Ace tech reporter Adrianne Jeffries “in a pair of $15 Payless loafers, my brother’s dress clothes, and a donated kippah. Oh, and the white duct tape around my chest, G.I. Jane style,” dropped in on a Jewish rally at Citi Field in New York on the subject of the evils of the Internet:

There wasn’t much I could quibble with in the speech. The Internet is about instant gratification? It’s “fleeting and empty”? It causes us to waste productive hours? It threatens the preservation of isolated communities with strong traditions, such as the ultra-Orthodox Jews? Well, yes, but…

“Children are being turned into click-vegetables!” Rabbi Wachsman declared.

Some Jews are already enslaved, as if caught in a spider web. “The webbed mind has to struggle to understand Torah,” he said. ”There are those who sit at home and click and click into oblivion.” […]

The second cause of objection is more damning. Last week, the New York Times wrote about child sexual abuse in Orthodox communities, and the group’s policy that such allegations be vetted through a rabbi before being routed to city authorities. A group organized a small protest outside the rally under the shibboleth, “Not the problem.” The group’s Facebook page read: “We are fed up with rabbinical leaders’ dismissive attitude towards sexual and physical violence against children. The internet is not the biggest problem we face. Protecting children and bringing molesters to justice should be our number one priority.” The issue of child sex abuse was not discussed at the rally, although the health and success of children was invoked repeatedly.

Betabeat: Ultra-Orthodox Jews Take a Hard Line on the Internet at Rally of 40,000 Men (And Me)

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