|Rabbi Tarfon of Bet She'an said of Rabbi Shlomo
ben Yechezkel of Tiverya: It is said that in those days Rabbi Shlomo ben
Yechezkel of Tiverya designed a web site for the mother of his father,
Sarah the daughter of Pinchas, who begat Yechezkel, who begat Rabbi Shlomo
ben Yechezkel of Tiverya. Thus Rabbi Shlomo ben Yechezkel of Tiverya performed
the mitzvah of web site design.
Rabbi Michal ben Elkanah, who only had one eye, said: But is it not also said that in those days there was no web, only gopher? Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron said: It is true, but as it is written: "A web browser may also use the gopher protocol, in addition to the HTTP protocol." Rabbi Eliezer asked: Why does it specifically mention that the web browser may also use the gopher protocol, when it is written elsewhere that a web browser may use any protocol? Because the gopher protocol is especially meritorious, since it enables support of legacy systems. One time a poor man came into the home of Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron and asked for two megabytes of disk space on the web site of Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron. Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron refused the man, but instead gave him a personal web server for his own use. At this point Rabbi Yehudah ben Yerachmiel asked Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron: Why did you refuse this man's request, but instead give him a personal web server for his own use? Rabbi Shmaryahu of Hevron replied: It [the Mishnah] teaches: "When a poor man comes into your home and asks for disk space on your web site, first ascertain whether he is going to use it for his own purpose or for the purpose of idol worship. If he is going to use it for his own purpose, grant him the space he asks, unless it exceeds twenty ephraot [one ephrah ~ 213 kilobytes], in which case you may refer him to a local Internet service provider, for as it is written: It is not upon you to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it. If he is going to use it for the purpose of idol worship, then do not give him the space, but instead rebuke him, that he might see the error of his ways and refrain from idol worship."
Gideon of Sh'chem disagreed, saying: It [the Mishnah] also teaches: "When a poor man requests space on an FTP server,
you must grant it without asking why he is going to use it." Why would
the Mishnah impose requirements on a web server but not an FTP server?
Israeli History in a Nutshell
World Wide Jewish Publications
History of Israel
All Things Jewish
Jewish Communities of the World