Ultra-Orthodox Jews To Hold Rally Against The Internet

A mass rally against the Internet and technology held by a group of Haredim, or ultra-orthodox Jews, will take place in Queens, New York on May 20, reports the Jewish Daily News (JDN).

According to the site, the protesters will fight against "the evils of the Internet and damage of advanced devices" that they believe negatively affect younger generations. The rally will cost about $1.5 million.

“This will be a mass rally never before seen in the history of Orthodox Jewry in the U.S.," one of the event's organizers told JDN, as translated by The Jewish Press. "It will be a gathering of unity of all the Jews living in the U.S., a gathering to disseminate information and a prayer rally for the success of Klal-Israel’s war on the Technology which threatens the sanctity of the homes of Israel.”

The Jewish Press reports that the leading sages, or "Gdolei Israel," scheduled the event on May 20 because it is the eve of Rosh Chodesh Sivan, or the first day of the Hebrew calendar month Sivan, and is considered to be a lucky one for children's education.

According to The Jewish Press, a letter about the event, signed by several rabbis named "the Great Men of Israel Shlita," was published in the Haredi press and reads, in part:

It is well known that in recent times that through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt.

As The Independent's Ben Lynfield reported back in 2009, Haredim across the world see the Internet as a threat to their conservative way of life and feel it could promote future generations to leave the fold and join the larger, secular society. Prominent rabbis in Jerusalem, for example, have attempted to prevent Internet use by rabbinical seminary students through wall posters and firm sermons.

"We consider it to be very dangerous," ultra-orthodox rabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf told Lynfield. "It is something that is liable to cast down a lot of casualties."

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the rally would be held at Shea Stadium, which has been demolished.

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