Dec 28, 2009

Claiming to be Pinchas, but really acting like Zimri - Haredi internet sites

A number of haredi internet sites recently closed down as a result of the recent ban. The most prominent of the sites to close was "Haredim" - - the site did not really close, it simply stopped updating.

I am not sure why they did not shut down the various sites completely. All the old articles can be accessed, just no new articles are being added. According to the ban they should have shut everything down completely. once they were complying, I don't see the point of leaving the old stuff online.

Regardless, I just want to point out the bluff involved. I feel bad doing it, especially if because of me they will be forced to shut down completely (I doubt this will spread so far as to cause that to happen, so I am not so concerned), but I hate hypocrisy. I hate when they make themselves look all holy and frum and secretly are not. That is why such scandals like the recent Tropper scandal are so heinous to most of us - because of the hypocrisy involved.

Anyway, if you go to the haredim site, you will see the top few articles lauding themselves for the mesirus nefesh to shut down, despite great financial loss, just because they felt the importance of listening to the gedolim.

What people do not know is that their WAP site, the site designed for access by mobile phone, the site that predates the actual website and really got them off the ground, that is still online and being updated.

So they shut down their operations because the gedolim told them to, but the site the gedolim don't see and don't know about, they have kept going. Not only is this problematic because they are avoiding the ban the so publicly accepted to adhere to, but they are doing so for regular phones, as they always have.

Regular phones? what are you talking about? The Haredi community has banned regular phones for a long time already. One who listens to these bans must carry only a "kosher phone". A kosher phone has no ability to access the internet or sms or basically any function other than making phone calls. That means that all along, even before they had a regular website, they were already breaking the rabbinic phone ban by having a website designed for unkosher mobile phones.

Now, they have shut down their main website, but they keep the WAP site still running and updated. So they are breaking the ban twofold:
  1. Running their news website (for WAP users)
  2. providing the service for regular phones, which encourages people to use the regular phones, and encourages them to access the Internet on those phones.
This, despite their claiming the glory of adhering to the ban.


  1. L'olam T'hee Ben AdamDecember 28, 2009 12:13 PM

    Standard for some segments of the Charedi population.

    Am I biased against Charedim? Do I hold them to a different standard? Do these things not happen in other parts of the community?

    No..I simply hold them to the standard that they have created for themselves. yes, the DL/MO have scandal as well but one can be more forgiving to those who are more open and tolerant.

    Holier than thou hashgocha, holier than thou bus lines, holier than thou expectations that I should support them even though they neither support me or anything I represent.

    If these segements of Charedi world want tolerance, understanding and support for their institutions it's high time that they tolerate, understand and support those different than them.

    Or simply let the chips fall where they do.

  2. It's obvious, really. Since no Hareidi would dream of having a "non-Kosher" phone, no Hareidim would access the WAP version of their site. Hence, the target audience of the WAP site must not be Hareidim so it can continue running.


  3. I'm aghast. Simply aghast.

    But laughing.

  4. Sometimes halachic Jews (not just chareidim) become so tied up in the letter of the law, they forget about the spirit.
    Joel Rich


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