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Hidden HereticsJewish Doubt in the Digital Age$
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Ayala Fader

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169903

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169903.001.0001

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Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis versus the Internet

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis versus the Internet

(p.61) 3 Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis versus the Internet
Hidden Heretics

Ayala Fader

Princeton University Press

This chapter follows contemporary rabbinic leaders, who increasingly blamed the crisis of authority on an external Gentile medium: the Internet, particularly social media. It narrates how rabbinic leaders declared that the internet corrupted innately pure Jewish souls in public rallies and printed edicts, which left them unable to fight their own inclinations for evil and infecting them with invisible doubt. It also mentions the rabbinic leaders' attempt to leverage schools and mothers to enforce emerging standards for kosher filtering in order to protect the faithful and preserve the coming generations. The chapter talks about the religious rulings on the internet that were ultimately enforced through the school systems called the mosdos. It highlights schools affiliated with specific rabbinic leaders that threaten to expel any student whose parents did not comply with its religious standards, such as in dress, behavior, or possession of an unfiltered smartphone.

Keywords:   rabbinic leaders, Gentile medium, Internet, social media, kosher filtering, mosdos, Jewish souls

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