Facebook is Disturbing God’s Messengers

English: Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardi Chief...

Rabbi Shlomo Amar - Not looking for "friends"on Facebook

Rabbis: Stay away from Internet

Sephardic religious leaders sign letter calling on every person to save relatives, other people from the web and its “dangerous” content

(From an article by Kobi Nahshoni published on Ynet 29/1/12)

I have seen it stated that man invented God, and then had to find a way to market the product. And so was born the multi-headed monster known as “Religion.” Over the centuries this marketing tool has developed in ways never envisaged by its creators.

Temple, cathedrals, churches, synagogues and mosques were built, at unimaginable cost, to provide suitable accommodations in which the entity could be worshipped.  Of course, the buildings alone only provide the point of sale location. The entire marketing concept could never have worked had it not been for the workforce.

Thus were born “God’s messengers” – the men (until recently, ONLY men) who took upon themselves the task of spreading the holy word. Naturally, since “man does not live by bread alone” the spreading involved some cost. Soon an entire hierachical structure became necessary. Vertical line management was instituted. In the front line were the “worker bees”. Monks, priests, vicars, rabbis and imams to mention a few. In time, promotion was possible – assuming that you worked hard – and didn’t get caught out doing naughty things that holy people are supposed to refrain from.

Pope Benedictus XVI

The Pope - does he send the occasional "Tweet"?

So came the abbots, bishops, archbishops, chief rabbis and mullahs. At the top of the pyramid stood the Pope, or his equivalent in the other religions. Most religions managed with one top honcho – but the Jews needed two. This was due to the phenomenon, common to all religions, of an inability to agree about how EXACTLY their God should be dealt with.

So in Israel there is not just one Chief Rabbi – but two! One takes care of the spiritual needs of Jews from a European background- the Ashkenazim or “white Jews”, and the other is responsible for those Jews from North African or Arab countries – the Sephardim or “Black Jews”.

Actually, the situation is a little more complicated by the existence of REALLY Black Jews from Ethiopia, with their own leader, and various sects of Haredi or Hassidic Jews who follow a wide variety of Rabbis. each with a slightly different interpretation of how the religion should be imposed. Most of these are better defined as “cults” but I’m not sure that there is any substantial difference between the definition of a cult or that of a religion.

As an aside, we do live in a region of the world in which two sects of Islam (the Sunnis and the Shi’ites) seem determined to capture the hearts and minds of their populations by using the device of seeing which of them can murder enough of the other side to persuade them that Allah demands to be worshipped only their way.

But I digress – so back to our rabbis.

The Ten Commandments, In SVG

The 11th Commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Google!

The Sephardi Chief Rabbi, Shlomo Amar, with the support of Rabbi Ovadia Josef, has decided that the internet is an instrument of the devil and must be banned. In their infinite wisdom they have stated that the mobile phone “can lead to difficult and dangerous sights which are undoubtedly forbidden by the Torah and have extremely destructive results …… the evil aspects of these matters is definite and difficult,”  They go on to state that, according to the Talmud: “one must save the oppressed from its persecutor and from all other lurking dangers.”

Now I know that Google is about to change its privacy policy, and that Facebook and Twitter have also made some changes, but I do think that the venerable rabbis’ reaction is a little extreme.  According to them, and a number of other rabbis, disconnecting from the internet is a Torah obligation. Rabbi Moshe Shafir, the editor of the Shas newspaper, “Yom Leyom”, claimed that being connected to the internet is “one of the worst religious sins a Jew could ever commit.”

Really? Worse than eating pork on Yom Kippur? Or driving through Mea Shearim on a Shabbat? Or having sex with your wife at the wrong time of the month? The list of religious restrictions and prohibitions is almost endless.

And as if all this nonsense isn’t enough, he finishes the article with this gem: “As Jews who had the courage to jump into the fire of the inquisition, the courage to slaughter their sons and wives and children after the “Shehecheyanyu” blessing, will have the strength now to make a firm decision and unequivocally rise up, throw away this device of impurity and abomination and obey the outstanding rabbis of the generation.”

"A device of impurity and abomination" - a new marketing slogan?

I never heard an I-Phone described like that before!  I know there were a few complaints about overheating and a short battery life, but a “device of impurity and abomination” seems a bit over the top.

I can imagine Steve Jobs now arguing with God: “what is it with your guys? can’t you control them? Don’t they realise that they are making a laughing stock of themselves and you? 

Perhaps he will teach God some marketing tricks on how to bring religion to the masses in the 21st century.

Somehow, I don’t feel that invoking images of fathers slaughtering their families is really going to cut it.

But that’s just me!

Andyboy – Telling it as it is.

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4 comments on “Facebook is Disturbing God’s Messengers

  1. Pingback: If it Quacks Like a Duck and Walks Like a Duck – it Must be a Duck | andyboy

  2. Pingback: So a Rabbi, a Priest and an Imam go into a bar | andyboy

  3. Pingback: “And On The Seventh Day God Rested” | andyboy

  4. Pingback: “God – I Have A Problem With My Onion!” | andyboy

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