Hachrazah 5766 Nissan 28
Informal translation from Hebrew of the 28 Nissan, 5766 (26 April, 2006) statement:
Statement of Clarification
28 Nissan 5766 (April 26, 2006)
Statement of Clarification
Several months ago (10 Teveth), in an interview on the Tamar Yonah show, Mr. Jim Long, one of the 10 Bnei NoaH who formed the High Council of Bnei NoaH under the guidance of the Sanhedrin, fielded a caller’s question concerning the Rainbow Covenant web site, the book by the same title, and its author Michael Dallen. The question and its answer have given the impression to many that the Sanhedrin has banned the web site and the book. This is totally false. While several rabbis did voice concern over some of the content of the web site, the Beith Din for Bnei Noah made a conscious decision not to issue any ban on the site, and certainly not on the book, which has been widely praised.
Recently, before the PesaH holiday, the Beith Din for Bnei NoaH under the auspices of the Sanhedrin issued a clarification concerning Billy Jack Dial, a former member of the High Council of Bnei NoaH, who resigned his post for personal reasons and started another organization. This clarification was issued in the interest to prevent confusion, to clarify that his new organization and web site, while not banned, were neither connected to nor endorsed in any way, neither by the Sanhedrin, nor its Beith Din for Bnei NoaH. This clarification was deemed necessary because of Billy Jack Dial's well-known former association with the High Council of Bnei NoaH.
Due to this widespread misunderstanding, the Beth Din for Bnei NoaH of the Sanhedrin has found it necessary to issue a statement of further clarification: To date, we have not banned any web site. It must be stated with equal clarity that the only site with our endorsement at present and the only website under Beith Din supervision is the website of the High Council for Bnei NoaH.
The internet searcher/surfer is advised not to take Orthodox rabbinical endorsement or lack thereof lightly. There are hundreds of web sites related to the Seven Mitswoth of Bnei NoaH. Some sites are indeed genuine Torah sites. Others may appear to contain authentic material, but in fact are Christian missionary sites in disguise. However, being that these sites are more well-known to Internet-savvy Noahides, many of whom have left the Christian religion, the sites posing the greatest risk to Noahide souls can be non-Christian sites, airing understandings of halakhah that appear authentic, but in fact are well beyond the bounds of halakhah. Some may air misinformation, promoting outright heresy, without arrousing the least suspicion on the part of the reader.
Guarding one's eyes and ears from falsehood and slander are fundamental Torah values, and the path to holiness. Fittingly, as with all internet information, the G-dfearing surfer must be aware of these risks, and exercise great caution. Even if one has confidence in the strength of one's own proper beliefs and opinions, friends and family (particularly older children) who use the same computer can be much more vulnerable. This is not a mere theory, but tragic reality: irresponsible internet usage has destroyed hundreds of G-d fearing homes in Israel and abroad.
The Beith Din for Bnei NoaH hopes to compile a list of websites with our official endorsement in the near future. Other sites may receive a note of warning over specific content. And although the Beith Din exercises extreme reservation in employing such means, we do reserve the right to ban any site. In the meantime, it should not be assumed that the lack of mention of any particular site implies its endorsement or ban by the Beith Din. Anyone who would like to submit a site for our endorsement and supervision is welcome to do so. Furthermore, websites grow and change continually. The Beith Din does not have the means to monitor changes over hundreds of websites. Should adverse material be found on a website with Beith Din endorsement, G-d forbid, this should be brought to our attention immediately. Likewise, if problematic material is removed from un-endorsed or even banned websites, this should be brought to our attention as well.
Chief Justice R' Yoel Schwartz, Av Bet Din
Justice R' Dov Abraham Ben-Shorr
Justice R' Michael Shelomo Bar Ron