Guarding the Eyes – Saving the World. How Modesty Saves Your World.

The Torah teaches control. Control of our eyes, our mouth, our hands, our ears, our emotions and even our nose. We avoid looking at immodest dressed people – to avoid temptation. We avoid looking at the face of a wicked person – his face might have an effect on our spirituality. We avoid looking at the standing grain of a fellow in order to spare his field from an evil eye.

In an older post we mentioned a story:

Guarding One’s Eyes & Protecting Lives

Once a man was sitting in the front of a bus. A woman boarded the bus dressed immodestly. He turned his glance to refrain from looking. Another woman came on, and he closed his eyes again. He decided to go to the back of the bus.

Being tired, he slumbered. He dreamed that there was a bomb under his seat. Upon awaking, he dismissed it from his mind. Slumbering again, he had the same dream. When he decided to check under his seat he saw a package with wires emerging. He immediately notified the driver and all were evacuated from the bus. When all passengers were off, the bomb exploded.

Shortly after, the man went to see a great Jewish sage – Rabbi Yisrael Abuhatzeira – the Baba Sali. Baba Sali explained the incident – the bus was to explode causing great damage. But when the man did two acts of guarding his eyes, he created two protecting angels. The angels pleaded before G-d and said – You can’t let this bus explode, there is a righteous person on the bus. For this the man had two dreams and the bus was saved.

This man saved a bus load of people by his avoiding looking at immodesty. Obviously it works both ways – a woman who dresses modestly also gets tremendous reward.

Guarding Eyes Gives You Tangible Reward in this World

These are the general rewards. Guarding ones eyes also makes a person more refined and helps them to maintain a closer relationship with Hash-m.  One of the things Hash-m dislikes is immodesty and immorality. When it is present – he “leaves” so to speak. The feeling of being void of G-d’s presence is a punishment in itself.

Another outcome of guarding one’s eyes and being modest is a physical reward in this world. A person who guards his eyes will not be attracted by a woman that may be beautiful on the outside, but her character traits leave much to be desired. A person gets used to looks, but a scathing personality is difficult to get used to. A person who marries for beauty – have more of a chance of divorce – because the physical attractiveness may be there – but the basis to build a healthy, meaningful and growing relationship with another may be lacking.

A woman who is modest in dress and attitude attracts people of the same kind. A man that appreciates her for her inner qualities – rather than someone who loves the shell but not the pearl inside. In the end she also will have a greater relationship with the man she ends up marrying – because he will appreciate her for her inner and  outer qualities – making for a better long-term relationship with her spouse in marriage.

The Test of the Internet

Unfortunately internet has made it more difficult to guard ones eyes. Putting a filter on the internet will help – but also safeguarding smartphones from immodesty is also a wise investment. See our previous article on safeguarding children and adults from internet.

Seeing Great Spiritual Sights

There was a rabbi who once covered his eyes for seven years to avoid seeing immodesty and impropriety. When he took off his covering – he was able to see things spiritually that others could not. Another man heard about this and decided also to cover his eyes for 7 years to be able to get he same benefit. He did so. Yet when he finished his shielding his eyes from the exterior, he was not able to see wondrous spiritual sights. He asked the rabbi why he did not merit to also to see these great sights. The rabbi responded “I covered my eyes to not see [immodesty]. You covered your eyes to see! [spiritual sights]”

Nowadays every small effort makes a difference. May we merit great spiritual sights and levels from our small, sincere efforts to guard the Torah. Amen.

Boosting Retail Sales – Saving the Retail Stores from Amazon – An Idea to Bring Customers Back

Jews live weekly on a weekly Parasha – Torah Reading. A Rabbi I used to learn with once explained that the Parasha does more than teach you laws, stories & Jewish philosophy – it gives you insight on what will happen that week.

Making the World Better

Yaakov Avinu – Jacob, Our Forefather – in Parasha VaYetze – it says “VaYetze Yaakov MiBe’eer Sheva vaYelekh Harana.” (Beresheet /Genesis 28:10)(Beresheet /Genesis 28:10) And Jacob went out from Be’er Sheva and he went to Haran. Rashi SaysRashi Says – we know that Yaakov was in Be’er Sheva from previous verses. Why does the Torah have to teach us that he left Be’er Sheva? This is obvious. Rashi answers – Yaakov was such a person that made such an impression on the area he went to – that when he left – so did the light leave, so did the glory leave, so did the beauty leave.

Apparently Yaakov – tried to make every place he went to better. That is the goal of our lives as Jews – to make any place that we come to better than it was before.

My father, of blessed memory said he learned in being in the scouts in Morocco that every campsite that you visit, you should leave it better than it was before. A similar concept.

So here is my idea for a better world – at least in the retail (or wholesale) business.

Amazon Took My Idea 🙂 – Selling Online

But Before I tell you the Idea, I want you to know that before Amazon or even the Internet existed, I had the idea of selling things online. In the good old days – when people had computers with names as such as the Apple II plus, the PET, the Commodore 64, the Amiga, the IBM PC – people would buy hardware called a modem. A modem is basically a phone for computers. Instead of going online – on the Internet – people would dial using phone lines into a computer BBS (Bulletin Board System). I thought – perhaps I could sell knapsacks – from Israel (Steve’s Jerusalem Packs) on a Bulletin Board System. People could download the catalog and then call me or send me a message on the BBS to order or mail me.

Why do I tell you my about great ideas? To make you admire me? No. I want you to know of a Torah concept. G-d gives ideas.  G-d also releases ideas at the proper time for the world to advance. The nature needed to make computers and drones existed since the time of creation. The ideas to tap into them – came at a certain time based upon what G-d thought was appropriate. He releases the ideas. Thus you have Amazon.

The 2,800 year-old Drone

Shlomo HaMelech / King Solomon invented a mechanical bird that was able to fetch him books or scrolls from his library. Thus the idea and technology for drones was there – but it wasn’t time for it to become widespread.

Amazon’s Hiddush / Novelty

Amazon has tapped into a customer that wishes to save time or money by doing shopping on-line. Their experience shopping on-line – although not as interesting as going to a retail store – gets the job done.

They are efficient but lose the human and product connection. The customer loses part of the shopping experience. They talk with an Alexis or a Siri. But that will never match talking with a human.

Getting Customers Back to Stores.

So how do retail stores get their customers back?

Let me coin the term the “virtual clerk” ™ or if you want the clerks name to sound more warm and human – the “Home Clerk.” ™ The “Virtuclerk” ™ is a human employee of the store that is on-site in the store itself. He or she has a cell phone. You call up the store. They connect you to a home clerk.

You want shoes – the home clerk brings you down the isle – as you watch on your cell phone. He or she shows you the shoes. “Yes. I like that one.” You choose the shoes. He or she rings you up. You can choose to come to store to pick the shoes up or they can send it to you.

Technically – this opens new doors. A person from New York can buy a coat from Israel or vice versa. You have a favorite store – but don’t feel like taking a 20 minute drive there – searching for 20 minutes – and then driving back. You can search before you get to the store – then drive there just to pick up the merchandise. No waiting on line to pay. You already paid before you arrived. If you don’t find what you like, you saved 40 minutes of driving. Or If you do find what you like – you save 40 minutes of driving by asking them to have it delivered.

A store can develop an app or they can just use whatsapp to implement the HomeClerk ™ idea. Perhaps the big boys – Google, Apple, Paypay and Amazon can incorporate it into their payment apps or their shopping systems. You can have an option “Shop live.” ™ Where the customer presses a button and you are connected to your favorite department store or retail store’s Home Clerk ™ HC(tm).

Physical Store Home Clerks ™, Public HCs & Private.

A Home Clerk can be private, a store employee and/or a public employee. A retail store can hire these Home Clerks ™ and customers can be directed to them via an app or a computer program. Customers can choose to turn off their cameras – as to not be seen by the Home Clerk ™.

A private agency can charge a certain amount per hour for shopping. If it is for groceries – they might charge 10$ an hour and also get a part of their wage from the store itself.

A public agency can use these Home Clerks ™ to help the elderly or infirm. They would be hired like Uber drivers – after a small period of training – and be called upon demand. They could do food shopping for the elderly and the like.

Someone who applies to be Home Clerk ™ employee can decide what schedule they prefer – if they want a 9 to 5 job – they can opt to be a Retail Store HC. If they want more flexible hours they can apply to be a Private or Public HC.

You heard it here first.

Remember Ohr Binyamin with a generous donation when you make your first million on the idea. 🙂

Make the world a better place.

9 Rules of Successful Dating for Marriage

Aside from magnets and electrons – I don’t think opposites attract.

I don’t mean that a person will not be attracted to someone totally different. I mean that usually it won’t make for a productive relationship.

Common Sense Rules

Some Common Sense Rules for Dating from Torah are compiled Below:

  1. Common Goals

Common goals is a must. A common mentality also helps.

Three Levels of Interaction

“The River, the Kettle and the Bird” – a Book – talks about three levels of relationships. One is like a river – a conduit of commerce between two towns – a commerce kind of relationship – I’ll buy potatoes from you & You buy tomatoes from me. Each one is working for their own selfish interests.

The second is the kettle – a conduit of cooking. Marriage is used as a conduit to help one or the other progress – be it in a career, a business or an education.

The bird – is a single entity. The couple acts as one. They have similar goals and their goal include souring higher – through the spirituality and growth offered in the Torah.

2. Clarifying Goals & Intermarriage

To have a successful marriage it is important for a person to have their goals in life clear.

There are General goals and particular goals.

G-d gave the Jews the Torah in front of millions of witnesses for the Jews to have guidance on how to serve as a light to the nations. We are to build the spiritual world by bringing people closer to having a relationship with G-d. To do this we also are to be connected with G-d through doing His Mitzvot / commandments.

Gentiles also have a very respectful and important role in the world – which is to build the physical world.

Jews & Gentiles have different goals in the world. A sincere gentile that wants to take upon themselves the obligations and goals of Judaism can choose to convert to Judaism with a competent orthodox rabbi.

Intermarriage between Jews and Non-Jews is prohibited by Torah law.

Also it ends up mostly in Divorce. Apparently the reason why has to do with the different goals – expressed, unexpressed, conscious or unconscious goals – that each partner has. In an intermarriage the goals of partners clash from the beginning.

The point being is commonality is more important than diversity in a couple.

So when dating – it is best for a Jewish person to marry a Jewish person of similar values.

One of the goals of a Jewish couple should be that they bring up their children in an environment conducive to Torah observance.

A Gentile couple should have a goal that they bring up their children according to the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah.

Looking for the right marriage partner – here are some tips from a Torah perspective.

3. The Goal of Dating

The goal of dating is not to have a good time. The goal is to find a marriage partner that will help you reach your potential and purpose in life. Although one should have an enjoyable time on dates – the focus should be is this the person that will help me achieve my goals in life and goals for my future family. Does this person have the proper character traits and hashkafa / personal philosophy that I want them raising my future children. Do they have common values.

4. Celibacy

Celibacy before marriage is of utmost importance. A person who is physical before marriage throws objectivity – in finding a compatible mate with similar goals out the window.

5. The search for the right one in the place where people of good values are found

First is to find someone with similar values. Look in the place that you would think people would have good values – in the Beit HaKnesset / Synagogue, Beit Hamidrash / House of Torah Study,etc. Call orthodox rabbis in your community to find if they might know someone for you. Perhaps the rabbis can direct you to a shadchan / a matchmaker. Ask pointed questions before meeting the person. Is the person a giver or a taker. Does he or She do pronounced kindness. Are they respectful.

I suggest to people searching to get married to reinforce themselves in Torah and Mitzvot. Why? If a person is going to bars every night – he or she will meet a person going to bars every night. I don’t know if that is the best sort of person to bring children up in Torah Judaism.

If a person observes the Shabbat, Hash-m will help him find a mate that is also Shomer Shabbat / Shabbat observant. Shabbat observance is so important today – in the world where technology is big brother or an addiction. Shabbat compels us to put away our gadgets and to focus on people not on phones or computers or TV.

6. Do your Research Before the Date

First – before the date – find out as much as you can about the person. Is he or she a kind person. How do you know? Call his or her friends. ask for a Shidduch / Dating resume & call their references. nowadays this is common practice. A person should do their due diligence. If for hiring an employee they would do the research, even more so should they do research for a mate with whom they may be spending the rest of their life.

7. Be Yourself – Don’t Try to Impress

A person on a date – many times the man – wants to impress the partner. The effort to impress might just backfire. A woman wants a man that she can respect. A man that is responsible. A man that has his head on his shoulders. Doing things irresponsible or immature may cause a damper in the respect for him or her.

8. Know the Goals of The First Dates

The Goal of the first two dates is – 1) to determine if you have common conversation together and 2) Whether you respect each other. For the woman that is of utmost importance. For the man – the attractiveness of the woman plays a greater role.

The rabbis recommend that a couple go out at least twice because on first dates people may react ways out of being nervous rather than being themselves.

The Third Date

If one feels comfortable about the two or three points of the first dates then on the third – one should reveal somewhat of a personal secret (not too personal) and see how the other reacts and how you feel about his or her reaction.

9. Are They Marriage Minded –

Some already in a Relationship end up getting older without anything to show except some good times without much building of the relationship.  The reason – because one of the mates has no intention of marriage. Some have cold feet and stall. Others aren’t in for building – they are in it for “Fish Love.” Fish Love is illustrated by a person who tells you they “Love Fish”. Yet when you give them a fish – they cut it up, cook it andeat it. They don’t love the fish – they love the pleasure they get from the Fish. Don’t be the other’s fish. You end up wasting time and lose opportunities of a productive, true love relationship. If a person who is a good person is pushing marriage off – clarify what are their marital intentions and give them a deadline.

Preventing Divorce

Divorce is prevented by having solid foundations of values  and good character traits. When one’s foundations, philosophy and character traits are solidly grounded in Torah values – it makes for a more stable relationship.

Meaningful Relationship

A couple is to grow together. When Torah is the foundation – they have common goals and share a proper pathway for growth. They share common values and – in the end it will ultimately help them to better reach their potential and purpose in life.

70 Tips to Protect Kids (and Yourself) on the Internet

The best medicine is preventive.

Judaism teaches the importance of purity in thought, speech, hearing, sight, and deed.

A child learns and lives. What he hears at home and by the media will train his or her thought patterns. Provide them with purity and Torah they will live pure lives.

One of our jobs as parents is to teach our children in such a way that their souls will remain as pure as when they were born throughout their lives. We are guided to that goal through the teachings of Torah. And by imparting it  to the children through the teachings of Torah – through learning it together with them, sending them to Torah day schools and bringing them up in a home conducive to Torah and Mitzvot.

Protecting thoughts from impurity does not only apply to children but to ourselves. Unfortunately many marriages were broken due to social media, improper usage of internet and smartphone apps.

Someone said – before the street was the street and the home was the home. With the TV – we bring the streets into our home. Even more so with the internet.

We thus provide a list of ways to protect the home and family from improper usage of the internet. The best way is to limit technology. Use a flip phone instead of a smartphone, but if the pros outweigh the cons of having a smartphone – we provide some simple methods of protection.

To protect one has to have a rudimentary understanding of technology. If one is not so tech oriented – perhaps they can take counsel with tech protection organizations – like smartconnectionsny.com.

Here is some basic info about technology.

The internet is basically one computer “talking” to another computer. To gain access to internet – one uses a modem or router as the device that allows the computers to communicate.

the basic set up is:

Home Computer —> Modem/Router  —-> Internet Server Computer

Let’s add three more elements : The browser, protection program and the Cloud DNS.

The Browser – like Chrome, internet explorer, firefox or safari is a program that enables the computer to interpret the other computers information. They usually communicate with a language called HTML. The browser can prevent pop-up ads and also other improper material. Some browsers allow extensions or add-ons to be downloaded and incorporated into  browsers that can help you in your parental control quest.

The Protection Program – this program that is on the home computer that protects the home computer from threats – like spyware, viruses, root-kits, trojan horses, malware, and inappropriate information.  The threat protection programs include include windows defender, spybot search and destroy, ZoneAlarm, Comodo Firewall Pro, Avast, AVG Anti-Rootkit, Spyware Blaster, AOL Active Security Monitor, McAfee SiteAdvisor, LinkScanner Lite, McAfee Total Protection, McAfee LiveSafe, Bitdefender Internet Security, Symantec Norton Security Deluxe, Kaspersky Internet Security, Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security, Kaspersky Total Security, Bitdefender Total Security, Symantec Norton Security Premium, Trend Micro Maximum Security, and others. Some are free for basic services. Some include parental controls others do not. Some protect against websites sites include k9.

The Cloud Control DNS – is a computer that is on the internet that the information that is sent to you passes through before it reaches your computer. This includes opendns.com. (See instructions for opendns installation here)

The Questions to ask

Social media sites are sites that allow people to communicate with one another for the sake of socializing through computers. Many exist. Recognize how one’s children are using the social media may provide info on whether the social media is a positive benefit for their kid or is it a negative influence. Are they using it properly or is it helping them to go down further in morality.

Parents may ask questions like – does my kid really need a cell phone 24 hours a day? Do they need a smart phone? How are they using social media? Do they need 24 hour internet access? Do they need access to certain apps? Do children lock their doors for periods of time? Does the Wifi have to be on all the time?

Choosing the Right Browser – Why I Uninstalled Google Chrome

I like google. They help us find info.

  • (I once wrote an email to Google that they could get many Mitzvot if their reason for providing the search engine is to do the Mitzvah of kindness in helping people find information – rather than for the money.)

Chrome is a good browser. But it may be too good. It has a mode – like internet explorer and firefox – called private browsing or incognito mode. This feature allows people to surf without a trace of what they did. great for kids that don’t want parent to find out where they surf.

I tried to disable private mode in Chrome. One article gave 28 steps on how to do it. A bit too many steps for me. apparently you have to do the reverse to reinstate it. I just decided to uninstall it. Some browsers on the computer or smartphone or tablet are made to protect from inappropriate sites.

Protection Tips

Here are some tips to prevent children from accessing sites you don’t want them to be on. We will include a gamut of ideas – some extreme (more secure) to less (less secure).

Caveat – remember to write your passwords in a secret place but accessible by you in case you forget.

The List below includes many ideas – i am sure there are more – and some are repetitive but may be phrased differently to gain a better understanding.

6 Things to Protect Family from Technology

There are 6 things a person restricts to prevent improper usage of technology
Restrict :
RT: the Router or Modem – which provides the internet service – through passwords and other restrictions
CP: The computer – through filters
PH: the smartphone – through passwords
AP: the apps or programs – through passwords or disengaging usage or preventing installation or removal of programs
MH: the mobile hotspot
GN: the availability of all of them

    More Secure

1. GN: Do not use or allow use of a internet, computer, TV, smart phone or tablet for kids or adults. (Our school has a policy that students are not allowed to use internet or smart phone). Rid yourself of devices that capture internet or at least minimize them.

2. RT: Do Not install internet service at home.

3. PH: Rid yourself of your current and/or old (and others) smartphones. Old smartphones can capture internet as well. Use a flip phone instead.

    Less Secure

4. RT: Internet Router Filters: Remove Internet from the House or restrict it to only certain computers. Parental controls allow on the router allow one to restrict which computers use the internet, what time the internet can be used by particular computers and to block any sites that have improper words in their url. (internet address)

4a. RT: Use an internet provider that already filters the internet.
Here are some sites that can help you with filters:
http://venishmartem.com/devices/computers/
A program to help secure smartphones – www.webshadow.org
how to lock down your wireless network
For those who are coping with challenges – guardyoureyes.com

5. GN: Put strong passwords on, Change the passwords regularly to and/or disengage :
– Access to Router administration. change your router pw regularly
– access to the wifi
– the computer (before it boots) and after it boots
– the smartphone
– particular apps on the smartphone
– the mobile hotspot

5b – Restrict Access to programs on computer or phone.

For iphone: it is easier to secure than an android. Some people buy specifically iphones because it has stronger parental controls. Use “settings” to lock access to apps.

For Android:

A special app has to be downloaded to lock apps on an Android. Search apps called “applock”. on an android lock the settings for 2 reasons – 1 to lock the access to children using the Mobile Hotspot. 2 To block children from. One produced by Cheetah – called CM applock on android allows a password on selected apps. It also takes pictures of intruders who tried to access the program – but entered the wrong password.
Lock access to using browsers like chrome or other browsers.

6. RT: Use a service called OPENDNS – found at opendns.com that protects the router from inappropriate sites.

6a RT: Disney offers hardware that is called “circle” that protects family from improper internet usage for about $90. (see meetcircle.com). There is another hardware called koala as well.

7. RT: Turn of wifi – when not using it. change password to wifi regularly.

8. CP: Install Internet filters. – Like K9 (http://www1.k9webprotection.com/) on your devices – iphone.

9. MH: Disengage – mobile hotspots. A mobile hotspot allows a person to access the internet through a smart phone. To get around wifi restrictions – Children can borrow phone and use moblie hotspots for wifi. Put a password on the mobile hotspot application (with an applock program) or buy a phone or service that does not offer it. Note: the mobile hotspot app may not appear in the applock locking app list of programs. In that case one must lock the settings.

10. PH: change password to your phone frequently. A numerical passcode or text password is more secure than a “swipe” password. A swipe password can be easily guessed by children by watching parents unlock phone or by looking at the reflection of grease on the screen. (thus it makes sense to clean phone screen and change password regularly.)

11. CP: change your administrative and system password to your boot up system of computer. for windows based computers – one usually presses f2 or f12 when booting up system.

12. CP: remove the ability to boot up your computer with a usb or cd drive. some can bypass filter by using a USB key with another operating system.

13. AP: Check browsing history regularly to see if there are any inappropriate sites that were accessed.

14. AP: Use only browsers that you can disengage privacy mode or incognito. Incognito mode or secret mode allows a person to surf the web without being recorded in the history.

a program called incognito gone (for windows) (http://incognitogone.com/) allows you to remove incognito mode in several browsers. in order to do it manually see articles below.

https://github.com/wmwood/IncognitoGone/releaseshttps://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/75544-how-to-disable-incognito-mode-in-google-chrome

another way (we recommend the above) to disengage incognito is below. (We tried it but it did not work.)

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/disable-private-browsing-internet-explorer-chrome-firefox mode. In windows you can get around it by

To disengage incognito or private browsing in Windows Internet Explorer
If you are experienced making changes to your computer’s Registry, you can permanently disable the “In-Private” browsing function so that it cannot be turned on by user settings.  If you have never done this, DON’T TRY …………get someone you trust to make this change for you.

Windows key +R

enter regedit and click OK

Navigate to….. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Safety\PrivacIE

Create a new D-Word “Start Mode”  and give it a value of “0”

Save…OK

15. AP: Use a keylogger – any typing into computer will be recorded

16. GN: Teach children the dangers of inappropriate material.

17. GN: Learn about punishment for releasing seed in vain.

18. GN: Split the password. Husband knows one part of password and wife knows other. And they don’t tell each other their own half.

19. GN: Pray to Hash-m / to help you have a home clean of trash

20.  GN: be in touch with technology hotline. one is called (http://www.smartconnectionsny.com/) They can help you secure your technology for free or a very reasonable fee.

21. AP: In email filter out certain words to send immediately to trash.

22. RT: Put filter words to block sites in router

23. CP: Parental filters on mac or windows to prevent usage of computers at certain times.

24. RT: Restrict / Block all computers from your router except for the one(s) you use. Restrict Time of usage. This is done by logging on to router – see the particular router’s instructions.

25. GN: Use internet only for business.

26. RT: Don’t use wifi. If Kids want to use computer let computer be in a place where there are people who pass by. or limit Wifi by turning it off at certain times. Restrict time of computer usage. Only allow certain computers to log on to your router.

27. GN: Learn Torah Laws of Yichud / Seclusion – apply to computer. Put the computer in a public place where people come in and out to prevent people from doing things in secret. I once asked the Helper of Rabbi Elyashiv about Internet Usage. He said – it should be only used for business – and it should be treated with the same laws as Yichud.

28. GN: Think of futility of sites – it only makes you feel badly afterwards.

29. GN: Think of the day of death. Pirkei Avot. You will be judged and everybody will see your activities on a big screen in heaven.

30. GN: Send your activity by email to a trusted person through program like k9.

31. GN: Refrain from having fashion magazines and other periodicals that have tempting ads at home

32. GN: Observe Laws of Tzniut / Modesty.

33. GN: Be wary of friends of kids that are techies that steer your kids to bypass filters.

34. RT: Don’t show your wifi name publicly. On router administration panel one can choose that the wifi name not be displayed publicly. Change the name and password of the wifi access regularly.

35. RT: Assure your neighbors don’t have open usage wifi. or ask them to not give password to your kids.

36. RT: disengage wifi router button – called WPA.

37. CP: on tablets and macs – set up app access carefully.

38. GN: See if there is suspicious activity on your computer. Like – if you finished using one program and then when you log on you find another program running. Or if you use only a small amount of data on your phone and you see a lot of data being used. (see settings – data usage). If your google search brings up previous searches with improper words – be wary. Some AppLock or AppBlock programs take pictures of intruders.

39. PH: Clean your phone window – to prevent children finding out phone passwords. Children can guess the swipe code based upon finger prints on window.

40. GN: Speak openly about what you expect from kids – if they break rules make consequences

41. GN: educate them in a way that they will be able to make the right choices – Torah education

42. PH: Don’t leave Your phone lying around without supervision

43. GN: Use non common passwords

44. AP: Install web browsers with reporting features – like webshadow.

45. GN: get advice from professional – shmirateynayim.org guardureyes.org http://venishmartem.com/

46. GN: Learn about the consequences and punishments of immoral activity – A Torah book that treats the subject is called “Kav HaYashar”

47. CP: Remove the internet browser application – on apple products – one can easily remove or limit access to applications like app store, safari (the apple browser) etc. this is done through settings – users & groups – select user (press lock to unlock) – then go to parental controls

48. CP: Change password to computer – in windows computers usually there is a boot-up password and a password to get into windows. change both regularly

49. AP: Don’t use multiple browsers or browsers that have privacy / Incognito / Secret mode. Privacy mode – allows a person to browse without websites being logged into history. Some browsers allow a password to be used to engage privacy mode. Put on a password on privacy mode.

50. GN: Monitor the data usage of your applications on your phone. If you notice that mobile hotspot is using a lot of data and you don’t use mobile hotspot – perhaps someone in your family is using your phone. On android – go to > Settings – data usage – see which applications are using much data.

51. CP/PH: An Apple Iphone is more able to be secured from unauthorized access (without using external programs) than an android phone (i speak about the android version 5 – i don’t know about the newer versions). It has parental controls built into the operating system. Android has a program called “Family Link” (which works on Android 7.0 Nougat).

52. PH: On Android – specify which apps and content can be downloaded

Set up parental controls
  • On the device you want parental controls on, open the Play Store app .
  • In the top left corner, tap Menu Settings Parental controls.
  • Turn “Parental controls” On.
  • Create a PIN. …
  • Tap the type of content you want to filter.
  • Choose how to filter or restrict access.

53. GN: Children learn from parents. Limit your own technology usage to set a good example for children.

54. GN: Be on the same page with your spouse regarding tech usage. At times one spouse wants to be more restrictive while the other wants to be less restrictive – discuss what is important together.

55. GN: Install programs, apps and browser extensions that enhance parental control.

56. GN: Make policies at the house – no internet before homework. No usage after 9:00 pm or before 7:00 am. Some can be assured through router settings. Enforce them.

57: GN: Work with School to make and enforce policy. Here is an example of a school policy. One school we know disallows students from smartphone and internet usage.

58. CP: Prevent Wifi Password from being shown. In the wifi settings – in windows 7 – and possibly other systems – whoever has access to the computer can see the actual password of the wifi. One can hide the password of the wifi in windows 7. To hide WIFI password in windows 7 do the following. (be careful when changing settings – perhaps if you are not tech savvy – you can ask someone who is)

1. Open a command prompt as an administrator (right click, select “Run as administrator”
2. Run Regedit
3. Browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID{86F80216-5DD6-4F43-953B-35EF40A35AEE}
4. Right click on the key
5. Select Permissions
6. Click Advanced button
7. Select Owner tab
8. Highlight Administrators group and then click OK
9. Under Security, highlight Administrators group and set Permissions to Full Control
10. Delete the key

59. RT: Before purchasing a router – see if it has ample parental controls.

60. RT: Some router companies offer extra parental controls for a fee.

61. RT: Some routers offer a Smartphone app to be able to monitor the internet usage from the app.

62. GN: Don’t be quick to jump on the bandwagon for technology. See first if it is good for the spirituality, education and materialism of child.

63. GN: Discuss concerns with Torah educators, Rabbis, social workers and professionals.

64. RT: Limit IP and/or MAC addresses that can gain access to your router. This prevents people from accessing your router with an outside computer or device without your permission.

65: CP: In browser settings set your privacy and security level higher.

66: CP/RT: A firewall is a program that prevents unauthorized access to computer or router. Set up you firewall on computer and router to allow high protection.

67: CP/PH: In your browser download apps that will allow you more safe browsing. In phone look-up “appblock” or “applock” or “parental control” in playstore or appstore.

68. CP: Set site and search engine mode to “restrict” results. Google search allows one to restrict adult sites. Youtube also has a restrictive mode as well.

69. GN: Utilize several methods of parental  controls at the same time (ie, redundancy), so if one fails to catch an improper site, the other will catch it.

70. CP: You should know how to unlock devices owned by children – to allow you to check up on what they are doing from time to time.

71. GN: You should also have access to their email – or at least put filters on their emails. You should have access to their unlock code to serve to prevent them from accessing certain sites.

72. Check Logs of internet usage. Some programs – like K9 and the router will give you a list of all the sites that were accessed. The browser also does this. By checking History – one can see all the sites that were accessed. Crafty children (or adults) may hide their sites by erasing history of sites visited on browser or by using privacy/secrecy/incognito mode on the browser. But the router also has a log of sites visited. So you might want to check that log of sites visited by accessing your router as well.

73. CP: Some browsers and programs will save your password when you log-on. This is called autofill. Avoid using autofill passwords – especially for the K9 (or other parental control program) administrative password, for administrative controls on the computer, for access to the router, etc.

74. CP: Block pop-up ads. Browsers usually have an option to block ads. Set the browser (or get an extension for browser) to block pop up ads.

75. CP: When a child gets a new phone, tablet or computer – before they use it – you should set yourself up on it as an administrator of the item – and set the controls to what is appropriate.

76. CP: Do not give easy access to children to your email or list of passwords. If they do have access – they might bypass certain restrictions on the computer. Thus it makes sense to put on several levels of parental controls. Some programs will alert you to unauthorized access attempts. Be informed.

Everything in life has a price. It is up to us to weigh the pros and cons of limiting technology and the effect it will have on the future morality of the children and the family.

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As we get new info – we will try to update this page. (bl”n – without commitment)

The Two Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Car

I’m in the market for a car. My last one was smashed up. Gam Zu le Tova. Even this is for the best.

I once wanted to find a car that runs on water. But I didn’t find any dealers.

So the next best thing I thought, was to get one that runs on ethanol. The gas is much cheaper. But some say that the lower price is a compensation for lower gas mileage.

But then I thought of another issue that is much more important than gas mileage.

You’re probably asking – “a Car?”

“What does that have to do with Judaism?”

Obviously you don’t want to be ostentatious. A modest car will do.

But the Torah says “Guard Very Much Your Souls.” (Devarim / Deut. 4:15)

Meaning be careful to be prudent to stay safe.

Stand far from rails in the subway. Don’t drive too fast. If tired driving take a break. Don’t talk or text on cell while driving…

The list goes on. Teach it to your children. (We offer a Free Health & Safety Coloring Book)

Many people spend time in cars – thus it make sense to make sure it is safe.

Safety aspects to consider are – airbags, side and front collision strength, etc.

Two websites that will let you know about the safety ratings of a vehicle is –

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute

Remember to purchase safe carseats before taking children.

The Second thing is to consider is what kind of kindness will you primarily be doing – to decide what kind of car you need. If it is to bring your kids to school – a mini-van or SUV might be in order. If it is to drive your mother around – consider a car that is easy to enter and exit. If you need to drive a handicapped person – find one that can accommodate a wheelchair.

Other Helpful websites when buying a car include:
J.D. Power – Car Ratings
Consumer Reports – they offer car-info with a paid subscription
Edmonds
Kelley Blue Book
Cars.com

Evaluate Your Safety

Ask Yourself are you a safe driver. Do People feel assured when driving with you?

Signs it is time to Drive More safely
or do they rush to get out of the car when you stop. Are they constantly telling you to slow down? Do dark haired people come out with white hair after a ride with you? Do your emotions control your speed? Do you text or hold phone while driving? Do you surf web? Do you program GPS in middle of route? Better to talk to GPS than to type. Do you enforce seat belts for people riding in car?

We pray not to get into accidents. We even have a special Jewish Traveler’s Prayer to arrive at our destination safely.

Prudence starts with the type of car. A SUV is usually safer than a compact car. Each time a person drives it is prudent to assure passengers always wear seat belts – even in back seats. Children should always be buckled before driving.

Better [to get there] late than never.

Drive Safely.

Tired of Technology. Take a Break & Improve Family Ties.

cellfishtankSometimes I forget my cell phone. After the initial momentary feeling of being upset, I think “Wow. I am alone. No one can reach me. I am free from phone calls. I am free.”

Yes, a cell phone has become a necessity today. Yet, going without one can be exhilarating. Like going without a TV, a computer and just connecting with friends and family face to face. Enjoying nature – without being interrupted by a cold caller.

A study found that social services – like facebook doesn’t make a person happier. But more surprisingly, it doesn’t relieve loneliness either.

Just good old company and doing a good job at work will make a person happier.

Not so surprising.

One idea for better family relations is to turn of the TV. Many children go off the proper path because a mother is more attuned to the TV than to the children & their physical and emotional needs. And their father is busy with the computer, cell phone or ipad or not at home at all, working late.

I find it inappropriate when a guest comes over – and the host is more interested in the TV program than the guest. I would suggest turning off TV when a guest comes over and even more so when the child comes home. Imagine what a child feels – that technology is more important than them.

I heard that some people have a cell phone basket. When they come home all phones are put in this basket to be able to concentrate on family ties.

Some who go out to restaurants put their cellphones in the middle of the table. The first to answer their cell phone must pay the bill.

Jewish people have a gift called the Shabbat / the Sabbath. We put away all technology. No cell phones, TV, computers. We eat together – without interruptions.

Just plain quality time to enjoy family, friends and G-d.