Powers of Torah and Social Media Combine!

Next Wednesday, Kishor, a professional Jewish women’s organization is hosting a women’s only conference on social media, under the auspices of Rav Yitzchak Berkovits, the Rosh Jerusalem Kollel (ie. big rabbi).  I am intrigued.

I asked my rabbi before deciding it was legit to spout off my thoughts about Torah on this blog.  To what extent should a rabbi’s guidance or Torah influence our professional lives?

The description of the conference says: “The Kishor Women’s Professional Networking Group presents the first one-day conference for observant women to learn about the safe ways to evaluate and use internet and social media. We need to understand social media, to comprehend its use, the power and the risks of this medium, so we can ask better shaalos (questions about how to follow Jewish law) and make informed decisions as to what place these tools have in our lives.”

This sounds like it’s coming from a place of fear of the big bad world of media and the Internet.  As someone who spends about 12 hours a day in front of a computer when it’s not Shabbat, I’ll admit that concerns about Internet use and addiction are somewhat well-founded.  But I think that the Internet and all the social media networks are a tool that can be used or abused, just like pretty much anything else.  If you don’t tolerate much about public opinion or culture, Facebook probably won’t be for you either.  Nevermind MySpace.

There is some bad stuff online, but there also is just a few blocks away offline.  I imagine that in some circles, there is concern about young people “friending” members of the opposite gender.  Y’all know that can lead to “poking”.

If one is truly strong in Torah values, I don’t think that this newfangled technology presents much of a problem.  Then again, I’m no rabbi(nit).


1 Response to “Powers of Torah and Social Media Combine!”

  1. 1 Sarah February 11, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Your points above are exactly the point regarding the conference. Instead of hiding heads in the sand, it’s time to talk about the issues, share ideas, and give people some guidance so that they can actually use the tools.

    If you’d check out the event site, you’d see that 2 of the 3 afternoon workshop tracks are “how-tos”. We’re talking openly about the power and the danger: in other words, providing real knowledge. And yes, a great posek is encouraging and leading this event.

    Thanks for your interest and for spreading the word!

    Conference Chair

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Ilene Rosenblum is a writer and marketing professional living in Jerusalem.

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