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Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Rabbi Shlomo Amar
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Rabbis: Stay away from Internet
Sephardic religious leaders sign letter calling on every person to save relatives, other people from Web, its 'dangerous' content
Senior Sephardic religious leaders, including Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar and Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef, have published a harsh letter against the Internet, stating that every person must save his relatives and others from the "spiritual dangers" of the Web.

 

According to the rabbis, this is a superior religious duty – from the Torah.

 

In their public call, the rabbis warn against technological developments: "We have reached a situation that a telephone device, which every person possesses, can lead to difficult and dangerous sights which are undoubtedly forbidden by the Torah and have extremely destructive results.

 

"It is known that many have failed and lost everything, God forbid. And there are those who reach this situation out of mere curiosity and without any bad intentions, God forbid."

 

The rabbis rule in the letter that "the evil aspects of these matters is definite and difficult" and say that "homes and families have collapsed and been brought down because of these evils."

 

They quote from the Talmud, explaining that "one must save the oppressed from its persecutor and from all other lurking dangers. Those ignoring this situation are violating the 'Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life' command."

 

As for those whose livelihood depends on the Internet, the rabbis say "it should be used only through filtering software which can tell right from wrong, and asked experienced people… In any case, they must be extremely careful."

 

'Internet equals the devil'

The rabbinical supplement of the Shas newspaper "Yom Leyom" reported that according to Rabbi Yosef and the other religious leaders who signed the letter, disconnecting from the Internet is a Torah obligation.

 

The newspaper's editor, Rabbi Moshe Shafir, added that the Internet was "a bad devil" subjecting its users to the worst religious sins a Jew could ever commit.

 

The writer compared the current experience to the Jewish people's harsh in the Diaspora. "It's clear that there are those for whom this is as hard as the Exodus.

 

"As Jews, who had the courage to jump into the fire of the inquisition, the courage to slaughter their sons and wives and children after the 'Shehecheyanu' blessing, will have the strength now to make a firm decision and unequivocally rise up, throw away this device of impurity and abomination and obey the outstanding rabbis of the generation."

 

 

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