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Being an Ivri in the Age of the Smartphone: Standing Apart in a 24/7 Culture

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May 19, 2019
50 min 32 sec

Series: Midreshet Yom Rishon


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  1. Title: A Different View
    Author: Anonymous,

    Why does any kid - even an 18 year old, need a smartphone? If he needs to call he can use a regular old fashioned cell phone [or landline]? And even if one "monitors" what their child is looking at [which very few parents do] if he or she has friends, they can use their smartphone and see all the filth of the world. 


    Why is Jonathan Sacks [who famously wrote that all religions are true for their followers, instead of calling out Avoda Zara for what it is] the "Posek Acharon" on how to relate to the world. We have a Chumash, a Gemara and vast literature over the generations. One golden rule is ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם. That is a mandate not to have a smartphone - certainly not to give one to one's child. ALL [without exception] Gedolei Yisrael are unanimous on this. There is a hetter [according to some] for people who need it for parnassa - but otherwise? Why is Dr. Schwartz disputing our leaders?? The present pop culture has just about nothing positive to add to our lives and much negative. Today it has become acceptable to use foul language on TV, radio and all over social media. Is THAT the path of Torah? What about the constant images intended to arouse the lowest of man's desires? The liberal post modern values espoused on EVERY college campus? Why do we expose our children to this?? We need Dr. Schwartz and people like her to raise their powerful voices in order to uphold our tradition. 

    I commend Dr. Schwartz for addressing this topic but until educators have the guts to tell children [and parents!] that in this school we have a no smartphone policy for our students [as does every single "right wing" institution in the world] the problems will continue. 

    If she doesn't want to trust me - then she can ask YU poskim what they feel. 

    I am an educator and in the current climate it is all but impossible to teach. FAAAARRR too much clutter in kids minds and they spend a tremendous amount of time consuming the Internet and all it has to offer. 


Learning on the Marcos and Adina Katz YUTorah site is sponsored today in gratitude for Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz's Daf Yomi shiurim and by Marilyn and Eliot Lauer and family in loving memory ofDr. Edward L. Steinberg, Yehuda Leib ben Yitzchak Gedalia