The Internet is Assur!!!
This has for a long time been the battle cry of certain Jews who see a life-altering technology potentially threaten a way of life that has existed for centuries. Some have even resorted to Rabbinic Terrorism, smashing computers and placing people in Cherem for owning even filtered internet access, to say the least. Sites that were designed to be Marbitz Torah were temporarily taken down on a whim. The list can go on and on.
However, whatever innovation comes into the world, Jews eventually accept, just many years later. Yes, it was a matter of time, but it seems like Frum Yidden, or Jews, are using Social Media and Web advertising to get their name around.
No, we’re not talking about Baalei Teshuvah like Matisyahu (the Reggae Sensation) or converts like Y-Love (Yitz Jordan). We’re talking about straight, dry, Agudah Movement type Jews. Here’s a list of some.
Those that apparently don’t feel so much that the Internet is Assur
Srully (Yisroel) Williger
Yisroel (Srully) Williger is interesting in that he once had a website in the mid-to-late 1990’s, dropped it, temporarily renewed his website under the name srullyw.com, and dropped it again. Apparently, however, he’s recently been seen using Twitter under the name srullywilliger, though that hasn’t been used since July 24th. The last tweet he made was: “stamm chillin in monsey for shabbis chazon.” No hashtags were used in any of his 7 Tweets though. Apparently, Reb Williger an example of someone who tries new technologies lightly, sees little value in it at first, and drops it. It’s almost like trying to driving a car without taking keys with you. You’re sitting behind a seat, turning the steering wheel like a bigshot, but are going nowhere.
Perhaps he Assurs the internet for the notion of it being a waste of time.
Oh! (Ohad MOskowitz) has been using Facebook for a while now, and has amassed well over 3,000 friends. He possesses a solid voice, a loyal crowd, and is leveraging those on Facebook.
Yaakov Shwekey, a Syrian Sephardic singer, leverages Facebook, Twitter (although he hasn’t posted anything since July 30th, around the same time Srully Williger quit Twitter), a Wikipedia profile, and a blogspot blog.
Shloime Dachs has had his own website for years (although right now it’s only one page – he sadly tore down his old website which had more information), his Wikipedia profile, a blogspot blog, a Facebook profile, and a Tweetless (okay, 1 tweet) Twitter account. He’s likely the most tech-savvy of the Agudah singing crowd. As a side note, he doesn’t wear a beard yet puts on Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin.
My point? Frum Jews will adopt new technologies, just much later than the less “Frum” crowd. First, they will all cry that “the internet is Assur!” The internet will always be Assur to them in their hearts and they will adopt things a few years too late. Amish, anyone?