Monday, January 19, 2015

Ask the internet, not the Rabbi

"I wanted to know if its assur to go to a mixed gym. If anyone can add their thoughts on this I would really appreciate it". This is one of the many question both in hashkafa and halacha posted to anonymous members in the coffe room. Members weigh in on the issue each one adding his or her two cents of course with their vast knowledge of halacha. The answers are laughable to borderline  kefira in many cases. The sad part is that unassuming young teenagers and even older people take these forums seriously and consider it a psak al pi Toras Moshe. There is not one RAV who moderates or puts his name on these forums. The yeshivish sounding name fools people to think that all is well and al pi torah. Such discussions should not be taking place on a open forum with anonymous commenters and moderators. There are many websites that have a "Ask the Rabbi" feature. These sites are not anonymous and neither is the Rabbi who answers the questions.

The people who participate in these dialogues  could be bochurim, single girls, women, men – nobody really knows who one is talking to. And the topics discussed are far from appropriate for boys and girls to be talking to each other about. Some examples of topics that are being “chatted” about between boys and girls, and other anonymous users, are: Walking Behind a Woman, Girls wearing boys clothing, Is it untznius for a girl to ride a bike, Wearing Perfume, Divorce Stories, Tznius Support Group – PLEASE WOMEN ONLY, Guys-things that a girl does or says on a date that makes you lose interest, Shidduchim: Girls & Size Zeros, Shidduchim & Weight, Kosher Movies/ Torah TV, Jewish feminism, nail polish, Good Jokes, It's A Man's World, Respected Rabbanim Eating Out, Abused Husbands,  Do Women Need Marriage?

The moderator may step in from time to time, but there should not be an outlet in the first place for boys and girls to chat like this, and certainly not about these topics


  1. Perhaps list the real Ask a Rabbi sites? (without endorsing)

  2. This is a general epidemic. People put their symptoms into Google and diagnose themselves, then ask other folks on some forum somewhere what treatments they should try.
    And "Ask the Rabbi" sites are no better. Years ago I came across one run by three Rabbis,one Orthodox and two not. (Even better, one of the not's was a woman) the way the site worked your question would be submitted to one of them randomly, so you could show up with a legitimate shailoh and end up with the Reformer being the one assigned to answer it.