Jerusalem – Exclusive: Smashing Computer Rabbi Talks To VIN News


    Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Aaron FeinhandlerJerusalem – VIN News posted earlier an Editorial by Rabbi Yair Hoffman criticizing an event where an Israeli Rabbi in a Yeshiva for Baalei Teshuva in Yerushalayim is shown on a YouTube clip holding a ceremony destroying a laptop to protest the danger of the Internet.

    Some readers have emailed us claiming it was a Purim Prank, we decided to verify the facts of the story, and sure enough it turns out this was a serious event.

    Below is an Exclusive interview VIN News Israeli correspond Ezra Reichmann just conducted with the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Aaron Feinhandler, to hear why he decided to publicize the computer-pulverizing event.

    VIN: What’s so bad about a computer?

    Rabbi Feinhandler: The computer and specifically the Internet has broken up many families — both religious and non-religious. For the past 25 years, every week dozens of baalei tshuva from all over the country spend a Shabbos at our yeshiva and I am involved in counseling many of them. I know many people whose sholom bayis was ruined because of it. I have given speeches in countless places explaining how dangerous the Internet is.

    On the Internet you see women without their hair covered – so why does your wife have to cover hers? If you see immodest pictures on the Internet, why are you putting up mechitzos at weddings? Why are you sending your children to chareidi chinuch if you’re getting the Islamic and Christian world on the Internet?

    The reason we send our children to chareidi chinuch is because we want to keep out everything that is out there. So why are we bringing the Internet into our home? We want to dance at two weddings, but it doesn’t go.

    Why did Moshe Rabeinu break the Two Luchos? He did it to shock the Jews. He wanted them to understand that the Golden Calf doesn’t go together with the Two Luchos.

    Eliyahu Hanavi did the same thing. He told the Jews of his time: Go with Elokim or go with baal — but you can’t have both together.

    VIN: Whose computer did you break?

    Rabbi Feinhandler: The computer we broke this time belonged to a photographer. He used his computer to develop his pictures, but then he realized it was causing him to fall spiritually. He decided he’s better off taking pictures with a camera and then he’ll develop the film in a photo shop.

    By the way, this is the 3rd time we’ve shattered a computer. The first computer we broke was a $1,000 computer belonging to a bochur who wanted to save himself from the temptation of watching films.

    VIN: Don’t you have a computer in your yeshiva’s office?

    Rabbi Feinhandler:
    We have no computer in our yeshiva’s office. How do we print letters? We send a handwritten letter to an office service by fax, and they return it printed instead of by email. We pay them for the service. And we have plenty of office work; we have 75 bochurim in our yeshiva and 40 girls in our girls’ division.

    VIN: Why don’t you use computers with Rimon or Netiv filtering servers?

    Rabbi Feinhandler: If we can’t get people to get rid of the computer completely, we tell people to use Rimon or Netiv. We don’t like to rely on them, because you can get rid of the filters. We know of people who managed to evade the filters, and then they fell into bad things. We can tell you countless stories of youth who left yeshivos and took off their kipot and girls who stopped dressing modestly because of the influence of the Internet.

    Lev L’achim say that 70% of all youths who leave Yiddishkeit is because of the Internet or cellphones.

    Our boys visit homes voluntarily to try to get people to remove their computers or at least change to a kosher service with filtering.

    VIN: Do your students have computers?

    Rabbi Feinhandler:
    Our yeshiva will not accept students who have a computer or unkosher cellphone. When we make shidduchim for our students, we stipulate that the home they found will not have a computer, they will work on a computer at a workplace only if it has filtering, and they will only use kosher cellphones. We won’t make a shidduch for any of our baalei tshuva unless they agree to these conditions.

    It goes without saying that you won’t be accepted to our kolel if you have a computer at home or unkosher cellphone.

    VIN: What’s wrong with having a computer at home if you have filtering on it? Isn’t it better to expose kids to the computer in a controlled way, rather than having them go elsewhere to see a computer unsupervised?

    Rabbi Feinhandler: We feel you have to get rid of computer from your house, period. From my experience, once you have a computer in the house, your child will get used to seeing films. Chiloni films on discs are everywhere, a dime a dozen. The kid will quickly figure out that when Abba is not home or is sleeping, he can watch chiloni films without them knowing about it. After all, Ima and Aba said it’s OK to use a computer and they see all kinds of things on it too.

    In a home where there’s no computer and kids don’t get used to seeing it, the kids don’t go around looking for it.

    It’s not just a problem for the kids. It’s a problem for the adults too. The parents start seeing films and other things and that brings a big yerida to the home. If there’s no computer at home, the parents and kids will both be OK and won’t fall into problems.

    Many families were broken up through meetings which began on the Internet. We want to save people from tragedy. Even many goyim admit that the Internet destroyed their lives. Kal v’chomer us, the am hakodesh, have to keep away from it.

    Having a computer in the house is the same as having a cinema theater in house.

    With a nonkosher cellphone, you can get connected to the Internet in a minute. It’s like a cinema theater in your pocket. I can tell you that whoever doesn’t listen to the rabbonim on this matter will fall. The temptation is too huge to withstand. Whoever listens to the rabbonim on this matter will have hatzlacha. Whoever cannot withstand the temptation of getting rid of their computer completely should at the minimum get a filtering service.

    VIN: What if you need to work on a computer at home or at work?

    Rabbi Feinhandler: They need to work on the Internet for their parnossa? It’s better to clean streets and dirty your body than to work on the Internet and dirty your soul.

    The Chofetz Chaim told a person who was selling books of kefira that he would arrange a job for him to ring the bell to call goyim to church. When the Yid protested how could he do that, the Chofetz Chaim told him it’s better to ring the bell to bring goyim to church then to sell books of kefira which will bring Yidden to leave Yiddishkeit. The Internet is far worse than books of kefira.

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    1. Fool and ignoramus like his arab friends, laptops are the mean by which doctors enter medical data following an examination of whatever nature, radilogical, physical and laboratory . The data can be transmitted including the reading of films to any doctor in the world. This fool [Rabbi] reminds me of the Arabs who will fight any progress even if they ultimately suffers. Total ignorance

      • You just can’t face the facts that there is danger in having access to the internet so he is a full, ignoramus a whatever epithet you can come up with rather than a little soul searching

      • I believe the internet provides knowledge, certain people don’t want the hamone am to have certain knowledge. It’s like the Eitz Hadaas, with knowledge you see evil, not just good. With my knowledge, which I got a lot from the internet, I have figured out that some Jews in the frum community are evil and do evil things. Some of these Jews are in chosev positions. Ignorance is bliss. If people start acquiring the knowledge that I have, there would be a tremedous outrage at some of the things that go on in our community; but it’s easier to blame all our problems on machines. This way we never have to work on ourselves and maybe try to bring Moshiach. I would post what I’m talking about, but it would never get posted. And No, I’m not talking about molesters. BTW, I did try to bring this to the attention of some of our so-called Rabbis, but they are in total denial and just decided I was crazy.

    2. Before we start bashing and calling the rabbi names, let’s look inside ourselves and really think about. He is not way off base and has a lot of valid points. Let’s admit it, How many of us have been effected by the internet in a destructive way. Sometimes it’s so subtle you don’t even realize it. Let’s keep an honest and open mind about what he is saying.

      • Blaming computers for immoral behavior is as silly as blaming a gun for shooting a bullet or blaming a pack of cigarettes for causing cancer.

        A computer is a tool, nothing more. It can be used for very great things, like medical research, or very bad things, like planning terror attacks. It can be used for immoral things, like looking at adult websites. But the computer can’t do any of these things by itself; its up to the human being using it to use it properly. If the human looks at adult websites, its not the computer’s fault, its the human’s. A loaded gun is harmless if it just sits in someone’s drawer and is never used; it only becomes harmful if someone uses it to kill someone else. Its only a tool.

        This Rabbi needs to understand that his smashing the computer will accomplish nothing; its the brain that is damaged and needs repair. If the human already has the propensity to look at pornography or, nebach, has already developed an addiction, he will find another way to satisfy his urges, either by purchasing another computer, or perhaps going to phone sex or even hiring “escorts”. Destroying the computer doesn’t help if you don’t address the underlying problem.

        • believe me i understand your points. Guns is an age old argument that is why you have to have a license to carry one. Cigarettes are so addictive ( I smoke )that I am happy that they now cost 10.00 a pack because I have definitely cut down on my smoking and I don’t have the willpower to quit.(my bad) the problem with computers ie; the internet, is that its at your fingertips and it is difficult not to fall into temptations. everything is right in your face these days

          I am not throwing my computer out but the Rabbis point are valid.

        • 28 said Blaming computers for immoral behavior is as silly as blaming a gun for shooting a bullet or blaming a pack of cigarettes for causing cancer.
          Of course your argument would proceed to drugs amd other illegal activities. That would be a fine libertarian view. This rabbi is not a liberterian. Of course one can come up with reasons to ban certain things i.e. drugs and not other things. However since you use a libertarian argument you have to accept that view totally, which I highly doubt you do.

      • lets ban corded phones to because you can call up plent y shmutz, lets ban fax machines because you can actually write a letter to the opposite sex and receive horrible pictures too. maybe we should just live in a cave with no electric, phone or cars just like the amish . the amish seem to have it all figured out plus they have the beards, reklach and hats all ready to go . so what are u waiting for

        • I hear your points but you have to admit with the internet everything is at your fingertips and its very easy to fall into temptations.. all i am saying is you have to respect the rabbis point of view.

          • He is dooming is Kehilla to a life of ignorance and isolation. There is nothing to respect here. What I would like to see is a list of the yeshivas and seminaries who agree with him so I will know where not to send my children to. May HKBH save us from our own Taliban.

    3. Baalei teshuvas [some] are the erev rav of the midbor. One “baalei teshuva” prominent rav now told me when I asked him if he would talk about the shoah ” you can be miyayish. I had [most of them no longer alive] who survived Auschwitz, Majdanek and Buchenwald like myself and raised fine families which keeps mitzvas. They are the component of Ayatollas of Iran

    4. there really, truly are no words. this man is seriously out of touch. he is a radical by anyone’s standards. i wouldnt be a bit surprised if he doesnt practice what he preaches.

    5. This article only confirms the worst fears many of us have that at least a substantial portion of the Chareidi community is intentionally destroying an entire generation of yidden. By the time these fools recognize what they have done, there will be tens of thousands of dysfunctional and impovrished yidden with no means of earning a livlihood who will be on the streets begging for tzadakah to feed and clothe their families and unable to function in the modern world. Hashem yarachem on this rav and others who are engaging in this travesty.

      • you hit the nail on its head rather then focusing on truly important things like going after the molesters he is diverting attetion to this nonsense about computers this is what i call a nonevent someone tell him that there are infinitly more important issues he is a shoite chusid

      • wake up the chareidi community has been begging on the streets for handouts for years and there will be no end till the israeli goverment allows people to work without having gone to the army first or the yeshivas will allow their students to go to nachal chareidi or some such program you think today is bad give it another ten years when the chareidi population is expected to double

    6. I totally agree with Rabbi Feihandler. Absolutely. I figure someone has to agree with him before this bolg gets flooded with anti Rabbi comments. After all, who’s writing the comments here, people without computers?!

        • I was waiting for someone to ask that! Shkoyach. My point is exactly that. Such a blog obviously can not be a two sided debate if the only people who see this have internet, and are bored like me and you. By the way anyone who made it this far reading these comments this article applies to you! This is what you use the internet for? Maybe we should have a public burning for computers and shaitles.

    7. It is a sad commentary – on the viewpoints of this Rav – if one did not use the computer how could one read this article. We all have followed the derech, inspite of modernity. According to this Rav – one should stay coistered in his home and never go out. It is sad one does not have sufficient strength in ones emunah to ‘tackle’ the world.
      Because of the internet and computers one now has the way and means to open the door to vast amounts of learning, not previously available before. As with everything else one has to have self control.

    8. Something sounds a little fishy to me. I’m only an amateur photographer, but I know quite well that digital photography is a great deal more efficient than film photography. The ability to correct mistakes on the fly, the ability to shoot as many pictures as you like cost-free, etc. Anyone working professionally who is using film is at a real disadvantage.

      Yes, there are film purists out there, but those people generally never stopped using film. I would be very surprised to find a professional photographer who went from using digital to using film exclusively.

      The Wolf

      • How do you know the answers to these questions? How do you know that people without Internet connections at home are “more ehrlich” than those without? How do you know that they have better homes and better children?

        In short, please provide some evidence for your claim.

        The Wolf

          • Obviously, it’s not as obvious as you think it is.

            You don’t know what’s in the heart of a person to know whether they are “ehrlich” or not? You don’t know what goes on in people’s homes to make them “better” than others. And you don’t know what secrets are being covered up by people about their kids — so how could you judge which kid is “better” than others?

            Your own anecdotal experience notwithstanding, you’re just stating that they are better because “it seems to me” that they are. Sorry, but ISTM is not proof.

            The Wolf

        • Well, I know many families with & without computers at home, You’re asking if you can tell a difference? are you kidding me? and kudos to this rabbi for saying it the way it really is, I know it may sounds extreme but so is many of our Halachot when it comes to Tzniut, Yichud etc. in the eyes of a non orthodox jew. Remember “Ein Apitropos Learayut”. and for those who claim “self control” think about many Halachot that we have that in your eyes would also sound absurd, I’m proud not to have a computer at my home, and trying very hard to get rid of my blackberry.

      • You are an ignoramus . I have a computer and my son has a computer and we daven and have wonderful families. If you are such a godol why did you click on this website. How did you get on by klapping in di wand

      • answers:
        -there are many erlich yidden who have computers with internet. there are many creepy crazy perverts who don’t. point 1 for computer.
        -i don’t know anyone who has a computer that has children who riot and burn trash cans, who beat up women who walk on the “wrong” side of the street, or who throw bleach on a woman wearing a denim skirt (which, while covering everything in a very tziniusdik manner is considered untziniusdik by some). the same cannot be said for some people who do not have internet access. point 2 for computers.
        -see previous. point 3 for computers.
        you can’t decide who is erlich by this means. there are many erlich yidden who have computers, there are many erlich yidden who don’t.
        Rabbi Hoffman made some good points and appreciates the advantages technology can create for yidden. Rabbi Feinhandler would be perfectly happy if yidden never improved their financial status and earned a living cleaning streets and toilets. win: Rabbi Hoffman

        • Rabbi Hoffman has the audacity to berate those who feel the implicit dangers of the Internet out way the good. He practically ignores the dangers and represents the issue as if the issue is purely one of accepting the new. Head in the ground thinking

          • Yours is the best comment. The issue is not of accepting technology as the Amish do, but the issue is how do we protect ourselves and our children from the temptation of the internet? Does Rabbi Hoffman have the answers? Rabbi Feinhandler’s answer (which is not for everyone) works, but all the other answers won’t, so why are we attacking an ehrlicha rov? I am moiche for putting to shame kovod hatorah.

            Why do we obfuscate the issue and pretend that we are debating luddites versus enlightened? The enlightened ones are our sages and the luddites are those who are farzunken in mem tes shaarei tumeh, or chachomim heim lehorah.

      • better home and better children is a relative thing…for example – ideally my children will be frum bnei Torah as well as outstanding baalei middos and tzeddakah – which they will only be able to be if they make a good parnassah, which means probably using the internet. A schnorrer drinking coffee in kollel is not a better child for me.

    9. This guy thinks it’s wise to avoid the issue with children – he is dead wrong. They must see how a parents handles it the right way, and yes, it’s a lot harder and a lot more time-consuming and parenting-skills-demanding than just taking it out, but it’ll pay off…

    10. Rabbi Feinhandler is entitled to establish guidelines for his school. It is also
      reasonable for him to expect compliance with the rules in effect there. Nonetheless,
      it is not reasonable to expect everyone else in the entire world to follow suit.
      Specifically, there are indeed numerous unsavory aspects associated with unsupervised internet usage. But like anything else, it is all about education which
      entails teaching the lesson of responsibility. Consequently, it is incumbent on
      all of us to bar access to l sources and sites spreading immorality and unholy
      propaganda inimical to our Torah lifestyle. In the final analysis, it is not the internet
      per se which is unwholesome but rather man who abuses his free will to
      choose evil over good. May HASHEM guide us all in our pursuit of Torah and

      • Rabbi
        Thank you for writing something that makes sense and is “emes” many posters here are attacking this rabbi and calling him all kinds of names. The people who go to his yeshiva are accepting of his practices. He never said that everyone should get rid of their computers. This is his way of teaching and doing things. To all those attacking the rabbi, you can disagree with him and not support him in any way shape or form, calling him names is just Rishus and uncalled for. If you dont like his practices don’t go to his school.

      • With all due respect, u can find temptation and u can also avoid it,, as a former divorcee with a computer in my house, and no kids, and my own apartment, I could have done whatever I wanted to,, but I DIDNT!!! woo hoo,,It was not something I was interested in, so I didnt!! Do I deserve the gold medal for it?? NO!! We are yidden, and we dont have to succumb to garbage,, and we can live with puters, internet in our houses.

      • Education? Responsibility? What are you talking about?

        The gemora says that “hamehalech beshuk shel zoines, ih ikke derech achrina, rosha hu”. Would you let your son walk alone in a shuk shel zoines? So why is your computer any different?

        Rabbi Feinhandler says that ” whoever doesn’t listen to the rabbonim on this matter will fall”. Do you agree or disagree?

            • So that’s the point the rabbi was trying to make that the computer is very dangerous (and while it can be used and “should” be used for what it was intended), it is like a child playing with matches, which sooner or later will start a fire.

              Because we are all in a deep slumber he used a shocking technique. You might disagree with his antics but you agree with his message. That’s all I’m saying.

              BTW, regarding his antics, I once heard of a commodity broker who would test his potential clients with taking out a crisp one hundred dollar bill, then take out a match and burn the one hundred dollar bill until it is ash, then he would turn around to his potential client and exclaim, if you can stomach this then we’re in business, because you might lose lots of money in seconds.

    11. The other day it was shutting down a place that does women’s eye brows, then it was men lusting after manikin heads.

      I understand trying to minimize temptation, but the other side of that coin must include some common sense and even more importantly some self control.

    12. We should break a few peoples heads, do you know how many people have murdered, robbed, abused… and the list goes on and on.
      People are a very bad thing we have to get rid of!

      But if you think for a second maybe we can save em, (and the computer), everything can be used for good and for bad, and if we destroy everything that can cause harm we might as well use the hydrogen bomb, that will take care of all the bad things.

    13. I understand and respect the Israeli rabbi’s concerns about the dangers of
      internet usage. But he must have in mind his own school. For the rest of us, we
      should act like adults—Jew and Gentile alike—while using the internet. The internet
      can be harnessed for good—like anything else. It is all about making the right
      choice, Jews following the Torah and non-Jews following the Seven Noahide
      Commandments. As regards the internet, decent people should certainly
      avoid “unkosher” and immoral places on the web. Enjoy your Purim holiday.

    14. “The computer and specifically the Internet has broken up many families — both religious and non-religious.”

      Now, replace the words “computer and specifically the internet” with the words “cellular phone,” “telephone,” “telegraph,” “printing press,” “paper,” “pen,” “parchment,” “papyrus,” “stylus,” “clay tablet,” etc. Better yet, which of these things can tempt us as much as our own eyes and minds? If the heilige gaon really wishes to destroy temptation, I’d encourage him to pluck out his eyes and have himself lobotomized.

    15. The baalei teshuvah movement in their rage against their “treifene background” do not have the savvy and ability to understand that nuclear energy produced the bombs which destroyed hiroshima and nagasaki but also isotopes, radio-oncology and nuclear reactors which produce clean energy. It is their mentor’s fault of being unable to give them the knowlege that with a chalav you can cut someone throat and provide kosher meat. What is lacking is the guidance to enable them to descriminate

    16. OK,, here goes,, U just watch it guys,,, as time will unfold this “rabbi” will be found out with some major addiction involving the computer,,, It is not a coincidence that the saying, “Me thinks he doth protest too much” became so famous!

    17. Why don’t people understand that everything in this world is Tov Virah. Even learning Torah can be used for evil in certain circumstances. (Hashem Yirachem) With regards to the story of the Chofetz Chaim ztl, he was talking to someone that was selling actual books for Kefirah. The internet has books of Kefirah on it but it is not itself evil. I go to all the time to do research on Torah subjects. Without the internet I would never have that ability.

    18. The rabbi is so wrong about not even letting filters that kids should have to go to the library and neighbors to use the internet to go shopping and “accidentally” visit certain sights i personally saw a Chasidishe bochur must of been not more than 16 dressed even wearing a hat out in the open in a library in flatbush on a porn sight forget about the bochur for a moment goyim mamzeirim who some of these kids parents are prostitutes drug dealers alcoholics etc.. Don’t do this it was such a chilul hashem and wasn’t the only one that realized. parents beware what your kids are up to in the library

    19. I am frum, consider myself chareedi, on the internet (obviously) I must say whilst I find all this extreme, I do find myself occasionally stumbling and viewing or downloading things i should not. The simple fact is it is all too accessible online. Whilst I am not sure this is the answer, we cannot ignore the fact that the internet brings tremendous temptation to our doorsteps and into our homes. We need to accept and admit that. Rav Michael Broyde of the Beth Din of America who I presume is considered “MO” said you are not allowed yichud with the internet – in other words a PC must be in a public place in the home and to treat it like any other issur yihud – and that is a “MO” view. SOme of the comments here are shocked by the video but don’t sweep the problem under the carpet either.
      What would probably help is if instead of the extreme approach shown here which most people are not going to accept, to find a practical way to engage people in our communities to work together to solve the problems.

    20. Phones can be used for immoral purposes too. And worse… I have it on good authority that phone switching is done via computers! Geeps. Sounds to me like we should ban them as well. (Watch it. thats next). The real question is, why do we give this idiot any respect whatsoever?

    21. How sad. We have allowed instability to pollute the minds of our children. Rabbi’s like Feinhandler, “Break up more families,” and cause more damage than a library of smut films. I “can tell you countless stories of youth who left yeshivos and took off their kipot and girls who stopped dressing modestly because of the influence of” these types of rabbis.

      • You got it wrong. I know someone who had your atitude and all his children went down the drain. People pleaded with the father, but he would hear no evil, see no evil, until it was too late and all his chidren are in sheoil tachtis. You can even visit them.

        • “all his children went down the drain?” Implying that unless your children imitate your actions and views they are down the drain? It is precisely this closed mindedness that I am referring too; and this type of callous behavior or language that I find destructive. How do you think children feel when being referred to as “down the drain?” Is this un-conditional love?

          • You can still un-conditionally love a child who has gone down the drain, but someone who is addicted to smut is pardon my expression down the drain. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do teshuvah, only that it is hard to get up from down there.

    22. he picks out 1 instance out of a thousand the 999 others are perfectly ok and he thinks for that 1 all the others should suffer right now i am doing unbelievable geneology research and its so much fun fascinating anyone who is out of control should not go on the internet each and everyone of us are responsible for ourselfs its that simple

      • I found a siddur my great-great-grandfather helped put together when he worked for the Hebrew publishing company of New York in 1931. It would have been so difficult to have found a surviving copy without the Internet, but with it, I can just download it and look at it and maybe even print it out and use it.
        The site has over 40,000 classic Seforim, and I’d urge all to check it out and read one of them. Better to show this guy is wrong about the Internet via personal action.

    23. Sorry but even kosher sites these days are not kosher like yahoo lets not kid ourselfs the pictures are not appropriate. You would never want those pictures in your house having your children look at them so why are you???

      • And how, by running away from temptation. That’s why we have an issur of yichud. Woud you say that the yichud is a stupid law because life is full of temptations and we are asked to overcome them?

        • You can’t compare yichud with a real-life member of the opposite gender to using a computer. While I do respect this Rabbi’s viewpoints, there is a major difference and that is a physical attraction between members of the opposite gender. There is no attraction between a person and their computer.

          It’s like comparing a car to yichud because you could go to so many bad places in a car. The major difference between a car and a computer, of course, which is why I do respect his views, is that it’s easier to do certain aveiros with a computer than it is to commit them elsewhere. But having computer is not a man-and-woman intimacy of yichud.

    24. “Lev L’achim say that 70% of all youths who leave Yiddishkeit is because of the Internet or cellphones. “
      Somebody should check this guy out. The last fanatic who falsely claimed people go off the derech for benign reason ended up exposed as a first class menuval. Why is he obsessed with the PC and cellphones? Why is he not concerned about abuse and poverty?

      And how the heck does he expect me to listen to shiurim of Rav Schachter without the internet?

    25. Maybe I’m from the wrong generation, but I have no idea whow to watch films on my computer. I only use it for Email banking, stock trading, news and Ebay shopping. Does this yeshiva have a problem with that?

    26. I have personal email addresses of a couple of gedolay doraynu. Using the internet is permissible, however, it is true that many youth haven fallen prey to easy internet access, and fallen off the derech. Generally speaking there is no reason to justify giving internet access to teenagers. Computers can and should be used by children, however, the use should be with supervision, and the use should be limited and not the focus of their lives, and of course without internet access.

      Some people think the best way to teach a child to swim is to throw him in deep water. Well, I guess the one’s that don’t drown learn to swim very fast.

      But the safer way is to give the child the foundations, build his abilities, give him practice in safe waters, and when he knows well how to swim in the world of tivas, then he can be permitted into the deep waters of the internet.

    27. “Lev L’achim say that 70% of all youths who leave Yiddishkeit is because of the Internet or cellphones.”
      This is probably the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life. What causes most people to go off is either poor parenting or poor schooling mostly because of fools like this “rabbi”

    28. I used a computer at work and when I retired I do the same work [in smaller amount]from home. I have a choice or breira on what a I click and the websited like this or for professional information. I davened in concentration very few davened there and after 4 years I was liberated and daven today. It is the person who strays not the computer and there are some items I should not eat which I avoid. Man has a free will and can make choices. Have you people every heard of free will.

        • Have you ever heard of child molesters [quite a number] with beard and peyes molesting little boys . It was not the computer who made them do it. Have you ever heard of covering for them. The computer is not the naarishe term you ascribe and I could not have supported my family or help my children. Go out and earn a living and stop living off the goyishe velt. Have you ever heard frime making a living from the shuk shel zoines? The biggest bazoyin are those “yungeleit” screaming about the goyishe velt and the treifene velt and living off it. Yes concentration cam was the worst shuk zhel zoines and I davened there , di naar

    29. We have already ruined the word “frum” by special pleading. “Frum” used to mean shomer Torah and mitzvos. It’s been debased to basically refer to people who wear certain clothes and live a particular lifestyle Now it looks like we’re going to do the same to “erlich”. The word means “honest” or “upright”. As such it could apply to anyone regardless of religious observance (or of religion altogether).

    30. As with anything else, when deciding to ban/permit a product or service, one must do a cost/benefit analysis. It’s easy to say “ban it,” but you have to give serious thought to the consequences that will come out of that ban. I do not believe that this Rosh Yeshiva has thought this through and made the analysis, since it should be fairly obvious to anyone who gives the matter a few moments thought that the costs associated with an outright ban on all computers (whether connected to the Internet or not) are extremely high. By restricting employment to jobs that don’t involve computers (as the Rabbi seems to advocate at the end of this interview), he is condemning all Jews who follow his words to a life of low-paying, menial and often mind-numbing jobs. That is easily an example of a decree which the public cannot abide by — and such decrees should not be made.

      The Wolf

      • Yosef hatzadik the seforim say did not think it through, he did not make any analysis. He felt the danger and ran ran ran as fast he could. Had he stopped to think for a moment then he would have given in. Was Yosef hatzadik a fanatic?

        • What does Yosef have to do with this? Was he implementing a public policy that, if followed, would doom thousands of Jews to low-paying menial jobs? Yosef was invovlved in a personal decision that needed to be made in the moment — this is a public policy decision that needs to be analyzed before being implemented.

          The Wolf

    31. The rabbi’s fears and concerns are all valid. Anyone who says otherwise is not a realist. However, I wouldn’t have publicized this event. Rather, better to educate te public with statistics and case studies, of which there are plenty.

    32. This rabbi will make his students go crazy. These types end up hiding computers and TVs under their beds because they are not taught properly how to balance their lives and live a life of guilt for no reason at all.

    33. Before commenting so negatively about this yeshiva, listen to their program on Radio Kol Hanshama each Wednesday from 2 to 4 P.M. When you listen to their accomplishments and what they are doing you will see that they have their heads on straight.!
      When visiting Jerusalem it should be on everyones agenda!
      No, i live here but i listen to the program and my son who does live near the Yeshiva says it’s WOW!

    34. The whole debate can be broken down into, was he right to break the computer or not. Even if we shall agree with ever point Rabbi Hoffman makes we can still agree with Rabbi Feinhandler in what he did. Take for example the arguement that the internet has so much to offer doesn’t negate one bit the dangers that go along with it. I really don’t know why this has become a debate on if the computer is good or bad instead of does it destroy or not.

    35. Computers and the internet are tools, they are used the way people employ them.If a family was broken up by the internet chances are that family was having fundamental issues to begin with. May be the internet exacerbated it because it gave the husband or the wife an outlet they otherwise wouldn’t have had; however why were they searching for that outlet. It is Addiction 101, at AA (which has a high success rate, if people follow the principles) they make you find your emotional triggers so you can avoid it (the trigger is usually not the alcohol itself) people need to stop blaming outside influences for their life failures

    36. “On the Internet you see women without their hair covered – so why does your wife have to cover hers? “

      This line of logic is the main reason I disagree with him. If you want you’re kids to be frum because of social religous pressure- yes you very much have a reason to be afraid of the internet. If however you teach your kids to be frum because its emes and the way a Jew should live- then the non-pritzusdig material will not casue them to stop being frum. That being said- the internet is a HUGE michshol, no question, and must be dealt with carefully.

    37. He has a point but he is still a little insane (perhaps more than just a little).

      Why does an idiot have to “smash” a computer and be over on a AVERA of “Baal Tashchis”, instead of selling it to a goy or selling it to anyone who would use it in a kosher way.

      Even non-kosher meat is not to be wasted but to be sold to Goyim.

      This “rabbi” needs to go back to school and learn some common sense and not be such a senseless EXTREMIST and a JIHADist for smash and destroy (like the twin towers) everything he doesn’t like.

    38. such a moron doesnt deserve to be a rosh yeshiva. i mean no disrespect for a rosh yeshivas. what i mean is a torah scholar should be a wise man a chachom, someone whom understands beyond. a laptop is a tool that medical break through are conducted with. sceince ect. i love torah i learn daf hayomi every day. to me a talmid chochom a torah scholar can only be a inteligent person, this is primitive.

    39. I , made sure to read all (100) comments. Frankly, my head is spinning. To be sure we are faced with a collosal dilemma .I am sure that the intelligent public will follow their conscience .Who is right or wrong is of little consequence. Rabbi Hoffman deserves our gratitude for stimulating this dialogue .Kol Hakoved.

    40. If he wants to be such an extremist to destroy and smash and “burn at the steak”, in order not to benefit of anything not as holly as his standard then, if he is not a hypocrite then:

      1) Why does he accept money for his Yeshiva form anyone? Why doesn’t he return all donations unless they come form someone who swears he has no computer or Internet. Otherwise his Yeshiva and this RTabbi is enjoying the $ earned by the Treif Internet and he is building his Yeshiva on such funds.

      2) Why doesn’t he leave the Trefene Medina and move to an isolated island where he will not see the Israeli immodest women in the STREET of Israel?

      3) Every item in his Yeshiva and every item in his house and his car and the city busses and the food he eats was all manufactured and delivered with the assistance and use of the terfene computers and Internet!

      Not let me see him “DESTROY” “smash” and “burn” all his money, his car, his food and his house etc.

      Meshugaas has no end.

      He he wants to be so extreme and so “holier than though” let him go Meshuge ALL THE WAY and burn all his non-Kosher’ly acquired money and other material things too.

    41. if he is so against computers and especially internet…then why and how did he post this video on the internet (even is someone else did it how did he allow such a thing)

      Maybe they should rid his city of all females too!!!!

      People will never learn to trust themselves, will power and many other important tools in life if they constantly live in their own little bubble.

    42. It seems almost everyone commenting is DEFENDING themselves (either subconsciously or consciously).

      It’s a sickness when someone can’t view something objectively because they do or don’t do it!

      I use the internet ALL day!!! Work, Friends, Education, Socializing, Entertainment, Shopping etc etc etc

      I will continue to do so, and I have no filter, and don’t intend on getting one (i can bypass ANY filter should i want to).


      (no one knows better than I)
      I advise others to refrain from using internet at home.

      I’s rather be a hypocrite and honest, than to lie to support my faulty actions!

      Advising against internet at home is basic advice for EVEN GOYIM!

      Whether because it encourages detachment from reality
      or wastes lives
      or diminishes a persons capacity to feel (from exposure to extreme drama [violence, aggression, ‘intimacy’] they would not be subjected to otherwise
      to name a few

      Are there benefits?

      But nearly all the benefits can be reaped without having ‘internet’ in one’s home.

      And if they can’t, they’re likely not that beneficial!

      Instant gratification (or information) has detrimental affects too!

      Work for it & you will appreciate it

    43. Reb Hoffman is wrong
      Reb feinhandler is right. end of story
      ask rabbi hoffman who watches him when he goes online in his private study?? no one can be trusted alone with a computer that’s connected online. as some rabonim call it an issur of yichus to be alone with a PC how many of us can honestly say that we never were tempted to see inappropriate content or been addicted to the internet, facebook ,chatting with online buddies sharing personal information without our spouses knowing about it.

    44. This story is “man bites dog” and therefore newsworthy. Our generation has sunk to the level where there needs to be extremism and drama to capture a little attention. We are addicted to it. And it is not good for us. As with many issues, computers and internet have their dangers and pitfalls, and corresponding advantages and benefits. We all struggle with setting the appropriate levels and forms of moderation. The derech of kitzoniyus has its place in very few areas. We all know that חמץ בפסח במשהוא. That is not true for other issurim, and for good reason. The idea of having internet everywhere is frightening. Bans will not work. Similarly, internet is not completely bad, nor is it all good. So we can debate the opposite extremes on this issue, and both sides are irresponsible and wrong. How far we have deteriorated! We need Moshiach.

    45. Methinks more youth go astray because of intolerant people like this Rabbi, than because of the internet. I have met many adults, whose links to Yiddishkeit were severed when they were mishandled by Rabbeim, either emotionally or physically. I have never met anyone who went “off” because of a computer!

      • Gevald!! Which world are you from? You never met anyone who went “off” because of a computer? Wake up to the world of today! The “computer” is the Leading Cause of sending people “off” the derech! Introducing all the shmutz that could possably be out there in the hands of a vurlnurable teenagers or ADULTS!!

    46. Is this Feinhandler a rosh yeshiva of a litvashe or chassideshe yeshiva. I’m assuming Litvashe since no chassidus would allow this kind of meshugaas (except perhaps for Toldos Araron)

    47. when asked how the yeshiva sends letters he replied: “We send a handwritten letter to an office service by fax, and they return it printed “
      Thats the way to do it: let someone else do the “Aveira”

      • Most people who agree with Rabbi Feinhandler or understand what he is saying are on the internet for parnoseh and are at work, and they don’t wander into shmutz. On the other hand most peole who can’t understand Rabbi Feinhandler are regular vistors of shmutz. Now you tell me who is the hypocrite?

    48. Reply to #105: Just wondering if in your opinion in the classic (biblical) Yisochor/Zevulun partnership, do you consider Yisochor a shnorer drinking coffee in Kollel? Ah! Such pristine midos that you possess! Of course your children will be baalei midos tovos!

    49. With due respect for the rabbi’s obvious sincerity, I would like to point out that the dean of a yeshiva for baalei teshuva is not really classed as a senior rabbinical figure that others should emulate. The problem is more for his students, who coming from extremely ignorant backgrounds, will believe that he is equal to the greatest of the great and try to live according to his personal perspectives. Many people have their personal ‘bees in their bonnets’ but most don’t have the opportunity to force others to comply. On the other hand, when the students wake up and realise that the orthodox and scholarly community does not support their rabbi’s views, the resulting disappointment may cause them to turn away from Judaism. They’re caught between a rock and a hard place, as one would say. He, though, should seek a mentor of his own and be more careful in future.

      • No need to worry, all those condemning him here, make believe in public that they agree with him, because otherwise everyone will know what they do on the computer.

        So no need to worry.

        • There is need to worry. The orthodox community (from the most- to the fringe-orthodox) all accept that when required for business etc computers are OK. For recreation, there is a difference of opinion between strictly orthodox and fringe – just like there are differences in acceptance of hechsher, tsnius and the rest. So no one in the religious camp will listen to this rabbi anyway – has anyone ever heard of him till he smashed a computer? My problem is with his students who, out of ignorance, probably regard him as an authority. In addition, his extreme stance leaves me wondering what his background is. Can anyone enlighten us?

          • He has 75 bochurim in his yeshiva and 40 girls in the girls’ division, so someone must of heard of him before he smashed a computer. As far as enlightening you, you seem like a good candidate for him to enlighten.

    50. B’H
      One needs to have Emuna, ahavat israel and a strong feeling for Yiddishkeit. The internet can be used very positively. Think of the families living overseas and how they can now keep in touch daily with their loved ones, so in effect many families are strengthened by the internet.
      When I was living in the country in Australia far removed from any Jewish community it was sites like and that I loved to trawl and even today, because it is hard for me to get out to shiurim, it is very easy to have an online shiur or read an article about the weekly parsha or a topic that is interesting.
      I think it is very narrow to destroy technology that Hashem has given us to use and we are supposed to elevate its use to make our lives more kosher and more meaningful. Hashem gave Adam a wife, is Adam going then to destroy his wife because she led him to sin. No, he is not and it is not what Hashem intended. There is a deeper lesson here. We must be aware of moral actions and right and wrong and choose to follow in the ways of Torah and to do Hashem’s ratzion in all areas of our lives.

    51. #138 … Thank you for such sense and wonderful examples. The entire physical world has possibilities for spirituality … it is up to us to exercise good judgment and elevate things. That said, I wouldn’t suggest that an unmarried guy spend too much time secluded on a computer. It is probably appropriate for yeshivas full of young men, to severely restrict computer use. Maybe just a public room where they can communicate with their families … and on computers with serious filters. At home, children are best served by parents who are thoughtful and balanced. Each yid can figure out what that means for him/her-self (with the help of one’s Rav).

    52. “Lev L’achim say that 70% of all youths who leave Yiddishkeit is because of the Internet or cellphones.”

      And before WWII when people were going off the derech right and left? Was it the cellphones? the internet? dvds? Where even in chassidish circles women were lax in covering their hair and the necklines were low (I saw pictures of my grandmother from galitzia in her early days before she came to Williamsburg and shtarkened up.)

      I say youth (and adults) leave Yiddishkeit when they haven’t been infused with simcha in their Yiddishkeit and search for it elsewhere.

      Of course the internet has offered us a wide open view of what’s available out there if we choose to look elsewhere, but the real cause for going OTD is being unhappy with Yiddishkeit. Back in the shtetle (until the 1800s) they could put you in cherem if ventured to far outside. That hasn’t worked for a long, long time. It’s time for us to be much more creative and upbeat. I am certain we will save more Jews that way than putting down the entire outside work and attempting to shut the outside world out. It is an exercise in futility.

      Learn taamei hamitvos.Learn to be proud, happy Jews! Much wiser than this!

    53. shocking stuff, but that right there is the actual reason kids go off the derech. I must say that most if not all “kiruv” and baalei teshuvah mosdos/yeshivos etc. have NO CLUE what is to become frum from frei, and give terrible advice, which their talmidim follow until it is too late.

    54. Everyone who has an agenda to push, says that the reason people are leaving the Derech is because of whatever will suit their agenda.

      Those who want to ban Shmeltzers Music can blame all of the worlds evil on “unholy music” and concerts. Those who don’t want boys and girls hanging out alone late at night a Pizza Shops and Ice Cream Parlors and Bowling Alleys, blame “loosing our youth” on that.

      Those who don’t like the idea that Yeshivos are so impersonal and everyone is just “a number” blame everything on that.

      Those obsessed with Tznios, blame all of the worlds evil on OUR women not dressed well enough.

      Those focused on Molesters in the Yeshivos think that only that is the root of all evil and if not for that all the worlds problems would be honky dory.

      It’ time that we become a little more “normal” and not so “Jihad’ist Extremist” that every new idea we come up with, it is “Yehoreg Veal Yaavor” and that this “ONE” thing, ALONE will solve all of the worlds problems.

      The world is not sp black and white. It’s gray and all shades in between.

      Now open you mind and heart to be a little more open minded and non-extremist.

    55. My son-in-law responded to my forwarding of the article as follows:

      I couldn’t help but think of that video of the doomed laptop as I sat in a conference room in Phoenix last night learning with my chavrusa via my Blackberry and reading the gemara off a website on my laptop…

    56. The Rabbi is right,keep up the fight,and I am responding via email tonight. Computors, Internet, Cell phones TV.Fax Electric light Airplanes are all maaseh SOTON Get rid if them , by smashing them, Halluyeh!!!!!!!!! A freiliche Purim

    57. I see his point, and he may even be a bit right (a tiny bit), but the way he went about it was stupid.
      If he wanted people to agree with him he should have acted normal.
      Smashing a computer is not going to get more people who agree with him.
      It’s going to get more people who think he’s a moron.
      And more people actively protesting against him.

      I personally think he’s stupid, and I’m not getting rid of my computer because of some random “rabbi” who thinks smashing laptops is a good thing.


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