Monday, May 21, 2012

Jerusalem vs. The Asifa

I missed the Asifa. Admittedly, I wasn’t planning on going, though I do feel jealous of those software developers who managed to get 50,000 men (and an unknown number of women who participated remotely) to pay actual money to listen to a multi-hour sales pitch of their products, and then have their community leaders tell them to go buy them, which on top of that, they probably will.

Now that’s marketing to a captive audience.

Obviously internet filtering is important if you have kids in the house, and I guess for a closed, insulated community being hit on the head with the outside world it warrants an outing to Citi Field on a Sunday to find out how to protect yourself (and to get out of the Beis Medrash on a Rabbinically sanctioned field trip).

But in my mind, I was comparing it to another mass gathering that same Sunday - one I participated in with my family.

The Jerusalem Day Parade.

30,000 people, a significant number of them teenagers, mostly religious, gathered together to celebrate one of the modern, open, unexpected and important miracles of our day, the reunification of Jerusalem.

I admit that at one point I wondered, which gathering was the bigger Kiddush Hashem?

But mostly I asked myself, which one would inspire my children about the beauty and possibilities of Judaism?

A public gathering that demands yet even more conformity to community social pressures and standards, this time only to buy a kosher phone, or use an internet filter with the proper hechsher, or a gathering that thanks God for the incredible gift he gave us that actually we prayed for.

Obviously, one gathering isn’t mutually exclusive of the other.

I’m sure many of the Israeli yeshiva students who marched yesterday have internet filters in their homes.

But I wonder, how many men at the Asifa said Hallel that morning, or at least didn’t say Tachanun in commemoration of the miracle that occurred for all of Klal Yisrael, that they too benefit from whenever they visit their national homeland.

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Anonymous said...

Asifa a major chilul hashem....... if they want to explorethe does and donts of the interent, let them, in their schools and shuls... a public forum like they chose is embarrassing for us all...... few people even know or relize it was given the push to do by the business man looking to sell their products....kol hacavod to them.... and what a Bisha on everyone that will listen to their rabiam to buy those products... they are getting kick backs, Im sure.... again a huge CHILUL HASHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

you realize that thats not what happened at the asifa right? you sound like a total fool. next time do some research before posting motzei shem ra. there was no expo. not one rav mentioned any given filtering system and there was no software developer advertisement in sight. if this is how well "researched" all your posts are then thats just sad.

JoeSettler said...

You mean you did say Hallel on Sunday? B"H.

Now let me get this clear. The Asifa organizers advertised and made sure to publicize there was going to be a tech expo before the Asifa, but for some unannounced reason cancelled it?

Or did they announce in another ad it was going to be cancelled after announcing it would happen?

Or did they just cancel it without an announcement?

Anonymous said...

I don't know how your ultra-orthodox friend's filter is even letting him visit your blog. But if it doesn't block this, he should take a look at the OFFICIAL flyer that the Ichud Hakehillos published.

A Rabbinically approved and endorsed tech expo was supposed to be held from 5-7.

Maybe your ultra-orthodox friend came late? Maybe they cancelled it under pressure from one of their participants?

Who know. Who cares.

Anonymous said...

What was supposed to be isn't what was. To bash something that didn't happen to sound self righteous is disgusting.

JoeSettler said...

So I'm responsible if internal social pressures or straight out disorganization forced them to cancel the expo they were pushing hard before hand?

BTW, did you say Hallel?

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