Internet, TV, Social Media

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Until legitimate sources have been added for each halacha, please note that the halacha's without sources on this page may be questionable.

Internet

  1. Some hold that using the Internet is permissible, while some forbid it completely. Others permit the internet solely for business purposes under certain conditions with the use of filters. [1]
  2. According to those who permit the internet, one may not use or browse sites that contain content forbidden by Jewish law such as pornography, immodesty, lewdness, etc.[2]

Arguments against a complete ban

  1. The internet is a tool, which has potential dangers but at the same time can be used for constructive and positive activities.[3]
  2. Banning the internet would be viewed as a barrier between Jewish Law and the rest of the world. Additionally, by forbidding the internet, Halacha would be seen as a forbidding agent that offers no alternative.[4]
  3. Just as it is required to offer rebuke when it will be heard, so too it is required not to offer rebuke when it won’t be listened to.[5] Given that many people use the internet, a sweeping ban may encourage people to ignore the rulings of our Rabbis. On the other hand, due to the dangers of the internet, one shouldn’t be shy about teaching what the torah demands of us.[6]

Guidelines for internet use

  1. One must ensure that there is a time limit for internet use so as not to lose time for important work or miss the time of prayers. [7]
  2. It is important to set a spiritual direction for internet use, even if it is without absolute precise laws, in order to avoid spiritual challenges, guide us away from the forbidden, and allow us to sanctify HaShem’s name in the world. [8]

Internet Chat Rooms

  1. The main medium by which man creates a network of communication and relationships is speech and writing. While these oppurtunities offer powerful toolds in society, there are potential hazards. The potential dangers include forbidden speech such as slander, gossip, and hurtful speech as well as wasting precious time. [9]
  2. It is important to note that internet chat rooms carry with it inherent dangers, which are less prevelant in other forms of human communication. These dangers include: false identities, breakdown of modesty, interactions with sexual perverts, and waste of valuable “free” time. [10]
  3. Because of the potential dangers, it is important to review and implement the Jewish guidelines as to how to converse with others in an appropriate and constructive manner. See the halacha’s of not embarrassing others, hurtful speech, vile speech, gossip, lying, and wasting time. [11]
  4. There is a strong reason to abstain from “private” chats between a man and a woman, similar to the laws prohibiting “Yichud” – Seclusion of a man and woman. [12]

Guidelines for chat rooms

  1. Because of the potentially inappropriate content, one should not enter an unsupervised chat room unless one can ascertain that the public discourse is on a respectable and “clean” level. [13]
  2. One should not reveal personal identification because of potential predators, but misrepresenting oneself would constitute lying.[14]
  3. One must ensure that there is a time limit for the chat so as not to lose time for important work or miss the time of prayers. [15]
  4. It is important to set a spiritual direction for internet use, even if it is without absolute precise laws, in order to avoid spiritual challenges, guide us away from the forbidden, and allow us to sanctify Hashem’s name in the world. [16]

Links

Sources

  1. EVERY HALACHA ON HALACHIPEDIA STRICTLY REQUIRES A SOURCE. PLEASE ADD SOURCE HERE, OTHERWISE THIS HALACHA WILL BE REMOVED.. Rabbi Mordechai Willig in a shiur on yutorah.org (min 9-10) stated that one should use a filter as much as possible to avoid seeing any inappropriate images. Additionally, he encouraged finding someone you can trust or joining a group who will monitor one's internet usage. The reason for these fences is simply because we are all human and normal people have desires and it requires great measures to protect ourselves.
  2. EVERY HALACHA ON HALACHIPEDIA STRICTLY REQUIRES A SOURCE. PLEASE ADD SOURCE HERE, OTHERWISE THIS HALACHA WILL BE REMOVED.. See Rabbi Eli Pielet regarding how must one must distance oneself from looking at immodest images.
  3. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow’s argument against a ban #1.
  4. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow’s argument against a ban #2.
  5. Gemara Yevamot 65b. See further at the Mitzvah of Rebuke page.
  6. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow’s argument against a ban #3.
  7. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow’s halachic guideline #5.
  8. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow’s halachic guideline #6.
  9. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow introduces his discussion of using internet chat rooms by highlighting the benefits and importance of human conversation.
  10. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow identifies these four potential dangers that are more prevelant in internet chat rooms than regular everyday conversations.
  11. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow's halachic guidelines for the internet #3
  12. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow guideline #4 at the end. Rabbi Mordechai Willig in a shiur on yutorah.org (min 8-9) elaborates on the issur of Yichud on the internet. Rabbi Willig explained that using the internet behind locked doors is a issue of Yichud because with a click of a button one could see forbidden images. Please see Talk page.
  13. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow's halachic guidelines for the internet #1
  14. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow's halachic guidelines for the internet #2
  15. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow guideline #5 at the end.
  16. Rabbi Yuval Cherlow guideline #6 at the end.