Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Article on the Local Blogosphere

In Haaretz.

Excerpts from:

This blog keeps the Sabbath

"Thanks to the singles forums in recent years, being single is such a common phenomenon in the religious community that it is no longer even a question," says Boaz Nachtstern, CEO of the Kipa site. "Even couples who decided not to get pregnant in their first year of marriage are discovering they are not alone, and also that rabbinical views regarding this are not so uniform or strict."

While ultra-Orthodox rabbis condemn surfing the Internet, it is highly popular in the national-religious sector, a large number of whose leading rabbis acknowledge the medium's power. "The Internet is here to stay," says Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, head of the hesder yeshiva (combining religious studies and army service) in Petah Tikva. "The question about whether you are for or against it is like being for or against life. And just like in life, the Internet requires that you choose between good and bad."

Marriage and relationships in general are among the most popular subjects for religious blogs. Most have adopted the language and style of the secular blogosphere, except that they "observe" the Sabbath or post messages asking surfers not to enter the site on the Sabbath and holidays.

The leading Hebrew blog in this realm is "Certified Datelog," which for four years has posted anecdotes about dating and "thoughts on singlehood." These include dozens of stories about failed encounters, as well as about phone calls with matchmakers. The latter come under heavy attack in the blog.

...Rabbi Cherlow agrees: "The Web sites of the religious community deal on an almost daily basis with issues that until recently had not been addressed. There are open, liberal debates about every subject in the world. It certainly poses a threat to certain institutions, like the family. The Internet is responsible for creating some difficult problems in the family, as it offers access to X-rated sites and chats with strangers, and raises subjects that make couples themselves ask questions."...

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this article. It is really interesting. I do think that the lessening of the authority of religious Zionist rabbis predated the internet,though.