There Was a lot of Internet at the Ultra-Orthodox Rally Against the Internet

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That ultra-Orthodox rally in New York this weekend all about the evils of the Internet used the Internet in so many ways. At the gathering of 40,000 Jewish men in CitiField, a rabbi warned about all the horrible things the Web is doing to the chosen people. "This is reprogramming our way of life! It’s changing who we are!" said Rabbi Rav Ephraim Wachsman, according to BetaBeat's Adrienne Jeffries, a woman who went undercover to the event on Sunday. "Children are being turned into click-vegetables!" he continued.

Meanwhile, there were some click-vegetables in the crowd. And to up the irony just a notch: The event's organizers both relied on and benefited from the evil tubes. 

  • Tickets were sold on e-Bay. As we learned this from both Jewish Humor and a site called Frum Satire, we at first did not believe this absurd detail. But, we double checked $10 tickets were in fact available on eBay
  • There was an event sanctioned live stream. An event spokesperson Eytan Kobre told The New York Times' Michael Grynbaum the livestream would only broadcast into Orthodox houses. But, at one point, before YouTube removed it, there was this video of the event. And Jeffries confirmed at least two sites streamed the asifa.
  • A lot of the rally-attendees were tweeting. From Jeffries: "This reporter was live-tweeting from the asifa, and we weren’t the only ones. We also glimpsed an iPhone, an Android phone, and saw one attendee clearly emailing from his BlackBerry." And, thanks to Jewish Humor, we get a round-up of the funniest tweets from the asifa, including the following: "Were it not for social media I would not be able to keep track of the asifa" and "Oy the Internet is evil...but I'm still watching a live stream."
  • And, the ones who weren't tweeting at the rally, got it out of their system pre-event. "On a No. 7 train headed toward the stadium, several men wearing the clothing of the ultra-Orthodox whipped out smartphones as soon as the subway emerged from the East River tunnel, poking at e-mail in-boxes and checking voice mail messages," writes Grynbaum.
  • Not to mention, there were, all the Internet sites giving the cause publicity. See above.

Not so evil after-all, eh? 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.