Sunday, September 21, 2008

It is obvious that the internet has tremendous potential, but we all know how easily it can be subverted and used for the evil. Its power is obvious to all. Having seen such incredible power, many Haredim havedeemed it not worth the risk of bringing into their own homes. I spoke to a friend a few weeks ago about the differences between Modern Orthodox philosophy and Haredi philosophy. (I am talking about real Modern Orthodoxy, not when it is abused so as to excuse laxness and lapses in Halacha.) He said that we both recognise the inherent potential for evil in things like the Internet. The Modern Orthodox Hashkafa is that we have more to gain than to lose, and if properly controlled, we can cut out the bad element. The Haredi Hashkafa takes no risks, and totally cuts it out.

There is a concept that states that the higher the capacity something has for Kedushah, the higher it's capacity for Tumah. For example, the Bet Hamikdash when destroyed was subjected to vile, lewd behaviour. The very place that was the focal point for Kedushah in this world was besmirched and utterly defiled. The awesome potential of the internet for the good is easily achievable. All we have to do is harness it and use it correctly. If it is viewed in a skewed manner, where it can only do damage, we are limiting ourselves. So it really shouldn't take a great leap of imagination to think how it could be used to spread Torah. The sooner the Haredi world understands this, the better. Already, sites dedicated to Torah are springing up all over the web. Take a quick look at and; irrespective of whether or not you agree with their perspectives on Judaism, these websites deserve a place on every Jew's bookmark list. Additionally, there a great many blogs that provide us with beautiful Divrei Torah that you can find nowhere else.

With this in mind, I've been doing some thinking recently, and thought of an idea for a website. I have realised that we could really make use of an online Halacha compendium. Jewish law is probably one of the most complicated things in the world, and an online database would be a highly valuablel tool. So, I have been pleasantly surprised to learn that a group called "The Sha'arei Dayah Foundation" have launched a new enterprise, to fulfill precisely this need.

They have taken a part of what needs to be built, and made it "Open-Source," so anyone can post and edit pages on T'shuvot on Halacha. Take a gander over to their URL to get the lowdown...

If you can contribute any T'shuvot that would of course be helpful for all of us, but even if you have nothing to add at this moment in time, be sure to bookmark the page for future reference.

And pass on the word!

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