Senior ultra-Orthodox rabbis have issued a new order concerning women as part of their battle against the dangers posed by the Internet.
During a special conference in Bnei Brak, aimed at "saving the Jewish people from the harms of technology," the rabbis – led by prominent Lithuanian leader, Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman – determined that "women's workplaces should also be properly blocked, and we must watch out."
The rabbis likely sought to stress that the problematic aspects of the Web – mainly immodesty issues – posed a threat to everyone, "not just to men."
The conference was attended by more than 100 rabbis and educators, including Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, one of the most highly respected haredi rabbis in the world, in a bid to "consult on ways to bravely defend the sanctity of the camp in light of the terrible damage caused by technology, led by the Internet, through the iPhone and similar devices, which have resulted in many casualties, Heaven forbid, and unfortunately sent many Jewish families to hell."
The key address was delivered by Rabbi Shteinman, who reminded the participants that "he who causes another to sin is worse than he who kills him," and that therefore the dangers of the Internet have the same effect as life-threatening things.
"Many people who are inside it fail and suffer terrible things," said the rabbi. "All rabbis must warn the public against it like against fire."
The organizers reported their decisions at the end of the conference, ruling that failing to obey strict Torah prohibitions was "inevitable" among people using the Internet through unfiltered connection, and that there must be a strict ban on surfing the Web that way.
It was also decided that "the rabbis, may they live long and happily, must insist on this matter in all educational institutions so that there are no children with homes that fail to protect them against such serious dangers."