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Recently, it has come to my attention that the Jewish community may, chas veshalom, be violating numerous violations of chometz and other prohibitions via their use of the internet both before and during Pesach. The following, therefore, is a compilation of some of the more important laws compiled from the Great Sefer "Reshet Keshet," a sefer dealing specifically with the proper use of the internet in Jewish law, written by Ad"mor Harav URieL Halevi Spam.
Access to all web sites consist of URL's. According to the Zohar, the letters URL are an abbreviation for the word "UnReLiable". Since we do not know the true source or creator of a given web site, we cannot be sure of the Kosher status of any web site we go to unless we know that it has a reliable Kosher hechsher. As a matter of fact, we can verify with full certainty that any site ending in .com is certainly prohibited. The reason is that .com is pronounced "dot com" which sounds much like the Hebrew "dat kam" meaning "the religious stand up". This, in itself, is a contradiction of true Torah values, for only the Torah itself dictates the establishment of one's religious observance and how religious he is, not the downloading of a home web page. Therefore, because there may, chas veshalom, potentially be a confusion that the Hebrew term "dat kam" may be confused with .com, one is best if he avoids use of the internet altogether, especially during Passover, and between Passover and Shavuot which marks the period when we established our faith as a nation.
This abbreviation is also misunderstood. It is shameful that so many Jews assume that when they use the internet, they use the TCP / IP protocol without understanding its ramifications. TCP / IP stands for: The Chometz Before Pesach / It's Pesach. Notice the slash used to separate these two terms. This was done intentionally to mark the distinction between use of the internet before Pesach which is clearly chometzdik and the complete abolition of internet use during Pesach itself. Only one who is absolutely machmir and shomer mitzvot will take heed and understand this prohibition. If one MUST use the internet, he must find a different method other than TCP / IP.
Nearly every web site places cookies into your computer. Cookies are chametz mamash, and they must be thoroughly cleaned out of your computers in your home and at work prior to the sixth hour of Erev Pesach. If they are not eliminated, one's computer remains chametz throughout Pesach, and one is prohibited from using his computer ever again even after Pesach, as your computer would be classified as chametz she'avar alav Hapesach. Obviously, one would probably not want to eliminate all his cookies, since this would make most web sites unusable. Therefore, one should be extremely careful to sell his computers and laptops to a goy. Since the goy owns the computer during Pesach, one must be certain that the goy has free unlimited access to all accounts on his computer throughout Pesach. This includes releasing to the goy all passwords to both the computer itself as well as all log in passwords to any network and internet accounts one has. Without doing this, the sale would be improper. Of particular importance, one should be careful to include release of all passwords to any online credit and bank accounts one has, as all such secured bank accounts place cookies into your computer. In short, the goy must have unimpeded free access to all cookies existing in your computer, lest, chas veshalom, the sale be invalidated. The goy may also choose to keep the computer after Pesach with all the cookies that may be present. If he chooses to do so, he must reimburse you for the cost of the cookies, but is not required to reimburse his use on your AOL account to access such cookies.
The above is a mere compilation of about 100 different laws. I recommend purchasing this sefer at your local bookstore. I would offer it on-line, but that would be contradictory to the whole point I'm making here, wouldn't it? I hope that every internet user will take heed and be extremely careful with the internet both before and after Pesach. As a matter of fact, if you are reading this now, you're already in trouble, because you have one more cookie to clean up.
Der Interneter rebbe
a happy passover to all!
Posted by Anne Kapiloff, Z'L