The Craziest Ban
Most bans make sense at some level. But not this one.
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There are all kinds of things that are banned in various sectors of the charedi community. We’ve seen bans on many books, including Making Of A Gadol, Peshuto Shel Mikra, and my own books. Then there have been bans on concerts and smartphones. There are also localized bans; certain schools will ban their students frequenting certain shopping or leisure areas, or ban certain types of clothing.
In all these cases, even if one thinks that a ban is excessive and/or counterproductive, one can certainly sympathize with the motivation for it, to a greater or lesser degree. Historically accurate books risk undermining people’s reverence for leadership. Rational thought is a Pandora’s Box. The internet is harmful in all kinds of ways. Certain social environments can corrode treasured norms and standards. In fact, while I don’t share the hyper-vigilance of zealots, I think it’s a praiseworthy aspect of charedi society that they are so concerned in general about harmful influences, especially for their children. Non-charedi religious Jews tend to be far too blasé about environmental influences upon their children.
But I just heard about a ban which I think is not only preposterous, but utterly without value and downright harmful.