In an address to a group of teenage students, noted author, lecturer and educator Rabbi Manis Friedman dismissed the notion of banning the internet and rejected the idea that the Jewish community is facing an unprecedented crisis.
Speaking on May 2nd at the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Crown Heights, Rabbi Friedman called the internet the nisayon of today’s generation and advised students to do what Jews have been doing for years – stay strong and withstand the test that is being placed before klal yisroel.
Rabbi Friedman explained to the bochurim that while for their grandparents, it was communism that enticed Jews to stray from their yiddishkiet, today it is the internet that presents a challenge.
“The test, the nisayon of that generation was, are you going to give in to communism or not,” said Rabbi Friedman. “In our generation, the test is can you handle a computer or you can’t? Can you handle the internet or not? That is the test. Is it any worse than communism? No, communism was much more dangerous.”
Rabbi Friedman told the students that just as Jews over the years have survived the inquisition and communism, they will weather the challenges presented by the internet as well and laughed off the idea that klal yisroel needs a mass gathering to master the challenges posed by the internet.
“They are making this big conference, you know? This huge, huge conference, all frum people are getting together to discuss the internet,” said Rabbi Friedman with his trademark smile. “That is so bad. You are going to have 10,000 Jews who are afraid of the internet. It’s almost like giving in to the internet.
“You are much stronger than the internet,” added Rabbi Friedman. “Don’t get so intimidated.”
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