Posters displayed throughout ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in Jerusalem are calling on residents to report yeshiva students who own computers and are connected to the internet for fear of "to'eva (abomination)."
The posters are signed by the "Committee for Preserving Our Camp's Purity," one of the so-called "modesty squads" operating in Jerusalem.
Some yeshiva students who cannot find rooms in the overcrowded haredi dormitories in the capital rent their own flats. Rabbis who have forbidden the use of computers are demanding greater supervision over tenants and landlords.
Poster in Jerusalem (Photo: Kobi Nahshoni)
"Regretfully, computers containing all sorts of to'eva have been found in apartments that have been rented out to the boys (yeshiva students) without supervision," the posters read. "Gedolei Yisrael (most revered rabbis of the generation) have forbidden yeshiva students from owning computers, and therefore it was decided during a meeting of neighborhood rabbis and educators to stand guard. To file a complaint call this number…"
Over the past few years prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis and educators have been trying to prevent the use of computers and the internet within the community.
Despite attempts to make internet use "kosher" and the launching of a number of haredi news websites, most prominent rabbis prohibit internet connection altogether, while others permit internet use for work purposes only – but not inside the house.