Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TV and Internet :Mostly a waste of time


If there is anything called "a waste of time" in our lives, I would definitely nominate the TV as one of the biggest. I have not possessed a TV for years and if I watch anything today, it is the news. While being at the laundry place, I usually either watch the news or some National geographic.

Most Israeli Haredim do not have any TV - set at home but as soon as they get to a place were there is a TV, you cannot stop them from watching. Countless of Jerusalem's Sephardi Haredim (especially the younger ones) are fans of the local soccer club "Beitar Yerushalaim" and when Beitar is playing, the Shassnikim (followers of the Sephardi - haredi Knesset Party SHASS) do not remain at home but run into pubs or Internet Cafes. Order something small like a beer or coke and sit there for the entire game. Just go to Jaffa Road in the evenings and you will be aware of what I mean.

Ashkenazi Haredim, however, prefer going to the Internet Cafe in Jaffa Road where they watch cable TV. News, soccer, Hollywood movies as well as porn. Chassidim and Litvaks alike and the age does not matter anymore. The modesty police arrives from time to time but, in the meantime, many younger Haredim have bought laptops.

Laptops ?
In some chassidic groups like Gur, a members needs a permission for having a computer. This may mainly apply to a laptop with an Internet connection but how about a regular laptop without having Internet at home ?

So, what is the haredi solution for that ?
Right, taking the laptop to places where there is a wireless connection such as libraries or cafes.  Libraries are a perfect place because there you can still pretend doing something some religious research (in case the modesty police has an eye on you) but, on the other hand (window) you can watch anything you like only. A great camouflage !

Fortunately, I do not have a TV but, unfortunately, I have a laptop and this alone is sometimes a waste of time. I do religious research and the modesty police is not after me but many times I do get carried away on Youtube. So, shall we throw all our laptops into the garbage ?
Absolutely not but turning off the laptop and, instead, reading a good book would not be such a bad idea. We are not machines but here to live.


  1. So you think it is a waste of time to read your blogposts?

  2. B"H

    Well, some Internet sites are a waste of time or, at least, very tempting, other are useful. Decide for yourself.:-))))