Update: No women are permitted to attend the rally, so it looks like Ladybeat will be invading the bleachers in drag.
By definition, the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community cleaves to the old ways over modern societal norms. Thus it finds itself even more at odds with the technological wave of apps and gadgets transforming American culture.
And the time has come, apparently, to make that opposition known.
The Jewish Press reports that a massive rally is being planned for Sunday, May 20th at Citi Field in Queens “to combat the evils of the Internet and the damages caused by advanced electronic devices.”
The rabbis behind the rally don’t specify which “evils” and “damages,” in particular, they are railing against. Merely noting that they want to save a generation from “the ravages of advanced technology.”
However, a message signed by a number of Israeli rabbis in the Haredi press offers some clarification under the following headline, “A Letter from our Masters the Great Men of Israel Shlita In Preparation for the International Conference in the U.S. Against the Scourge of Technology,”
“It is well known that in recent times that through the Internet many serious family-related problems have been created, and it all happens because of it, and something must be done so they won’t be hurt. And since this touches almost everyone, we must assemble together to protect and be protected, and we hope that through this gathering in search of ideas we will be helped from Heaven to save the many, and may it be that we will be successful in encouraging the public not to stumble over this obstacle, and the Lord will guide us in a truthful path.
We’ll definitely be showing up at the rally, if only to hear more about these “family-related problems.” Probably something more insidious than just Angry Birds at the dinner table, right? But, why Citi Field? Well, the event organizers are expecting quite a show:
“This will be a mass rally never before seen in the history of Orthodox Jewry in the U.S. It will be a gathering of unity of all the Jews living in the U.S., a gathering to disseminate information and a prayer rally for the success of Klal-Israel’s war on the Technology which threatens the sanctity of the homes of Israel.”
“All the Jews” in America sounds a tad ambitious for a turnout goal, but JDN reports that the organizers have managed to raise $1.5 million from “private philanthropists” to produce the event. Just imagine how many iPads that could buy you!