May 15, 2011

The Next Ban/Pashkevil On The Horizon

Nowadays, in almost any beit midrash you might walk into you will see any number of people sitting using a laptop to write their notes from the latest shiur, to compile the book he is writing, etc.

If some people get their way, that might go the way of the dodo bird, and these people will have to go back to writing their books using paper and pen.

But it is not likely to happen. Even if some people get their way, it is not likely someone writing a book is going to give up using a computer and writing it all out by pen.

On the heels of fighting some recent holy fights to save Haredi Judaism from the ills of society, such as weekly haredi newspapers, haredi websites and haredi news telephone services, they have defined the next target. The laptop. Specifically, the kollel avreichim who use laptops.

Bechadrei is reporting that a group of "avreichim" went to Rav Shteinman complaining that there are hundreds of avreichim using laptops to prepare their Torah material. Some of them work in research institutions that produce new books with better layouts, and some of them work to publish their own books. Either way, they are sitting in the beis medrash using a laptop to do their work.

These people finish their work and send it to the office/publisher by email. The laptops all have access to wireless connections, and this group of avreichim claims that many of these avriechim end up falling to the wiles of the Internet.

They asked Rav Shteinman to sign a letter calling upon rosh kollels to obligate all kollel members to disable any ability to connect to the Internet. Anybody who would not listen to the rules, would be tossed from the kollel.

Upon further questioning, they insisted that they know of many avreichim who have fallen in such a way and gone from simply working on Torah publications to suffering from the dangers of the Internet. They said they would bring proof to Rav Shteinman of such cases, and according to Bechadrei they have not yet done so.

Even if they get some signatures, in my opinion such a ban will be worthless. They are going to stop avreichim looking to earn a little extra money, to write a book, from doing so? None of them will give it up because there is no other way to do this work in the world we live in.


  1. One goes to collel to learn ,not to write books...ban them...

  2. as I was writign it up I thought to myself somethign similar, but different. perhaps they are writing the books during the breaks, such as during the long lunch break, and not when they are supposed to be learning.
    What I thought was arent they not supposed to be working? army? kollel? etc.
    Then i figured it is probably people who are allowed to work. Maybe they have an army exemption for any of numerous reasons. maybe they are above age. or one of any other number of reasons. So I didnt point it out.


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