Rav Yisroel Reisman: When It Comes To The Internet, It Is The Flatbush Crowd That Is Naïve; Majority Of Lakewood Homes Are Filtered
The following a transcript from a shiur Delivered By Rav Yisroel Reisman Regarding The Citi Field Asifa. I would like to talk to you about something that is very much on my mind. It is not a Dvar Torah. It is just to share with you a thought. This past Sunday there was an internet Asifa in Citifield. The Asifa was an awesome Maimud an awesome gathering. It also had a rather disappointing program. 2 things, an awesome Maimud and a disappointing program. What did each individual walk away with? I have found that the Bnei Torah, the Lakewood crowd walked away with an awesome gathering. They walked away uplifted, they walked away with an understanding that you need filters, and you need good filters. I think that it is fair to say from the little anecdotal information I have that the overwhelming majority of homes in Lakewood that have the internet, the overwhelming majority are filtered.
It seems to me to my great pain and sorrow that in Flatbush people walked away talking only about the disappointing program. There was disappointments with the program, the fact that the English that was promised was not delivered, practical Eitzos that were promised were not delivered, and whatever other complaints there are. Is that what we should focus on? Is it? People in our neighborhood are often fond of complaining that Chasiddim are naïve, they don’t know the ways of the world. I have to tell you that when it comes to the internet it is the Flatbush crowd that is naïve, that is foolish. There are children 10, 11, 12, 13 year olds are on the internet seeing things. Even though they go to Minyan on time even though they get Alephs in Yeshiva, right now all is fine and there are no suspicions. But they are there, I know they are there. It has been a troubling week for me. Since that Asifa I have been getting phone calls some of them from 12 year olds about people that are on the internet. It is very hard. They are telling me to do something about it but don’t say “I called.” It is awful! I am shocked! The overwhelming majority of houses in Flatbush have no filter at all. Can you imagine how naïve people are to think that their children are not watching things that they shouldn’t watch on the internet?
It is a silliness and a foolishness and it is something that we have to change. At least those of you who are listening today don’t be foolish. You are best off getting a Jnet type of server. Even if you get that server you will need to get a filter because if someone plugs something into the USB port and gets WiFi it will not go through the Jnet server. If you have a filter it will still work. The K-9 filter is free, you can download it. It just takes a little bit of time. There are choices that have to be made. Maybe you need advice on how to do it. Don’t be a fool, don’t be a Nar. It is the Yeitzer Hora that is a normal Yeitzer Hora that people have and what are we doing? Putting on the table for ourselves for our children? How foolish are we? How Naarish are we? Everybody else is wrong except that individual in the street of Flatbush. If he had run the program it would have been great. Or if it would have been the other one he knew exactly what it should be. I don’t argue with the disappointment in the program, I do argue with what you come away with.
The question of the week is a question that I have today. It is a question that I would like you to reflect upon. A son in law called me and his father in law is a Mispallel. He himself is in a Kollel, not in Brooklyn. He was here for Shabbos a few weeks ago. On Motzoei Shabbos he went on his in laws computer to take care of whatever personal things he had to take care of. Accidently he discovered that his father in law is visiting websites that are pure shmutz. He discovered it, he went into the history and found out that his father in law is visiting websites that are pure filth. He calls me what to do. Of course I can talk to the father in law but the son in law said don’t tell him that I spoke to you. What do I do?
I can get up this Shabbos in front of the crowd including this person and say someone’s son in law called me that the father in law is watching shmutz and it is on the history and he knows it. I beg you to do something about it. I can say that. Am I being Mivayeish this person B’rabbim? I have a feeling that not only one person will blush. I have a feeling that 3 or 4 might blush. It might make Machlokes. What do I do? I don’t know.
I only hope that this particular father in law reads the printed version of this Shiur or is listening to it live. Wake up! Don’t be fools, don’t be naïve. It takes very little for a child to get on the internet. I know that filters are not perfect. A child who is at risk or a teenager will get around it. But save the simple children. The simple 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 year olds. If you put on a filter they won’t go around it. They fall into the filth. It is not something that they are eagerly going for. But after they do it for a little bit of time it becomes regular.
Be smart. Be Mikabeil the Torah. Be Mikabeil the advice of Gedolei Yisrael no matter how you think they are naïve. You are naïve. Be Mikabeil their advice. Take the filter and don’t listen to people who say that even with a filter bang, bang , bang. It is true. You need more than a filter. But start with that.
It causes me a lot of pain. It causes me a lot of Tzaar. I hope that these few words will somehow help the situation.
With that I would like to wish everybody a Gevaldige Shabbos, a Simchas Yom Tov, a Kabbalas Hatorah, and hopefully we should continue to grow to move upwards in our Avodas Hashem. TLS.