by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths
A friend responded to the video from Rabbi Manis Friedman discussing the Asifa approach to the internet. He said…
“I disagree the Rabbi Friedman video answer to (anti-Internet) Asifah. He has a point maybe but he's oversimplifying things.”
I agree Rabbi Friedman (the speaker is Rabbi Manis Friedman, rosh yeshiva of the Beis Chana institutions – and by the way is Avraham Fried's older brother) has simplified things. But he's trying to make a point on approach.
The Asifa approach is that the tool is evil. As an evil tool it must be avoided. Since modern life has embraced this tool as a two way communication method and commerce method, to the extent that it’s becoming indispensible, we can’t completely banish it from our religious communities. But we can apply maximum controls, banish it from the home, and shun any who utilize it beyond the minimum.
Rabbi Friedman says it’s not this tool (or any tool)! It’s our inclinations and intentions. It’s not a tool we must guard against, it’s our yetzer hara! And if we think we’re going to avoid sin by avoiding a tool rather than learning to control inclinations and focus our intentions, we’re fooling ourselves.