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Internet Popular Culture and Jewish Values: The Influence of Technology on Religion ...

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Internet Popular Culture and Jewish Values:


The “People of the Book” are grappling with the meaning and influence of the Internet on their Jewish values and their text-centered tradition. Recently, the Jewish scholar and author of People of the Book: Canon, Meaning, and Authority, Moshe Halbertal (1997), has suggested that this book, too, is central to Jewish notions of community. “Some of the major developments in Jewish tradition can be understood through the community’s notions of its relations to text, of what text is, and how text functions in its midst. Text is thus more than a shared matrix for a diverse tradition—it is one of the tradition’s central operative concepts, like ‘God’ or ‘Israel’” (p. 2).

The questions, then, unfold as follows: Have the Jewish people discovered a new ally in the Internet? Do Jewish educators integrate the Internet into their curriculum as they prepare their students to continue text-centered traditions and communities in the midst of Internet text and Internet communities?