Monday, May 21, 2012

Rant #740: Oy Vey!

No, I haven't heard myself on the radio yet. It was supposed to be on last night, but either my recorder gave out or it was never on. I can't figure out which scenario happened yet, but I was recording. I think the thing may have given out. 

Oh well. I think it is on tomorrow. I will try, try again.

But onto other matters.

Did you hear about the latest gathering at New York's CitiField?

No, not the Mets playing another game there.

There was a rally held there yesterday, but only men were permitted to attend this gathering.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews--those from the various Hassidic sects--from around the New York Metropolitan Area and from elsewhere descended on the home of the Mets, 40,000 of them strong, to attend a meeting on the ills of the Internet, how to protect yourself against them, and how to use religion positively on the Web.

That's right, 40,000 men gathered in one place. 

And since there was an overflow, others who couldn't get in were taken care of with a video transmission at another site.

Tickets costs $10 apiece, the venue cost more than $1 million to rent out for this gathering, and tickets were so scarce that they were selling on ... eBay!

You have to give it to this group. They identified a problem in their community, and they are trying to educate the masses about it.

But not everyone agrees.

There was a counter protest yesterday, with others saying that the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community covers up a lot that goes on in their community, including episodes of child abuse.

They point to the horrible death of a young boy last year, who lost his way in the community, and was helped by a man who eventually kidnapped him and did other things to him that I won't go into right now. 

A more recent case in the community is of a girl who claims she was raped by a therapist, but the community is said to be holding the girl up for ridicule of her own actions, holding fundraising events for the therapist.

There have been other recent incidents, and many claim that the NYPD is allowing the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to police themselves rather than keeping the law themselves.

The Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community--and I am talking about the Hassidim, not the other Orthodox sects--is an interesting one. It is strong, politically powerful, and open to interpretation by the masses, including other Jews.

They look upon anybody who isn't part of their community as being not Jewish, even if one, like me, was born and raised a Jew.

Many of them look at modern technology as the spewer of evil, and they shield themselves from it as best as they can.

Other segments of their population embrace modern technology.

They are a hard group to figure out, and this latest event demonstrates that when the call comes out, they come out.

My grandparents on my father's side were Orthodox, not Ultra-Orthodox and not Hassidic. The Orthodox like my grandparents generally embrace modern technology, but they usually have an eye out for those who abuse this technology. 

They are generally skeptical people, but they are positive about one thing: God, and their love of the divine being. They will do anything for God, and follow strict rules to show their love and respect for the divine being.

So although news reports have called what happened yesterday an Orthodox meeting, it really wasn't. It was the Hassidim, and you can tell the Hassidim from the Orthodox by the traditional clothes they wear. Very dark, very drab--and not a woman in sight. Women are thought to be around to have and rear the kids, and that is it.

Again, not all Hassidim are like I described, and not all Orthodox are like I described. 

Yes, I went for the stereotype, but on the other hand, I wanted to set the record straight about who is who, in a way.

The evils of the Internet are perpetrated by people who take advantage of its accessibility. I hope that those who attended yesterday's meeting understand that, and that was what was preached there.

I hope so, because anything else would have been a mis-shaping of the truth.

And those Jews are as susceptible to using the Internet for their own gains as any other group.

And I hope that was spoken about too.

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