, and we assume that is the main concern, then the pornographers who create the content ought to be the target, not the communications and delivery mechanisms of the Net.
It looks to us like the rabbis are making a statement through the rally, but the wrong statement. The event says to us that the rabbis fear that the beauty of the moral life of Torah cannot compete with the attraction of the depravity of the x-rated content of the Internet. A rally, like the one planned, is a sign of panic that the battle is being lost, not a sign of confidence in the strength and validity of Judaism as a moral system and beacon to the nations.
There is much to be done to bolster morality in the world and to promote Judaism. A Citi Field rabbi-rally is not an effective means of doing either.