The social media giant blocked a New York rabbi for teaching a class that uses Torah to help explain the spiritual dimensions of the coronavirus pandemic.
By Ezra Stone, United with Israel
Rabbi Uriel Vigler is the director of a Chabad-Lubavitch center on New York’s Upper East Side, which helps connect Jews from all walks of life to their tradition and practices.
Rabbi Vigler was in for a rude awakening recently when Facebook sent him a message telling him that one of his Torah classes “goes against [its] Community Standards.”
The message from Facebook continues, “We have these standards because misinformation that could cause physical harm can make some people feel unsafe on Facebook.”
Rabbi Vigler’s class was billed as follows: “The ultimate vaccine for Covid-19 is to be found in this week’s Torah portion!”
Facebook is used to promote vicious Jew-hatred, glorification of Islamic terror, the most vile anti-Semitic conspiracies, and other forms of hate speech, and yet the social media platform with over two billion users saw fit to block a rabbi seeking to use the Bible to help assuage people’s anxiety and fear related to the worst health pandemic in 100 years.
In response, Rabbi Vigler posted online an impassioned letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, explaining, “I use [Facebook] to spread Torah and mitzvot and try to do my part in bettering the world, which is why I was absolutely astounded to discover I’d been banned this week.”
The rabbi continues, “I have never posted anything hateful or political in the 12 or so years I’ve been using your platform! As a rabbi, I serve a community comprising people on the right and people on the left, so I stick to my job — promoting and spreading Torah and mitzvot; I don’t dabble in politics.”
The class, explained the rabbi, discusses how “the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed because of hatred for one another,” exploring the Talmudic concept that equates “hatred to the three cardinal sins: idolatry, adultery, murder.”
“Expansive, unconditional love will lead to the Redemption, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the end to all ailments and illnesses, including COVID-19,” added the rabbi, noting, “This is one of our most basic beliefs, found in our holy Torah. So yes, the cure for coronavirus is in fact in the Torah!”
Promoting “expansive, unconditional love” violates Facebook’s “standards”?
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